If experiences are met with that are disagreeable, meet them as a man should; a woman always does,—or always has on trips taken with me. The “self-pitier,” the “self-indulgent,” the “fearful” also had better stay at home.
The next essentials are a good guide—such as is suggested by the Dedication of this book—and good saddle-and-pack-animals, good bedding, good food and the proper season. Then if the spot you have chosen contains anything worth while, you cannot fail to have an enjoyable, interesting, educative, health-giving and generally profitable time.
In outfitting for such a trip always put into your pocket (and in the pack a reserve supply) a few Grant’s crackers, a handful of Horlick’s Malted Milk tablets, and a cake of Ghirardelli’s chocolate. With these you are safe for a whole day or two, or more, if anything should happen to separate you from your pack animal, or you should desire to ride on without stopping to prepare a noon, or later, camp meal.
The Tahoe Region offers scores of just such trips, where for one or two months each year for a dozen years a visitor may camp-out in some new region. For instance, every student of God’s handiwork should go up to Deer Park, camp-out at Five Lakes, and study the evidences of lava flows at the head of Bear Creek. Go to the Lake of the Woods and spend a week there, tracing the glacial movements that made Desolation Valley. Take such a trip as I enjoyed to Hell Hole on the Rubicon, but take more time for it than I could give; cross the range to the Yosemite, and thus link the two sublimest parts of the Sierras in your memory; follow the old trails that used to echo to the voices of pioneers from Michigan Bluff, Last Chance, Hayden Hill, etc.; go out with one of the Forest Rangers and get a glimpse into his wonderful life of activity, independence and solitude. Thus you will come in contact with larger conceptions, fuller ideas, deeper sympathies, higher aspirations than is possible where you follow the ordinary routine of the ordinary, mediocre, self-contented man. Thank God for the spark of discontent, of ambition, of aspiration, of desire to see beyond, to know more, to climb higher, to solve the mysteries, to abolish the unknown.
Then, if you dare the perils and joys of winter, get Bob Watson, or some other expert on snow-shoes to go with you over Tahoe’s wild wastes of snow. Emulate Snow-shoe Thompson, a short sketch of whose life and adventures will be found in my book, Heroes of California, and henceforth the days and nights of spring, summer, fall and winter will never seem quite the same to you.
Merely as a sample, the balance of this chapter is devoted to the trip made in the fall of 1913 with Watson from Tahoe Tavern.
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