Monday, June 11, 2012

Crescent Lake area

Sunday: A wonderfully bright and sunny day. Long overdue.
Today was exploring day. There are seven campgrounds in the Crescent Lake area. Three are group campgrounds and one is a horse campground. We've been staying in the campground called Crescent Lake. It's the most developed of the group and most convenient to the highway. As a result, it gets the highest amount of use. Today we drove to Spring and Contorta Flat to see what they were like. Spring was much like Crescent Lake but did have some sites right on the lake without having the high bank like Crescent Lake, making lake access much easier.  The paved road ends at Spring. If you keep going for perhaps 3 or 4 miles on a not-too-bad gravel road, you get to the entry road to the Contorta Flat campground.  (The trees in the campground are primarily Lodgepole Pine (Pinus contorta), hence the campground name.) As soon as you turn on the actual road that takes you to the campground, the two lane gravel turns into a very narrow dirt road. The road is wide enough so you won't get the sides of the camper scratched up. The likelihood of someone coming the other way on this road is quite small. Between the gravel road and the lack of potable water,  this campground gets very little use. Tonight it's just us. We're camped directly on the lake with an unobstructed view of Diamond Peak; things just don't get much better then this. We're right here: 43.46178  -122.00742.  If you're willing to take the gravel roads, this is the reward.

 From our campsite
 Keeping warm by the campfire. The trees are primarily lodgepole pine. The tree cover at the Crescent Lake campground was so dense, primarily Douglass-fir,  that the solar panels approached useless. In that respect, this stand of lodgepole is much better.
 A good day for a game of stick.

Diamond Peak

The roving campground host stopped by earlier and seemed surprised to see us. I think his job is sort of like the Maytag repairman.

Old age and poor memory. The older I get, the worse my short term memory gets. Going forward, when I identify, with certainty, a plant or animal, I'm going to write it down. That seems to help me remember.
 This is a Golden Chinkapin. The fruit is covered with a light brown, spiny burr that resembles a porcupine. The nut inside is edible but very hard to get to. However, both chipmunks and squirrels know exactly how to get the nuts and avoid the spines.
 Douglas-fir. When the name of a tree is hyphenated, like a Douglas-fir or incense-cedar, that means the tree is not really a fir or a cedar. Strange!! I mean, if the botanists know full well a Douglas-fir isn't really a fir, why call it a fir? Why not call it what it really is? Or simply admit they don't know?
Ponderosa Pine. This is really a pine tree. No disagreement there.

Saw a Gray Jay, several pairs of Mountain Bluebirds, and watched a Bald Eagle fishing.

 Sunset over Diamond Peak
The  second sunny day in a row. We have a streak going!! It's still just us in the campground much to Gophers delight I'm sure. She gets to roam around as she pleases.  We went walking earlier and came across a seep that forms a small stream that leads to the lake.

Tomorrow we continue on by following the Cascades Lakes Highway.


Russ Krecklow said...

Nice that you are finally getting some sunny days to enjoy! Looks like a great place to be, and again, we've never been to any of these campgrounds. Thanks for sharing them with us. Hope Carol is staying warm. Sure glad Gopher is enjoying the water!

Donna K said...

Beautiful pictures of the lake and Diamond Peak. Might get some rain tomorrow then supposed to be back to just partly cloudy or partly sunny, whichever way you want to look at it!!

Spotted Dog Ranch: said...

Gorgeous country. Am enjoying following along. :)