Smiles earns her namesake starting out from Aloha Lake a couple pounds lighter after dinner the night before.
Life is better without a pizza on your back! The laptop is there for the haul to Truckee, though.
A shift in geology types by Susie Lake with Jacks Peak in the background. Red rocks galore!
A nice lazy departure from Aloha Lake. I stopped a short bit into the hike and fished Susie Lake, hoping for better luck than Aloha. On the first cast I hooked a giant brown trout and snapped my leader trying to land it. I simply must learn the techniques for this. I speculated that I needed to fight the fish longer and asked my buddy Tashi (quite the trout fisherman) about some strategies . I hiked up Dicks Pass, and was rewarded with the best panorama of the Desolation Wilderness I have seen. Quite a beautiful place, indeed. I made a quick break in the exposed gravel and touched base with Tashi, who verified that fighting the fish longer would result in a better capture rate. We texted back and forth, and I tried to see whether he would be in the area and interested in meeting up in Truckee or Sierra City in the next few days. The timing ended up working out in such a way that Smiles and I would meet Tashi up at High Camp, el. 8,200, at the Squaw Valley USA ski resort the next day. It meant a big hike, but what the heck? It also meant catching up with a friend we hadn't seen in a long time, a hot meal, a cold beer, and a nice little internal challenge. I, for one, do better when I have mini-goals to help me push through the day-to-day and keep the overall goal somewhat hidden. Smiles, Chik-chak and Atlas crossed the pass, and we dropped down for lunch at Fontinellis Lake. I attempted fishing but there wasn't much surface action midday. We cruised all afternoon, dealt with some foul mosquitoes at a water stop, and lost the trail once but found it quickly. We camped at Richardson Lake, a shallow old lake at a relatively low elevation in the forest. After I was skunked on trout fishing, I went crawdadding to supplement dinner. After 30 minutes or so, I had corralled around a dozen of the invasive invertebrates and quickly dunked them in a pot of boiling water. They made a nice addition to our alfredo pasta, to be sure! We have a big day tomorrow, as we were gunning for 26 miles to meet Tashi at Squaw, at 3:30 PM. The mileage wasn't a big deal, but the time constraint on top of it meant both an early wakeup and some quick walking.