I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again:
Lake Aloha and the Crystal Range
DESOLATION WILDERNESS is my FAVORITE PLACE on earth.
I came here on my first backpacking trip ever. They say that you never forget your first love.
2012 was the year of a lot of firsts for me. I started organizing and leading my own backpacking trips (I never trusted myself to do that before), did my first five-night backpacking trip, and organized five camping trips in one summer. Despite the occasional headaches from organizing trip logistics, it was pretty damn fun. This Deso trip included five friends that had varying degrees of backpacking experience – including Rob, who did his first trip with us!
DAY 1: The Hike In
At 5 pm, Darrel and I met up at the Glen Alpine trailhead to review our gear and weigh our packs. My pack: 32 lbs. His pack: 43 lbs. He’s not exactly a light backpacker.
At 7 PM, we began hiking and made it to Susie Lake by a little after 9 PM (about 4 miles). While it was pretty dark after 8:30 PM, the wilderness and lake was absolutely gorgeous at night. We set up camp and I took a photo of Susie lake with the stars reflecting in the lake below:
Stars in the sky, as reflected in Susie Lake
DAY 2: Susie and Heather Lakes
We decided to take it easy the next day since Darrel did the 4+ hour drive to Tahoe right after working a 10 hour day. So we blew up our floaties, loaded our dry-sacks with gear, and floated/hauled ass over to one of Susie Lake’s many islands, where we pretty much slept and ate and swam all day. He even had the solar panel charger for the iPod dock. There’s just nothing more refreshing than laying on a granite rock in the sun, listening to the wind, in one of the most beautiful places on earth! At least in California 🙂
Susie Lake, glistening in the morning
Despite enjoying the serenity of the lake, I still like to be active each day and hella wanted to go hiking. So we make a VERY short trip (less than a mile one way) over to nearby Heather Lake. I got on my floatie and paddled over to a few of Heather Lake’s islands. One has a pretty tall, almost mini-mountain on it. I climbed up and started yelling to Darrel to get his attention.
Where’s the pool
Then the most amazing thing happened…