June 21, 2007
Not wanting to push myself too hard after a recent
I have selected a 3-mile jaunt to a new destination. Once
again, the temperature is in the high seventies at the trailhead —
a bit warm for comfortable hiking.
First glimpse of Shealor Lake
After surmounting the ridge, the downhill section reveals some nice flowers despite the hot sun.
The Paintbrush are brightly colored today
Incense Cedar Mistletoe, fallen from a tree
There is something new on every hike. Doubtless this meticulously constructed cairn was created on a cooler day.
An elaborate trail marker
Good swimming today
A short cross-country scramble reveals the second lake, which is but a pond.
The second lake/pond
A third lake is out of sight in the distance, well downhill, and there is no trail. I believe I'll forgo that one and head back.
My cleverly selected return route
The only running water in the area
There is a small rock outcropping near the top of the ridge that merits
exploration. Hopping around on the granite slabs is much more fun than
staying on the unremarkable trail, and it might even be easier. The
uniquely shaped tree is my trail
locator — not that it is
A handy landmark tree
On the way up the hill, a nice view of the distant Crystal Range presents itself.
Desolation Wilderness to the north
What a fine view from the hilltop! Together with a brother and a
cousin, in 1962 I scaled the left side of Thunder Mountain jutting up behind
Silver Lake, while we were camping there. The lodge is a good place to
one-person kayaks for the day.
Silver Lake, Thunder Mountain, and an inquisitive hiker
Another explorer goes directly over to that big rock and inexplicably starts poking around underneath it. It's a good thing that no rattlesnake is hanging out there at this time.
§: Touted in some guides as easy, the trail itself really isn't. After a deceptively mellow start, it becomes steep and
rocky — first up, then down. There are a couple of
fairly rough spots as well. The route's relative shortness does
make the overall experience easy enough if you take your time.
The lake already is warm enough for nice swimming.