Sometimes for a true vacation you need to get away from everything, even the things you love the most. With our plans to backpack The Lost Coast jolted at the last minute, my buddy Ari (a climber) and I found ourselves up in Tahoe for a week with neither climbing gear nor bikes.
Nonetheless, the spirit of adventure is alive within us, and the greater Tahoe area offers ample opportunity for hiking, swimming, boating, beer drinking BBQ-ing and more. We met our friends Rafi and Rachel at the cabin - all stoked for our first Tahoe weekend in a while that didn't involve snow...
Well...maybe a little snow. After a heavier snow year than the last few it made sense that we ran into snow at higher elevations. The trail up to Castle Peak follows a shaded corridor for a while and was one long snow patch. On a hot summer hike, a snowball fight is more than welcome.
We found ourselves hiking off our barbecue and beer the next day up another big peak. Our plan was to take the PCT and loop back to the Mt. Judah summit, but the trail was overrun with snow. We skirted the snow up a massive cliff face for some awesome views and had lunch with the view of snowy mountains on every side. I thought bemusedly about how as wonderful as the bicycle is - I was in one of the many extraordinary places that a bike won't take me too. Ari took it as the perfect moment to encourage me to take up climbing again. Maybe.
Tahoe is a magnet - somewhere everyone wants to go. Even my grandmother came up for a few days to enjoy the trees and the views. A special treat to top off my week was my friend Jorge, fresh off of a long stint in Madrid and excited to see the area for his first time. We went for a great hike, drove along the lake with our jaws dropped, and tromped along the old railroad above Donner Lake, an impressive array of graffiti and murals in an abandoned train tunnel at 9000 feet. He had his car packed up with his every possession, Denver bound. I must visit!
A week without two wheels - did I miss my bike? Of course. Would I do it again? You bet. The more I've become passionate about cycling, the more I've learned I need to keep up with everything else. Cycling itself requires a certain balance, I guess adventure does too...