Deric, Steve, Chris, and I went to hike up Mt. Tallac in South Lake Tahoe this past weekend. We ended up hiking in with full packs and camping* in Desolation Wilderness between the Tallac summit and Cathedral Lake. Blah, blah, blah, gorgeous views of the lakes, blah, blah, great weather, blah, blah, etc.
There are a few important takeaways from this trip. First, chipmunks in Lake Tahoe are not afraid of you. They wait until you fall asleep and then approach their prey without hesitation. And don't expect your friends to protect you because they'll probably be too busy taking pictures. Second, there is some flower or weed out in the wild (or at least on the hike up Tallac) that smells exactly like cinnamon incense. At first I thought I was imagining this, but Deric verified the odor. We weren't able to identify where it was coming from, but if anyone knows what I'm talking about, I'd love to find out what plant this is. Third, if you use Cingular, you probably have a full signal all the way up to the Tallac summit. So ya know, call and text all your friends to tell them how hardcore you are out in desolation wilderness and then check your voicemail. Finally and least relevant, it turns out that someone other than me has ripped a mole off in the past. I once was picking at what I thought was a scab on my back only to find out that I really had ripped a mole off my skin. At the time, it was a bit concerning. I mean, you aren't supposed to scratch your eye and accidentally wipe your cornea off. Had I just opened up a tiny leak for my innards to seep out of? I ended up attributing it to super human strength on my part, but I guess if someone else has done it, it's not that big of a deal anymore.
* Some random beta: Desolation Wilderness allots 50% of their overnight camping permits to parties on arrival (the other half can be reserved in advance). We got their at 9:30am on Saturday and we didn't have any problem getting a camping permit, despite every other major campsite in South Lake Tahoe being booked far in advance. If you are into more of the back country camping atmosphere, I recommend this area because it required no major planning (they had lots of permits and this was a July weekend), parking is free by most trail heads, and you have much more space to roam around in and avoid other parties.