rowan

Yesterday in the high Sierras, today on scenic Lake Tahoe.

Sunrise woke in South Lake Tahoe, circled the lake northward – day’s first stop:  Emerald Bay.  Mix of tall redwood & pine – HUGE evergreen – line California’s largest freshwater lake.  Bay tinted green (emerald green) where it hugs shore.

$10 to the Park Ranger.  Successfully secured parking (kinda a big deal in California).  Stared long/hard at the Lake horizon, before starting the short steep hike DOWN to Vikingsholm on tourist-heavy Tahoe – HIKE day ❤

 

Vikingsholm…this magnificent “castle” is a unique blend of nature’s spectacular beauty and man’s architectural ingenuity.

 

The Vikingsholm foundation was laid in 1928, but the building was constructed in 1929 by 200 workers. Vikingsholm was built by Mrs. Lora Josephine Knight as a summer home. Before starting construction, Mrs. Knight and her architect traveled to Scandinavia to gather ideas for the construction of the house. Some parts of the structure contain no nails or spikes, as a result of old-fashioned construction methods. Most of the building was made from materials found at Lake Tahoe.

 

Mrs. Knight is best known for building Vikingsholm, but she and her husband Harry, a businessman were primary backers of Charles Lindbergh’s non-stop solo flight across the Atlantic in 1927.

 

Followed the steep one-mile path DOWN DOWN DOWN to Vikingsholm.

White granite canyons, HUGE forest’d trees.  Snagged 2 enormous pine cone for my Colorado mantel.

Interesting well-preserved residence, Vikingsholm, but didn’t purchased a ticket to tour inside.  I trail-hiked DOWN to see California redwood, to enjoy the all-consuming scent of pine.  Not disappointed, WOW!

Dipped both hands into Lake Tahoe before trekking back UP.  UP UP to Hwy 89, the local northbound highway I’d travel lake-circumference.  Tahoma, Tahoe City, then lunch.  3 more hours to play ‘til my return flight home from Reno.

89 North to Truckee, diverted left on Squaw Valley Road.

Squaw Valley, California – site of the 1960 Winter Olympics.  Gotta/hafta/must STOP, right?  Team USA won first-ever hockey GOLD; Americans [David Jenkins & Carol Heiss] topped both figure skating podiums.

The Games’ spirit, the OLYMPIC FLAME stays lit 24/7, 365 days/year.  Pretty neat.  I was here.

 

 

 

 

97 degrees.  Been a hot week at 5500ft.  Solution?  Go higher 🙂

5 days after my disappointing Bighorn retreat, HIKE weekend.  Chicken soup for the brain.

Friday drive after work, 3 hours to Leadville on the Continental Divide.  (first time ever) Rented a Ro-friendly cabin just north of town.  Pup & I would hit it hard early a.m. – but not too early.  Taking advantage of the area’s cool mountain air, good sleeping weather.

Backpack, boots, multiple shirts (I hike in layers), whole lotta water.  8am start, trailhead parking already FULL.  Found a spot quarter-mile away on the road to Massive.  Today’s hike destination: Mt. Elbert, first 14er of 2017.  FAAANNNTASTIC!

Summitted this peak in 2012.  Not a technical hike, but remember it being one of the longest.  Tallest peak in Colorado, 2nd highest in the lower 48.  This early in the season (mid-June), just happy to ferret out a hikeable peak.  Heavy snow season.

3 false summits, whole lotta up-n-down.  Challenging but doable, did my online research.  Almost 4 miles of treed wildlife: ground squirrels, chipmunks & (surprisingly) a flock of prairie hen.  Kept Ro tethered to my belt – he’s a big FAN of chicken ❤

UP UP UP, water break.  Different set of muscles used [vs marathoning].  UP UP UP, ‘nother water break.  the Scenery?  No comparison.  Thin air, wildflowers, intermittent tuffs of green – life finding a way above 12,000ft.

False summit snacked.  Took in the panorama, circled by mountains & snow pocked tundra.

1100ft of vertical to go.  UP UP UP, ‘cross a large snow field.  Teeny tiny people visible high above, our first summit view.  Let Ro romp in last winter’s remnants but kept Pup leashed.  Season change/high altitude sun, unexpected crevasses/cornice breaks.

400ft more, SUMMIT SUCCESS!

Pulled a jacket out of the backpack & hunkered behind a large boulder.  Chicken jerky for Pup, Turkey avocado for Dad.  Long hike back – best part?  No return drive ‘til morning.  Weekend cabin rental, highly recommended – even Ro got a bath 🙂

 

 

Mt Elbert 2017

 

 

Dropped Ash & Tom at DIA, their next stop: Reykjavik, Iceland.  [after work] returned to pick up Marty, my first (& only) grandpup.  Year-half living with Ro, knew this 2-week reunion would be appreciated by both.  BROs reunited!

Spoiled?  Well…maybe a little.  Pup-Peroni snacks, hot dogs, fried eggs each morning.  Eggs are good for their coat, right? 🙂

Short work week, family & friends now gone, weekend plans?  A June SNOW hike…of course.  Travelled north to Brainard Lake, short 45 minutes away.  Generally roads open Memorial Day weekend.  No such luck this year.

Originally had hoped to hike Lake Isabelle.  2 mile jaunt to Brainard, beautiful sunshiny skies.  Lotta hikers.  Brainard still half-frozen.  Kicked back & people watched.  BIG smiles from BOTH pups.  Ro loves the snow, Marty loves to hike.

Circled ‘round Brainard.  Met by a wall of snow.  No Isabelle in today’s hike forecast.

Home returned via Nederland.  In-town cell reception, received another batch of texts from Iceland.  Wouldn’t trade our Colorado snow hike…but this particular weekend, think I got aced by Daughter.  Volcanic hot springs, Icelandic ponies, oceanside boulder hike, spelunking & whale watching – that doesn’t include a 2-day jet set to London.  Well done Ash.  Nothing left undone.

 

 

Ash & Tom’s Icelandic Adventure

 

 

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