If you are ever want to go for a “moderate” hike, and you are in Lake Tahoe, and you are there for a wedding, and its 105 degrees, and you are considering the Mt. Shirley hike in Squaw Valley….DON’T. There is nothing moderate about it and all of those damn trail guides are lying. Whitney and I recently were in just that situation. We were in Tahoe for the wedding of two of our best friends from college, Brian and Jessica Dawson. On the morning of the wedding the weather was perfect and we decided to go for a quick hike in the mountains prior to getting ready for the wedding.
Sidebar: For those of you who have not been to Tahoe, it is straight gorgeous and you should definitely explore nature there.
Anyway, we went to the front desk of our hotel to inquire about good hikes near our hotel. The woman at the front desk, referred to as ‘the devil’ moving forward, told us that there was a beautiful (it was) hike right near the hotel that was about 4 miles long (not too bad) and you could take the gondola back down after the hike (perfect). Both the devil and the trail guide listed the hike as “moderate”. Now, Whit and I do a fair amount of hiking in Colorado on trails that range easy to difficult and let me tell you that this trail was in no way moderate. There were a number of occasions that we were required to climb up onto ledges, leap from rock to rock, and even crawl up sheer rock faces (they were probably not sheer but they sure seemed like it at the time). Also, everyone forgot to mention that there was a 2,500 ft. vertical rise that we would be combating. None of this would have been too bad had it not been 100+ degrees and the sun was beaming on us. Needless to say, the hike took way longer than anticipated and was pretty miserable. Luckily we got back to our hotel in just enough time to shower, change, and get to the shuttle for the wedding.
How does this relate to drinking you may ask, well I’ll tell you. Shortly after the ceremony (which was lovely and picturesque) the bar opened. The problem is that Whitney’s hike hangover had just taken over. (Can someone get me a shirt that says ‘I was mounted by Shirley’? Because that is pretty much how I feel about the situation.)
Sidebar: A hike hangover is when you are so dehydrated from a hike or physical activity that you get a headache and feel hungover.
I, however, am a champion and immediately went to get a cocktail. Seeing as it was still quite warm I wanted to have something refreshing. Lucky for me the bartenders had a list of cocktails they were preparing and a Salty Dog was listed. I had never had a Greyhound or Salty Dog before so I was up to try it. I gotta say that it was much better than I was expecting. I am not a huge grapefruit fan but with the addition of St. Germain it was quite delicious. Naturally when we got home from the wedding I had to make sure I was capable of creating my own Salty Dog, so here it is. Thanks for the inspiration Mr. and Mrs. Dawson and Eff you Mt. Shirley. (Hear Hear. If you see Shirley, tell her Whitney said to kiss her butter-loving ass.)