Friday, July 6, 2012

Day 76: Upper Truckee River to Tamarack Lake

The mosquitoes were still sleeping when I poked my head out of the tent. The morning sun filtered through the trees and lit the surrounding meadow with a soft golden hue. The Upper Truckee River, now a gentle creek, gurgled through the meadow.

Bzzzzzzzzzz! As if on cue, all of the mosquitoes woke at once. I was soon surrounded, the air thick with whining bodies.

We avoided the worst of the swarms by hiking quickly. We passed beautiful grassy meadows littered with Sierra daisies and purple lupine. We climbed brushy ridges and passed through tall red fir and pine forests.

Descending the final ridge we spotted a huge blue lake, shimmering like a deep blue jewel off in the distance: Lake Tahoe! We continued to catch glimpses of the lake as we descended the broken granite ridge to Echo Pass on Highway 50 (7,220 ft).

After a quick lunch, we crossed Highway 50 and climbed over a short ridge to Echo Lake Resort. Cars and trailers overflowed the small parking lot. Boats dotted the large reservoir. Swarms of people milled about the parking lot and dock. Boaters, fishers, day hikers, backpackers, and a handful of PCT hikers surrounded the tiny store.

Rather than join the crowds, we headed in a different direction. My father gave us a ride to Chevy's in South Lake Tahoe, where the three of us met my friend Connie, aka Crazy Ukulady, for an early dinner. After dinner we drove to a nearby church parking lot, where I sorted our resupply while Sierra played with two of the neighborhood children.

The crowds had thinned out by the time we returned to Echo Lake Resort. Cabins, accessible only by boat or trail, circled the lake. Most of them appeared to be full, and the scent of barbecue wafted across the trail as we hiked. As we hiked we passed multiple groups of day hikers, heading home for the night.

We continued to climb past Echo Lakes to Tamarack Lake, where we proceeded to debunk several common myths about mosquitoes. All mosquitoes do NOT sleep at night. And if you have mosquitoes in your tent at night chances are you won't either.


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  2. I hope Heather got a Mosquito Head Net! I read the gear list. I have been there with and without. I hope you both have them.

    You ladies rock!!