Friday, August 1, 2008

Hiking Mt. Rose

Yesterday morning a fellow bandie, Bryan, and I got up stupid early to hike to Mt. Rose summit before I went to work. (I started late that morning, and I didn't have to be at the library until 10:15. Bryan, however, is an elementary school music teacher and has the summer off. Lucky guy.) It was just me and him because everyone else is up at Lake Tahoe Music Camp this week. We got up to the base at bit after 5:30, and here is the first picture of the day- still a little dark, but you can see the haze over Tahoe to Bryan's left:

I didn't look at the sign before we headed out, so I didn't notice I led us onto the bike trail instead of the hiking trail, and added about a half hour to our hike. Oops! Found this post up the trail, after we backtracked. How many times have I done this hike? Way too many to make a wrong turn right off the bat, even if it was still mostly dark out. Sorry Bryan! But at least we got a good warm up, eh? :)

Mount Rose Wild is the fire lane/bike trail, and we were supposed to stick to the TRT side. Oh well. Here I am overlooking Tahoe at about 6:15, on the correct path. The sun comes up fast! And my hair looks funny from the back I just noticed. Don't worry, I'm growing it out again!

Skipping forward a bit, we were walking towards this awesome waterfall when the trail suddenly ended! Crap! How could I have gotten off the path AGAIN!? I looked around and saw the trail on the other side of the stream to our right, and did my best to bush-whack it back through the slick wet branches. And my best landed me on my backside, scrabbling on my way down in slo-mo for purchase of some unobliging leaves. Complete your visualization of me with my feet in the air, and me completely stuck in the brush, laughing 'cause I couldn't pull myself out. With a little help from Bryan, we managed to get back on track, and I glanced back trying to figure out how we were supposed to get across. Was it this way?

Or this?

Turns out, it was neither, but we found it just fine on the way back! You can kinda see where I forced my way through, about in the middle of the picture (maybe if you enlarge it, that is) Whew!

There is a very tall peak in the background of this lake. For bonus points, does anyone know the name of that mountain peak, or the lake? This is a north-westish facing photo, if that helps...

Here is another picture just before we left the tree line, with three lakes in view. I don't know if you can see them through the smoggy smoke though. It was getting close to 7:30 by this point, and only about another half hour to the summit.

When we did get to the top, I saw something in a bag, and though it was a mini laptop for some reason. Probably because it was black, and there were also pens with it. But upon inspection, it turned out to be a notebook left for hikers to sign and leave a little note behind in remembrance of their climb to the top. The first entry was June 2008, so it has only been there for a couple months. Way cool of someone to leave this for everyone! I wonder where it will end up when it gets full, and if it will be replaced? Here is a picture of Bryan signing, barely able to hold the pen because of cold hands.

It's weird- my hands didn't feel that cold until I tried to write my own little message. I didn't even need a sweatshirt even though it was early- but then again, it's usually super windy up there, and it wasn't yesterday morning. And there was no swarm of flying bugs like my first hike to the top. The clouds floating over the hills toward Lake Tahoe behind me looks like something out of a fairy tale... And how green it is down in the valley below!

I'll put together a special present for the first person to find my entry on 7/31/08 and post back here what I wrote. But a little warning: the book is already half way full, and it's only been there for a month and a half!

And finally, one last goofy victory photo at the top! I'd really love to do this hike again soon, even if I have to go before work again, and if it means another dark bruise on my butt. Any takers? :)

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