Sunday, June 13, 2010

Otay Lakes, East Side Trail (#12)

June 7, 2010 -
Today I went back to Otay Lakes (see hike #3), this time using the northern end as a launching pad for my hike.

Initially I had planned on trekking up the west side of the lake because it was easy to see that there was, indeed, a trail on that side.

From my starting point (top picture), looking east along the shoreline (next two pics), there really didn't appear to be much of a trail in that direction.

I decided I'd be adventurous and poke around a little bit to find out, one way or the other. I'm glad I did - I liked what I found.

Not only was there a trail - there was a nice trail that just kept getting better.

The path stayed fairly close to the shore for awhile, eventually veering up and away through grassy meadows overlooking the lake.

I walked and walked and walked, enjoying myself and thinking I would probably make it all the way to the dam on the south end.

It was a beautiful day, and the sun was out in full force. I started wishing that I had gotten an earlier start about the time I realized the trail was going to be longer than I thought.

There turned out to be quite a few inlets on on that side of the lake that forced the trail to zigzag east and west. Very beautiful... but sure was getting hot.

Then finally we (Wilson, my Bolivian walking stick, and I) found a turn in the trail that we weren't too happy about.

The path turned due east and seemed to be headin' for the hills. Probably just another inlet trail, but it was going to be a long one.

I asked Wilson what he thought. The expression on his face said it all. See for yourself! He was tired.

While not the least bit tired myself, I was just getting too damned hot. Sooo...

...we turned around and head back.

On the return trip we discovered that I wasn't the only one reacting to the heat. Seems like the hot sun stirred up the rattlesnakes a little bit. Each of the three times that the rattles sounded their warning signals near me I improvised a different coping strategy. I'll spare myself the embarrassment of telling you what they were - its enough to know that I made it back alive.

Eventually, after about two hours of hiking and dodging rattle snakes, we arrived back to our starting point where we met a few mountain bikers. One of these fellows came right out and said, "Don't you have a dog? You should bring a dog with you. There's a lot of rattle snakes out there you know?!"

Our final view at the lake before we left was that of the U.S. Women's Olympic Rowing Team out practicing on the water.

It really is a beautiful lake with a lot going on. We'll come back again (in cooler weather) to walk the west side.


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