Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Tahoe Rim Trail: Week 7

Week 7: Echo Lake to Emerald Bay 

This section is the land of many lakes and walls of granite with the star of the show being Lake Aloha.  

This was the last of our long commute to South Lake Tahoe and lucky for us, Katie Tyler's mom, Sue, was in town and up for the drive to Echo Lake.  With our earliest start to the day yet, the drive was beautiful around Lake Tahoe.

Back at Echo Lake where we left off last week, Sue walks with us while we get our wilderness permit that is required in Desolation Wilderness.  We take photos, wave good bye and start on the trail around Echo Lake. 

The lakes edge is scattered with cabins that are accessible only by boat.  It was funny to see houses right there along the Pacific Crest Trail.  Again we decide that we need to come back with the family one day and stay for the weekend for a secluded getaway.

We were warned about the rocky trail and how hard it would be to run.  This was the case right away with gigantic granite mountains to the right of us and the trail turned to crumbled granite (ankle breakers) of all sizes.  We decided we would power hike the rocks and run when the trail allowed.

The lakes continued to pop up one after another, Upper Echo, Tamarack, Lake of the Woods and Lake Lucille.  Each one pristine and peacefully resting in the granite that was towering all around us.

Then we come to a junction in the trail and there was a marker pointing back towards Echo Lake.  On the other side of the marker someone had carved in 'Aloha' but there were arrows pointing in both directions.  After examining these arrows and indeed determining that there were two arrows pointing in opposite directions, we decided to head left.  This took us to a great looking camp area with a cute little pond full of lily pads. This was a pretty cool site but definitely not the way to Lake Aloha.  Back to the junction to try option B, head in the other direction. 

Option B-Sure enough, there it is, Lake Aloha!  It was the most amazing thing we have seen this far on our adventure on the Tahoe Rim Trail.  It felt like what it might feel like to arrive on the moon! Water as far as you can see and hundred of granite islands with the Crystal Range towering in the background.  White granite covering the landscape. This is a big lake and the trail followed along the edge for about 2 miles. The site was breathtaking. 

As we left Lake Aloha, the trail split again as we take a clear right turn to stay on the PCT and head towards Heather Lake.  Through the rocks the flowers are still trying to peek through and the colors against the rock really pop!  

The trail starts to head down, down, down as the granite around us grows higher and higher.  As we duck down just below tree line around a switchback there is a baby ptarmigan right there on the rock in front of us and there on the other side of the trail is mama ptarmigan keeping close watch. Scurrying through the granite maze above are two marmots the size of a small dog and or a large cat.  This is the first wildlife we have seen aside from small chipmunks, squirrels and birds, pretty cool. 

After passing a few small lakes we come to Heather Lake where the trail turned into a bed of shale red, gray and black rocks that skirted the lakeshore.  

As we stood on the waters edge looking down the sheer rocks to the water and up at all the surrounding mountains and the silence was heavenly, there is nothing we could say except that we shared a feeling of profound gratitude to be in such an amazing place.  The beauty overtook the moment.

Onward and upward.  We start heading up towards Dick's Peak.  Along the way we continue to find our favorite trees: old, twisted, deformed and artfully amazing. 

Still through the white granite sea we are heading up and looking back at all those lakes that we have passed and even all the way back to Lake Aloha.  As we gain elevation the wildflowers start to multiply as we run through fields of color. 

Not quite done with our climb but there we are looking down at Dick's Lake.  Look…cell phone signal.  Time to stop for a short work break before moving on.  Now this really was an office with a view! 

Shortly after getting back on the trail we reach the summit of Dick's Peak.  After our celebration of making it to the highest peak of the day, we start to really head down hill on switchbacks leading us towards Dick's Lake.  Shortly after leaving the shoreline of Dick's, we hit a trail junction and meet up with 2 backpackers who are visiting from Michigan.  At this point we have another 4 miles down to our car that is parked at Emerald Bay but we could go another 4 miles (to lessen the load next week) and take another 4 mile trail down to the car.  The backpackers offered us more water as we only had a few sips left, but we decided that we should take the trail out now and leave the extra 4 miles for next week.  As we head down and the trail turns into more of a stairway, we were happy about our decision not to add milage. 

As the un-runnable trail went straight down and our knees and ankles were feeling each step, Katie Tyler borrowed a piece of nature, a walking stick, to help her launch over the rocks.  We also saw a whole trail maintenance crew on this section building more stairs.  This was really cool to see the process in action and we made sure to thank each one of them.  After this, the trail was very windy and seemingly going nowhere, so we were excited to finally see Eagle Lake and then Eagle Falls where hundreds of sightseers were scattered.  At the base of the falls was a perfect swimming hole and we went straight to it and jumped in!  That was the perfect ending to our 20 mile day and the parking area was only a short walk away and we had lots of water waiting for us in the car… YUM.  

In celebration of a big day, we met Benita Tiller, wife of Greg Tiller, for a group hug.  We got to tell her about our adventure and the amazing energy we felt out there on the trail and share some special moments and memories of Greg.   We will be sending a check in Greg Tiller's honor to the Tahoe Forest Hospice as we have completed another section of the Tahoe Rim Trail.  Thank you Greg for your inspiration and thank you Benita for coming to meet us! 

Next week we will be running our longest leg from Emerald Bay to Barker Pass.  We will dedicate our run to Project MANA.  This organization is helping North Lake Tahoe and Truckee reduce the incidence of hunger and promote nutrition through education awareness, food distribution and deliveries.  Thank you Project MANA for helping our community! 


The Tahoe Rim Trail Foundation is excited about our adventure around the lake.  Without this trail us and so many would not have this spectacular, immaculate, buffed out trail available for our enjoyment.  Click here if you would like to donate to the Tahoe Rim Trail Foundation, make and honorary tribute gift, and put Katie Tyler as your Tributee. 
Thanks for the support and wish us luck! 

Katie Tyler

BRE 01442453
c 530 277 1012 

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

New Listing - Martis Camp Lot 149

8233 Valhalla Drive
Lot 149

Beautiful site located near the Camp Lodge at Martis Camp. A short walk to the amenities or just take a hike out your door on the extensive 26 mile trail system. This site has great views of Northstar from the center of building envelope. Enjoy a bright orientation and great views.  You can see both Lookout Mountain and Backside of Northstar and peek golf fiews from your potential living room.  This area of Martis Camp is very desirable with many homes already built. Social membership available providing access to the Family Barn, Camp Lodge, Ski Connect and all the 5 star amenities of Martis Camp. 

Click here for more information or give me a call today! 

Katie Tyler

BRE 01442453
c 530 277 1012 

Monday, July 21, 2014

Tahoe Rim Trail: Week 6

Week 6: Big Meadow to Echo Lake

This run started out on a Thursday and ended on a Monday.  Thursday morning, we're all ready to go and just as Katie, Katie and our ride from Ann Linnett was about to walk out the door, we decide to check the weather just in case these clouds over my house were going to turn into something.  Yep, there it is, a lightning strike advisory for South Lake Tahoe.  After much debate we decided it was the best decision to call it off till Monday.  High elevations and lightning are a dangerous mix.

Fast forward to Monday morning, our driver has graciously agreed to our new time and off we go at 7am.  

At this point, the time in the car is about equal to the time spent on the trail.  9:30am and we're finally at the Big Meadow trailhead ready to make our way back to Echo Lake where we dropped a car.  Just as Ann was pulling out, Katie C. realized that she is missing her extra water bottle.  With a quick warm up sprint to catch her… phew!  Got the much needed extra water.  We head out of the parking lot, across HWY 50 and into a beautiful wide open, green meadow where we pass hikers, bikers and backpackers.  Then back into the woods for good climb in the shade of giant trees to Round Lake.  On the way we keep seeing crazy looking rocks that look like piles of loose pebbles that have been bonded together with concrete, small ones that you can sit on and big ones that you can fit your whole body under. They must  have come from the towering cliffs we see as we look up from Round Lake.

3 miles in and we made it to Round Lake!  So beautiful, so refreshing.  Around the lake we go and off we to find ourself in another meadow scattered with wildflowers looking back on those big towering cliffs above Round Lake and ahead at the ridge line we will follow. 

Stopping to see the Lewis Monkeyflower, Wild Onion, Lupine, Great Red Paintbrush, wandering daisy and so many more wildflowers! But not for too long because the mosquitoes and flies are going crazy!  

From there we are heading down where we hit a trail junction.  We stop to decide what direction we need take.  As we decide, we are talking to a day hiker who is staying at Echo Lake.  He suggested that we turn right because it's a much shorter way to the lake.  We decide that we must stay on the Tahoe Rim Trail as so not leave any part out of our adventure.  As we head uphill on our 'long' way to Echo Lake, we start to think about Jonathan Sivao who we are running for.  He inspires us to not cut corners and stay strong. 

On we go through forests and meadows till we get to another trail junction where we merge with the Pacific Crest Trail which we will continue on for the duration of this run into next weeks run.  

The flowers really start to pop and double in size at this point.  I felt like I was in a cartoon drawing and we were the fairy tale characters prancing through the meadow, light footed with butterflies trailing behind.  

We come to a small creek and our crossing just perfect for our fairy tale, there are 5 rock pads for us to hop, skip and jump across.  The flowers just kept getting taller and more lush as we head up to Showers Lake (like up to our shoulders).  As we arrive, everything is perfectly still and silent except for one man fly fishing on the south end of the small mountain lake.  

Again, like something you would see in a storybook.  We vowed that we would come back to this lake and camp one night in the future.  

Down very steep switchbacks and another climb back up and into another meadow where we get a peek of Lake Tahoe far out in the distance – what a sight! We also start to see dark clouds moving in and decide that we should keep up the pace and stay clear of the storm (and lightning).  

At this point we are heading down and down and down on a trail through fallen granite.  A beautiful sight but not a good spot to be considering the nearby thunder that we heard.  We're also getting a bit low on water and wondering where we are and where this trail is taking us.  

That's when it's always a good feeling to see the blue arrow indicating that we are indeed on the Tahoe Rim Trail.  Finally we made it to the Echo Summit trailhead.  From here we only had 2 miles.  2 miles?  No problem… except that we were out of water and feeling the last 18 miles in our legs. Oh, and it had been about 91 degrees for the duration of our run. And humid!  

Okay, one mile till we cross HWY 50 and another on the other side of the Highway.  This was a very long mile to say the least, and then we had another mile to conquer.  As the trail inclined our pace slowed to a half walk, half trot and sometimes all out crouch to the ground, head between the legs to get to the end.  

The flowers continued not to disappoint and kept us going till finally we see it `- Echo Lake!  We made it to the end of this weeks adventure with a 20 mile day behind us. 

With a total of 98 miles so far in our adventure, including the ins and outs of getting to the TRT, we have turned a corner and we are now heading north after so many miles south, it's a good feeling!

We will so proudly be sending a celebrartion check to the Sivao Family for their son Jonathan who has been so strong with his fight with cancer and continues to fight and turn his corner to recovery.  Thank you Jonathan for your strength and inspiration.  

Next week we will be entering Desolation Wilderness and running high along the peaks ending at Lake Tahoe's iconic Emerald Bay.  

Greg Tiller, former colleague and dear friend, will be our inspiration for this coming run, one of our toughest sections.  Greg lost his brave and long fight with cancer this past January. He was one of the most authentic people we have ever met. His free spirit, kind nature, gentle soul, and absolute certainty about everything he did (and who he was) were just a few things that made him such an admirable friend and like a brother. His love for adventure and life were evident every day. We miss him very much and will be donating to the Tahoe Forest Hospice in his honor. We also are sending all of our love to Benita, his wife. We love you Benita! 

Wish us luck! 

Katie Tyler

BRE 01442453
c 530 277 1012 

Monday, July 14, 2014

Tahoe Truckee Market Update: June 2014

Tahoe Truckee Market Update
June 2014 

Tahoe Market Sees Robust Demand for Luxury Properties in First Half of 2014
Average Price Increases by 20%

Now two years into recovery, the Tahoe Truckee real estate market is surging, driven by an overwhelming push in the luxury segment.  Our consumers continue to be Northern California based families who are driving a remarkable rise in the technology sector and are now seeking refuge in a quality, mountain setting.

While sales volume for the total market lagged 14% behind 2013 year-to-date, the luxury segment (defined as properties $1 million and over) has shown a dramatic 28% increase. The overall market decline was largely due to the lack of available properties for sale earlier in the year.

                          Number of Luxury Transactions by Sale Price

> $1mm
2014 ytd

Northstar Mountainside and Martis Camp have combined sales volume of nearly $100,000,000 year-to-date showing tremendous demand for new and unique offerings within immediate proximity to skiing and resort activities.

The overall region continues to show strong advances in median and average price through the first half of 2014 again driven by the upper tier sales. Average price has risen 20% from $687,144 in the first half of 2013 to $826,117 through June. 

The previously tight supply in neighborhoods below $1 million has created fewer sales but increased median value by 9% to $449,450.

As property owners perceive rapidly improving market conditions, ambitions for quick liquidity have created quite a few new sellers. In the past 45 days alone nearly 300 properties have been listed, lifting overall supply to nearly 10 months inventory.

4th of July traffic was as robust as ever with a strong number of real estate inquiries that will ultimately manifest into sales later in the year. The Grand Opening of Tree House, the neighborhood clubhouse for Northstar Mountainside, offers an entirely new perspective on mountain living.  With a plentiful number of consumers, adequate supply of available properties and interesting new projects, it will undoubtedly be an interesting and active summer.

Katie Tyler

BRE 01442453
c 530 277 1012