Desolation Wilderness: Day 46

A couple of years ago, when we were starting out, we expanded our hiking to something a bit more difficult.  We set out to hike near Echo Lakes on the edge of Desolation Wilderness.  It is a beautiful piece of landscape with hard white granite contrasting with soft green trees and deep blue cool water.

The hike that day was the hardest we had taken on up to that point. The trail was climbing over granite, walking on rocks, and periods of full sun and dark shade.  We were headed to Tamarac Lake.  It was the lake just beyond Echo Lakes.

We thought that it would take us out away from people.  It did momentarily, but that part of the trail is very popular.  This trail is a combination of the Pacific Crest Trail and the Tahoe Rim Trail. It is also a resort area with cabins nestled along the lake shore in the trees.  The only way to get to these cabins is on foot or boat. Many people also hike in and take a boat taxi back. So there are quite a few different types of people.  This made moments quite interesting.

It seemed that day we were hop scotching with a couple of groups.  There were the boy scouts, the women’s group, and a couple of families.  The ones that stood out to me most were the older couple.  The lady was wearing hiking appearing boots, but they had wedges.  I still don’t know how she could have thought they were a good choice to hike in something called the Desolation Wilderness. Every time we passed her, she was fixing her socks or something on her feet.

These memories came back to me the other day as we flew over them.  I got a completely different perspective of the wilderness area and the trail.  Since that hike, I realized that it wasn’t the hardest one we have been on, but I wonder as we get further into it next summer, what we will think.  The wilderness is granite covered with sharp angles, amazing heights, and tough trees. There is quite a bit of water.  And, there is a lot of open space. But it was the white ruggedness that caught my attention.  White and rugged don’t seem like words that go together, but the white granite made the area bright even with the coming sunset.  And, the mountains were definitely rugged; sharply cut edges that haven’t worn away with time.

Even though we were in California, I couldn’t help but laugh at the bit of irony nature has. On one of the steepest ridges, there was a pure white N, in snow. In Nevada, we claim a lot of mountain sides with the letter of the community it presides over. So, was this mountain presiding over Nevada?

I also realized that we gave up before the impressive stuff last year.  I am excited about our future trip around the lake this summer.  I want to conquer the Desolation Wilderness.


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