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Hiking in the Sierra Nevada

I have the good fortune of living in Tahoe, surrounded by the vast amazing wilderness of the Sierra Nevada. I'm not a skier or snowboarder, so I enjoy the winter beauty of the mountains from inside, where it's warm and cozy. I have my desk set up so that my monitor and the view across the lake at Freel Peak, Pyramid Peak, Mount Tallac, and Dick's Peak are in one and the same line of sight.

The summer, however, is a different matter.

In the summer, I go out in the wilderness as much as I can. Of course, having spent so much time in the Tahoe Sierra and the surrounding areas, I know of some secret places where I can go on any given weekend in July and have a lake of Zen-like beauty or a canyon with cottonwoods and laughing waters all to myself. But that's not something to be shared on the Internet. You have probably found your own already.

I have three hiking stories that are perhaps worth telling.

The first one is the story of me In the Footsteps of Jack Kerouac on Matterhorn Peak, outside of Bridgeport, California, retracing the steps of Jack Kerouac and Gary Snyder (a.k.a. Japhy Ryder) as described in Kerouac's timeless classic "The Dharma Bums."

The second one is the story of The Long Hike, a 180 mile walk that took me from Nevada City in the California Gold Country all the way back home to South Lake Tahoe.

Trivia question: what is the connection between these two stories? There is always a connection! Click here for the answer.

The third story takes place not in the Sierra Nevada but in the Cahuilla Indian country of the Western Colorado Desert in the south east corner of California, outside of Anza-Borrego State Park. That story, not unlike the first one, has a literary connotation. It is embedded in some musings on Dostoyevsky's quote on Christoper Columbus, from his novel “The Idiot.”