Friday, July 8, 2011
Yesterday’s adventures consisted of two hikes! We are really getting into this whole vacation and exploration thing.
I was told by a friend about two small lakes near Applegate Lake in Applegate, Oregon. The lakes are called Big Squaw Lake and Little Squaw Lake. Chris and I decided to go check them out and do a little hiking.
We headed out and found our way to the Applegate Dam and across the lake. We knew that after we got across the dam it was an 8 mile road up to the hiking trail and Big Squaw Lake. What we did NOT know was that 6 miles of the 8 mile road were a twisty, turny, tight, single lane gravel road. Uhm, did I mention that we were in my little Nissan 300 ZX? Yah.
I was driving. I do NOT like driving on gravel roads, let alone twisty, turny, tight, single lane gravel roads with big drop offs on the side! It is not a strength of mine. I may have many strengths, but that is not one of them. However, I did it anyway. I was a nervous wreck and totally sweaty by the time we got to the top, but I managed it either way.
Chris said he saw *another* bear running up the hillside above us, but I was too busy trying to not drive off the edge of the road to be looking around for bears.
Once we got to the top, it wasn’t difficult to find the trail path and head out around the lake. It is not very big, but it is very beautiful.
Apparently, there is another trail that leads off of the main path to take you up to Little Squaw Lake, but we never found that path. Even after we got home and looked at some better maps we aren’t sure how we would have gotten there from where we were at. Oh well, it gives us a good reason to go back and try again.
The Lakes have camping, but it is pack in, walk in only and no motors on the lake, either. Very quiet and peaceful. We saw fish in the lake, though we weren’t sure what kind. There were some people camping, fishing and swimming, but all in all in was very secluded. (Read primitive!)
After we got done at Squaw Lake we decided to head back over the dam and go to the Hart-Tish recreation area on Applegate Lake and hop on the Collings Mountain trail to find the Bigfoot Trap.
On our way we saw this in the road:
Anyone have any ideas as to what kind of snake this is? Diamondback? Rattlesnake (no rattle)? We are not snake experts!
The Bigfoot Trap was built in the late 70’s in an effort to capture a Bigfoot. I wanted to see the trap, and it is only about a mile hike round trip.
Well, we hiked up the trail for a bit, this one was much more single track style than the one around Squaw Lake, and came across this:
We thought this was what was left of the Bigfoot Trap. We were a little disappointed. The Bigfoot Trap is supposed to be 10 feet tall with a big metal guillotine style door (now out of operation). This was it??
NO. Turns out, after we got home and did some more research, this was NOT it. Just past this debris pile the trail forked. We weren’t planning on doing the longer hike (6+ miles) so we thought that this was the trap. As it happens, if we would have taken the left fork of the trail for another little bit we would have actually come across the trap! SHOOT!
Now we have two reasons to head back up the Applegate area. We have to figure out how to get to Little Squaw Lake and we have to actually hike all the way to the Bigfoot Trap! Cool…we have another adventure ahead of us to look forward to.
Back on the highway, Chris decided his feet were sweaty and his socks needed some drying out, so he created a “wind sock”. (insert eye rolling icon here)
I, on the other hand, decided I was thirsty, so we stopped at one of the older wineries in the Rogue Valley, Valley View Winery, which just happened to be at the base of the Applegate Road highway, to do a little wine tasting. It’s not tacky to go wine tasting in your hiking clothes is it??
It was a gorgeous winery, with a beautiful view. We tasted 6 wines. I enjoyed their Viognier and the Cabernet, while Chris preferred the Tempranillo. I have yet to find a Tempranillo that I like. They have that big bold dry that coats my tongue and I just don’t care for it. The Viognier was slightly sweet and crisp. Their Chardonnay screamed out for a good cheese to go with it. The Syrah, Claret and another red that I can’t recall the varietal were all decent, but I didn’t think they were earth shattering. Either way it was a fun way to wrap up our hiking adventure.
Day 3 of Chris’ summer vacation was a great success. We have started off Day 4 slowly, with some coffee and computer time. Not sure what we will be getting ourselves into today but I’m sure it will be great!