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Tales from the trailhead

More notes from the conversations I had at the Twin Lakes trailhead last week in Desolation Wilderness.

The footbridge across the arm of the lake had been damaged by the massive winter snowpack, and the railing was missing from one side. USFS had placed sawhorses with signs notifying hikers that the bridge was closed. The first person I saw at the trailhead was an older man, about my age. When I told him about the bridge, he didn't even slow down. "I've been walked across this bridge for sixty years," he said. And he continued to do did everyone else.

A group of backpackers came hiking in late in the day. When I asked them where they had been, they told me they had started in Lake Tahoe and hiked across the Crystal Range, coming over Rockbound Pass and into Twin Lakes. And they explained that much of the route had been done wearing crampons and using ice axes. "It's still pretty snowy up there!"

Another group came back to the trailhead looking less satisfied. "We were trying to get over into Lake Aloha, but it was just too snowy. We bailed out."

Hikers going to Grouse Lake had to contend with both a steep, snowy section of the trail below the lake, but also clouds of mosquitoes once they got there. The fishing was good, some told me, but the snow and the bugs were a bit much.

And finally, there was a lovely women who came hiking back from a night at Maud Lake. When she told me about the flowers on the trail on the way to Maud, it had been so beautiful that there were tears in her eyes.

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