Getting Lost in the Woods with SCMTA.2013

A group (18) of us went car camping in the heart of Plumas Eureka State Park with awesome hikes every day. On the day that we went to Sierra Buttes to the Fire Lookout (starting at Packer Lake ending at Sand Pond Lake) there were a few amusing mishaps. A car shuttle was needed which can be tricky but we're smart and finally figured it out. With a little sidetrip of following the wrong lead car into a cemetery..oops. (maybe we aren't all that smart). Back on track, parked where we were supposed to, and at the trailhead, we started up an endless hill. Two decided to turn around and spend the day at Packer Lake Lodge where our cars were parked as the altitude was bothering them. The rest of us carried on, the trails weren't well marked so we occasional scratched our heads, deciding which way to go but as we all know when in doubt, go up. Finally we reached our destination and even climbed the 152 really scary stairs up to the Fire Lookout discovering we were on top of the world! The views were absolutely stunning. We could see Upper and Lower Tamarack Lakes, the Sardines Lakes and Sand Pond Lake our final destination. Worth the effort!

Lunch time and then we started down – one group took off (not enough food?) and the rest took a little time to get going (cookies, cookies and more cookies). The second group stayed on the right trail but could not find the junction for the last part of the hike to Sand Pond Lake, they finally gave up and walked down to the parking lot deciding to drive to Sand Pond Lake…a little irritated with the first group for not waiting at the junction. The first group actually missed a turn and ended up on a lovely trail that lead them to a different parking lot but it was on the same road so they hitchhiked back to their car and drove down to Sand Pond Lake. This leaves the 2 hikers who stayed at the Lake Packer, in trying to find them a nice man (who had gotten to know them) said that he had to go get his daughters at Sand Pond Lake and would gladly give the ladies a ride. Hollering across the lake we found the two relaxed ladies, relayed the message about their ride and everyone went their merry ways.

No one ended up hiking the last leg to Sand Pond Lake, everyone drove. The two bathing beauties scurried to get their ride but the guy had already left, they talked somebody else into driving them to Sand Pond Lake where the second group was waiting and assuming the first group had found the illusive trailhead and would be hiking to Sand Pond Lake but what a surprise when a little later the first group showed up driving their car! Everyone had stories to tell and a big laugh.

The next day was the same we started out hiking as a tight group but soon people stopped at one lake or another, taking pictures, swimming or some simply walked down early…we are an impossible group to manage but very fun. Like walking with ping pong balls…. I can't wait for next year!

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