Little Walker Valley
May 7 - 12, 2005

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This trip was similar to "Yosemite & Relief Reservoir Hikes May 19 - 29, 2003" except that we began our trip at Obsidian campgrounds.  We couldn't move to Tioga Pass site in the shadow of Mt. Conness because the pass was still under heavy snow and wouldn't open until mid-July!  We moved to the Yosemite Lakes site where Betty broke her ankle which prematurely ended our vacation.
Here's an overview of our vacation.  We drove East on Hwy 108 through snow-covered Sonora Pass (9,628 ft elevation).  It ends at Hwy 395 where we turned South and drove a few miles to reach the entrance to Obsidian campgrounds.  (Download the pdf for a cleaner map.)
The west side entry to Sonora Pass was spectacular with its greenery, rugged terrain, and snow capped mountains. The summit is covered with snow.
Along the way we saw this strange cloud.  It look like it was from outer space to us.  If this were a painting, I'd say that the artist had to work on making his clouds more realistic.  The locals in Bridgeport say that clouds like these are a pretty common occurrence over the lake.
It's 4 miles of unpaved washboard road into the Obsidian campground.  There were about 6 sites in our area sharing the toilet (more about that later).  Each site has a table and fire pit.  These are primitive campsites without water, garbage, etc.  We bring our own water but the clear fast-flowing stream is nearby if we wanted to filter it. 
Mornings were cold; in the high 20s or low 30s so we were glad we brought our 4-season tent.  We had light rain a few times too.  Most of the days were cloudy and windy.  No mosquitoes, no noise except for the roar of the stream, and only one other couple camping.  Deer visited our campsite at night and when we were gone.  Ikon was pretty good, but he got up several times during the night...guess he wanted to check out the nocturnal visitors.
The day after we arrived, we drove up into the mountains to see what Ikon would think of the snow.  No problem.  He loved chasing the ball.  Then Betty started throwing him snowballs to chase.  These disappear on impact, which made us laugh as Ikon searched for them to no avail.
On Thursday, we drove North on Hwy 395 to the town of Walker.  Near the exit from Obsidian campgrounds is this old ranch.  In the distant mountains, our campsite is on the left.  To the right is the mountain we took Ikon up to play in the snow.
In the town of Walker, we met a fellow who works at the Leavitt Meadows Pack Station near the East entrance to Sonora Pass.  He was trying to drum up some business and offered us a senior discount, so we decided to take a horseback ride. 
Ikon and the horses checked each other out.

Betty mounted up and was ready to ride.  Her horse, "Marge" was the pack station boss' horse.  She was huge.  My horse was "Gilbert."  Both horses were well behaved - except for trying to snatch grass from the trail when we relaxed our guard.

As Ikon is a rescued dog (saved from euthanasia at the pound), we had no idea how he'd behave around horses.  Well, you can see he was totally excited.  Running flat out, he'd zigzag between them, running to the front and then to the back of our procession.  He and the horses got along fine.

His next challenge was the stream.  Without hesitation, (and probably pumped with adrenalin) he jumped in a swam across.

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