A View from Sierra County

Small town life and politics, lots of knitting, and travels with and without my five burros

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Location: In the Sierra Nevadas, United States

I blog about rural living and social issues, and the creativity that comes from knitting, as well as post random pictures of the Sierras and my burros. "In order to be an artist, one must be deeply rooted in the society" - Simone de Beauvoir


Wednesday, June 14, 2006

L is for ..... Lakes

Although I was born and raised in the teeming metropolis of Sacramento, I have always been a mountain grrl at heart. My earliest fond memories were of family trips to the surrounding lakes, and, later, camping and canoeing with my dad (Mom didn't "do" camping, and probably rejoiced at the break from all of us).

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.


Blogger margene said...

Oh yes, there is nothing like being in the beauty of the mountains. That is what brought us together in the first place as you said.
TOMORROW! I'll be able to give you a hug and bring you into my very humble home. Being with friends is the BEST!

9:51 AM  
Blogger Sarah said...

Have a great time!!! I am envious of all the people going to Estes Park and meeting all our virtual friends.

Don't buy too much yarn and give Margene a hug for me!!!

9:57 AM  
Blogger Sara said...

Have a great time, take your chapstick and handcream! We think it's dry here, boy howdy, it's drier there. Say hi to Cathy and Anne, the only people I've met in person in your entourage.

11:08 AM  
Blogger Jennifer said...

Have a wonderful time!

1:07 PM  
Blogger Ruinwen said...

I enjoyed your pictures!

Have a safe and wonderful trip!


2:37 AM  
Blogger Kathy said...


I had a very rough day yesterday and just seeing your post today was a relaxing thing for me. Thank you. I am a lake girl myself. THe Northwoods of Wisconsin is my favorite spot on earth. 30 more days....
Traveling MErcies...

6:30 AM  
Anonymous SpiderWomanKnits said...

Have a great time at Estes! Say 'Hi' to Carole for me :-) She and I just met at our local festival (Cummington, Ma) such a nice person.

What a beautiful post by the way. I love that group shot!

7:43 PM  
Blogger Cody said...

My dear mother, I miss you already and I hope you are having a wonderful time with your friends. Don't worry, I will be back at the Lake soon enough. Then you can have an awesome excuse to be there more. And Spider is right, that group shot is awesome. Love you

7:12 PM  
Anonymous Anil said...

Lovely, lovely pictures. Nothing can beat the mountains.

3:52 AM  
Blogger KnitNana said...

As always, just Amazing Photos! Have a wonderful time at Estes! Can't wait to hear all about it...

6:53 AM  
Blogger green-eyed grrl said...

i love cynthia rylant too

10:55 PM  

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