Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Desolation Wilderness in 5 Days

Just to the west of South Lake Tahoe lies Desolation Wilderness, sixty-three thousand acres of trees and mountains and lakes and rocks. The name is a bit misleading, however, at least in terms of people. Desolation is pretty popular with the Bay Area and Sac crowds because of its easy accessibility. But once one gets off the beaten path, it is possible to minimize contact with other humans.

Day 1: Glen Alpine Trailhead to Lake Aloha

I do love Lake Aloha. I had to get up in the middle of the night. As soon as I stumbled out of the tent, I saw two meteorites (part of the Perseid shower).

The four hour hike in called for only a light dinner. There wasn't much to it: dehydrated corn and couscous. The meal filled its purpose, though.

Day 2: Lake Aloha to Lake Zitella

Kirsten's camp kitchen along the shores of Lake Zitella (which, incidentally, was warm enough to swim in).

A not-bad dinner of brown rice, cashews, chicken, curry powder, coconut, and sriracha.

Day 3: Lake Zitella to Camper Flats (plus side trip to Highland Lake)

Trees. Mountains. Rocks.

Anyone who has asked me about backcountry meal ideas has gotten an earful about how much I love dumplings. I don't know why I only pack one dumpling meal per trip. That will change. Next time, I may even branch out and try cornmeal dumplings over some kind of chili/Mexican dish instead of the standard Bisquick and chicken fare.

Day 4: Camper Flats to Gilmore Lake

Even with cellphones and email, hikers still need to rely on good old fashioned note-leaving.

A dessert worth noting: instant vanilla pudding with chopped figs and slivered almonds. Mmm-mmm.

I like to say that it's been a good trip when I've used everything in my backpack except the rain gear. Skeena appreciated the rain jacket.

Day 5: Gilmore Lake to Glen Alpine Trailhead (plus side trip to Mt Tallac)

Skeena, Wild Dog of the Sierra, on top of Mt. Tallac

Skeena, Wild Dog of the Sierra, snoozes under a tree.

A well-deserved post-trip turkey burger at the Bridge Tender in Tahoe City. However, $21 for one burger, one beer, and one mediocre salad is waaay too much to spend, so I'll be finding another post-backpacking burger stop.

No comments: