Still time for a hike or even two

Life has calmed down up around Lake Tahoe and we're now into the Shoulder Season. Few tourists, not too much traffic around the lake and generally peace in town or on the trail.

And this might be just the time to take a look at the fire damage from the blaze close to the Heavenly gondola line and toss in a hike or two. Of course, if you're a season pass holder at Heavenly you know you can ride the gondola free, which means that you can get off almost at the top at the observation deck and get a magnificent view of Lake Tahoe. You can check out the burn on the way up.

Take your camera and if you do the tide in the early morning or late afternoon you'll get extra color in your photos, thanks to the lower level of the sun. Hop back on the gondola and get off at the top.

At the top you'll find a definite drop in temperature, just right for hiking. One nice trail is off to the left and up the first ski trail to the right. You can follow this right on to East Peak Lodge and the small lake there. Of course, the lodge is closed so you might want to take a snack. All the benches and tables are still in place so it can be quite comfortable.

Alternately, you can take off to the right and eventually you'll reach the winter Roundabout Trail. Follow this down to the California Lodge parking lot and hope there's a shuttle there. Otherwise, hoof it down to Highway 50 and back to the gondola base where you parked your car.

Of course, if you're not a pass holder it will cost you $20 to ride the gondola.

Kayaking, anyone?

They're off again from the Sporting Rage on South Carson Street for kayaking, this time on Fallen Leaf Lake. Same as before, call the Sporting Rage (885-7773) before 6 p.m. Saturday for reservations. Fee is $69.95 and includes morning snack and coffee, a lunch from Java Joe's and all gear and instruction.

Incidentally, there's good hiking around Fallen Leaf Lake. You can start at the camp area off Highway 89 past Camp Richardson, drive to the west end. Follow the lake around to the right, over the bridge and spillway. After that just follow the trail. It's mostly uphill trek maybe a mile and a half. You'll pass homes along the way. Don't get stuck staying too close to the lake as the trail heads away from the lake for a bit. Food and drinks are available at the local store there and you can often hitch a ride back to the camp parking area.

Bike plan

The Bureau of Land Management has released its draft of a strategic action plan for public lands. You can pick up a copy at any BLM office or check it out at If you care about future biking it would be worth your while to examine it.

Most biking came after existing BLM public lands use plans were already in existence so the plans need updating, considering the increased used of BLM lands for backcountry biking.

The BLM is considering public input through Sept. 25 and plans to have the National Mountain Bicycling Strategic Plan in place by 2003. If you want to protect your biking rights, stand up and be counted.

Alternate 9/11 outing

The Kit Carson Lodge on Highway 88 at Silver Lake offers another way to mark the disasters in New York and at the Pentagon Sept. 11. Pauline V. Bradshaw will offer violin music of Vivaldi, Handel, Mozart and Brahms at 7:30 p.m. Hard to think of a better place to consider the meaning of those terrible events than at Silver Lake. If there's sanity in the world it nestles in the mountains around Silver Lake.

Sam Bauman is the Nevada Appeal Diversions Editor.


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