Horsetail Falls Desolation Wilderness

Subject: Horsetail Falls/Desolation Wilderness trip report (Embedded image moved to file: pic24482.jpg)Fellow Veteran Cosmic Travelers,In documenting the adventures of a well travelled Lobo, my trip reportshavehad the same theme whenever Gerry is not my companion:-We climb-We do adventure-We pass wind-We drink beer-WE ARE MEN-WE ARE STUDSWhen Gerry is along the report usually reflects the beauty, serenity, andsimplicity of our original natural environment or the cultural andartisticwonders of our civilization.The female gender is clearly the more healthy of our species.This trip includes all the macho aspects of adventure but I will try tofocuson the raw and dramatic Wilderness-Desolation Wilderness.Desolation Wilderness lies above the jewel of the Sierras-Lake Tahoe. Youcanfind over 130 Alpine lakes packed into 100 miles of mountain scenery. ThePacific Crest trail crosses the heart of this granatic rock environmentthatincorporates the best features found in the high Sierra. As much time as Ihave spent in this compact Wonderland, I have yet to visit all the lakes.My old friend and roomate Hannu Haarma picked me up from the train stationin Hillsdale after work on Friday. I used to commute to the city on Caltrainand was delighted to see that the old mean witch of a train was still onthe5:40.Hannu is a champion orienteer and we were able to find our way to theRoseville residence of friend James Cabanas with whom I had shared a GrandCanyon adventure last week.That evening we went to the great eating establishment of ex 49er DannyBunz-"The Tackle", referring to his famous tackle in the Cincinnati SuperBowl. Pitchers of Sierra Nevadas were liberally shared.The next morning we started up a steeply slabbed trail to Horsetail Fall,roaring as it plunged 100 feet into a pool. The route was basically crosscountry, boulder hopping 1700 ft up to Avalanche lake. We then climbed toPitt and Ropi lakes.James had backpacked into this area the past summer. This is the quickestaccess into the Desolation Wilderness.The temperature was unseasonably warm, you could have spent the day on thebeach at Tahoe.This hike is rated a 9.5. It was a refreshing change from the harsh GrandCanyon habitat.The afternoon was spent at Apple Hill and El Dorado wine country.We alsotook a tour of our property and both James and Hannu agreed that weshouldbuild at the top of the lot and take advantage of the Majestic SierraNevadaview. We startled several small deer that were bedded down in the tallgrass.We stayed at James's beautiful new home that night and returned to theEastBay the next afternoon for a flight out of Oakland. Ger and Lucy picked meup at the airport and we arrived home in time for the trick or treatersthatnever came.Next weekend- Ger and I will take in Lake Quinalt and Kaloch Lodges-OlympicNational Park Washington and Vancouver Island/Victoria before returning toSeattle for the week.

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