Friday, September 10, 2010

Eagle Falls

Surrounding Lake Tahoe are hiking paths of every description.  Most include a steep climb but some aren't too long. This day we decided to take the short, well maintained trail toward Eagle Falls.  While we decided not to go the whole way, we did make a short trip up to a couple nice pools taking the new Labrador puppy out for some exercise.
We humans also received plenty of exercise.
The Eagle Falls trail climbs up a typical Tahoe mountain, meaning mostly rocks and steep.
This particular trail was built by park employees with steps laid or carved right into the rock.   We climbed up steadily, over rocks and under ledges.  I paused often to catch my breath.
Right before my lungs burst we reached our destination.  Bringing up the rear, I crossed a metal bridge over the stream as  Jesse and Kerry were already climbing over rocks with their pup and heading for water.
The water flower from a lake up in the Desolation Wilderness Area. The lakes up here are filled with melting snow and feel like it.  This was Darby's first chance ever to go into water. She is about 8 months old and balked at going into the cold pool. Jesse went in to show her the way. I think he finally picked her up and gently set her into the water.  Darby then swam quickly toward the closest bolder climbed out and, like all dogs shook, thereby paying Jesse back for his effort to get her wet.

The sky was blue and the sun was warm so the rest of the family relaxed and watched while Jesse and Kerry tried to convince Darby to go back into the water. There were plenty of large boulders for us to sit, stand and lie upon, soaking up the sun on this beautiful day.  

As usual, I was looking to see what what was growing in the area.  The rocky terrain is a harsh environment, but there were shrubs and trees that took root and grew despite the lack of soil and harsh weather.
Shrubs appeared to be mostly heaths with their woody roots grabbing small pockets of dirt then spreading their branches along the rocks. These plants have small leaves so that they loose little moisture to aspiration. their branches are tough to withstand the wind that blows down across the rocks.  
Trees, too took root.  Cedars grew like bonsais, leaning in the direction of the wind and twisting as they grow.
The pines that make it are species that withstand drought and cold like Jeffrey pines. Though logged extensively in the past, we can still find very old trees along the steep slopes. Along the trail, they might be cut down when they die and become dangerous to hikers.
Time came for us to turn and head back down the trail but not until Darby  was coerced into one more swim while her family, including two sets of "grandparents" cheered her on.

Back across the bridge. . . .

. . .and down the steps.   But don't forget to stop and look up.  You wouldn't want to miss the view.


mary said...

Very nice, Nelle. I am guessing Darby is the dog. Were your other companions Jesse, Kerry, Jeff and Kerry's parents? Pictures are pretty, too.

Beyond The Garden said...

Yes, Kevin and Bud were along. You hopefully recognized Kerry and Jesse.