So, this one's a long post... but it represents three whole days worth of adventuring, so here we go! Our crew ventured off on our annual backpacking trip through Desolation Wilderness, a gorgeous wilderness area just southwest of Lake Tahoe. This year we took a new route that involved some exciting route finding and a steep descent. All 8 of us plus an adorable golden doodle named Luca were in it together.
Day 1 - Granite lake to Fontanillis Lake
This was our first year camping near Fontanillis Lake and we were super pleased with our choice. The water seemed a little colder than years past, but with a bag of wine, a little courage, and a cliff to jump off of, we were able to take a quick dip. By days end we calmed down some to fully soak in the stillness of the lake at twilight and gaze upon the night stars above our campsite.
It's funny how similar lakes appear at dusk and dawn. The energy of people seems to mirror the energy of the mountains as the day goes on. Slow to wake, full of energy in the daylight and calm again before we go to sleep.
Day 2 - Fontanillis Lake to Azure Lake (the direct route)
After putting in quite a few miles, we found ourselves 1,000 feet above, yet only a quarter mile away from the pristine alpine lake with smooth granite slabs that we were to camp on. As you can imagine, it took some time to navigate down this steep, non-existent path over and under boulders the size of houses. Lake Azure became ever so slowly bigger and closer, always in our view and never loosing site of our goal. Eventually we got there, happy and hungry, to set up our camp and repeat our backpacking rituals of the night before: jump in the lake, eat dinner, drink hot cocoa, gaze at the stars.
Day 3: Azure Lake to Bayview Trailhead
Three days of backpacking is always bittersweet. I usually find myself ready for my creature comforts again, but always sad to leave the simpleness of living in the mountains for a few days. It's also interesting finding ourselves spring up on civilization again, as you get closer and closer to the trailhead you'll find more and more people. When you see someone in flip flops or ballet flats, you know you're close to the end. As always, we ended our trip this year with an ice cold Rum Runner and a burger at the Beacon in South Lake Tahoe.