I prefer winter and Fall, when you feel the bone structure of the landscape — the loneliness of it, the dead feeling of winter. Something waits beneath it, the whole story doesn’t show. ~Andrew Wyeth

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Returning to Pinecrest Lake and memories of Summer.

This is where the Prospector and I went on Thursday. We drove south on highway 49, then east on highway 108. Pinecrest is 30 miles east of Sonora, at about 5600 ft elevation.
This is where I came, this summer, to camp with our boys, daughter in law and the Beans (our grandchildren).
The water level is much lower than it was when I came in August.  You can see the huge boulders
and old dead trees that folks swim and boat over in the summer.

Now the bottom of the lake is exposed and the people are gone. 
It is quiet and beautiful.
This is the hiking trail we climbed up to the dam on, this summer. Hardly any people walking on the trails now. Just a man in a Kayak on the water below.
The campground is closed and empty. We walked C loop to the site that our family filled with tents and camping things a few months ago. Remember the posts on my experience as an old lady camper? Here's one.
The site is empty now.
Seemed so different without people, activity and children running around.
 The autumn leaves were in abundance.
 It was peaceful, quiet and even the animals seemed to be gone. No ground squirrels, no raccoons... I think they come because people are here... and food.
How different a place can look within such a short amount of time.

We went down to the water and the Prospector fished for a while. I took my tripod and camera and walked about taking photos and resting on old logs. The fishing was not very good and we probably didn't stay long enough to give the fish a chance to taste the power bait... or Paulski's... or whatever it is that attracts their attention. I don't fish so I don't pay attention to the critical aspects of catching them. But my ol' fisherman does.

 He only caught one fish and fried it for breakfast the next day. The fish were not jumping that day and are all safe in the bottom of the lake.
We drove to Strawberry for lunch. This is on the south fork of the Stanislaus River and a way over the Sierra Nevada mountains. This is called Sonora Pass.
Strawberry is a very small community of people. There are 86 people who live here year round. It's beautiful... I can see why they live here, but this is a rough winter area and they are hardy folks.

 I slept here once,
  on the open ground
 for the first time... just after we were married. Those were in the days when I didn't care if a spider crawled over me (I guess.) or a bear got curious about us laying on the ground in a sleeping bag. I was young, unaware of the consequences of sleeping in the wild and kind of a half-baked flower child ...  but it was fun. Now... you wouldn't catch me dead sleeping ON THE GROUND... without, at least, a tent around me.
I guess, somewhere along the way, I grew up. Darn...

We ate lunch and headed home. The traffic through Sonora was a nightmare. They are building a bypass but this has been an ongoing project since as long as I can remember and still, downtown Sonora is bumper to bumper traffic.
 Pretty town...
Just no way around it. No way to go south accept through it, unless you want to go west to Jamestown and take some country roads over to Columbia. But... I need to bring my sister and come for the day because this town has got some great stores... and looks like a fun place to SHOP.
We drove home, past Mark Twain's cabin, New Molones Reservoir, the towns of Angel's Camp, San Andreas, Mokelumne Hill and down into Jackson. Home again. This was a wonderful day's ride for the two of us. Next time we will take the dogs and stay longer.
Bu the way... I have to tell the Beans that we saw Big Bird's foot prints on the beach at the edge of the lake. They had to be his because they were huge next to the puppy prints. We looked around, but we didn't see him. He's quite yellow you know. I'm sure we would have seen him if he was there... but maybe he was walking around in the campground, looking for some kids to play with and we just missed him.