L is for ..... Lakes
Later, as a thirty-something adult, working in a school library, I discovered Cynthia Rylant's book, When I Was Young in the Mountains, and felt I had come home reading it. By then, I was living in the mountains myself, the mighty Sierras, and raising my own children in a mining town, gold instead of coal.
One of the best parts was how much closer the lakes were, especially the magical Lakes Basin, where I have hiked to at least 26 lakes within a several-square mile area. Just to the east of where we lived in Forest City, we could visit even more isolated mountain lakes, only accessible during the summer months, swimming and kayaking.
I had the great fortune to work as an outdoor leader for a youth program for eight summers from 1998 to 2005, hiking and backpacking into many small lakes, and kayaking on several as well. One of the most magical outings was a two-day kayak trip on Lake Tahoe, staying at a boat-in-only campground.
Group photo on Lake Tahoe two years ago... in the "trip-of-a-lifetime" category. I lived at Tahoe briefly when I was 19, and then my eldest son lived there for eight years while in college and after, so I have spent a lot of time there over the years, however, being on the water, paddling with all our gear, was a completely different experience.
Jumping into Lake Tahoe
Of course, much of our time has been spent at the smaller lakes, enjoying the quest to get there, the swim to cool off, and the privacy of having a whole lake to ourselves.
A smaller pond...
I am not a very worldly person. I have only been to eight other states in my entire 51 years, and my one out-of-country experience was crossing into Canada to see the other side of Niagara Falls. However, I have concentrated on the depth of getting to know this fabulous place in the Sierras where I blessedly landed twenty years ago. I will leave you with this quote from Rylant's book:
....when I was young in the mountains, I never wanted to go to the ocean, and I never wanted to go to the desert. I never wanted to go anywhere else in the world, for I was in the mountains. And that was always enough.
I will be flying from Reno to Salt Lake City tomorrow morning, to meet up with Margene and Carole and travel to Estes Park. I look forward to the travel, the new people, and the wool, and to bringing back a story to share with everyone.