2002 snowball fight at Donner Pass (L to R: Shiree, Dave)
Those wintry crossings of the Sierras (both the Donner-Reed party and my own) had taken place in the cruel snowy season of January, but now here it was June and the still glistening drifts of roadside snow were just about as high as they'd been on my January visit! I stopped in a state park near the top of the pass to try and take my daily walk, but soon turned around and headed back to the car because the snow on the "trail" was so deep I'd have needed cross country skis to traverse it. It was consistent with the evidence I'd been seeing all around the Northwest area of a long, late and persistent winter exacerbated by an abundance of snowfall. Dang - I'd been looking forward to a nice long walk in the silence of the snow, but I simply wasn't prepared to take on snow drifts. No matter, in short order I'd be to the other side of the Sierras and heading down the western shore (California) of the incredibly beautiful Lake Tahoe and would have more than ample opportunity for scenic walks.
As I drove along, I was amazed by the huge number of compelling bike trails that ran along the lake, snaking through tall trees and connecting the tiny hamlets that dot the perimeter of the lake. I made a mental note to some day haul my bike out to the area and spend a generous amount of time just riding around and exploring.
I had just returned to my car and was standing at the opened passenger door shedding layers of warmth into the back seat when the family I had passed on the hill grimly straggled up to their minivan just a few spaces over. "Man! Was that as hard for you as it was for us?" the girl inquired breathlessly. "It was pretty damn challenging alright," I conceded, "and I'm in the habit of hiking at least an hour every day!" That seemed to make her feel better, so I didn't bother to brag about the new knees.
I pulled back onto the absolutely beautiful stretch of road that passes along the southern tip of the lake leading toward the city of Tahoe. I paused quite a few times to admire the postcard view and track the progress of a feisty little squall that was making its way along the eastern shore of the lake.