Ted's Hiking World Tahoe Meadows
Toiyabe NF

August 10, 2007

Having just explored an off-road alternative from Carson City to Lake Tahoe en route to a great swim at a remote eastern beach, this trailhead is right on the highway back to Reno, where my day began.

Signs point to trails both right and left.  I elect to proceed straight ahead, southward, toward the center of the meadows.  Except for the aging corn lilies, the predominant flower here is Ranger's buttons — a favorite among the bees.

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Buttons and bees

Little Ophir Creek is bubbling along; it is nice to see that there still is some snow somewhere to sustain it.  Beside the creek are a few patches of fireweed and a lot of cobweb-like willows.

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Ophir Creek

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Fireweed

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Alpine Willow

Although the creek is populated, I see only a few minnows; except for their shadows, they would be virtually unnoticeable.  At a small waterfall I decide to head back, because my foot is hurting again.  Even though this condition has resulted from nothing more than overdoing it (20 hikes in 2 months!), at my 'advanced' age I really should take the problem more seriously.  Besides, another 160 miles of driving await me today; so that's my excuse.

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Only the shadow knows

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The biggest waterfall on the creek

The trail is quite pleasant in later afternoon.  On the return lap I spot a few yampah and a single purple penstemon.

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The return trail

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Parish's Yampah

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Rydberg's Penstemon

There is a shortcut back to the trailhead, directly over a sandy and brush-free hill to the north.  I take off in that direction, stopping long enough to visit the butterweeds and butterflies.

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This Fritillary prefers daisies

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Interesting texture in the Butterweed

Having waited too long to veer from the trail and begin the traverse, I miss the best route; instead I am treated to a sweaty bushwhack through sagebrush and aspen thickets.  Finally there is a reward; as the trailhead comes into view, a few colorful skyrockets peek out from behind the brush.

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Not the best choice of routes

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Skyrockets


§: I know from prior experience that the scenery gets better as the trail winds down the hill toward Price Lakes and Washoe Valley.  Next time I'll walk it with a sounder body.

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