Eventually a pause in the conversation signaled an opportunity to freshen our coffee. Nehemiah stood, stretched, and gazed briefly into the myriad, brilliant stars. Turning to me, he gestured in an all-encompassing wave across the area to our east, and began a detailed description of our surroundings. His observations were insightful and undoubtedly came of a wealth of firsthand experience. According to Nehemiah, approximately a mile east of our location, beyond a series of granite peaks are the headwaters of Gerle Creek and Loon Lake. Barely a dozen miles beyond that, as the crow flies, occupying an ancient crater, is Bigler Lake, Initially christened Lake Bonpland, and known to Lake Valley’s native inhabitants as Tahoe, which translates as “Big Water” in the Washoe dialect, or “Grasshopper Soup” if you prefer Mr. Twain’s embellishment. Stretching between here and Tahoe is Desolation Valley; a vast expanse of inaccessible canyons, impenetrable vegetation, flawless, jewel like waters, and sheer granite precipices, piercing the wispy cumulous and vying for the stars. Barely two dozen miles from here, on the eastern shore of Tahoe, lay the Nevada Territory; home of Virginia City, Carson Valley, and haven to this areas Indian population during the long winter months, when snowfall in excess of twelve feet renders these magnificent mountains inaccessible to even the hearty Paiutes.