For our backpacking vacation this year, Cindy and I tackled the Desolation Wilderness southwest of Lake Tahoe. Thank heavens the forest fires were south and north of this area. Smoke from fires elsewhere in the state did sometimes obscure our views. In our travels to the trailhead and back, we got a little sense from the locals of the damage and devestation the fires are causing in California.
The permit system at Desolation works by allowing you to pick your first night’s camping zone. After that, you are allowed to camp just about anywhere in the park.
Our first night was on Susie Lake, and we snagged a beautiful site. We did see a few other hikers pass through the area, but we pretty much had the lake to ourselved for two days and two nights.
There was a rock outcropping near our tent that plunged into the lake, generating some deep water where there were a few nice brook trout circling.
I caught one the first night of camp. That trout was not messing around – he took the lure agressively like the predator he was. Even though the fish wasn’t huge, he did have a lot of fight and gave my pack rod a run for its money.
As is often the case with a challenging hike, we went to bed before it even got dark. When we did get up to make a trip to the woods in the middle of the night, the stars were unbelievable. I saw the andromeda galaxy with my unaided eyes, and spotted a meteor (possibly an early perseid).
I fell asleep feeling satisfied that I had caught a trout in Susie. During my last trip two years ago I was never able to do that.