Jun. 22nd, 2017

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We were sitting having coffee and wondering how to negotiate a forecasted 110 degree day. I suggested we get out of town and drive up into the Sierras, and Malida immediately agreed. I filled a cooler full of ice, water, and fruit, and we headed east.

Our goal was a place called Kirkwood, up highway 88. It is a pretty drive to get there--pretty much the same drive we take to get to all the little gold rush towns in the foothills, but further east. In the winter, Kirkwood is a major ski resort, but in the summer, the area is dotted with a series of meadows and alpine lakes. The area is about 30 minutes from Lake Tahoe, but without all the people. It is a well-kept secret.

We got up there and decided to hike along the May Lake trail, which descends from the highway down into a meadow and some creeks. Normally the creeks are fairly placid. In years past, I used to fish them. Now I just take pictures.

caples creek

This is what one of the creeks looked like today. The water was so high and fast that we could only go about a third of the way in before we lost the trail, so we stopped and watched the water go by and enjoyed the day. It was in the high 70s and just about perfect. We ate cherries.

beard

A selfie. Me and Malida, and my scraggly summer beard. I love not having to shave.

wildflowers

Some wildflowers growing from the rocks beside the trail. Because this place is at about 8000 feet, spring comes late. Amazingly, there is still some snow on the ground.

trail blazer

I taught Malida a little about how to read trail markings. I showed her some blazes carved into bark and some rock piles that help to show the way. And there's always the sign that says TRAIL ---->.

kirkwood

Yonder be the ski resort. It looks like it could be in Switzerland. After this we headed back down the hill and watched the temperature slowly rise. By the time we got to the produce stand about 20 minutes east of where we live, which is kind of the rural boundary, the temperature was reading at 111. We bought some early corn and came home. Tomorrow is supposed to be significantly cooler--maybe 100.
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