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Jun 11, 2012

Lake Tahoe塔霍湖

By Freelance Chinese Translator Li – English to Chinese translation services - based in China.

Most people come to Lake Tahoe to ski, frolic(嬉戏) in the gin-clear(杜松子酒般清澈) waters of an alpine lake(高山湖泊) or maybe lounge in a resort by day and gamble in one of the casinos(俱乐部) by night. -- I've come to see a wolverine(狼獾).
This isn't as strange a quest as it might sound. For decades, wildlife experts(野生动物专家) believed the wolverine had long disappeared from the Sierra Nevada mountains(内华达山脉), which ring the stunning(迷人的) lake, but a wolverine was photographed last year, a few miles north of Truckee(特拉基). Biologist also found other evidence of the animal's presence.
Why the wolverine? The primary answer is that the animal is one of the most elusive(难以捉摸的), evasive(回避) and downright human-hating creatures on earth, not to mention one of the fiercest(凶猛的). Pound for pound, the wolverine might be the baddest critter on earth.
About the size of a medium-sized dog, they’ve been known to kill moose(驼鹿). They’ll go head to head against much larger predators(天敌), including black bears, wolves and cougars(美洲狮). Wolverines are the ultimate, fighting machines.
The other answer is that I’ve already seen one, when I lived in Alaska. It was only a glimpse, but I’ll never forget the way it moved.  It slunk along low to the ground with ill intent(意图不轨), in an odd, menacing(来势汹汹), almost serpentine(蛇形) movement. I recognized immediately that I was seeing a rare, strange creature.
A long shot一个长镜头
The sighting(瞄准), in the deep, snowy woods of Alaska’s Kenai Peninsula(基奈半岛), chilled me even though the animal did not attack. Indeed, it aggressively ignored me, if such a thing is possible. Still, the incident stayed with me. I won’t go so far as to say it’s an obsession(痴迷), but there have been many a night when wolverines have insinuated themselves into my dreams.
I want to see another one.
I realize it’s a long shot.
Forest Service officials are not releasing information about exactly where the wolverine was spotted. Also, wolverines avoid humans like they’re carrying swine flu猪流感). I’ll be using the Tahoe Rim Trail, a 165-mile long trail that loops around the lake, mostly along high ridges. There will be awe-inspiring(令人畏惧的) views, but there will also be a lot of people.
Nor do I plan to spread around skunk glands(臭鼬腺体) or nail a deer carcass(尸体) to a tree, two ways wolverine-watchers hope to attract the animal. Still, I was lucky in Alaska. Maybe I’ll be lucky again. At the worst, I’ll be immersed in the natural beauty Lake Tahoe is famous for.

Stunning beauty(惊艳)

My personal quest will keep me outdoors, and the Tahoe Meadows to Spooner Summit part of the larger trail is my hunting ground(猎场). It’s a nearly 22-mile hike, slipping between the granite(花岗岩) peaks of the Carson Range and offering probably the best views of the lake far below. I pass through wildflower meadows(长满野花的草地) that make you happy just to be alive. Despite the heavy use by humans, I actually don’t see that many people, other than a few other hikers.
The beauty is so stunning, I almost forget about the wolverine quest.  Lake Tahoe(塔霍湖) was formed during the Ice Age(冰河时代), where California and Nevada meet, and it looks it, as clear and pristine原始的 as a time before man. The lake is the largest alpine lake in North America, and the second deepest at more than 1,600 feet. Sometimes, when the sun is right, you almost think you can see halfway to the bottom.
The trail rises to Tunnel Creek Road and then descends gently about five miles to Snow Valley Peak雪谷峰. You can still see evidence of miners during the gold fever era(淘金热时代). You can camp along the rail without a permit as long as you’re not in one of the wilderness areas, and as long as you’re 300 feet from the trail and 200 feet from any water source.
“Skunk bears”
It is at night, when I am actually dreaming about a wolf, that a noise startles me out of sleep. I get out my flashlight(手电筒) and look around, but there’s nothing to be seen, and I’m too chicken to scout out(侦察) the area in detail. Remember, I’ve seen a wolverine. The next morning, I find scat not 20 feet from where I was sleeping. I don’t have a scat expert at hand, but it appears to be the scat of a small, black bear. Could it have been a wolverine? After all, they are sometimes referred to as “skunk bears.”
I doubt it, but I tell myself it’s possible. I continue my hike and during the course of a beautiful day above the sparkling waters of Lake Tahoe, I see a couple of mule deer and what I believe to be a marten(貂).But – no wolverine. For now, I’ll just have to be content to see it in my dreams. Lake Tahoe, on the other hand, is all too real and accessible.

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