Squaw Valley #1: the setting

There’s a lot I have to say about last week (can it possibly be last week already? In the past? I want to keep feeling this way), but I don’t feel like I can put it all in one post. So, I will start out with the setting and some photos I took before my batteries died (and I was too busy to get new ones).

In case you missed me raving last year, let me say once again that Squaw Valley is a place of stunning beauty. The valley itself is at 6,000 feet and the mountains surrounding it at 8,000+ (you can take a cable car to the top and hike even higher from there). So the air is thin but clear and there are still patches of snow visible on the high peaks. The surrounding woods are mostly pines–Jeffrey and Ponderosa. And there are also Aspen (one of my favorite trees). I don’t recall any other deciduous or evergreen.

This year there was much more water than last year so things were a bit less dry. When Steph and I hiked up to Emmigrant Trail above high camp, we saw many wildflowers still in bloom (mostly Mule Ear). Just gorgeous! I wish there had been more time for hiking, but as it was, we got out about once a day. Mostly just part way up the trail behind the main lodge, where we found a gorgeous little stream with potholes. We spent a good deal of time sitting there with our feet in the water.

From the deck of the condo, there were views of mountains and sky. I felt enfolded, embraced by the land.
Every morning as I walked to workshop, I faced the mountain. In photos, it looks unreal. As though painted on a blue canvas. Perhaps this is because the air is so clear that the details seem larger than life. I don’t know.All I know is that I miss that mountain. I hope I will see it again sometime.

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