Bubble in the desert

A blog I started whilst on a GE "Bubble" assignment in Nevada. I'm back in Cambridge (UK) now but still miss the desert and my friends out there.

Monday, July 31, 2006

Hiking in the Desolation Wilderness - Fallen Leaf to Lake Aloha - 13 miles

Sienna recommended a weekend hike for us which was awesome. It started at Fallen Leaf Lake on the edge of the Desolation Wilderness and climbed to Lake Aloha (at 8,000ft+).

A waterfall on the way to Lily Lake near the start of the hike at Glen Alpine Spring.

We plodded on and up and after some time came upon Susie Lake, which was a nice lunch spot. The trail at this point is part of the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) a famous long distance trail. This was a wonderful spot for lunch and the lake looked quite inviting for swimming but just a little cold - the big island in the middle was also pretty tempting!

Desolation Wilderness, I wonder why...

Pretty flowers though...

Plodding on and up some more, we came upon what looked like something from Lord of the Rings, a lake enclosed by mountains which had a little path to let you skirt the perimeter. It felt very like the lake outside the entrance to the Mines of Moria - we half expected a giant tenticled beast to pop out of the lake and drag us to our doom.


High up we found quite a bit of late season snow so I had to have a go at my 2nd ever snow angel...

We finally made it to Lake Aloha but didn't get any pictures because we had the sudden realisation that we were 6 miles in to the hike and there was not much daylight left, though a long way to go (another 6 miles). Julie said she was ok to run a while so we tightened down our packs and ran. We ran the length of Lake Aloha and some (now on the Rubicon Trail), probably 3 miles in all. After that the trail got tricky, a little too tricky to run on but the 3 miles were useful.

As the sun lowered Mosquitoes became another reason to run. They loved me but not Julie so much. I ended up with a lot of bites (left leg - 18; right leg - 15; left shoulder ~15; right shoulder ~15; not to mention face, hands, arms, etc.) and Julie got some too (5 total). On reflection, it was pretty silly to go there without Mossie spray.

The way back was mosquito heavy and the path became a little vague and a lot overgrown in places, and steeply downwards. It had compensations though, here's a double rainbow we saw...

In the gathering gloom, in a rare moment of visibility from our overgrown steep descent we spied a nice site - Lily Lake (left), Fallen Leaf (centre) and Lake Tahoe behind.

And finally, the sunset...

Well, not quite finally. We made it to South Lake by 9.30pm, which it turned out was early enough to eat Thai food at SalaThai - very nice indeed. After last week's late night Denny's experience it was very welcome. If there is a 40 minute wait for food at Denny's you know there is nothing else open!


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