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Wildflowers 1 zillion, Fish 0

Page history last edited by lmckeega@... 9 years, 9 months ago

Wildflowers 1 zillion, Fish 0

 

Showers Lake 7-9 July 2000


This trip Lupe Perez (00) and Lynn Spaulding (00) met alumni & guests galore. At the usual old Yardbirds spot by Sonoma Bagel off Mendocino Avenue in Santa Rosa, at high noon Randy & I met Denise & Kevin Collins (93 & 99), Diane Krautner (99), Jenine Wilson (97), Laura Draper & Jeff Pike (both 99) with friend Christine Lau. We piled in cars and headed to Camino to check out the Eldorado National Forest Information Center. We all browsed, a few acquired fire permits, and others bought stuff. Then we headed to the what’s-the-name-of-the-Mexican-restaurant in Pollock Pines for an early dinner.

After dinner, we went south on Sly Park, east on Mormon Emigrant Trail, east on Hwy 88, then just 3.9 miles past the dam at Caples Lake to the Carson Pass trailhead. The temperature had dropped and there was a bit of a breeze. We paid our parking fee, futzed with equipment, strolled around, decided on a sleeping spot, and speculated about the port-a-potties and shade tents. (They were provided, not for us it turns out, but for a survival cycling race the next day.) Others arrived that evening after we were snuggled warm in our bags: Debra Dempsey (99), Mike Hardison (97), Deb Raushi (96) and Kyle Brunelle, plus Julie Whelly and 3 guests Leslie Finta, Matthew Spowart, and Ted Geilen - nineteen in all!
In the morning after breakfast, we weighed our packs (to our disgust better leave something behind or delight - hey, I’ll take these afterall) then shortly after 8:30am, backpacked by the Quaking Aspen towards Showers Lake. Soon we were wowed with beautiful wildflowers of reds, yellows, blues, violets, magentas, and oranges among the green Scarlet Gilia, Indian Warrior, Mules Ears, Penstemon, Lupine, Mountain Pride, and Indian Paintbrush to name a few. Up, up we switched back and forth overlooking the snowy ranges and green meadows. We rested by the Cow Pond before continuing down, down, and across the flat meadow. After another pack break by the Meiss Trail to Round Lake, we humped on down the trail leapfrogging with two other backpacking groups with dogs. Eventually, we started the last incline of the day arriving at Showers Lake about 1pm or so.

Mike about landed a trout which would have been a first: Showers Lake is becoming notorious for only being able to see the fish rising and swimming all around, whether enticed with lure or fly. A snow cave covered the cascade of water draining the lake. Downstream crouching inside looking up, it had an interestingly scalloped patterned ceiling, each scallop edged delicately in brown. The ceiling was glowing blue in thin areas and continuously dripping in low spots.

 

The breeze continued almost enough to keep the mosquitoes away; but at dusk, the bloodsuckers increased their forces. We dined between a triangle of logs even sampling Outback Oven baked warm brownies. As the sun set, the sky turned orange and lights sprinkled around Lake Tahoe. Eventually the stars crept out by the crescent moon.

 

Ah, paradise we winged it and slept in, leisurely ate, then packed. What goes up must come down, so down we went, then across, pausing occasionally and stopping and snacking in a field of daisies. Finally up, up and over to rest at the Cow Pond. Soon the sound of cars reminded me the wilderness was left behind. We quenched our hot thirst with cold sodas as we tossed our packs in our cars. The first goodbyes were said, then 12 of us headed down the road to reconvene at The Apple Café. Full and happy, we uttered the last goodbyes and sped home sweet home.

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