Sunday, September 15, 2013

Hungover in Paradise

Once or twice a year, I seem to forget that there is a limit to how much I should drink. Friday night was one of those times.

Needless to say, Saturday morning was a bit rough. The plan was to leave at 8 am to be at the trailhead by 10:30. I managed to drag myself out of the house at 10:30. My hiking partner bailed, also having found that he too has a limit, and I do not blame him one bit. If I didn't firmly believe that I would feel better hiking in the mountains than staying at home, I would have bailed as well.

The destination was Paradise Lake in the Tahoe National Forest. The trailhead is right off I-80 and really easy to get to. I have done variations on this hike many times over the last few years but this was a straight in and out, 16 mile round trip. About seven miles of the trail are along the PCT (Pacific Crest Trail) with elevation between 7200 and 8400 feet.

I left the parking lot just before 1 pm moving slow but happy to be out on the trail. Fall is in the air, the flowers have mostly gone to seed and the shrubs and grasses were turning lovely golden colors.

Peter Grubb hut (closed for repairs)

There were intermittent showers and some thunder in the distance but the sun was out and it was a truly beautiful day. Many day hikers in the first 5 miles, everybody was all smiles.

I made it to Paradise Lake around 5 pm and although I was not completely alone there, I had a nice portion of the lake to myself. I was feeling about 80% recovered by the time  I made it to the lake but as soon as I jumped in I was at 100%.

The night was cool but not cold, the moon was bright and I slept like a baby.

Moonlit Paradise

Asleep under the stars

What else can I say, it was a fabulous trip and just what I needed.