I remember the last snow sometime in June, 2011. It’s now October 5, and the snow is back.
I’m happy to be here to experience it, and the dramatic weather that Tahoe serves up. Still, I’d like a few more weeks of mountain biking, paddling, and trail time. Daisy the Snow Dog and I make our way up Barker Pass. Through slush at the lake and up Barker Pass where the snow gets deeper. It’s deep enough that I’m pushing snow in the car and questioning whether this is smart. Fortunately, I’m following a large 4×4 truck that is leaving big tracks. I did bring the chains and snow shovel, but really don’t want to have to use them.
Once on the trail at the top Daisy and I are making fresh tracks. No one has been up here yet! First Ellis tracks of the year.
The snow is deep. I have boots and gaiters, but it’s knee deep in spots. I should have brought snowshoes to make it easier for Daisy, who is shoulder deep. Daisy, forever loyal, follows in my tracks.
Once at the ridge, all I hear is the sound of the wind through the trees and the hundreds of little impacts of the wind driven snow bouncing off my ski jacket. Clearly, we’re not going to make it to Ellis Peak today without snowshoes. There is little visibility, and slow going through the snow.
I pick a sheltered spot with a bit of ground still showing and hunker down with Daisy while waiting for a break in the clouds and driving snow. Daisy, struggling in the deep snow a few minutes before, decides it’s play time. Much rolling, growling, and chomping on snow ensues.
When I decide to head back Daisy Snow Dog is bouncing back to the warmth of the car and a biscuit. We’ll try again tomorrow. With snowshoes.
Back in the car, Daisy presses her muzzle against me as I drive. Soon I hear her gentle snore as she falls asleep.