Saturday, June 7, 2008

Getting out of town

The horoscope yesterday said make plans to take a trip and quick.

The thing I like about Yahoo!'s horoscopes is that somewhat regularly they get it right, cause oh boy did I want to get out of Carson today. So, after running a few errands for b0neZ and discovering a lot of places are closed on Saturday, we gassed up at the Chevron down on Mica Dr ($4.03 a gal) and I asked b0neZ if he wanted to go South to North, or North to South. North to South was the decision, so we headed up Hwy 50 to Spooner Summit.

Being June now I wanted to go wheeling in an easy, but scenic area. The old fire road that runs between Spooner Summit and Kingsbury Grade is the perfect remedy for pavement-itis. However, I wanted to make sure that the gates were open. Being high mountain territory the ever helpful Forest Service shuts the main access gates to protect the ground from the foul combination of 4-wheeler tires and soupy mucky roads.

Course, there is another entrance which has no gate and accesible year-round if you want to brave the deep snow.... but once you get to the other end, you encounter the wrong side of an unfriendly gate.

So, to check the status of the gate, we drove up to the Forest Service Maintenance Station at the intersection of Hwy 50 and SR 28 and viola! the gate was open. We turned and began our adventure. I'd been on this road many many times, but this was b0neZ's first trip along this area. It's a nice and easy well-maintained road that, while it's not a 50 MPH stretch, you can easily do a 15-20 MPH clip along it, but the area is so beautiful and the overviews of Tahoe that the last thing you want to do is hurry. We rolled up the road, b0neZ looking out into the forest with a few wildflowers in full bloom and a handful of snow patches still remaining.

After encountering a couple ATV'ers I decided to take him to one of my favorite overlooks. White Hill sits just over 9000' and has a wide open view of Tahoe and Spooner, with only one outcropping blocking the view of Glenbrook. There's even a good view of Shakespeare Rock (?), but I've never been able to see the Bard in the discoloration. We wheeled up to the clearing where the party that we held last year for MooseMob's GJTB and, after parking, walked up to the overlook and sat and admired the Lake.

If you've never seen Lake Tahoe - you need to make the trip. The Jewel of the Sierra is a memorable sight.

Once we spent a moment ontop White Hill, we got back into the truck and headed out along the road. We snaked through tall pine trees, aspen groves, open meadows, and rocky outcroppings. We even passed by the Aspen Grove that contains the carvings done by the Basque Sheepherders while they roamed the mountainsides with their herds. I have pictures of those somewhere - I'll have to look around in my CD collections.

We continued on our trip, passing the Tahoe Rim Trail as it crosses the road while it winds along the ridge. Climbing higher brought us to more snow and a snowmelt creek running along the road. I decided to take a side road and show b0neZ a surprise.

He's a HAM radio operator - KE7NGG - and his best friend has a repeater ontop of Genoa Peak. b0neZ has always heard of this place, but had never been there. So, I took the chance to take him up to the top of the peak and see the repeater for himself, plus another of my favorite overlooks of the lake.

After we took our time up there, we headed back down and continued on our trip. While passing a handful of caches, oddly today I wasn't in the mood to grab any of them, though b0neZ did ask why we didn't get the ones at White Hill, at the Basque carvings, and at Genoa Peak. My only really answer was, oops, sorry.

Once we got to the area I call the Dirt Bike Play-Area - because it's a sandy area that is filled with whoop-dee-doos, and banked turns, and just basically a play area - I decided to show b0neZ the site of a plane crash, where a plane failed to clear the ridgeline years ago. There's still wreckage strewn about the mountain side and someone erected a metal cross to the victims. Unfortuantely, I forgot exactly which road I was supposed to turn on, so while I did turn on the correct road, it didn't look familiar and the other road I took ended up proving to be quite adventurous for the green truck ahead of us. I backed out and continued on.

The rest of the trip was just an enjoyable meader along the trail as we worked our way to Kingsbury. I love crawling along this part of Tahoe becaue you have the Lake on one side, a pine forest all around you, and an easy terrain for anyone to be able to take their rigs off road and not have to worry about any serious wheeling.

The rest of the day was spent helping b0neZ move into his new apartment. Kindergeek is coming up soon and hopefully more adventures will be in store for us!


Rake said...

Sounds like an awesome place to visit. Glad you enjoyed the outdoors.

NevadaWolf said...

Welcome back, Rake. Been wondering where you were hiding.