Living in Tahoe, you feel the pull for immersing yourself in nature, to experience the majesty of the Sierra Nevada’s. After moving here, my husband and I had grand dreams of taking up hiking as a family past-time – we even purchased a fully-loaded hiking backpack, which has been used once in three years, in a most inconsistent fashion, as a carry-on during a flight to Burbank. Hiking with kids can be challenging at best, a complete failure at it’s very worst. Our first and last attempt at a family hike was not a success – not only did we NOT make it to Shirley Lake, the kids came home with assorted horsefly bites swollen up to egg-sized welts.
So when my fellow book club member and yoga instructor Nikki Dean chose to host a hike dedicated to National Bestseller, ‘Wild’ by Cheryl Strayed, I was ecstatic! Suffering in the wake of her mother’s death, this book follows Strayed as she sets out alone to hike over 1,000 miles of the Pacific Coast Trail, with no experience or training whatsoever. Living in Tahoe, it’s a phenomenon you see in the summer months, PCT hikers hitch-hiking to Safeway for supplies, disheveled, and bewildered by their brief re-entry to modern civilization. I admire their strength, and ofter wonder what circumstances may have led him or her to the life-changing decision to conquer the PCT or at least a portion of it.
Sure to spur great book discussion, Nikki announced we were to hike the portion of the PCT from Boreal past Azalea Lake, and finally to Flora Lake for discussion, trail snacks and wine. Here was my chance for a real hike, sans children!! Not only that but a chance to hike a (somewhat small) but nonetheless challenging portion of the PCT. So with a huge smile on my face, on a Sunday afternoon we set out with with over-applied bug repellant and wine sensibly funneled in Smart Water bottles. Although to avid hikers this accomplishment might sound juvenile, I am proud to have checked off ‘hike a portion of the Pacific Crest Trail” to my Tahoe Summer Bucket List, thanks to my friend, Nikki Dean, and the company of the lovely ladies of Truckee Family Club’s Book Club.