Before we left this beautiful area, I wanted to take the dogs out, alone, back into the mountains to breathe the mountain air and fill my soul. Drew recommended I drive out to the Blue Lakes off Highway 88 (Carson Pass Highway), along Hope Valley Road.
This road follows the West Fork of the Carson River through a wonderful valley and past a few mountain homes finally giving away to complete wilderness. It’s a 2 lane highway past running water, lots of trees, and along a cut between Markleeville Peak, The Nipple, and Jeff Davis Peak.
We reached the end of the road at the Blue Lakes and drove along Lower Blue Lake. The land here is made up gigantic smooth rocks with trees growing up through the cracks, it’s a great place for Corgis to run around!
The wind has twisted most of the trees out here over the years.
Back to those Corgis….. they loved running around on the large flat mountain rocks, chasing each other and barking as much as they wanted! In the photo just above, you can see a tree and a bunch of bushes growing at the water’s edge and Zeplyn running along the top of the rock. Well, the Corgis are not accustomed to big smooth rocks that drop of suddenly — sure enough, first Ratchet fell down into those bushes, then, while I was trying to figure out how to get him back up and out, Zeplyn slid down there too! Now I had 2 dogs scrambling around on the branches just above that water and about 4’ below me trying to figure out how to get back out. Zeplyn is still young enough (he’s only 8 years old) and was able to claw his way back up the rock and onto the top. Ratchet is 11 and a bit heavier; no way was he going to scramble up that rock! I finally figured out how to approach it from the tree side, coax Ratchet over to me by climbing over the branches, and carry him back to the upper side of the rocks! Whew!!!!
We returned to the car and headed back to Tahoe, snow was coming! We are leaving tomorrow and I’ve got some packing to do!
We hiked several days into the Sierra Nevada Mountains around Lake Tahoe. One day, Barry & I drove out to Kirkwood Ski Resort and had lunch and took a long different way back to the coach.
Another day, Drew & I left to hike out with my backpack loaded to get used to carrying it packed. We parked off Highway 88 at Carson Pass, loaded up and set off toward Winnemucca Lake.
In the background of the above photo is a mountain called, “Elephant’s Back”….it does look like the skin you might see on an elephant!
Today we hiked about 10 miles round trip, climbed about 2,000’ in elevation, and needed about 4.5 hours with all my stops to rest. Drew was so very patient with me especially on the return trip out when this happened:
We left Flaming Gorge and headed west and south to Wasatch Mountain State Park Campground.
This park is just south of Park City, the site of the 2002 Winter Olympics. The campground is in Midway, Utah and is not easy to find with online maps, we had to drive through a couple of neighborhoods to find it! The town has a large Swedish community and lots of cute painted buildings!
The campground is in a large state park that includes a golf course, and, nearby Wasatch Mountain. The campsites are paved with full hookups and 50 amps of power, each nestled into the trees with a little stream behind. They have very nice paved patios with fire rings set down into the ground and are easy to use. The sites are nice and clean; we would certainly stay here again!
We stayed here for just 2 nights to give Barry a chance to get some work done after the Labor Day weekend. That gave me an entire day to explore the area so I headed up into the mountains! The road in the park was newly paved and an easy upward drive; my first stop was a nice lake with hiking paths around it.
Did you know that one aspen tree is actually only a small part of a larger organism? A stand of aspen trees is considered a singular organism with the main life force underground in the extensive root system. Before a single aspen trunk appears above the surface, the root system may lie dormant for many years until the conditions are just right, including sufficient sunlight. In a single stand, each tree is a genetic replicate of the other, hence the name a “clone” of aspens used to describe a stand. Ref: https://www.nationalforests.org/blog/tree-profile-aspen-so-much-more-than-a-tree
I continued up, turning left and right around switchbacks, driving past the park boundary and into the Park City limit where the nice road became a very rough road (due to the loads of snow and plowing in the winter). At the very top was a nice parking lot with multiple trail heads for me to choose. I picked the shortest one that lead to the summit and headed upward following a heavily trafficked gravel trail.
We had such a nice relaxing time at Wasatch, catching up on work, exploring, hiking and relaxing. We would certainly return here for a longer stay! Next stop: Tahoe!