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19 Sep 2016
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Fall in Tahoe
The Cathedral

If you spend a lot of time hiking around Lake Tahoe, you will most likely locate a special place of spiritual peace. Perhaps it’s a bit of smooth granite overlooking Lake Tahoe, a wildflower dotted meadow, or a grove of aspen trees quaking in the breeze. It’s whatever tugs at your heart and makes you feel alive and truly connected to the world. These quiet places give us the chance to sit and listen to all of nature that surrounds us, but equally important, to listen to what is deep inside ourselves.

I have several of these places, but one I’ve been visiting for over 30 years is along the trail from Meeks Bay to Crag Lake in the Desolation Wilderness. When I go there it is as if I’ve entered an ancient cathedral. It’s about three miles of hiking from the Meeks Bay trailhead to a flat sandy opening circled by ancient trees. There you find several giant Jeffrey pines and red firs that somehow escaped the ax that befell many of their compatriots over a hundred years ago. The remains of two other behemoths lay down on the ground, long since having met their demise. These trees never fail to bring a smile and a feeling of peace to my heart.

Sitting back on a flat slab of granite, I look up at the tops of these evenly spaced wonders, and ponder the clouds against the deep blue sky. It never fails to help me to contemplate the power and majesty of nature, and my good fortune in being able to be here now and enjoying it. And of course equally important: Being lucky enough to live in Lake Tahoe to visit these special places on a regular basis.