As promised, I'm hiking the trails around Reno/Tahoe and living to tell you. Sometimes, barely living, with lung busting gusto! Our first "serious" hike of the season, I had this wonderful idea to climb most of the way up the Jones/Whites creek trail leading up to Church's Pond. The beginning mileage had already been accomplished on a previous trip. We were erroneously told that we had conquered the "worst" part! I'd love to run into those folks, probably all of 20 something and compare notes.
Remember, I purchased a guidebook of the trails in the whole area. They recommend that this loop be done counterclockwise from the beginning on the Whites creek trail. Supposedly, it would be less strenuous. (The trail was classified as "strenuous!) What does this mean? We would soon find out.
We packed a lunch, a few fig bars and plenty of bottled water and set off early. We decided to go up Jones creek to Church's pond, have lunch and return the same way. Piece of cake, right? The first mile or so was easy and then there was that "worst" part. Only problem was that it continued most of the way pretty much straight up with many switchbacks. When you reach the ridge you have options. You can cut off to Church's pond, continue on the loop for the return trip down or go back the way we came. We chose the later.
I have to say I was extremely proud of what we accomplished since I am not anywhere near tip top shape. Will I do it again? Probably not. There is an expansive grove of lime colored aspen trees lining the creek as we ascended. I can only imagine how beautiful this area will be in the Fall, so maybe we'll do part of the trip again.
So, now I know the meaning of a STRENUOUS trail. It is a relentless, mostly uphill quest with many moments of lung burning bouts interspersed with conversations we had about where we would spread each other's ashes if we failed to make it! Yep....that's the definition.
NOTE: Thank you to the elderly gentleman (80ish) who passed us on the way up. You truly were an inspiration!
|almost to the ridge|
|watch where you walk|
|view from the ridge looking toward Washoe Valley|
|no explanation necessary|
|The views were amazing!|