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 Post subject: America, Fuck Yeah!
PostPosted: Thu Jul 05, 2012 6:53 pm 
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or How we watched some fireworks from the top of a mountain

We set out a bit after noon and headed for Tahoe, stopping in at the ranger station to see about wilderness permits for bivying on the summit of Mt. Tallac, which happens to have spectacular views of the many fireworks shows going on around the lake. I didn't really expect to get any since my research suggested we were not the only people to have the same idea. I'd already checked the reservable permits, but they were already gone. However, for some reason there were still enough walk in permits available (hurray online reservations and lazy people!), though right after I walked in another guy came in planning the same thing. Permits: check.

We drove up to the trailhead, drank some beer, and started up the trail. Toxo was not doing well right from the beginning, so the going was slow and we stopped frequently. We ended up chatting with a few guys heading down and one of them told us to tell his friend Bobby on the summit to drink up. The original plan has been to scramble up one of the chutes and/or aretes on the south east side of the mountain, but it was becoming clear that was not a good idea. Finally, we got up to the headwall past Cathedral Lake, which is the last hard climb up before the mile long slog across the summit plateau. Matt decided he was bored, so he just took off up the talus ignoring the trail. Toxo was really struggling, so I ended up carrying her pack (as well as mine) up to the plateau through the steep and loose talus/scree. We finally made it up, but I still ended up carrying two packs a good chunk of the way up before Matt grabbed the extra pack for the final push to the summit when I stopped to get a drink of water (destroying my chances for an all beer ascent. oh well). We landed on the summit just before dusk to an already gathering crowd. Turns out Bobby was there and after chatting for a bit (and a safety meeting), he pointed us to a sweet bivy spot where we set up camp, cooked up dinner, and got ready for the show. While we were cooking, a couple of rangers came up to see our wilderness permit.

As it got darker, we found a spot to watch the fireworks. Some of the pictures were terrible, but this is the first time ever (intentionally) used anything other than the "Auto" mode on my camera. Enjoy!

Getting ready:
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There was a guy on the summit with a green laser pointer "communicating" with someone else down on the Nevada side of South Lake Tahoe who also had a green laser pointer.
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The moon in the clouds was pretty neat looking, but during one exposure some people with head lamps wandered into the shot.
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And the fireworks began, starting first in Tahoe City (this show lasted the longest but was less spectacular than the South Lake Tahoe show), then moving around the lake (a couple are visible here):
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I think this is Tahoe City, Kings Beach, and Incline Village shows (but I could be wrong):
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The moon looked amazing as it dodged in and out from behind the clouds:
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Finally, the two displays in South Lake Tahoe began:
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We couldn't hear the explosions from most of the displays, but the thunderous booms from the finales of the two South Lake shows came rumbling in about 30 seconds AFTER the light shows, making for an interesting experience. I didn't realize before this how low fireworks shows actually are to the ground (or water in this case). We were way above them.
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After the shows ended, most of the 30-50 people on the summit wandered down the trail, but a handful remained. Toxo went to bed pretty early, but Matt and I stayed up for a couple more safety meetings and some drinking. Eventually, there were only 3 of us left standing (Matt, me, and some other guy). Since the moon was out, we went scrambling in the "dark" along the west ridge of Tallac until we reached the highpoint at the end. Then we figured it was time to go to bed. By the time we got up this morning, all the other people who stayed on the summit were long gone and the day trippers were starting to show up. We took our time packing up and hiking down, so we ended up in South Lake just in time for a nice lunch of Margaritas and Mexican food (in the true spirit of Independence Day). Viva the fucking USA! or something.

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 Post subject: Re: America, Fuck Yeah!
PostPosted: Thu Jul 05, 2012 7:09 pm 
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Mexican Jailbird wrote:
God bless America.

Dammit, Matt! I'm sick of that shit.

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 Post subject: Re: America, Fuck Yeah!
PostPosted: Thu Jul 05, 2012 7:10 pm 
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^This has been the running joke of the holiday, lol. Vitaliy made a "God Bless America" themed 4th of July thread on Failbook and deleted offensive posts from me such as "That God guy is such a dick."

Matt managed to fag up the thread with gay oldies songs.

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 Post subject: Re: America, Fuck Yeah!
PostPosted: Thu Jul 05, 2012 7:12 pm 
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That's freaking awsome. You guys are lucky to have something like that near you. Our town did fire works on monday night down at the beach and guess what sign i walked right past while drinking a beer, No alchohol allowed. That sign wasn't there 3-4 months ago. The seawall got pretty beaten up last year during the hurricane and was replaced this spring, along with some new rules i guess. No cops around so i was lucky. Ahzz, i'm gonna play around with manual focus on my camera this week. I have a cannon T1i i've had for a few years and only used the auto focus modes on. I want to try and find a water fall and use a long exposure and see how it turns out.


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 Post subject: Re: America, Fuck Yeah!
PostPosted: Thu Jul 05, 2012 7:16 pm 
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Matt has a way of faggin' up threads.


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 Post subject: Re: America, Fuck Yeah!
PostPosted: Thu Jul 05, 2012 7:18 pm 
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Apparently they do that at some of the beaches in Tahoe on July 4th also. It was funny when the rangers came by our bivy site to ask for our wilderness permit we had a box full of beer and a bunch of crushed beer cans littering the nook (We had been sipping beers the whole way up, so there was already quite a collection of empty cans accumulating). They didn't even bat an eye other than politely reminding us to pack our garbage out.

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 Post subject: Re: America, Fuck Yeah!
PostPosted: Thu Jul 05, 2012 7:20 pm 
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mitchy wrote:
No alchohol allowed. That sign wasn't there 3-4 months ago.


That's so fucking un-American!

The rangers on Tallac were hella chill with all the EtOH and Mary Jane that was happening.

They just did not want ambers from fireworks/fires to fall into the trees and burn up the place.

aahz wrote:
Apparently they do that at some of the beaches in Tahoe on July 4th also. It was funny when the rangers came by our bivy site to ask for our wilderness permit we had a box full of beer and a bunch of crushed beer cans littering the nook (We had been sipping beers the whole way up, so there was already quite a collection of empty cans accumulating). They didn't even bat an eye other than politely reminding us to pack our garbage out.


I apologized to the female ranger for the mess and assured her we would clean it all up. Fucking slob Mattski.

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This is the water, and this is the well. Drink full, and descend. The horse is the white of the eyes, and dark within.


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 Post subject: Re: America, Fuck Yeah!
PostPosted: Thu Jul 05, 2012 7:26 pm 
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HA,HA,HA that's funny. 1 hr. to got till miller time.


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 Post subject: Re: America, Fuck Yeah!
PostPosted: Thu Jul 05, 2012 7:26 pm 
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Dammit Matt. I said Stop It!

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 Post subject: Re: America, Fuck Yeah!
PostPosted: Thu Jul 05, 2012 7:41 pm 
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aahz wrote:
Dammit Matt. I said Stop It!

I was just about to post ^^^this^^^.

I'm glad someone was able to enjoy it (despite The Village Idiot and his inability to know when means 'when').

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