Monday, September 24, 2012
Big Pines in the Sierra Nevada
I spent the weekend in the Sierra Nevada near Lake Tahoe. My plan was to explore a few sections of forest along highway 50. While driving out here last time, the trees along the highway looked exceptional. The challenge was to pick which sections to explore.
I didn't feel at ease because I didn't have a map with me. However, I had my GPS. There is something really comforting knowing where you are at any given moment. Almost too comforting. Once I was able to pinpoint where I was in relation to the roads nearby, my discomfort ceased. Eventually, I reached an intersection that seemed somewhat familiar. I had a short conversation with a couple that came down the trail and the man suggested that I walk to Round Lake. That also sounded familiar. Once I resumed hiking, I immediately recognized where I was. The Tahoe Rim Trail! I never thought I'd see this particular section of forest again in my lifetime, but here I was. Something strange about being in the wilderness and recognizing old places. After hiking to round lake, I turned around and retraced my steps back to my car. Round trip about 8 miles. I drove into South Lake Tahoe and ate dinner next to the lake. That night, I slept in my car near one of the trail heads. After a pretty good sleep, I resumed the tree hunt. I found where I originally wanted to search, but decided to save it for another trip, maybe next month before the snow sets in.
Traffic was heavy once again leaving Tahoe. I'd imagine a road widening project may be in the future of highway 50. There were so many sections of forest I wanted to explore on my way home but it was really difficult due to the amount of traffic. I had to settle on a couple spots, because it was near impossible to turn around with all the cars on the road.
I found a spot with some real quality trees growing. Some very large Sugar, Ponderosa, and junipers. The sugar pines are a really nice tree. I'm just starting to recognize them by appearance, but they have enormous pine cones lying underneath.