This weekend we are off to "the lake". That is Lake Madrone, a tiny lake made by damming one of the feeders to Lake Oroville. Lake Oroville is a reservoir and a recreational area in the Sierra foothills of Northern California. It is a three and a half hour drive from home, traffic permitting.
Last November I took some photos to show to the good folks in blogville. I bring them to you now (dial up and limited computer access this weekend will make posting challenging). The pictures are fairly dark, click on any one to see better clarity in a bigger version.
This is the first thing you see when you get to the lake. It is the Lake Madrone Inn. I don't think it has been operational in the 14 years I have been going to the lake. This is Butte county. You know when you are in Butte county because there are signs announcing the end of emergency call boxes in the highways. It is a poor and very rural county. The businesses along the highways seem to struggle and change hands frequently.
A few years back, they decided to make Lake Madrone a gated community. The entrance has a country club feel to it. Good thing we arrived in our Mercedes! (well, our 1979 Mercedes with 240,000 miles, but it proudly runs on 100% biodiesel).
At a break in the trees you can look up to the top of the lake. It was a foggy day. I love fog. It is romantic and ethereal and mysterious *. The redwoods in the distance are topped with a layer of fog that looks like gauze strung in the sky.
Across the lake is the ski beach. This is where the locals gather on holidays for community picnics. The water is very low here. Since this is not a natural lake it accumulates a lot of silt. The water comes from Sierra snow melt and brings whatever it collects along the way.
* Fog is NOT romantic and ethereal when you are driving at freeway speeds. Then it is scary and dangerous. Smart people stay home in thick fog. Around here it can get thick enough that you can't see two car lengths ahead of you. Bad! Stay home.