A Peaceful Lake in the Woods

August 25 – 26, 2015
Camping trip and hike to Lukens Lake
Total distance: 2 miles

Hiking was on hold this past summer.  Besides planning the wedding, my husband and I spent three months building our backyard living space.  In August, I took a break from the work and hot summer days for an impromptu camping trip with Andrew.

We headed to White Wolf in Yosemite National Park, a first-come/first-served campground.  Arriving late in the afternoon, I questioned whether or not we would locate an empty space.  We did—site #37 that included a fire pit, picnic table, bear box, and was near the restrooms.

Tuolumne Meadows at sunset.

Tuolumne Meadows, beginning the slow fade into night.

Since this was a spur-of-the-moment trip, we did not bring much food.  After erecting the tent and stuffing everything scented into the bear proof locker (lip balm, PowerBait, coffee, etc.), we headed up the road to Tuolumne Meadows Lodge for dinner.

Waiting to be called for dinner.

Waiting to be called for dinner.

At 6:00 our name was called.  We were led into the dining tent and seated at one of the round tables set for eight—a surprise to us since we were only a party of two.  We were soon joined by a man from Pennsylvania and a married couple from Maryland.  After ordering our meals, the topic of conversation revolved around hiking.  Also at the table was a middle-aged mom and her daughter from the Bay Area joined by a septuagenarian woman from Tennessee.  The three of them met in the 1980s at one of Yosemite’s High Sierra camps and continue to reunite each year in Yosemite.

Sunset in Yosemite.

Sunset on the way back to camp.

Dinnertime was an enjoyable experience, and the beef stew was excellent.  As we drove back to camp, the setting sun lit the sky on fire.

Contemplating by the campfire after dinner.

Contemplating by the campfire after dinner.

After a good night’s sleep, we woke to a crisp morning.  The heat of the campfire warmed us while we ate cold breakfast rolls with hot coffee.  We tossed our belongings into the car and drove to the Lukens Lake trailhead.

Trailhead on Tioga Road.

Trailhead on Tioga Road.

This was our third visit to the lake.  Andrew has always done well fishing there.  You can read about our last trip by clicking: Lukens Lake

Heading towards the lake.

Heading towards the lake.

While sauntering through the forest, I noticed many unique trees.

Wondering how long ago this tree was blazed.

Wondering how long ago this tree was blazed.

A tree burl.

A tree burl.

When I got close to the hole, I heard something moving inside.

When I peeked into the hole , I heard something move inside.

Scorched on the inside but still living.

Scorched on the inside but still living.

We reached the lake after a short, one-mile walk.

Approaching the lake.

Approaching the lake.

It was breezy and cold.  I set my chair in the fickle sun while Andrew rigged his fishing tackle.

Inflating the fishing tube.

Inflating the fishing tube.

Shivering, I got up and did jumping jacks to get warm while Andrew floated in the water, bare-chested.  He said it was warmer there than on shore.

Floating

Floating

There was an atmosphere of peace at the lake.  I heard birdsong in the nearby mountain ash, and the scratchy squawk of Steller’s jays.

Mountain ash. Birds love to eat the red berries.

Mountain ash. Birds love to eat the red berries.

Echoing across the water were the taps of a woodpecker drumming a tree.  Unseen frogs croaked.   Pinecones broke from their branches and tumbled to the ground.  The only man-made sounds were the whip of Andrew’s line, and the splash of water as he paddled.

Somewhere up there a squirrel chewed on pinecones.

Somewhere up there a squirrel chewed on pinecones.

Delicate dragonflies chased each other at the water’s surface.  I brought a book to read, but instead gazed at the water, the meadows, and cloudy sky above: the beauty of God’s creation.

Stratocumulus?

Stratocumulus?

Hours passed and it was time to leave.  Although it was cloudy and cool all day, both Andrew and I were mildly sunburned.

Happy to have spent the day here.

Happy to have spent the day here.

This quick trip to the peaceful lake in the woods was a welcomed reprieve from the heat of summer’s days and the backyard work at home.

12 thoughts on “A Peaceful Lake in the Woods

  1. Dad

    Loved the pros and the pics. Great sunset. Did you know that all four dragonfly wings can simultaneously move in different directions? This allows them to fly forward, backward and even upside down. Just a little trivia for you. 🙂
    Dad

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
  2. Sheelah

    Beautiful pictures, Janet! I especially enjoyed the picture “Approaching the Lake”! You really captured the shadows! The information about the dragonfly from your Dad is great too!
    Thank you!
    Sheelah

    Like

    Reply
  3. Terri Brewster

    Janet, what a fun little trip with your son. I love meeting new people over a meal, sounds interesting. Your photos always tell the story and are beautiful. Love the sunset, what an amazing sky.

    Like

    Reply

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