Monday, August 15, 2011

Crystal Basin Trip Report - Day 3 - 8/8/11

          I looked out the window at dawn and saw that there were no clouds in the sky. I decided I would sleep in a few extra minutes and head out just before the sun rose over Tells Peak. The time came and I left the cabin with Sarah still snug in bed.
          I looked around for a good spot but was dissatisfied with all that I found. I stumbled across a patch of Rein Orchids that were tucked neatly among a bunch of Tiger Lilies.

Rein Orchids & Tiger Lilies

          I settled for a spot near some corn lilies and let my thoughts drift as I waited for the sun to cast its first rays.

Van Vleck Sunrise

          Just after sunrise I drove down to the Tells Creek Trailhead and set off on my mountain bike toward Upper Bassi Falls in hopes of arriving before the sunlight. I powered my way to the Bassi Creek Trail turnoff where I once again abandoned my bike. I scrambled down to and then across the creek to the good views of the falls. I was disappointed to see that the Mariposa Lilies were closed up.

Upper Bassi Falls

          I climbed around for a bit admiring different vantage points of the falls and creek.

Upper Bassi Creek Falls

Upper Bassi Falls

Sun Star Over Bassi Creek

          I rode my bike back to the car and then drove back to the cabin where I met back up with Sarah to enjoy the morning. We ate breakfast then slowly packed up our gear and cleaned the cabin.
          About mid day we left the Van Vleck cabin in route to our next destination Wrights Lake. We had planned on visiting Bassi Falls along the way and even drove up the 1.7 miles of dirt road leading to the trailhead. However, when we pulled up there were so many cars in the lot and alongside the road that we thought otherwise. After 3 days of seeing less than a handful of people we opted to avoid the now popular Bassi Falls. I would have expected different midday on a Monday but I guess the cat is out of the bag. We did stop at a pullout along the dirt road to have a quick lunch on top of a peculiarly shaped boulder.

Our Lunch Rock

          From there we drove toward Ice House Reservoir and took a left on FR32(Wrights Lake Tie Rd.) We talked about stopping to check out the "Tea Cups" and South Fork Falls along the South Fork of the Silver Creek by Ice House reservoir but by then Sarah had developed a wicked sore throat and her energy was lacking so we pushed on to our campsite at Wrights Lake.
          Just weeks before we arrived, the campground still had significant snow drifts which equated to damp conditions. The mosquitoes would prove to be relentless. We pulled up to our reserved campsite and unloaded our gear. It took us quite a while to adapt to the busy atmosphere of the campground but eventually we settled in.
          I took a walk down to the Wrights Lake and strolled along the shoreline. There was a pretty cascade on the outlet stream framed by some fairly large lichen strewn boulders.

Wrights Lake Outlet Creek

          I walked out to the day use picnic area to a rocky point that juts out into the lake offering great views all around. I decided this is where I would come to watch sunset and possibly sunrise as well.
          I walked back to camp where Sarah and I continued to fight off mosquitoes. We held down the fort and kicked back under our canopy while Sarah’s symptoms progressively got worse.
          Around sunset I jumped on my bike and rode down to the lake shore where I saw the sun dip behind the trees. I noted to myself to arriv here just a bit earlier the next evening to capture that vibe.
          I rode over to the day use area that I had scouted out earlier and walked out onto the rocky point. Pyramid Peak and the Crystal Range glowed glamorously as the sun sank. The still water of Wrights Lake created dramatic reflections of the landscape.

The Beginning of the Show

Wrights Lake Panorama (Click Image to Enlarge)

Wright's Lake at Sunset

          As the night wore on Sarah continued to feel crappy so we turned in early in hopes of recovery.

No comments:

Post a Comment