Scotts Flat Trail, and
Craig and Tyler Backhoe for a Pool

(Pictures taken March 7 and posted March 8, 2004)
2004  Herbert E. Lindberg

Sunday a week ago was beautiful (see Edwards Crossing Hike) but this Sunday was even more beautiful, with a warm sun and blue sky. Mary and I decided to explore Scotts Flat Reservoir and the short 1.3-mile trail (2.6 miles round trip) along its north shore. On the way home we stopped to see Craig, Jodie and Tyler in Nevada City.

The reservoir is much as one might expect at 3050 feet, but we wanted to see the camp sites and learn the rules and costs of use. Day use (as we did) is $6 per car up to 4 persons and $2 for each additional person. If we were to bring our boat it would be an additional $5.75 to launch the boat (to help pay for the good-sized parking lot for boat-trailer-car rigs and the two launching docks). They also rent small outboard-motor fishing boats at $8/hr for a 12-foot boat and $10/hr for a 14 foot boat, including one full tank of gas, so for a casual stop to tour the lake it's better to rent. Water skiing is part of the activities and a gas dock is provided along with a small general store open in peak season (Friday preceding May 15 to September 15). All this is at the Gate 2 entrance, which has about 60 overnight camp sites and a picnic area. There are almost 100 camp sites at the Gate 1 entrance but the facilities are more primitive -- no store, boat launch or gas dock.

The trail goes between the gates along the north shore. The scene below is in the Gate 2 recreation area, with Mary looking at the launching docks and the bait, tackle and cold drinks shack behind her. The gas dock is out onto the lake from this shack.

We walked the trail from Gate 2 to Gate 1 and back. The trail takes off, with no sign, from the lakeside corner of the boat-trailer parking area. It's a pleasant walk along an old miner's ditch. As you can see, the trees around the lake are almost all evergreen. Gate 1 and all its bathroom and shower facilities are closed in the off season. The lake is 530 acres in area with a capacity of 26,000 acre feet (average depth about 50 feet when full to the crest of the earth dam, which is at the end of the trail at Gate 1).

Mary scans the lake from the trail.

As we neared the Gate 2 area on our way back, we heard the loud croaking of a multitude of small frogs in the miner's ditch. I zoomed my camera in as best I could to capture one of the frogs croaking away in its high pitch. I hadn't realized how much they puff up their cheeks to provide the air for their croaking, in much the same way a bagpiper blows up his bag and plays while he squeezes on it to maintain pressure.

Frog with cheeks and jowls puffed up to make a series of croaks.

Side view of the same frog.

We completed the trail back to the parking lot and then drove to Craig's. It was 25 miles from our house to the Gate 2 parking lot and about 10 mile's back to Craig's. We didn't know if they would be home or not, but I figured on this sunny day Craig would be working on his yard. Sure enough, there he was digging and dumping dirt around with a backhoe, a $200/day rental. Everything was going fine but a serious complication is that at the depth in these pictures their main water line from the well, and the sewer line to the leach field, were uncovered. These lines have to be moved or dug deeper into the ground, either way with lots of pick and shovel work.

Craig digging a base for a Doughboy swimming pool.

Another view to the show pool location.

Tyler put in a two-minute unprompted posing appearance.

Jodie explains something to Mary.

Later, Tyler got up on the backhoe with Craig and actually did some driving, scooping and dumping. Below he dumps a load while Craig sits with his arms folded.

Tyler dumps a load onto a new flat area being made with dirt from the swimming pool hole.

Tyler stayed on the backhoe with Craig for about 15 minutes. Craig did what little more he could without disturbing the exposed pipes and then got ready to turn the backhoe back by driving it down to the corner of American Hill Road and Old Downieville Road where he was to meet the flatbed truck from the rental agency.

Tyler still likes to pose for the record.

By the time Craig was done I'd finished the beer I mooched from Jodie, and Mary her soda. It was time to drive home after this pleasant Sunday outing.

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