I really wanted to get outside and play without fear this weekend. We had planned to head high in the Desolation Wilderness to escape the infernal heat, and figured that even with the extreme fire risk (drier than dry with high winds) we needed the distraction.
What we didn’t plan on was the smoke from the numerous other fires burning in the region (Plumas County, Northeast Reno-Sparks, and the Eastern Sierra near Independence) to be so visible. The Lake Tahoe basin looked more like L.A. on a bad smog day, and as we hiked we were able to see the smoke line north of us in the Lassen – Lake Almanor area. High winds gusting intermittently around us only added to our concern about how intelligent this decision was. However we did make it to the top of Dick’s Pass, saw that the winds were moving the smoke out of the basin, and relaxed enough to enjoy a quick dip in the deliciously crisp waters of Dick’s Lake.
All told, a great hike (3200 ft up and down and 14 miles total), and by starting and finishing early we could enjoy the afternoon in the cool confines of our poorly insulated house.