Archive for September, 2009

Mt. Rose Summit, 8900 Ft. Wednesday, September 2nd, 2009

From the Hyatt, Incline Village to Mt. Rose Summit, 8900 ft.

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My two favorite authors are Ernest Heminghway and Mark Twain. They are different in style but both possess the genius to paint a picture with words…a vivid picture, sharp and clear on the canvas of your mind. They use the precise word at the correct juncture to trigger that delightful image, an image which in many cases stays forever. The rest of us must hack about as a high handicapper on a golf course. An experience which I had the delight and pleasure and humiliation at times to enjoy and endure on this adventure, my semi-annual golf/bicycle riding trip to the Sierras. Whenever there were lakes and mountains and fine vistas Mark Twain would always compare those with Lake Tahoe. And…Lake Tahoe would always come first. In my travels I have felt the same. So, in that respect, I’m in fine company. I saw Lake Como and it was gorgeous…but second to Lake Tahoe. Lake Garda, spectacular….but second. Der Boden See in southern Germany, aus ghetzeitnet…aber in zweiter platz! So, when I go to the Tahoe area it’s more than a trip. It’s a visit to the most beautiful place in the world. It’s a spiritual experience.

 My day begins at dawn on a crystal clear mid September morning from Silicon Valley. I drive the un-trafficked and familiar roads to the Sierras as I’ve done dozens of times before. There will be no stops today as breakfast is reserved for that stellar plain waffle and bacon at the Sierra Coffee Shop at the Hyatt Incline Village. In cookery Tuscan simplicity is best. No fancy or complex sauces, no complicated architecture with height, no exotic combinations with names never before heard nor the latest, fusion(confusion to me)….just one dish with simple garnish and one overriding taste theme. Over the years that’s what I’ve grown to appreciate and in the world of waffledom the Hyatt Incline is at the very top.

There is Auburn and Colfax; then Dutch Flat and Nyack; there are views of the Yuba River cascading over boulders under art-deco bridges and trestle bridges. Truckee exit comes into view and I savor the ride along main street. It never bores me to look at this wonderful gold country relic. I cross the train tracks and onto Truckee Meadows which has always awed my imagination.  At 6,500 feet in altitude the expansive plain has characteristics of a desert with forested mountains in the distance. I marvel at its expansiveness and stillness in the clear morning light.

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Beyond the meadows Highway 267 passes the third hole of Northstar Golf  Course and then the summit at 7200+ feet with the first filtered view of the majestic Lake Tahoe. If there is a god, this must have been his finest handiwork. Then comes King’s Beach and Brockway with their resortish allure and reassuring familiarity. Nothing ever changes….and that’s a good thing. Up the hill to state line there are many bicycle riders dispersed along the way.  There is a race today. It just adds to the beauty and color.

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 I arrive at the Hyatt to feast on my waffle and bacon. They’ve added a patio looking out onto the Mt. Rose climb. The pine and ash and other greenery form a cacophony of color in green. I quietly enjoy my breakfast and prepare for the ride up the mountain. I wonder if…if I’ll be able to make it this time. My arthritis this winter was pretty bad… and well, you never know. But I’ll give it all I’ve got. And…that’s a good thing.

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From the parking lot of the Hyatt at lake level  the route winds through the outskirts of Incline Village along Country Club Drive. It will be a 2,400 ft., eight mile climb to the peak overlooking the Reno desert floor. The route winds through mountain neighborhoods of upscale vacation homes and the two golf courses before reaching Mt. Rose Highway. The first two miles are most challenging and once on the highway it settles to a steady 6% grade to the summit. I remember distinctly the pain of the initial climb from my first two adventures and this time I climb slowly and with purpose. It’s ch

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allenging but I make the highway juncture without a gasping halt…and that sets a positive tone for the day. I ride in a steady, strong rhythm. It’s rugged country with massive granite formations, sandy soil, tall ponderosa pines and hearty shrubbery with a mixture of desert plants. The air is pure and fresh and the light is soft and clear. I proceed up the mountain with long straight stretches and sweeping curves. Each turn reveals a new vista. I savor the ride and am enthralled that I can place myself in such a majestic setting. There is a gentle breeze which brings occasional forest scents. These are the moments which are permanently etched on the memory to be recalled as life goes by.

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The steady climb begins through the trees and the granite.

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Vista point overlooking Incline Village and Lake Tahoe.

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Desert Thistles heralding the desert just over the summit.

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The 8,000 ft. marker.

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Tahoe Meadows for hiking and cross country skiing.

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Almost there!

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The triumph of the summit!

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Just to record the moment!

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Down to Reno!


The Cycling Tuscan

Silicon Valley Real Estate……. Luciano…Broker/Owner…