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Monday, July 8, 2013

A quest to paddle: South Lake to Lake Mary - "No pie until 10 AM"

 The road to South Lake.
 The Parcher's Resort website reported water levels on South Lake were low but that the landing was still open and that they were renting boats. Seemed like a good location for us to paddle for the first time this summer.
 I had hiked past South Lake several times from the nearby trailhead and was looking forward to paddling this lovely body of water. It would have to be another year. Parchers did have some boats for rent. They were located about 300 yards from the boat ramp down by the shoreline.
 This photo of the dam was taken about halfway to the water and below the end of the boat ramp.
 Jan sitting next to the shoreline of South Lake. In a normal year she would be 30 feet underwater. We opted to paddle this lake some other time.
 We drove on to Tom's Place and then up to Rock Creek Lake. RCL had plenty of water but the wind was blowing hard enough to make us wait until after sunset.
 Jan waited patiently for the wind to calm down so we could have an evening paddle. Unfortunately the wind never moderated so we popped up the top to spend the night and have a sunrise paddle.
 At dawn the wind was still blowing so we lashed the canoe on top of the camper and headed for the next lake.
 We stopped at the Rock Creek Resort for a couple of slices of their famous pie. Eagerly anticipating pie for breakfast we entered the cafe where we were told by the manager, "No pie until 10 AM." Two disappointed paddlers walked back to their vehicle. As we drove down the road Jan muttered sadly, "Didn't they have any pie left over from yesterday?"
 Our next stop was McGee Creek Campground to visit something I had wanted to see for a long time, Earthquake Rock. We were usually coming or going along the 395 and would pass it by but on this trip we had plenty of time. Earthquake Rock is the large rock next to the campsite shelter in the photo above. Above it and to the left is the path it took as it slid down the hillside during an earthquake in 1998. More about the rock here.
 After leaving McGee Creek Campground we scouted around for a boondocking site for future use.
 Next stop was Convict Lake but our friend the wind was also present at this picturesque body of water. Three paddling strikes but we weren't out.
 We found calm water first at Twin Lakes near Mammoth.
 Then again at Lake Mary.
After spending several peaceful hours on these two lakes we loaded up the canoe and drove on to camp near a body of water I had wanted to paddle for many years.


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