And a modest proposal
By Daniel Montero
What a difference a year makes! Marlette Lake Road climbs from Carson City’s Lakeview neighborhood up to Lake Tahoe Nevada State Park. The road might not even be called Marlette Lake Road, on Google Maps it is labeled Tanks Road, and meets up with Franktown Creek Road, and then higher still, there is a Marlette Lake Road mentioned, but I am going to call it all Marlette Lake Road, because, well, I can. I stumbled across it by chance, although Renee spent her teenage years here and remembers the road as the hardest mountain biking road in the world.
Last winter on a Sunday afternoon I decided to go down to it and see how far I could walk just in snow boots, without my snowshoes. It was a sunny, but windy day, and the fresh snow blew in swirls and gusts all around me. I climbed up as high as the first meadow (around 6,200 feet) where someone else’s snowshoe track I had been following filled in and I decided to turn back to visit Washoe Lake State Park.
This past weekend I decided to return to the road. This time I embarked in sneakers and decided I would turn back wherever I made it to snow that was higher than my shoe. I passed the place I had turned back last year with nary a snowball in sight, and only reached the first road drifts at 7,600 feet, and this hard packed and only in spots. This year, I also have a companion, Larry, and despite the dryness of the season we walked together in companionable high spirits. We had lunch in a sunny glade alongside Hobart Creek Reservoir in what I have decided to call a “late, late Sierra fall.”
After lunch, we climbed the granite point east of the reservoir, a point on my Topo Maps that is called called “point 8208,” but that I think deserves a name, being the highest of the rocky outcrops on this far eastern ridge of the Carson Range. So, without further ado, because his father’s sheep camp was in the area, I propose it as Robert Laxalt Peak. If there is another Robert Laxalt Peak, well, then, my apologies, but I like my name, especially thinking about these rocky knolls and ridges being the places where he would drive around looking for his father, maybe he clambered up here looking for Dominique, or just for the heck of it.
We sat on the little summit for a little while, watching the afternoon advance from a sunny and warm place in the granite fortress.
"It was late afternoon and the shadows long when I started the walk down to my car," Robert Laxalt, Sweet Promised Land.
Buy Books Mentioned in this Post
Sweet Promise Land, Robert Laxalt
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