Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Desolation Wilderness/ Highway 50

 I've noticed that my posts seem to be taking an increasingly negative tone as of late. I have absolutely nothing to be angry or complain about. I am extremely blessed, every time I get to spend time in God's creation, I am a fortunate man. I hear-by plan to commit myself to concentrating on the positive as I write about these special places.

I woke up Sunday morning at Lake Aloha in my tent. I was glad to be secure inside, while the morning mosquitoes awoke and began buzzing around outside. I was eager to move on, to hike back to my car. The reason was twofold: I wanted to grab breakfast at Denny's in South Lake Tahoe. I also wanted to see the trees along highway 50 that I had missed while driving through the dark Friday night.

Before I reached my car, I met and talked to several PCT thru hikers. I asked one hiker what his favorite part of the trail had been so far.
"The towns!" he answered.
I met another hiker named "Inspector Gadget." He expressed concern for what the fall weather may hold in Washington. Ahhh, I remember those concerns.

Breakfast was calling, so I quickly made miles and reached my car by 10:30. What I was about to see blew me away. As I started driving down highway 50 towards South Lake Tahoe, the trees were breathtaking. There were giant pines everywhere I looked. Huge, fully expressive, ancient trees. The highway was extremely busy but I had to pull off and park my car in a turnout to inspect. As I was bushwhacking through some dense underbrush to reach one particular tree, I noticed a dirt road with a man walking along it. As I came crashing through the bushes, he looked at me and then quickly looked away. I must have looked nuts. As I tripped onto the road, I made eye contact with his wife and just laughed.
"Sorry, I know I look crazy, but I just had to get a closer look at these trees!" I explained.
"Oh....ok....cool!" the man answered.
 These were some of the largest Ponderosa Pines I have ever seen. They might be Jeffrey Pine. I'm not really sure, but they are stunning.
 After taking a few photos with a couple trees, I returned to my car and continued to South Lake Tahoe. The area looked really promising for tree hunting, and I will have to return later this year. By now, my stomach was craving some bacon and eggs. It was really congested on the roads into town. When I reached Denny's there was a line with about 25 to 50 people waiting outside. No bacon and eggs for me. I had to resort to plan B: the grocery store. After filling my car with gas and returning to the road, highway 50 out of Tahoe was a complete traffic jam. It remained that way almost to Sacramento. Thankfully, the trees along the highway kept me in a state of awe.
 I saw this monolith growing alongside the road. At 22'5" cbh, it's by far the largest Ponderosa Pine I have seen to date. Simply an incredible tree.


  1. That has got to be the most outstanding view from a tent I can imagine. :D

  2. This is how people are supposed to live!