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
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
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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