Because we were there during the off season, we were really the only ones on the trails. Sure, there were other people. I mean, we saw their cars parked anyway. But basically, it was just us. We didn't see people on the trail and we really enjoyed nature's noise...waterfalls, birds, wind. It was so peaceful.
The first day, we hiked past Emerald Bay to Eagle Lake. It was gorgeous. I kind of hated the drive up. It was scary. I don't understand why there would be no rails along these roads when it's a huge drop! It freaked me out. Luckily, we survived the drive and that first day's hike was gorgeous.
The way to Eagle Lake was beautiful, but when we got there, we were both in love with the place. Pictures never could do it justice. The snowy mountains, the clear lake, the green trees and granite rock. I feel like I just keep repeating myself, but it was so beautiful.
I thought of Micah when this duck came up to us. He would have been excited to see a duck so close up, so I snapped a quick picture.
Something happens when you get away. Something happens, especially, when you get away from the world and are immersed in nature -- at least for me anyway. I feel closer to the Spirit. I feel closer to God. I have a clearer perspective and feel like I better understand the how simple the complexities of life really are. I was impressed by so many small saplings. These small baby trees were surrounded by large, old, mature, and strong trees that have been there for hundreds of years. Two thoughts struck me:
I was reminded that no matter where we are, we can grow. And even though we may seem or feel small, we are important to the bigger picture. We need those small trees to grow, to persevere, to push through and reach the light.
Surrounded by larger trees, they are better protected from the storms and heavy snow that fall there in the area. Are we properly valuing our elders? Those who are more mature, more experienced, wiser, and better able to weather the storms...do we look to them for support? Or, even if we feel like we don't "need" their support, do we realize that they are there anyway? That just their presence in our lives, whether we seek their help or not, strengthens us?
I felt so grateful for all those older trees in my life. Those who stand around me to protect me.
I was spiritually fed on this hike.
Though it was clearly not for waterskiing, the water was glass and it reminded me of when we'd get up in the early morning to hit the water before other boats were out. Eagle Lake was so peaceful.
Day two we hiked toward Grass Lake but we ended up not making it. There was just too much water on the path. It was still a really nice hike, but we didn't get as far as we had hoped.
I had slept horribly the night before. This was supposed to be a trip where I came back rested. That didn't quite happen. Does that mean I'm getting really old if I can't sleep anywhere but my own bed? That's just sad. But as we hiked, we came across this marshy, pond area. I got on the log and there was this knot in the log that felt so good on my back. It was like the original massage chair. I just moved my back along the knot on the log and it felt so good! Marcus captured the moment.
Marcus has an irrational thought of messing up at work and being fired. On some level, it's probably a good thing...it keeps him sharp I suppose. I have an irrational fear of being eaten by a bear. The picture doesn't show it too well, but this print was huge. Huge. After we spotted this, my irrational fear went into hyper mode and I didn't enjoy the rest of the way as much.
I started to feel a little better, but I also was ok heading back. We went another 1/2 hour or so then turned around.
Imagine my eyes open, it's a much better picture.
Marcus thought I was so silly about this bear thing until on our way back, we heard some banging noises. There was an old campsite that was built in 1906 up there with remaining cabins. At first, he wasn't concerned, but when it kept happening and I started moving faster, he followed. We just couldn't think of what it could be. So of course my mind goes to Bear, Crazy Murderer Man....I was happy to leave that train. And I'm totally ok with my insanity by the way.
Fallen Leaf Lake.
Heading home, we hit snow and were required to buy chains for the car. We thought they were just trying to rip us off on the side of the road, but once we got going, we were very glad we had them. Here we were, 2 naive Tahoe travelers. I'm so glad they stopped us and we paid for over priced chains. Really, I am.
It was a great trip. While we were gone, Micah went to the ER (dislocated elbow -- thanks Callie), Sammy got to school with no problem, and Callie was as helpful as she could be while still being a 6 year old. Again, I'm so grateful for the mature, experienced trees in my life who took over so we could do this trip. Though we didn't plan it this way, we had our 9 year wedding anniversary while we were there. Nine years goes so quickly. We had a rich and full 9 years and I feel so blessed and grateful.