Page 24 of: Hiking Nevada City to South Lake Tahoe, by Thomas Becker
I picked up the Pacific Crest Trail on the fourth day, just north of White Rock Lake.
 
Copyright Notice
 
The photograph of White Rock Lake above was taken from the top of Mount Lola, a rather inconspicuous 10,000 foot peak which is named after the infamous Lola Montez.

Lola Montez was one of the more colorful figures in the long struggle for womenís independence. Born Elizabeth Rosanna Gilbert in Limerick, Ireland in 1821, she soon became an adventuress of a kind the world had not seen before. She moved all over Europe, America, and Australia, passing herself off as a dancer from Spain by the name of Lola Montez. As a dancer, she must be rated the equivalent of Paris Hilton as a singer and actress. In terms of creating notoriety surrounding sexual innuendos and relationships with male celebrities of her time, however, she leaves Paris Hilton in the dust. It is fair to say that Lola Montez single-handedly invented the concept of celebrity based on nothing but notoriety. Not that this kind of celebrity is exactly something to be proud of. But when a woman coming out of nowhere pulls it off all by herself in the mid-1800ís, then all of a sudden, it looks like a heroic act of fighting for one's independence. You suck Paris, but Lola Montez rules.

One of the countless men that Lola Montez reduced to love-stricken idiots was King Ludwig of Bavaria. After she had more than overstayed her welcome in Munich, to put it mildly, she moved on to Paris, France and then to Grass Valley, California, just outside of Nevada City, where my hike started. From there, she once travelled east to visit the site where a few years earlier, the ill-fated Donner party had gotten stuck in an early winter storm and some people had allegedly resorted to cannibalism in order to survive. That site is near Donner Pass, a dayís hike south of here, where I crossed Interstate 80 a day after leaving White Rock Lake.

The State of Bavaria and the City of Munich have chosen not to commemorate Lola Montez in any way whatsoever. Here in the fine State of California, on the other hand, we do have a certain appreciation for the kind of person she was. We therefore have Mount Lola and, near Donner Pass, Upper Lola Montez Lake and Lower Lola Montez Lake.

 
 
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