Monday, August 16, 2010

Morning light

Early morning light in the campsite - enough to read by. John McPhee's book, "Assembling California" is a fascinating account of geological explorations of California. It explains why we have gold here, what serpentine rock is, and why we have earthquakes. The route up to the Yuba Pass area traverses all the zones discussed in the book.

We decided to take a hike from the Tamarack Lakes area over a high trail pass, then down to the Sardine Lakes. Jasmine fetched sticks and had a vigorous swim:

Lilly John

The ladies in green amongst the wild flowers watched and chatted about bunnies.

A shocking turn of events happened as we started on the trail and Jasmine was attacked by one of a pair of Malamutes. Her face and ear were torn, but there was no heavy bleeding. We pampered her over the rest of the hike, and John and I dropped back as we let her rest in patches of shade. Her age (now 10 years) started to show as she slowed the pace. The extreme rockiness of the trail was hard on her paws. The route was about 4.6 miles - up about 700 feet, then down about 800 feet.

It's a long way down to the lakes - Lower Sardine on the left and Upper Sardine on the right. The trail comes out at about 7500 feet of elevation, well below the peaks beyond. We passed the "Young American" mine ruins below the trail. The trail began to look more and more like a narrow mining trail suitable for ore carts. Across the valley with the lakes are the Sierra Buttes. On the tip of the highest peak is an old fire lookout station:

We returned to "Camp Rutabaga" hot, dusty, torn and worn.

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