My wife and I decided to head up up to Spanish Lake and repeat our first backpacking trip we did together two years ago but this time with two mini dachshunds and over four days. Our car was the first at the Crown Valley Trailhead that Friday and we saw only one set of tracks that had gone in before us. The three creek crossings were easy and there were only a few trees down we reached Statham Meadow. We had before zig zagged our way up the hill to reach the trail that was on the ridge (that was supposed to start one mile before but was non-existent eventhough a sign was on a tree) but knew there was a trail at the far east end of the meadow. We followed what we thought was the trail to the main trail but soon learned that we were on a cow trail heading wherever cows go. Before long we ended up at Little Spanish Lake and just had to follow the ridge over to Spanish lake. But by this time, the off roading was starting to take a toll on the dogs. They can walk the trails just fine but bushwacking is not for them and their little legs. So on a few stretches, up on our neck they went. Finally we made it to Spanish Lake and had our choice of where to camp since no one was around. By 6, the dogs were fast asleep in their doggie sleeping bag I made for them and my wife and I were off to the lake to catch the rising rainbows.
On Sat, I decided to venture alone up the creek that fed Spanish Lake up to Twin Lakes. It was straight up the hill but before long the bigger of the two lakes greeted me with little brook trout rising everywhere. Every cast I had with my spinning rod and Kastmaster I either caught one or had a hit. Nothing bigger than 8" but they were beautiful. Headed up to the higher Twin Lake and caught the biggest fish of the trip: a 10" brook. Headed back down and saw the creek full of rainbows trying to spawn. They were easily spooked but would take a red fly if you could sneak up on them. Got back to camp and the wife and dogs were enjoying the sun. And eventhough we filtered the water for the dogs and put it into their bowl, they seemed to like the water straight out of the lake or creek.
Sunday was another chill day. Fished, relaxed, found fire wood and saw our dogs go from dirty to real dirty. Our one doxie loves laying on her back in the sun but of course did not lay on the blanket we brought. Before long she turned from a brown-red to a brown-black-gray and off to the lake she went.
Monday, we got up early and followed the trail that we were supposed to follow coming in. Trees were down everywhere and the trail in some parts was very hard to see. We ended up following a cow trail down to Statham Meadow, again off the main trail. But once accross the meadow, the trail was easy back to the car. At the trailhead, our lone car now had eight buddies, so a lot of people had gone in somewhere on the trails.
Temps were mid 50's during the day and high 20's/low 30's at night. Two other groups came into the lake Sat but were fairly quiet. At the parking lot, we did talk to two guys that had just went to Tehipite over the four days. Said the trails were full of downed trees but Tehipite was well worth it.
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Wow that's amazing that the creek crossings are doable this early. This is indeed a dry year. I remember being turned back by the first of those crossings much later in a year.
Since my fishing (etc.) website is still down, you can be distracted by geology stuff at: http://www.fresnostate.edu/csm/ees/facu ... ayshi.html
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