Monday, August 19, 2013

Hiking - Grover Hot Springs in Markleeville - August 19, 2013

Monday. A planned hiking day. Peggy, Gail and I were super excited about finally getting to hike to Twin Lakes. But there was a problem ... Or two ... Everything I've read said to not go when it's super hot. Wait till the weather is cooler because there is no shade. The second problem was thet the weather predictions for that area were for thunder storms. None of us really wanted to practice our skills at being lightning rods, so we decided a change of plans was in order.
Peggy and I met at 8:00 then drove up to pick up Gail. We were missing our other hiking buddies, and we talked about them during the drive up. Nothing bad, girls, I promise! (Actually, we talked about how we wished y'all were there with us and hoped Lynn and Mary Ellen both feel better soon!
I sent Conrad a text to let him know we changed our plans. We had decided we'd hike to Eagle Falls and Lake, then hike to Cascade Lake and back if we still had time. His reply read, "Not a good idea, honey. It's raining there now and expected to rain all day." 
So, we decided to wing it. We discussed options and decided to head south to Markleeville. Here's a visual diary of how our day went ...

 Old Webster School House.

 Alpine (or Western) Paintbrush
 Purple Milkweed

 A beautiful thistle! The plant was on its way out, but the blooms were still going strong.
 Neat old machinery and equipment used when they mined for silver.

More Thistles ... 

 Gail and Peggy enjoying learning about the history of this area. 
Here they are in front of the old school house door.
 Red Stemmed Filaree.
Looking into the schoolhouse.

It doesn't take much to fascinate me ... 
 Common Mullein.

 Fun with Snap Dragons ... 
I used Photoshop to manipulate this photo and make the colors pop.
 A California Poppy seed pod.
 An authentic antique outhouse!

 A two seater, no less!

 Reckon this is where the term "Mooning" came from? 
 And then we arrived at Grover Hot Springs Park ... What a view! 
(Even with all the cloud cover!)

 Occupied up until 1959.

 Nope. We didn't see any mountain lions. 
Nor did we see the momma bear and two cubs we were told about.
Gail's having lots of fun shooting pictures with her smartphone!

 Interesting to know ... 

Thistles in various stages

 Here we are at the beginning of our hike. 
Not a long one, but definitely worthy of being called a hike!

 Lots of beautiful thistles

 ... And bees.

 So very sweet ... A heart made of pine cones!
 How often do you see a tree literally growing out of a boulder??

Dwarf Mistletoe

Mary Ellen probably wouldn't have liked this part of the trail ... 
We saw lots of lizards around the rocks and downed trees. 
 Here we are nearing the farthest point of our hike. Not much water in the waterfall, but we all agree we'll come back in the spring when it's flowing strong from all the snow melt.

 A pair of lizards. The male was displaying his colors to attract our attention while his mate made her escape.
 Gorgeous teal markings! Quite the looker, eh?


 What's that?
 Could it be Waldo?
 Where is Waldo? There he is! On the tree stump! Hard to see in this huge forest!
 A friendly California Ground Squirrel.
 What a view! What a day! 

 Another hot mineral spring.

 On the drive home we stopped off to see Silver Lake.

 That's Thunder Mountain in the background. It's called that because when the wind howls atop all the craggy rocks on the top of the mountain, they say it sounds like thunder. It was pretty quiet while we were there.

 Us crazy girls having fun! 

 Gail was worried about her brand new (6th Samsung Galaxy S4 in 35 days!!!) smartphone getting wet!
 She absolutely could NOT stop laughing!

 As you can tell by the shadows, it's getting late in the day. 
Must. Head. Home. Soon. 

Until next time ... 

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