Family Summits – Susie Lake


On our first full day of Family Summits, I managed to sleep until 5:30 A.M. My jet lag is going away, slowly. After breakfast, I walked Hannah to to Jr. Naturalist. She is in the youngest group, the Chickarees, named after a small squirrel of the area. Then I met my hiking group off to Susie Lake.

The drive was long but certainly not boring. We followed Lake Tahoe for a while, stopping at Emerald Bay State Park and Vikingsholm, one of the finest examples of Scandinavian architecture in the
western hemisphere.Islandinthelake It includes The “Tea House” on Fannette Island, the only island in Lake Tahoe. We stopped for a photo and continued our challenging drive. We’re packed into vans, not driving our own cars.

At about 9:45, we started our hike from the Glen Alpine Trailhead, first on a gravel road and then on rocks. We’re in the Desolation Wilderness, the most visited Forest wilderness in the country.

Susie Lake (8 miles, 1,200ft.) was tougher than its numbers. We passed the site of Glen Alpine Spring, an old hotel built on the side of a soda spring.Sodaspring Then up, up, up to the lake. None of us stopped to identify flowers but we all stopped to take pictures on the ice. We also came upon a snake and several lizards.Whiteflowers

Susie Lake (above) is magnificent; an iconic glacier lake with snow-dotted mountains all around.

John was brave enough to jump in. No, I didn’t rush to take a picture.Indian paintbrushDannyonsnow-July6

The group was slow going down and we didn’t reach the vans until past 3:30. I worried that Hannah was not going to be happy in “Childcare” but she had a great time.

Her highlight was the black bear expert. Carl has a bear trap, used to trap nuisance bears. Though they didn’t find a real bear to illustrate the trap, one of the boys volunteered to be trapped in there to demonstrate.

After dinner, we had a Green Fair. Several booths had been set up to encourage a green lifestyle. Hannah making a box-July 6Hannah made a box and envelope from recycled material and learned the difference between seeds, fruit and flowers – not always obvious. We didn’t get to all the booths. She flopped into bed at 8:30, exhausted. I followed her soon after that.





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