How lucky can you get

Lyssa and Pippi love a good winter hike.

How lucky can you get?

I am extraordinarily lucky.

Pippi always sneaks in a few licks when we are sitting for a photo!

This year my home escaped wildfires, hurricanes, and drought. I have 7 wonderful, happy, healthy dogs and a spouse who at 80 years of age is still in full possession of his faculties. I have friends willing to put up with an abundance of dog hair in addition to my personal peculiarities. I could go on. Yesterday I was also blessed with a day off and perfect weather for a hike in the Sierras. Oh, I also have a terrific camera and I’m starting to get the hang of using it!


Years ago in a moment of unusual insight and overwhelming gratitude I asked my parents whether I had been born lucky or somehow had done something to deserve it. They both replied at the same time- one said “you were born lucky,” and the other said “you deserve it.” So there you have it. Maybe neither, maybe both, but lucky nevertheless.  The truth is out there, maybe!

It was Nina’s idea to go to Wrights Lake, and it what a great idea it was!

So yesterday my buddy Nina had a feeling that Wrights Lake road might still be open even though its the middle of December when everything should be pretty well snowed in, and so we decided to take a chance and check it out. Lucky again.

Who would believe the road to Wrights Lake would be passable in the middle of December!

There was a little snow and ice on the road, but we made it without chains and without sliding off into a ditch! We headed for the open granite where the sun had melted most of the snow, and it was easy walking.  When wandering off trail on the fringe of Desolation Wilderness sometimes the best course is simply to follow the dogs. Following Lyssa is a particularly good choice, and so we did.

Lyssa doing her Rin Tin Tin imitation!

Lyssa took us up the easy way to the top of Wright’s Rock, otherwise known as The Black Cliff. In warmer weather it’s a favorite place for rock-climbers. If you go far enough you can scramble down the northeast side to the Enchanted Pools.

We scrambled up Wrights Rock (the easy way!) and went over the top and down the other side to the Enchanted Pools.

That was the only place where the snow was deep enough to get in our boots, but then we had a nice stroll down the creek, admiring all of the ice and granite sculptures along the way.

Here’s a sample of what we saw:

Winter food for birds and pikas.
Desolation Wilderness
Junipers are experts at surviving in harsh mountain conditions.
Manzanita makes lovely patterns on the rocks.
Small intrusions of harder rock in the granite erode more slowly than the surrounding granite. The result- rock warts!
Nature as sculptor. An icy crevice with a trickle of water is fodder for Nature’s display of experimental ice sculpture.
A fine display of icicles courtesy of a small stream running down a shady spot on the granite.
Eastern estuary, Wright’s Lake
Wrights Lake in December needing more snow.
Someone has been working out!
We’ve never seen the Enchanted Pools looking so full and frozen.