Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Spring Preparations for 2007 ARC Course

Happy Mother’s Day Weekend from us all at ARC.

By John Arsenault, Course Director and English Teacher for the Sagehen Course,

I spent the weekend hiking various areas checking out the melting snow and blossoming spring around the ARC course area. With granola bars and water galore, I headed toward Mt Tallac and Loch Leven Trailheads. Tallac was mostly clear of snow. A few patches of snow remained on shady northern faces but for the most part the trail was not bad.

The views of Tahoe were absolutely stunning. My camera didn’t really do it justice.

The next day I checked out the Loch Leven area. I think this may be my new favorite hike. The snow pack was still around on northern faces; however, the trail was packed enough to be easily passable. I met all kinds of people on the trail, a large group of friends from San Francisco, a few couples, a troop of Boy Scouts training for their trip to Philmont, Arizona, and a train conductor. Yes, I waved to the train conductor as he chugged on by, empty cars and all.

There were spots on the Loch Leven trail that were absolutely mystical. Mossy trees, shaded glens by small mountain lakes, and alpine flowers poking through the rocks marked the trail ever higher. The snow deepened as I climbed, yet toward the top began yielding to puddles, brooks and streams everywhere. The forest smelled fresh as the sun warmed my nose. Robins darted here and there, curious, yet skiddish of my tromping.

Lizards did push-ups on rocks as they twisted their heads one way and then another.

Checking me checking them out.

Flowers poked out of the rock as if responsible for the widening cracks.

Finally I reached the lakes, took off my pack, and propped it against a tree. I ravaged through my pack for a granola bar, snagged a big old bite and settled into quick break.

I looked out over the Middle Loch Leven and thought, my heart still pounding away, “whoever is going on the 2007 ARC orientation trip is psyched!”

Until later. John

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