Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Lake Tahoe

The temperature was just right for sleeping last night, and I didn't wake up until after 7 -- which is after 9 in my Kansas world. Pretty late!

It's not the best view to wake up to, but certainly no the worst. And better than a Walmart for sure! 

After I got ready for the day and went in to bathrooms, I was going to go on a little hike up the mountain and meet Scott where he was photographing some runners. Buuuuut I slept in a little too long and missed the boat. They were done by the time I was ready to go. Oh well. I like my sleep. :)

So I decided I would try to use my new little camping stove I bought for the trip. It's only two pieces and a bottle of propane. How hard could it be? Well, it wasn't hard. I got it lit and enjoyed the heat for a minute or two, and then turned it off. No cooking this morning. But for some reason, I decided to touch the metal burner with not one but TWO fingers to see if it was hot. I swear, I'm a pretty intelligent personal. Really! But what in the world possessed me to touch a burner that had just been burning propane and had flames, I have no idea. I think I wanted to see if it was too hot to pack away in the little bag or came with. 

Well, it was definitely too hot. In fact, it was still hot enough to singe the skin right off my fingertips. Ugghh. 

You can't really tell in this picture. I had already went in to the bathroom to soak them in cold water by this point. 

Anyways, moving on with the day. Since I missed the morning hike, Scott took me on a little bike ride along the Truckee River. It's a beautiful little flat path (emphasis on FLAT!) that I've always wanted to go on but never have. 

This is how I feel about having to wear a helmet on a flat/paved/not dangerous bike path ^^

The bike was gorgeous and I loved every second of it. Well, except for the few little uphills there were. That's never fun. () 

It was a quick ride out and back. Scott had an appointment to get to, and I had some shopping to get to in Truckee! Hey, if insurance is paying (from the fire), I'm buying!

Truckee has the cutest little downtown area with shops, and I definitely spent almost $300 in one store on not much: a flannel, a hoodie, some running shorts, and a hat. I also found some really cute north face shoes I want to buy -- they just didn't have my size. 

Oh, while I was there, some lady came up to me and was like, "Oh I just love those shoes (referencing mine I had on). Don't you? I got mine a couple of years ago. Where did you get yours?" I told her Groupon (no joke, they had Salomons on there last year!) and she said she got hers at the "Truckee Macy's." I must have given her a strange look, because Truckee is a small town and there definitely isn't a Macy's there! She laughed and said that's what she calls  the Ace Hardware store because they have all kinds of nice stuff! I had no idea, but decided to check it out later. 

But first things first. I needed some food. And I needed some sun. So I went to the grocery store, bought some more time packets and some white bean healthy chips, and had a little picnic on a dock at Donner Lake. It's no Tahoe, but it's still a nice little alpine lake to spend an hour laying out in the warm sun!

(Oh - and guess how much the tuna is here in Truckee?? It's $1 in Kansas. And it's $2.19 here! For fhe exact same thing - brand and everything!) 

Wearing my new Big Truck brand hat (a local Truckee company) 

I think an hour was plenty of sun for me. I was already starting to feel it. Forgot about the whole elevation and stronger sun thing out here.

It was time for the days next adventure anyways: Rock climbing with Scott near Donner summit. 

I had climbed there once before (in the area, not the exact route we took), but Scott never had. He had his guide book out and found where we were going to climb. 

 Getting all geared up to rock climb is a chore. There's so much equipment that goes with the sport!

I've only climbed with Scott once before, and it was 10 months ago. Which is also the last time I climbed. So I needed a quick little refresher course on thing Nora and belaying safety and the new thing: how to remove bolts and nuts from the rocks!

I have only done sport climbing, where the bolts are already in the route. But we were doing traditional climbing today, so Scott was going to be making the route and placing the bolts to hold us in if we fall. AND this was a multi-pitch climb. So we would climb up, anchor, get everything re-set up while hanging on the wide of the mountain, and then climb up to the top. Another first for me!

So off Scott went, up and out of my line of sight. I was belaying on the ground, and following his movements with the feel and pull of the ropes in my hands. 

I could tell what he was doing - I mean if he was climbing or if he was stopped to put in an anchor.  He was way out of sight, but I could just barely hear him yell down, "Terri!  Off belay!"  He uses all the correct words, like you're supposed to, and I holler back, "Okay!"  Ha - I'm sure there's something else I"m supposed to say, but whatever.  

So I took him out of my belay device, and hollered again, and he started pulling the rest of the rope up.  The other end of the rope was attached to me, so when I got to that point, I hollered, "That's me!" so he knew to stop pulling and to just let me start climbing!

The climb was pretty easy, which was fine with me.  Like I said before, I'm new to climbing with Scott and haven't climbed in almost a year anyways, so easy was good for me.  And a few minutes later I made it up to him!  Look at the view of Donner Lake from my perch on the rock!

So Scott had made an anchor about half way up the rock wall, which consisted of three anchors in some cracks...and lots of ropes and carabiners.  Looked good enough to me, so I hooked in to that, we re-set the ropes up, transferred him back to my belay device, and I just hung out there on the side of the mountain doing my belaying thing while he climbed on up.

He was out of my sight almost immediately, but I was assuming I would still be able to hear him yell down when he got to the top. Well, I was wrong.  Apparently he hollered down, but I definitely couldn't hear anything.  He had climbed up high and it was windy on the side of the mountain.  So all I knew was that he was still climbing and we were now out of rope!  I kind of started to freak out, like what if he is still climbing and thinks the rope is stuck on a rock or something?  What if I take him out of the belay device and I start climbing up and he doesn't have my secured from up top?  So I stood there for several minutes, tugging on the rope and hollering for all I was worth, to see if I could figure out what was going on.  But I eventually decided he had to be up top, and surely had me secured by now.  The rope was pulled fairly tight, so I just started climbing up, hoping for the best.  

Awhile later, after getting stuck at one spot because I couldn't get a stinking nut out of the rock that he stuck in too tight, I eventually made it up over a ledge and saw him!  

He said he put that nut there on purpose for me to practice getting out.  Ugh.  I was not happy about that one.  But I made it up to then top safely, and had a pretty awesome view to take in.

We found snow before we found the trail to hike back down, but eventually found our way to the van.  

Two things that don't go together:  long nails and rock climbing.  I broke just about every nail I had.  So as soon as we got in to Truckee, I cut them all off.  I can't stand some long and some short nails, so all short it is!


Now was my chance to visit the "Truckee Macys" aka Ace Hardware store I had heard about earlier in the day.  And that lady wasn't joking.  It was a nice store with all kinds of name brand stuff!  I didn't take any pictures - I actually left my phone in the car to charge because it was almost dead - but I got several things:  an Icebreaker Merino wool jacket and sweatpants, some running shorts and tank top... Again, if insurance is paying for some new clothes, I have no problem buying them!

I can't be in Tahoe at sunset without being at the lake.  Tahoe City was the closest spot, so that's where I had my healthy dinner of another bag of chips.  (I later had a stomach ache from that decision, but they were oh-so-good at the moment!)

The view that never ever ever gets old in my book:

Back to Squaw to sleep for the night!  Such a great day in Tahoe, but taking off in the morning for the Tetons - a new spot to check off my bucket list!

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