View from Mt. Rose looking towards Reno
This guy wanted me to feed him some of my pb&j. No such luck.
In an attempt to further reset my inner clock, Ken and I headed out to Desolation Wilderness late Tuesday afternoon for two nights of camping. In truth, we had been considering Yosemite, but going to Desolation means going through South Lake Tahoe which means stopping at the Bridge Tender for the best turkey burgers period, which we did on Thursday, but I'm getting ahead of myself.
After picking Ken up from work, we drove up to Fallen Leaf Lake to start the hike in. We didn't start hiking until just after 5pm. We were trying to get all the way in to Lake Aloha but due to our late start, we made it only as far as Susie Lake. We discussed at some length whether or not we should hike all the way in to Lake Aloha, but it was already 7:45 and we had do do a bit of off trail scrambling over large granite boulders to get to where we wanted to camp. Since we didn't want to do that in the dark, and there aren't many decent places to pitch a tent between Lake Susie and Lake Aloha, we decided to go ahead and stop where we were. The area around Lake Susie was pretty rocky, but we found an established site to set up the tent. Dinner was pretty good, but neither one of us were spectacularly hungry. I didn't really plan much in the way of meals. We stopped at Raley's on the way home from dinner Monday night and grabbed a few uninspired things. For dinner on Tuesday we had a Lipton Stroganoff noodle package with a can of chicken added in.
Morning at Susie Lake
On Wednesday morning, we ate breakfast, packed up the tent and were off to Lake Aloha. For whatever reason, it took us longer than expected to make it around the lake to the spot where we camped last year. When we arrived, we found that the lake level was much higher than that of last year and our little spot was covered in water. So we did what any self respecting person would do, we stripped down and jumped in the lake. However, because the spot wasn't viable for camping and it was still early in the day, we dried off and moved on around to the other side of the lake. After looking at the map and mulling over info Ken had been told from a friend about there being nice spots on American Lake, we decided to head over that way to see what we could find.
The perfectly colored blue Lake Aloha
We walked the length of American Lake before we found anything good. We did come across a set of sites, but they were too buggy and didn't offer much privacy. The site we settled on was near the end of the lake and was easily accessible to the water. It also turned out to be a spot that was popular with the fishermen who were also on the lake. Granted, I'm used to camping in areas where there are no other people within shouting distance. It was quite disconcerting to crawl out of the tent Thursday morning, mumbling to Ken that he should look over at the marmot I saw scurrying over some rocks, and find two men armed with fishing rods standing not 100 feet away. They didn't stick around very long, but it wasn't how I like to start my day.
Our perfectly pitched tent on American Lake
After stuffing everything into the packs on Thursday morning, we began heading back to the trail and, ultimately, to the truck. We walked up to Lake Lucille with the promise that even though it wasn't marked on any map, there was indeed a trail that would take us down to Grass Lake where we would find the path taking us to Glen Alpine and down to the truck. Additionally, this way would likely be a bit shorter. When Ken says things like this, I don't doubt that there is veracity in his words. However, I've learned to be flexible with the concepts of 'trail' and 'time'. Although the trail was difficult to follow in spots, it was no problem and may, indeed, have cut a little off of our travel time. It was nice to be on a trail that no one else was taking.
Onwards towards Grass Lake
We stopped a few places along the way to rest and snack (we didn't want to spoil our appetites for turkey burgers but also didn't want to have packed around two apples around that we didn't eat). After we got back to the truck, loaded in our packs, changed into other shoes, we headed back towards Fallen Leaf Lake. We found a place to park at the general store and made a beeline for the water. The water was warmer than expected, and we swam and splashed around a bit trying to get rid of some of the accumulated grime. Refreshed and renewed, we drove back to Tahoe City and the entire reason for the trip: turkey burgers.
With bacon, bleu cheese, and purple onion. Mmm-mmm!