South Lake Tahoe (1094.5) to Dicks Lake (1109.9)
Almost every time I leave town to get back on trail I feel weak and a bit poorly on the stomach. Today was no exception. Graciously I was dropped off at Echo Lake by Russ, Teflons better half. He made 2 trips to drop us all off. KC and I waited quite a while for Teflon, Russ, Mr & Mrs Smith and Hummingbird to arrive. I was ready to go and in hindsight I shouldn’t have waited. I wanted some alone time. I needed to recharge. I haven’t hiked alone for many weeks and I felt I needed that again, even if it was for several hours.
I set off alone soon after everybody arrived and got themselves sorted. I hiked the relatively easy section from Echo Lake to Aloha Lake. Upon arrival I thought it prudent to eat lunch but my stomach had other ideas. I managed a protein bar then promptly fell asleep.
Twenty minutes had passed since I closed my eyes. I packed and readied myself to set off when Teflon, Russ, Mr & Mrs Smith and Hummingbird arrived. They set about having lunch. I bid farewell to Russ who was heading back to the trailhead and I set off. The area I am hiking is called the ‘Desolation Wilderness’. Around Aloha Lake it was almost completely devoid of trees. The surrounding bright grey glacial polished granite peaks were almost completely devoid of trees. The lake appears to be lower than normal as evidenced by the darkened water stains several meters higher than now. The lake was dotted with many rocky islands protruding like breaching whales. This was not a place to be during a thunderstorm I thought, as I watched the growing cumulus clouds in the distance.
The trail descended from Aloha Lake past several lakes until the final big climb for the day, Dicks Pass. This pass was only around 1500 feet but it caught me out. It just kept going and going. The views over the surrounding lakes stole my attention from the trail. I’m almost always looking around everywhere while hiking, surveying the landscapes, spying animals, smelling wild flowers, swatting mosquitoes and occasionally looking at the trail in front of me. The rough scree on the trail diverted my curious attention from most other endeavours as I concentrated on the trail. This was ankle twisting terrain.
I descended Dicks Pass and set up camp at nearby Dicks Lake. It was almost an hour when the others arrived.