Road Trip to Plumas County, Part 3

As promised, this next installment of the road trip I took last week with Mom and Chica features the photos I took as we drove the loop of road around Lake Almanor.

Lake Almanor is a man-made reservoir sitting under the watchful "gaze" of Mt. Lassen (see photo above). The lake was created in 1914 by flooding a valley that had originally been a forest. The reservoir was created by a power company that later became Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E). The lake's unique name is a conglomeration of the names of the three daughters of then vice president, Guy C. Earl. His daughters' names were Alice, Martha, and Elinore. Combined, the new name that was created was "Almanor".

This intriguing photograph is of the stumps that are still left from the days when the reservoir was made. Before flooding the valley, the trees were cut and the stumps left in the ground. Almost 100 years later, the stumps are still there looking like creatures wading in the low waters of the lake. Mom spent just about every summer weekend at Lake Almanor swimming with friends when she was a teenager. She shared with me her memory of how difficult it was to manuever around the troublesome stumps in the shallower waters.

The old pumping tower at the mouth of the dam still stands. I have always been in love with the beautiful architectural details of a very utilitarian structure. I often wish that more attention was paid to architectural details nowadays. In order to get the shot at right, I laid down on the rocky shoreline. I was the only person on shore as far as I could see in all directions except for a fishing boat that was motoring by out in the water. I could hear the eerie and lonely call of the loons as the sun was setting in the west. I felt like I was living in a scene from the movie "On Golden Pond". It was so serene and peaceful. I would have like to lay on the shore until the sun went down. But I had Mom and Chica waiting for me back by the truck in the parking area. Although she was wearing her turtleneck doggy sweater, Chica was still cold in the chill of the late afternoon. So it was best that I not lay around on the beach for too long. But before I left, I captured a few of my favorite shots from the whole trip.

Tune in tomorrow when Mom, Chica and me drive up to Mount Lassen Volcanic National Park so Mom and I can hike to Bumpass Hell!!!

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  1. It looks as if you are having a great time. I love the photograph of the old pumping tower. What gorgeous scenery!

  2. Love the old stumps in the water - reminds me of the driftwood we see around here. Great photos!

  3. Thanks Cindy, I'm enjoying the tour with you.

  4. Comment from Mom:
    Little known fact: When the valley was flooded, the trees were not cut, so for many years there were "snags" - skeletons of dead trees - rising from the waters along the east shore of Almanor. The ones in the "Cove" had been cut off and the stumps submerged so that when we went swimming we had to avoid the shallow portions of the Cove. At some point in time, it was decided to remove the "snags" as they were hazardous to boating activities. Now that the water level is lower, the old stumps are visible, with their withered tentacles reaching down to the lake bottom.

  5. I love the photos from this road trip! The trees, the water - it's all so beautiful.

  6. Oh, I just caught up on your road trip posts. What beautiful photos!! And I love reading the history and stories you're sharing. I imagine you and your mom had a wonderful time doing this together. Chica is totally cute - my dogs love road trips and exploring new places - so I'm sure she had a ball too!! Makes me wish our son was still in the Bay Area - guess we'll have to do travel time there on our own someday!! Thanks for sharing.

  7. Great place to visit, very nice photos. Anna :)

  8. Just loving this trip. Thanks for taking me along!

  9. Lake Almanor... my friend...


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