a last clear day

At last finally getting a cell signal and an update on the growing Caldor fire southwest of Lake Tahoe, we decided to cut the hike short and head for our exit trailhead. And we were treated to one more clear, beautiful day, just to remind us of how this area usually looked in non-smoky years.

Sunrise on Lake Susie with one grandson still asleep in his hammock.
Breakfast at the campsite before packing up.
On a last day hike to Half Moon lake we got a view of the peaks of Desolation Valley, looking so much clearer than just 24 hours before.
Half Moon lake was low, with a lot of marshy vegetation around its edge. The steep talus slope down to the lake was where we mistakenly tried to take a short cut two years previously — another scary adventure.
Talus slopes of broken rock are absolute ankle breakers and no fun to traverse. The kids made it through this terrain easily a couple of years ago, but not so for the elder generation.

Nine miles and a lot of downhill steps on broken rock later, we exited the Glen Alpine trailhead at the end of what will be an ever memorable 2021 Sierra backpack hike with all limbs intact!

9 thoughts on “a last clear day

  1. Incredible! I can’t imagine what this must look like in person! The pictures don’t even look real! I hope to make it out to that neck of the woods in my lifetime. 🙂

    • That iPhone takes pretty incredible photos! I hope you go there sometime when the air is free of smoke — the granite peaks of Desolation Wilderness are really an incredible sight. Thanks for your comment!

  2. That was quite an adventure! You got some nice views there at the end. Screw hiking really is treacherous. I’ve taken some wrong turns on that type of terrain before – no fun.

    • So true! Added to the infirmities of old age is the fear factor on these slopes. I was amazed at how easily the kids negotiated slopes like those though! Agility and strength make such a difference!

    • Oh yes! It seems that every trip we take with them has some added “challenge” that makes the trip very memorable. Thanks for your comment!

    • Well, we seem to get into a little trouble on each of the backpacking trips, and yes, that certainly does make the trips memorable! This time, though, we had no warning or knowledge of any fire nearby before we left, and that made this trip more dangerous than the others we’ve taken in this area. Note to self: no more hikes in August in the Sierras!

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