Lake Tahoe - page 2
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LAKE TAHOE By Tim McDonald
Page 2

The beauty is so stunning, I almost forget about the wolverine quest.  Lake Tahoe was formed during the Ice Age, where California and Nevada meet, and it looks it, as clear and pristine as a time before man. The lake is the largest alpine lake in North America, and the second deepest at more than 1,600 feet. Sometimes, when the sun is right, you almost think you can see halfway to the bottom.

The trail rises to Tunnel Creek Road and then descends gently about five miles to Snow Valley Peak. You can still see evidence of miners during the gold fever era. You can camp along the rail without a permit as long as you’re not in one of the wilderness areas, and as long as you’re 300 feet from the trail and 200 feet from any water source.

“Skunk bears”

It is at night, when I am actually dreaming about a wolf, that a noise startles me out of sleep. I get out my flashlight and look around, but there’s nothing to be seen, and I’m too chicken to scout out the area in detail. Remember, I’ve seen a wolverine. The next morning, I find scat not 20 feet from where I was sleeping. I don’t have a scat expert at hand, but it appears to be the scat of a small, black bear. Could it have been a wolverine? After all, they are sometimes referred to as “skunk bears.”

I doubt it, but I tell myself it’s possible. I continue my hike and during the course of a beautiful day above the sparkling waters of Lake Tahoe, I see a couple of mule deer and what I believe to be a marten.

But – no wolverine. For now, I’ll just have to be content to see it in my dreams. Lake Tahoe, on the other hand, is all too real and accessible.

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Lake Tahoe photographs provided by the "Lake Tahoe Visitors Authority."

 

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