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September 29, 2014 | Tim Hauserman
Rain, Rain…glorious, wonderful, earth quenching, smoke clearing rain! It came out of the sky, wet the ground and the trees, and lit up our spirits with joy! The days of smoke dissipated, and instead of photos from the King Fire burn site of jets dropping fire retardant on flames, we got to see fire fighters at the King Fire command center attempting to get around in the mud.
Yes, it is amazing how the things in life that we count on become very important when they suddenly disappear. Last year it was snow, and then this summer when the entire state of California started running out of water, it became rain. Now that we have finally been blessed, even with a touch of snow in the higher elevations, it’s time to get out there in the brown powder.
Local mountain bikers and hikers call the recently rained on trails brown powder because they get as excited about these trails as they get about the white powder in the winter. The rain turns powdery dust into firm and tacky. Perfect for riding.
Here are a few suggestions for places to go:
Tahoe Cross-Country Ski Area becomes a mountain biking haven when the trails are not covered in snow. Heading out from the trailhead in The Highlands you will find a range of trails for every ability and several places to stop and enjoy a view of the lake. The network begins on Dollar Hill and extends all the way to Tahoe City, Northstar and Truckee.
Page Meadows/Ward Canyon: You can start out in Talmont Estates, Ward Canyon or Granlibakken on this collection of trails that include a portion of the Tahoe Rim Trail. Enjoy the fall colors around the meadows, or venture over to Alpine Meadows.
Emigrant Trail. Just off Highway 89 about five miles north of Truckee, this popular trail heads through rolling terrain to Stampede Reservoir and back.
So get out there. The trails are in great shape…and the deep snows shouldn’t arrive for another month or two.