Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Rocks and roots

In the granite areas of the Sierra Nevada, trees have to live on rocky grounds. Often, one finds long roots exposed and stretching out into various directions. The roots of the fallen dead tree in the picture still hold on to a rock on which the tree was standing. (Or is the rock holding on to the tree?) This rock-root association was found in the Mokelumne Wilderness along Grouse Lake Trail just west of Granite Lake.

Getting to the Grouse Lake and Granite Lake Trailhead
From Highway 88 in California, about two miles southwest of the intersection with Highway 89 coming from South Lake Tahoe, take the Blue Lakes Road and go all the way south to the Lower Blue Lake Reservoir. Then, leave the paved road and go north along the east shore of Lower Blue Lake toward Upper Blue Lake. Be careful: this section goes through camping areas and people often cross the bumpy dirt road. Pass the Middle Creek Campground. Then, turn left into the parking area next to the dam of Upper Blue Lake. As soon as you walk over the metal bridge crossing the overflow run, you will see the trail sign. After a short time, you'll cross a creek and will then start hiking uphill to Granite Lake and, if you got enough time and energy (and food and water), much further to Grouse Lake. Watch your steps and don't fall over tree roots!

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