BN’s Fourth of July Fortress Of Solitude

Good evening.  I have had a few drinks while watching The Bachelor with my new roommate and quickly heading towards dreamland.  Oh…and also watching Skinemax, so if this post slips into erotic action, then you know where my heads at.

Anyways, my original plans were to head to Tahoe this weekend and spend time with the family and Baby Z.  However, the plans fell through at the last minute, and instead of sitting around all weekend and doing next to nothing, I decided to motivate and headed out for a solo two-day backpack up at Dick’s Lake. 

For those of you unfamiliar, Dick’s Lake is located above Emerald Bay at Tahoe.  The trail starts there, but quickly ascends into the backcountry and after a three to four hour hike straight up, you reach Dick’s Lake. 

Anyways, I threw together a few items of clothes and loaded up the backpack with crackers and sardines since that was all to be found, and headed up.  I got there around ….hold on.

*Have to pause here.  I don’t know if any one you watched New York Finds Love or whatever that reality show was called, but the big, bald, ripped dude that was on it, is fake banging this girl on TV.  Hmm…Small world.

Anyways, I got up to Tahoe around 11pm and headed to a local bar for a beer.  Stayed around an hour, chatted with a few people, then headed to Fallen Leaf Campground to sleep in my car. 

The next morning I woke up around 8am, headed to breakfast, and afterwards the backpack commenced.  I know I am writing without any style here, but I am tired and just want to chronicle it for myself. 

So 9am, I park my car.  It is a 20 minute hike down to the trailhead, which is fine by me because the view was awesome.

However, once I got there, I was told by the lady ranger that I needed a Wilderness Permit to stay out over night.  Of course I was irritated after walking the 20 and asked how much the fine would be.  She winced and said $175.  I winced as well knowing I would have to be…..Oh my God you should see the ass on this female.   Yikes.

Anyways, so for 25 minutes (uphill adds five) I made my way back to my car and headed to the Ranger Station 15 minutes away to purchase my pass.


So I was off to an hour and a half delay.  Not that big of a deal since I was starting off early.  However, after thirty minutes of hiking, I ran into my next bit of bad luck.  For some reason, Japanese tourists were in great abundance this holiday weekend, and a herd of them unfortunately were situated in front of this trail marker along the way, and naturally I missed it.

 Which proved to be a huge pain in the ass.  The trail that I continued down on led to a nice lake, but also pretty much came to a dead end at the opposite side of the lake.  What sucked is that I figured that I was still on the right trail, and actually ran into several other hikers in the same predicament (perhaps those Japanese tourists were taking one hell of a break at the marker).  Anyways, as stubborn as I am, I simply began trailblazing when I could no longer see a path, which almost always is a stupid idea.

If you look to the other side of the lake where the boulders are running into the water, that is where I tried to climb through.  I should blow up this photo to make it more clear, but it was totally ridiculous.  I was actually more bouldering than anything, and doing so with a heavy pack on, was in some places almost suicidal.  After 20 minutes of this, I let out a “FUCK!”, which probably translated to “FLARB” for the tourists, but I still felt pretty infantile. 

But wisely the thought that the further I pressed the more I would have to backtrack, if still mobile, motivated me to cut my losses. 

SO….  I now more or less had added three hours to my day before I really began.  And after all the bouldering and shit, my legs were already feeling pretty toasted.  However, once on track I pretty much powered my way up the mountain.  Gorgeous weather by the way. 

Ah…the right trail marker.

A few hundred yards down from this sign….

Dick’s Lake.  Gorgeous lake.

Now, once arriving, the realization that I was totally alone set it.  I don’t know if any of you have ever backpacked alone, but the solitude can be pretty intense.  I was actually hoping to run into a few wayward girls very much excited to see a “young” buck like myself on my own.  

Or even a small handful of Russian scientists decked out in the white snow outfits dancing to “Soulfinger”. 


This is 90% of what makes me happy in this life by the way.  My mind always entertained by the possibility of ’something’ that might happened. 

Well sadly there were no hot Russians or wayward girls.  Just myself.  And as it turned out, it still worked well for me.  I had time to really sit and think about things, and also just appreciate being up there. 

So here’s a quick recap of photos chroniclling from 4pm til dusk:

Gorgeous shot to the West

A few shots of trees that were pretty cool to BN’s eye.

And shortly after these shots were taken, the sun made a mad dash for the horizon. 

So pretty damn cool.

But honestly, what’s a little sunset without booze and smokes?

Yeah.  It would have been actual booze if I was with some dudes, but wine just looked right while in the store. 

And after five hours of straight hiking, bouldering, and buying the fucking Wilderness Pass, the vino went straight to the head.

Which led to my Luke Wilson impersonation…

Or a carp.  Whatever.  I can do the voice. 

 And nothing like the stoagie…

Eyes half massed, brother.  It looks like something a little greener than tobacco, but I assure you I was only high in elevation.

Well darkness was nearly upon me so I had to prepare for bed.  I looked into the archaic 60’s backpack and found that it hadn’t been used since my days in Costa Rica.

A nostalgic discovery.  Surf wax, Costa Rican currency, and a broken off tooth brush to allow for space.  Again, what a trip.

The last bits of light filtered through the trees.

BN was ready to drift off for a little recuperative R & R.

Our boy looking very muched stoned and at peace with the world.

Not a care in the world.


Nah.  I was feeling too good to have any bear traumas or anything.  I actually ended up staying awake nearly the entire night just loving the night.  Also plopped in my earphones and let a little Simon & Garfunkle, Cat Stevens, and even Kenny Rogers’ “The Gambler” further elevate my mood.  I have to say, I had thoughts of how good it would feel to bring my own family up here one day.  And no, I don’t mean my mother and father, but my own little rugrats if I be so lucky. 

But that’s for another day, God willing (haven’t started the Bible yet.) 

So all in all, it was a great trip.  Last time I was up here I was 19.  And back then, there sure as hell wasn’t wine.  There was Captain Morgan.  And God damn it, there weren’t stoagies,  but the lettuce that is much greener.  And I have a funny memory of me hanging out the tent door, with one of my childhood best friends trapped inside, as I was heaving vomit out of the tent, due to too much, while also farting in an unbelievable way.  So both ends spewing at an audible decible hardly to be believed.  And the only other sound I could hear competing with all this was my poor friend NW, going “NOOOOOOOO”.  

Hope you all had a good 4th. 


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