Thursday, July 31, 2014

Finishing Up on the Tahoe Rim Trail

 Tempus fugit. It's been a while since we hiked on ther Tahoe Rim Trail, and I still have more scenics and close-ups to report.  I've not only had a lot of work to do preparing for my fall courses, but I've been distracted by several more short day hikes in the immediate vicinity of Quincy and even some wildlife encounters in my front yard.  I'm determined to finish my TRT series before seriously undertaking another long narrative, such as one about our trips to Brady's Camp and Spirit Rock.
The above scenic is of Lake Tahoe, filled with fog, as seen from the Rim Trail at a point roughly 3 miles north of Barker Pass.  The trail alternately passes through open fields of Mule's Ears (foreground) and dense Ref Fir and Lodgepole Pine forest (background).
 This was our first clear view of Twin Peaks (l) and the slightly taller and more massive Stafford Peak (r).  The slope of volcanic gravel just below and to the left of Twin Peaks intrigued me.  Such a contrast from the surrounding meadows and forests that I thought I might find unique vegetation and visiting insects.  The anticipation of such quickened out pace and gave the illusion of having more energy.  In my earliest days of strenuos hiking we called that the "second wind" but I think this was something different.
 A slightly closer view of Twin Peaks and that talus slope before we temporarily disappeared into another dense forest.
The last stretch of dense forest was so well shaded that the soil remained moist and it supported "spring" wildfowers like the Pine Violets above.  My next post will include the surprising and exciting vegetation we found growing from the volcanic gravel.  There was also a stream crossing which supported another small community still experiencing spring.  That community included some beautiful butterflies that helped us tolerate the mosquitoes. 

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