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|Our Expeditions Of Independence, Webber and Meadows Lakes
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|Author:||AngelOfThyNight [ Sun Aug 02, 2015 8:52 pm ]|
|Post subject:||Our Expeditions Of Independence, Webber and Meadows Lakes|
Our Expeditions Of Independence, Webber and Meadows Lakes Expedition - 7/25/15
This year I have spent allot of time working with an area just north of Truckee California in the Tahoe National Forest. The area north of Lake Tahoe is perhaps similar to a lost world the area that exist back in here are no easy task to reach which is one of the reasons I enjoy exploring it so much.
I had not done many projects in July spent it relaxing enjoying my time with family but also waiting on my cam to be replaced as it was damaged on our last expedition. We go through allot of gear because were out in the elements, rock climbing, hiking and exploring rough terrain so things do get broken.
Generally I try to improve the cameras and cams we use with each passing year it takes time because were unfunded meanwhile allot of the groups who absolutely do nothing are cash cows which is not really fair to someone like me who puts thousands of dollars into education, science and our research. But I do what I can do and what we do here is strictly volunteer work.
I was very excited to get out to Independence, Webber and Meadows Lakes. Now what most of you may think are just lakes this is not the case. Each of those lakes was home to various historic sites so you get a little of both here which is the great outdoors of the high sierras all the way to some American western history. Everyone thinks that the west was built around the desert but this is not the case at least half of it was built in the sierra mountain range.
This is a newer area I been working with this past year it has not been as abundant with bigfoot evidence but that is okay. I can only take certain areas of the sierra range quadrant by quadrant in search of the strange. Some areas around Tahoe are more abundant with the paranormal others are just great scenic locations to journey at.
More or less these locations are all areas will do second cases at so anything we missed we shall find in the future believe me. These lakes are very offbeat and it does take some effort to get to them. They are not stop along's some paved road you actually have to get in your truck and just traverse the terrain if you want to see these places. That is why its so wonderful to add them to our website because in a sense all of you can be there with me through our works.
I have learned allot about the Tahoe National Forest over the past few years. Despite their are at least 7 other national forest and multiple wilderness areas. It is the Tahoe National Forest that resembles more of a sub tropical jungle to me in a sense. Its extremely harsh, overgrown, rocky and the terrain is steep. Its very unforgiving making it a prime area to seek out bigfoot. But it also makes you wonder how early pioneers and settlers traversed this region. Death was almost imminent at times as the miners from the gold rush passed through this very area and probably seen the lakes the way we look at them today as not much has changed.
Their is something that feels right when you pack up the cooler, backpacks, gear, cams and everything else then take your journey to the open road. Sometimes I do map out our journey very well but if I find roads or something hidden ill explore it spontaneously. I think more paranormal investigators should be adamant about exploring and taking things to a higher level. Allot of groups stick to the pavement and some of them only do houses or cemeteries. I am always going to bring our viewers a variety of cases and locations. They will always change unless we do a follow up at a certain location because some places I like to conduct multiple investigations at.
With allot of our expeditions we get up before the sun comes out grab coffees or breakfast then we cruise the mountains looking for whatever it is we can find. Independence Lake is the site of an old resort/hotel and the Hobart Mills. Webber Lake is also the site of an old resort, stage stop and hunting retreat. Then you have Meadow Lake which is the location of one of the largest ghost towns north of Lake Tahoe although not much remains in its hey day it was truly a beautiful mountainous boom town. So as you can see I was excited to get out and explore.
My first time trying to get to this lake was a horror story OMG! Back in the early Spring I offroaded or tried to in order to get to this lake. You have to understand their are dozens of dirt roads some require jeeps which we have but that does not mean you cant flip, get stuck or end up breaking down it happens TRUTH.
Many of the roads back here are called Independence Lake and if you use a GPS it will take you in circles or an extra 10 to 20 miles out. Then you have roads that are gated so their really was no shortcuts. When I made my first attempt the road was muddy and creeks flowed over it. Their was also allot of snow and ice patches. Hell I could not even stop because if I did id gotten stuck in the middle of no mans land.
So our first attempt here we came up short and that was okay because I told my family I am going to come back in the summer. Therefore I saved my second attempt for the month of July figuring by then it would be drier and the roads would have better accessibility. Even though I found a straight shot to the lake their was a gate that we had to go around to intersect with the main road which was a huge pain in the arse. Sometimes these locations we visit are obstacle courses just to get to them however getting lost back here is normal its a rite to passage and just about anyone who traverse the roads to this lake has that experience at least once lol.
This time though I decided to take a route that would lead me from east to west till I was able to arrive at the shores of Independence Lake. The road though was intense allot of boulders, rocks and at times it was so narrow you could reach out touch the trees lol. Allot of the roads back here were part of a lumber camp so that the lumberers had accessibility to cut down the trees in the 1800's. They are not paved nor luxurious but they take you to various lakes and hidden gems if your brave enough to take them.
When we arrived at the lake their was a nice cozy rustic home near the shore. The individuals who reside there are caretakers of the lake. Since this is a nature conservancy their are many rules you have to follow such as it closes before sunset and unlike the rest of the sierras no camping is allowed. Your really not allowed to go off the trails and much of the fishing is restricted. I would say the lake was so crystal clear that you could see 20' down to the bottom it was NICE real NICE! They have a plaque with some of the photos back when the resort and lumber camp stood here. I always enjoy seeing these old time pictures of forgotten history.
However due to the preservation and conservation here this is known as the hidden jewel of the Sierra Nevada's with its azure blue waters and intense wildlife. I think its great what they are doing because many of the fish species going extinct such as a variety of Lahontan Trout's are being brought back. They are breeding a variety of trout species along with other ones that are no longer found in the sierras. Eventually when the fish get big enough they will put them into other lakes so its an ongoing project and many of the rare fish are highly protected by the US Government.
Out of all the fish found here you can however keep the Salmon which are pretty good tasting fish. Everything here is self sustaining since the last ice age and you probably will not find many of the fish within the lake elsewhere in the high sierras. Just as once a Wolverine was spotted here and well from what I learned hiking here they are more rare to see then winning the lottery in California. But the lake is home to allot of wildlife you wont see elsewhere and they really do not even want you swimming because these fish are some of the last on Earth. Besides the fact that during the drought the past few years allot of the water within this large lake is diverted to Western Nevada.
Allot of prominent folks have been involved with the conservation of this lake that includes senators and even Disney. Their are at least 100 plus bird species found along its shore and was named by an Irish born actress who also took on the name of a very large peak that overshadows the entire lake so that is also pretty cool. She later became the belle of the gold rush and like so many fell in love with this gem. Many well known individuals came back here to enjoy the resort before it met its demise. But today the lake is still well visited its almost a must if your going to extensively explore the high sierras like we do.
I had the honor to talking to a couple young guys from the rustic cabin who told me a bit about the fish here. Honestly the folks that operate this location are very kind they give out pamphlets and their is free boat rentals. They switch off one week its kayaks the other week its motor boats. When we arrived it was kayaks which I had planned on taking out on the water accept that it was very windy out so we decided to just do it another time. I think this one of the best parts about the lake is that you can take out a boat and just explore the unique shoreline.
We decided to hike along the northern shoreline which would take us all the way to the western edge of the lake. At that point the trails truly does dead end as your not suppose to go around the entire lake because its primitive shoreline is off limits and well you can cross the creek your not supposed to because you can contaminate the water these fish are thriving off of.
Along the way is this old historic structure a piece of the brick chimney is on the ground while the wood structure sits atop of this older cobble stone foundation. I am not sure if this was part of Hobart Mills which was a lumber camp that served kind of as a small community or if it was part of the Independence Lake Resort. But the structure had a front and back deck on it along with the old glass windows. It was a little rustic and definitely historical dating back to over a century ago. The property you can visit but it is sealed off to preserve it. Surrounding it are other pieces of historical remnants as well if you look around the woods or near the structure on the ground.
We would hike along the lake visiting various coves more or less the trail was an old logging road which follows the shoreline. Its a bit overgrown but due to that their are allot of butterflies. It was pretty windy but the views are really great on the western end of the lake. When we set off it was pretty cool hell I took a temperature reading from the road to the lake and it was 39 degrees in July if that gives you any idea what its like. Then again when your in the forest at 7k life is a little different!
The hike was serene not one human being I ever seen on it if that gives you any idea of the seclusion back here. The north side of the trail is very steep and overgrown. You hear things like branches breaking at times you think maybe its a deer or a bear. We seen deer coming on in so we know they are back here especially in the morning. It was cool and windy trust me but I had a hot coffee to hike with why not enjoy the simple things in life?
Along the way I seen allot of rare birds and butterflies Tammy made a joke that some of the photos I took in the sierras are better then the ones the forestry or pamphlets give out. They should considering using my photography I spend a large amount of my time perfecting it and that is all due to allot of explorations. Even though I come across many of the same sorts of plants or wildlife I do come across new species as well time to time. So I always document whatever it is I can find and our viewers enjoy the pictures too.
The trail does eventually ascend then it descends back down to the western shore where we met some creek and inlet. I took us through the woods to some hidden cove where we had a nice breakfast on the edge of the lake it was really a nice gem. We sat up on this grass knoll on the edge of the water and had gotten to see allot of rare fish some of them no bigger then an eighth of an inch. But one day those fish will grow to a decent size and hopefully two of the worlds last remaining Lahontan's can thrive once again.
Their was a motor boat that also said the Dept. Of Interior on the side of it appeared this cove was an area set aside for preservation. We seen what appeared to be a small camp, RV, boat then you had some other pieces of equipment. I would assume some of the fish conservation that transpires occurs back in here. I did not hike to the cove ethically as a matter in fact I accidentally was pushing through high brush and woods when I came out here. Funny thing is behind the knoll is a public path leading back out to the main trail but keep in mind NOTHING is labeled. So be wary if you visit here you may get turned around a little with the short foot paths that lead down to the lake.
Eventually we would make our way back not any bigfoot evidence but I enjoy search for tracks in the early AM. We seen a variety of tracks including deer and even raccoon but nothing out of the ordinary maybe a large impression but it was collapsed so I cant say for sure. We would eventually pass by this lagoon where the boats are beached its pretty cool. Just before it you can walk the beach there is sand and rocks great for just going for a stroll. Plus you can view the entire lake nearly from East to West which is a timeless view truly.
I found this abandoned cabin in the woods also it was probably built 30 to 40 years ago I did not go in it but it was hidden in the forest. The roof was gone and it was merely a shell of just wood so I did not mess with it to much because my family was giving me the look like oh here he goes again sneaking into abandoned places lol. I tend to go off allot and go into abandoned structures no regrets considering most of them I been in no longer exist today.
We hiked around to the eastern short line out to some peninsula I did see some swimmers so yes despite what I said earlier you can swim here if your in a designated area meaning the eastern edge of the lake. Because the western edge is set aside for fish conservation and its tributary feeds the Truckee River Watershed its an extremely important site. The independence creek was flowing very steadily also which is quite beautiful with allot of little waterfalls I just love the entire area period its so pristine.
On our way back from standing at the eastern shoreline of the lake some psycho was checking my son out let me change that pervert. I did not see it because at the time I was busy taking pictures and I wish I was filming because id post that nut job on my site and facebook. He said something to my kid we were ignoring him walking past this individual so as we always mind our own unless we meet other couples with kids who are hiking. But this guy was scoping out my kid and giving him flirtatious looks like nodding his head like oh yeah. I mean the guy was smirking, winking and looking at my son like meat. Tammy probably did not say much to me because she knew id probably kicked some ass trust me I do not tolerate this kind of behavior period!
I hate people like that and Tammy did not say anything to me because she knows id whooped that dudes ass whether it was my kid or yours it happened to. When he said something to him I turned around and said to him excuse me he had gotten real scared then was like nice tattoo on your arm. But Tammy did not tell me the rest of the details till we had gotten in the jeep and were heading north to the Henness Pass. I am almost sure this guy was at the lake looking at little kids or maybe to cause harm which we never had an issue in the sierras till we ran across that scum spying on peoples kids because where he was heading there was a group of little girls with there mom so yeah. Tammy felt like when she caught him that is when he was speechless and came up with the nice tat remark because he was really intimidated by me when he seen I was armed and was like excuse me!
My point is folks always watch your kids do not let them out of site even if Independence Lake seems like a harmless jewel your going to get some not so right folks up in the mountains. I know some vanishing's cannot be explained but some of them can be based on creepers like this. Its evidence they are everywhere even in the wilderness and so you do have to be careful. My son is armed id feel sorry for anyone trying to cause him harm as I trained him in combat and vital points. All parents should be prepping their kids to survive no matter what it is because the world we once knew is gone. It sickens me that you cant even be safe in such a beautiful peaceful place because you have to worry that some freak that looks like Booger on revenge of the nerds might be trying to coax your kid into talking to him.
We did make a donation to the conservancy afterall I think they are doing a great job this lake is pristine and the wildlife here is elevated. The resort and lumber camp are long gone but the old stone and wood building on site remains therefore it needs to be preserved since its all that remains of what was once here. The water and electric company also had their hands in this location at one time also but it seems that Sierra Pacific removed their facilities as well from the lake decades ago.
This was a nice location the road heading north was in much better condition then the other road I had taken in. We were not on a journey to reach the Old Henness Pass wagon trail which would eventually lead us from west to south en route to Webber Lake. Today only portions of the Henness Pass Road are paved but mildly as generally not much has changed since the American West first prospectors journeyed on it in the mid 1800's.
Webber Lake & Lacey Meadows
"Webber Lake Hotel & Stage Stop"
When we turned off the old Henness Pass which use to be an old stage route that traveled through California's sierras into Nevada. It was a means for many of the miners during the gold rush to pioneer their way through the range between Gold Country California and the rich Comstock Lode of the Virginia City area. Two mother lodes and a means for the prospectors to traverse them the stage stop or anything historic is no longer around however.
When we begin to head south before we reached Webber Lake we found an old rustic cabin were not sure the history of it but I did make a special stop to check it out. Although it was sealed this cabin was much older then the one I had found up at Independence Lake in the forest. Such cabins may have been homes to some of the early residents in the region or a caretaker of some kind in relation to the resort.
When I arrived at Webber Lake I could barely see it through the trees and along the entire lake are RV's, Trailers and trucks. Their are multiple roads to the lake everyone of them had a gate with a sign that no entry permitted. I knew that the lake access and historic site were off limits till 2017 but little did I know their was an entire community living along its shores.
The lake has very extensive history besides being a private resort it was home to a Dr. Webber and the lodge mainly used by hunters/fisherman for over 150 years is a prime example of one of the earliest private resorts built along this stage route in the high sierras. Dr. Webber stocked this lake which by the way is 100 percent natural not manmade. Early pioneers who came along the Henness Pass often retreated to this resort to hunt and fish. Quite a few prominent individuals also came here to enjoy its azure waters and enjoy its 3000 acre meadow which serves as the watershed for the Little Truckee River.
I went here just to check out the area I honestly do not have many photos or videos but it will go on our site because in 2017 we will be scheduling a tour of the old resort and enjoying the new trails that are being erected around Webber Lake. However Lacey Meadows is open to the public which borders the southern shoreline of Webber Lake as long as you stay 500' away you are allowed to be there.
Through the trees I could see the historic resort but not to its entirety what I did learn is that behind those locked gates is an entire community. Their was children riding bikes, people sipping drinks on a deck, hikers, boaters etc etc it was nice. I cant wait till they open their gates in 2017 more then likely you will not just be able to hike here but you will be able to camp here as well as enjoy the rich history on the north end of the lake. For now all I could do is enjoy it from afar through my lens and through my eyes rather then to physically stand on the shore or on the upper deck to these historical wooded red structures.
We did decide once we could not walk around the lake or go past any of the gates that we would take this dirt road which follows the shoreline leading to this parking area that has some extensive history on the region so that was worthwhile. They also have an old wagon road you can follow which takes you up to Lacey Creek which I had no plans on taking now because I wanted to camp here to explore this area further rather then enjoy bits or pieces of it.
The meadow from afar looked brown even the tributaries that flowed through it. Another meadow on the north end of Webber was much greener called Perazzo Meadows which I seen high up above from the Henness Pass Road. It would appear that both Perazzo and Lacey meadows surround the lake which allow for big open views of the high sierras. There was some little kids who road pass one of the gates and was riding on the local dirt roads near here so be careful folks because their are a ton of kids. I would assume that the individuals who are erecting the trails and renovating the old resort also brought their families for the summer here.
I would leave Webber Lake because almost all of it was inaccessible except for the meadows which had no wild flowers because of the drought. I assume that ill have to come back in the Spring of 2017 if I really want to see all the flowers in bloom before the summer comes. But I want to see this place as a package deal meaning do the Perazzo and Lacey Meadows hike along with the lake shore trail they are erected and maybe get some ice cream once the historic resort is renovated. Its not to often you find an old lodge that dates back to the mid 1800's and I am willing to bet it has some ghost stories but that will come later.
I did leave the Webber Lake area as a few miles southward is supposed to be a parking area that takes you down to Lacey Creek or the opposite end of the meadow. Well I never did find the trail or parking area it was not even labeled at least at Webber Lake they had historical plaques and signs everywhere. I spent allot of time wasted looking for it so next time I am up here ill just hike through the meadows till I reach Lacey Creek which is about 3 miles give or take from Webber Lake.
I would actually go up to Meadow Lake along the way kind of had no choice but to move on so make sure you read the next report. I had to get out to Meadow Lake because we were really running out of time. I spent at least half of our day up at Independence Lake hiking and looking for any paranormal evidence of Bigfoot in the region. When I was done with our Meadow Lake project I did zip right back to Webber Lake for one last hoorah right before nightfall.
When I reached the Lacey Meadows area I turned on the radios told my family to stay back have a snack and relax. They earned it but as far as I was concerned I was far from done with this location. My goal was to head out to Lacey Meadows and at least stand before the southern shoreline of Webber Lake that way we had some content for our website. Because I cant open up a case without any videos or photos so it has to start somewhere. We can always return when it opens and get more media content which I promise everyone we will do because I have had my heart set on Dr. Webbers beautiful historic resort for a few years now so what is another year or two to wait for it to open to the public?
I headed up the old Lacey Meadows wagon trail right away the heavy foliage, large trees and seclusion kind of obscure everything around you including my jeep where it was parked. The road eventually does head SE where it crosses Lacey Creek and a small portion of the meadow. I simply did not have time to make it to the creek I may have if I found the trail head three miles to the south but I never did and nightfall was setting in. Even the moon was looking bright in the sky but the skies were full of beautiful orange hues so it was kind of in between. But once the sun goes behind the mountains it gets dark fast so I did not have much time to finish off this case opener for Webber Lake.
I made a beeline to my east pushing through brush, trees and even hopping logs like a leprechaun on crack lol. I was practically running not hiking through thick foliage and eventually after punching through it all I came right out in Lacey Meadows. If you ever want to feel small stand in the dead center of these meadows surrounded by forest, foliage and vast mountains. Standing in the middle of 3000 plus acres can make one feel very small.
The meadow as brown their was some areas that were moist but generally it was completely almost dry. This is not normal for this meadow its supposed to be very marshy and this time of year its flowers should still be in bloom. But most of the flowers were wilted, dead or brown along with its meadow. However the mountains surrounding it and the lake towards the north were really beautiful at least from what I could see.
Their was a boat doing some fishing on the lake and I could see from this vantage point the resort which resides along the northern shoreline. But it was far away keep in mind I had to stay 500' from the shore while trying to look across the lake at the old historic buildings for me that just would not suffice. Its a beautiful lake but the only vantage point of it was from Lacey Meadows because its heavily covered by the forest. So its hard to say what I seen or did not see from standing in the center of Lacey Meadows. But I did at least reach my goal which was to make my way out to the meadows so I could put the area into perspective.
I set up my tripod in the meadow to take a few photos of me standing there nothing exciting but its important that my viewers try to see how big of an area this is. While I was taking a photo of the moon I heard a series of chilling vocalizations that I could NOT identify. Their was also something moving around the wood line along the meadow walking back and forth. I never felt so watched in my life as something kept breaking branches. The only reason it never came out is I was a few hundred feet out in the middle of this meadow which is a large open expanse therefore not even a mountain lion would dare to reveal its position by crossing the heavy wood line let along Bigfoot.
People who are out in this region alone disappear so even I have to be vigilante when I am on my own. I did keep in touch on the radios with my family just to keep them posted. Generally if I go off on my own I get a bit side tracked like a big kid get wandering and exploring it always happens lol. On a good note I took some great moon shots and of the local scenery. Standing within the meadow allowed me to see what I have to look forward to when this area opens in 2017.
Anyhow, lets get back to the vocalizations during my moon photography I heard bellowing vocals over and over. Did not even think to film it at the time because I dismissed it as an animal at first. But then after they continued and all the geese to the south where the meadow is more wet begin to all fly off before dark I knew something big startled them. Its much like the shark theory when a big shark moves in an area all the smaller ones clear the way or any fish who might be prey. I have also found this to be the same with Bigfoot as during the evening when it comes out of hiding generally if its nearby you will not find any deer, bird life or other animals. It sounded like something woke up from its nap and was just a mile or two away in the forest along the meadow was it bigfoot? What was moving around along the tree line near me?
It was almost dark had to hike alone back to the jeep it was very eerie back here. My son when I seen him was like dad did you hear that I was like yeah dude I was standing in the meadow when the vocalizations cut through me. I believe that for a first case this is something we can now work off of and check further the meadows tributaries for any strange tracks in the future.
We will return here when the entire area opens in 2017 so state tuned because I plan on doing a major second expedition here. For now will post it on our website and will build off of our first visit so that others can wait with anticipation. It seems like most of folks who are currently staying on the lake shore are a bit protected with fences and gates. But once you live the lake its nothing but woods, cliffs, meadows and offbeat streams to nowhere. Anything and I mean anything could be back in here so its definitely worth a more in depth research project in our future. So keep an eye out for this location and of things to come because this place I guarantee will be great for ghosts at the old resort and bigfoot searching on the outskirts of it.
Meadow Lake California
I was very excited to visit Meadow Lake not only is it a beautiful reservoir but its also the site of a remote ghost town. When you visit these locations you never know what you might find at these places. This is a ghost town that not only resided along the shoreline but also was very extensive within the national forest.
As we left Webber Lake behind we begin to head SW and I must say its very breathtaking scenery as you enter this canyon full of rocky cliffs. Its a very forested road their are other roads that you can take as well but trust me if you leave the main wagon road to the town site you could end up screwed.
I know because I turned off at a jeep road which heads along these cliffs above Meadow Lake only on the primitive eastern shoreline and my GPS tried to take me right off a cliff. Keep in mind that their are multiple Meadow Lake Roads but their is only one main one you should take. The same with Independence Lake their are multiple roads with the same name but only one of them is a better road the rest are jeep OHV roads.
I had no idea that this road would not connect with the road on the other side of the lake. I stood up on a cliff seen people with jeeps on the shoreline and kids swimming. But I could not get over there because the jeep road I was on kept ascending higher and higher as the lake was getting further away. I had to drive over boulders and push through a road that was so narrow some foliage was ending up inside the jeep windows lol it was like a safari.
To make matters worst I had to turn around and perform a 20 point turn on this cliff because any further down the road spelled doom. It was obvious due to the fallen trees and giant rocks this road had not been used in years. Even the plant life was growing a few feet tall down the middle of this trek and with it being so harsh we kind of had no choice to take it so far before I could turn around then backtrack.
I came out on the old wagon road which actually takes you along the top of this ridge looking down to your left over a cliff at the lake from afar. This is the only area of Meadow Lake where you can see at least five to six beautiful prestigious peaks of the sierras. Once you get down to the reservoir your so deep down in the basin that the woods and steep hillsides kind of obstruct any view you might have of the sierra mountain range.
After you reach the top of the ridge line you began to ascend as the road works its way down to the bottom of the lake basin. Despite the steep descend a couple miles down to the bottom this lake is one of the highest in the region residing at about 7'300' in elevation. When you get to the bottom of the basin you are literally driving right along the shoreline. You start off meeting up with the north shoreline which has an awesome beach but the water is low like most of the lakes in the area then you follow the road to the SW till you reach the town site as well as historic dam.
We traverse the road for about a mile after slowly enjoying the shoreline I believe I found us a few wonderful campsites right along the shore next time I decide to visit here and camp. As some of you know sometimes I hike and offroad so I can scope out future camping sites if and when I decide to do a much more in depth research project. I like how the woods reach almost to the beach and you can pitch a tent along the two of them. That allows me to fish, hike, explore the ghost town and enjoy the beach all at the same time.
One thing about this location is that its very remote and you wont find many people back here. Its generally for those with Jeeps or all terrain vehicles. Their was a few jeep clubs back here generally the same groups that traverse the Rubicon trail up by Loon Lake where we went in June of this year. The road to the lake is so so but like I said leave that road and you will find out that you could get struck or even roll your vehicle as these roads are the real deal.
When you follow the lakeshore you will come out in this open area this was downtown of Meadow Lake and their are a few trees but not many. The site has a historical plaque which talks about the history of the town and the boy scouts also carved a wooden plaque to commemorate the town itself. This town was amazing it has over 80 saloons, ferry, 4000 plus residents, post office, over 500 mining claims, eight stamp mill, 9000 sq foot plaza, newspaper, brothels, six breweries, school, stock exchange and over 200 businesses. Their was well over 500 structures and today 99 percent of them are gone the rest remain hidden deep in the forest. The town had a grid like system for its streets and today they are now used by jeepers to offroad because back in the day all you needed was a horse. Prior to being named Meadow Lake it was called Summit City.
At the town site also seems to be a focal point for swimmers, jeeps to converge on the beach and people bbqing. Its a friendly little atmosphere and people back here are really nice. Generally I find out that most of the folks in northern Ca that I offroad with or hike along are pretty genuine people who love the outdoors as much as I do. At least that is where we have allot of common ground and I meet all sorts of good folks on my journeys just exploring.
The town site had a few roads that kind of split away from the lake into the national forest. I decided to take the road to my right their are warnings but it did not seem to bad at first lol. This road was supposed to give me access to the cemetery of course I read on the plaque that the towns founder was buried here as he became a hermit once Meadow Lake when bust living here by himself like a recluse and dying the very location he came to love.
I never did find the grave I know I was in the right area but once you leave the lake the roads go everywhere. You have to understand that their were dozens of operable mines and some of those roads led to them. They were not friendly roads they were meant for ox wagons. While other roads may have been for residences or business during the 1800's. No matter what it was so hard to know where to go or what to explore. I never once seen in the forest above the lake a single foundation or evidence a town even existed here. I never did find the plaque although where I had the cemetery marked I did see a car not sure how they made it back here but they did so maybe that was it time will tell when I camp this year or next here and can hike it in on foot.
I took this jeep road for a couple miles after it began to steeply ascend in some canyon I had to turn around again on a cliff turn it around and climb all the way back up to the lakes ridge line. This road was bad their was areas that had massive gouges taken out and crevices. If you did not go over them right or around them proper you knew you were either getting struck or going to roll the jeep. My son covered his eyes the entire time because imagine your going straight down then all of sudden after to cross this massive 3' deep pit in the road then another then another at various angles which causes the jeep to lean to the left along the edge of a cliff. I even seen photos on a facebook page of someone riding there jeep between to mine shafts filled with deep water along these steep angles that is crazy but that is the type of terrain your going to find here.
I did take another jeep road which was more level not as steep which took me to a private pond and you could see some clearing where homes may have been but are no more. I found that if your willing to traverse the roads back here your going to find evidence a town once existed and I did to a certain degree. I did not have allot of time because it was almost sun down and I still had to make a return trip back to Webber Lake to finish up some photography of Lacey Meadows. So I ended up deciding to visit Meadow Lakes most prominent historical site which is the dam on the south side of the lake itself.
As I followed the road to the south again it split up three different directions we took the road in the middle as one veered off to the dam the other went to a hidden lake and another went into the forest which may have been part of another residential area not sure though. We parked in this clearing in the woods not to far from it was another hidden pond which had frogs and turtles in it. I just love this whole area because everything you explore reveals a little something. Also before you get to the dam if you look through the woods there is a couple smaller peaks and overlook areas. When I camp here ill rock climb to the top so I can get good scenic shots of the lake and the dam below. Since they are so rock I expect to find some dens, caves or rock shelters here. From the research I did there are quite a few mines some are accessible that is if you can find them they are well hidden.
We would rock climb on the back side of the dam then eventually work our way towards the top of the dam. The dam itself is old 1850's time period so it Meadow Lakes largest historic site and feature. The dam has been coated on the lake side with layers of concrete and cement. However if you pay very close attention on the backside is fine masonry work with mortar and native stone. Its a work of art every single rock is tightly fitted together but you can tell the dam was reinforced at some point in time. We would traverse this dam which has a serpentine shape making it one of the most unique dams I ever visited.
On the dam Jarrod actually kicked a few rocks and had gotten them to skip over the water below. That kid has some talent but he also found in some pipe a bunch of bullfrogs staring at us lol. My son does not miss a beat when it comes to finding things exploring but at least he is doing what all boys should do or that dream of doing.
We walked the entire dam across the southern shore to the eastern shore. You could literally stare straight up to the top of these hills and see where I started off offroading on one of the jeep roads. We had to climb down from the end of the dam it was steep but doable. I was not sure if we would be able to get up on top of it again but their was an area within the dam that had a levee made out of stone or at least area the water could flow through. It was just this narrow channel in case the lake water were to get to high it could flow out from this channel and into the creek behind the dam itself as some kind of back flow emergency feature. I have to give the masons credit their creation still stood strong and today this dam is fully operable.
We finally made it to the eastern beach which is primitive their is no camping, hikers or jeeps because its very hard to get to. We laid back on the beach enjoying the breeze and the calm water the sun was beginning to set as we faced westerly. Their was also across the lake jeepers gathering and a bunch of kids swimming this was a beautiful place. The water was so clear and blue not as clear or blue as Independence Lake but it was still pure. The water that is harnessed here actually feeds into some of the local communities in the Sacramento Valley so it is a vital lake.
We had a nice little dinner along the lake I even brought the grill for hotdog's and southern potato salad. I like sometimes to grill and bring a nice meal for our trips. Although I am not happy with the forestry they are cutting down on rules meaning they want propane only no charcoal and fires have to be in designated areas. Just a few years ago rules like this did not exist but with the drought and careless people they are really staring to stricken your cooking policies. Even though I put out my fire and maintain it how many folks do? People are ruining it for others especially someone like me who is constantly working towards the preservation of these sites.
After I toked one up on the beach and day dreaming for awhile we headed back to the jeep I had gotten a bit of everything in all the way from hiking, extreme offroading and historical research. I also had gotten to pick a few camp sites next time I come here. Whenever I hike somewhere if I really deem the location special ill come back to camp. My plan is to camp there this year or next on the beach at the edge of the woods near the town site. That way we can do a full ghostly investigation of where downtown use to stand, fish on the lake and have access to hiking on the outskirts of the lake. Their is a peak will summit and we will visit the hermits grave next time we are here so I have big plans for this place and hopefully if we can traverse on foot to some of the smaller ponds found near the lake we can also turn up some good bigfoot tracks too.
This place offers everything I cant see wanting to camp anywhere else but here in the future. This was just an opener case the second expedition will focus on the area much more in depth. We did however manage to cover more then half of the lake shore, explore the dam area, town site and took a few jeep roads. I look forward to seeing more or at least what little remains. I believe allot more remains to be uncovered and it is possible that if I can find some underground mines they might be good prospects to find bigfoot evidence. As some of you are aware caves and mines are good dwelling areas for these creatures so they could leave behind their DNA or some other crucial piece of evidence.
Its going to take me camping here getting out there with my backpack and just journeying to find some of these hidden sites around Meadow Lake. Their is a hidden creek you can follow for about three miles to Fordyce Lake which is very remote but could also hold some Bigfoot prospects and even French Lake. So we have plenty of places we can explore in the future when we do a camp out here contact me for details if you wish to join me! The sky is the limit here I found this one basin near Meadow Lake that actually has 30 small bodies of water which if you have done your research then you know with that heavy of a water table increases the chances of finding a Bigfoot like creature of evidence that it exist here five times higher then any other area. Wherever their is allot of seclusion, ponds, lakes, flowing water and wildlife your going to find these creatures. So I am already mapping out really good areas surrounding the ghost town and this lake for us to conduct more in depth scientifically based research in the future.
Although I did not witness the paranormal here when you drive along the top of the ridge looking south at the lake from above one can see for a 100 miles through this massive canyon many peaks in the distance including quite a few that tower over the lake basin. Not much has changed the wagon roads are still that old wagon roads. Their is no amenities here and the town has been wiped off the map. I am not even sure how so very little remains this was a big town that had laughter in the night while the shores were lit up with lamps where lovers took strolls and miners who left the Comstock held on to dreams of striking it rich. The gold found here was abundant but they had an issue trying to process or separate it from the ore.
I have seen albums of what remains of the town and mostly all that remains are a few piles of wood maybe stones from some kind of structure. Its hard to tell if they are part of some small miner cabin or some mine nearby so again ill have to revisit and do further extensive research. Do not confuse this ghost town of Summit City with the Summit City found near Blue Lakes in the Mokelumne Wilderness. Although they share the same name they are in two different regions of the high sierras. Its hard to believe so much is gone it hit me really hard left me wondering what happened. I realize that this town has been blasted at times with 30' of snow and intense storms. But to have nearly 500 structures disappear is almost unheard of with any ghost town. Generally you find some foundations or remnants of the town. My favorite one was the dam which is one of the oldest in the sierras of California. When this dam was built others followed and many reservoirs were built around the same time so it is historically significant in that sense.
All in all we had a great day I seen allot of nature, birds, butterflies and flowers. I traversed three lakes all the way from Independence, Webber and Meadow Lake. I am excited about what the future holds with these three locations. I plan on revisiting all three locations more in depth these are just opening cases so we can get them on our site then take down reports from others who had paranormal experiences then put it all together and do a second expedition where we can spend time at these locations. All three lakes hold many gems if your willing to explore just remember the adventure begins when the pavement ends. I had spent the day hiking in meadows, offroading at the top of mountains and walking beautiful scenic beaches. Not allot of folks know about these places but we can only hope by unveiling them to the public that everyone can learn about them and appreciate their serene beauty. I feel were all in for a treat in the future much more remains to be seen!
PS This is a rough draft subject to change as it well be logged onto our site in the future along with any media, photos, videos, history etc etc
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