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Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Hiking in Desolation

I went hiking for the weekend in the Desolation Wilderness and it was COLD!

I was in Reno Friday night for a fundraiser for NOS. Unfortunatly I left my camera in the car and didn't get any pictures of Jessica and me all dressed up. Friday afternoon and night it snowed a couple inches. I knew it was going to be cold. So after watching Texas come back against OU I headed up to South Lake Tahoe.

I got to the trail head about 3pm and had about 5 miles to get to my campsite. I hurried up there to make it before dark, so I didn't take many pictures. It was all up hill and I got to the lake about 6pm. There was two inches of snow on the ground and the sun was starting to set. I was glad to get into my tent, but then found out my lighter wouldn't make a large enough flame to light my stove because of the altitude. So I ate a granola bar and laid down. Then it started to snow.

I slept on and off through the night. After it snowed probably 2 inches, the winds came at about 50 miles an hour. I was at 8400 feet and it was probably close to 0. I was wearing all the clothes I brought, and stayed pretty warm. I was thrilled when I could tell it was getting lighter outside and got up to take some pictures.

The frozen waterfalls around looked great. The little streams had standing ice and I couldn't really feel my feet in my cold boots. Once I got my stuff packed and started hiking I warmed up and feeling came back to most of my body. But still four days later, my pinky is still regaining feeling.

So I decided to change plans and not stay in the backcountry another night. I hiked to the top of Mount Tallac and the altitude kicked my ass. From the top I could see over Lake Tahoe and the Sierra Range. It was pretty amazing. Then I hiked out to my car and drove to a Forest Service campground.

The next day I went to Horse Tail Falls in the morning and it was amazing. Water pouring from pool to pool over sheets of granite. It's right off of Highway 50, but couldn't feel more remote. I was glad I made the choice to check it out instead of freezing another night in the mountains.

It was great to get in one last backpacking trip before winter really sets in.

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Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Hardly Strictly

The first weekend of October I made the trip to San Francisco for the Hardly Strictly Music Festival.

It's a free music festival put on by this guy who had a lot of money and wanted to see good music. The line up is great and it's a great reason to go visit San Fran. It's a six hour drive from here which almost seems like nothing now. We got there Friday, just in time to see Robert Plant and Allison Krauss. I was glad to get to see them while they are still touring. It was a good show with gospel and Zep tunes, but I would have enjoyed it if it was a little faster tempo.

The next day we got up and wandered around downtown. We wandered into a random Chinese parade with one marching band and one dragon following. A very short parade, but an unexpected surprise. Then while sitting on Market waiting for a bus we saw all of these people going by for some kind of an event. We heard is was for the "Love Parade." It looked like Burning Man without the boobs or sand.

The love parade was holding up the bus, so we just walked. We got there just in time to get to the front to see the Gourds. They put on a great show and played Gin and Juice, always a favorite. I took a complete video of it so it limited the pictures I took the rest of the trip. But being front and center was awesome. Then we saw the Del McCoury Band before we saw Robert Earl Keen. I pushed my way to the front for Robert Earl Keen and had a great time and made some friends.

That night I went out to a club that was an after party for the Love Parade. It was pretty entertaining, and I don't think I've been smashed in a room with that many people in awhile. And then I was also surprised at the concept of closing time, still gets me... Walking back to the hotel I ran into a friend and stayed up later then I expected.

The next morning we got up and headed to the show. We saw Red Wine which is an Italian bluegrass band. If you ever see the name, go to the show, they are great! They speak and look Italian, but when they sing it's straight from Appalachia. Then we went and hung out at a stage and saw a few random acts before we saw Iron and Wine. He was great and I would love to see a show in a smaller venue. It was absurdly crowded Sunday so we left before the end and got back to Winnemucca about 1am.

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