Mokelumne Wilderness Hiking with the Kramers

After a weekend of watching Karen and I race around Santa Cruz, the Kramers felt it was high time they spent some time hiking with us.  The initial plan was to spend the weekend in Yosemite.  Hotels were booked, trails were selected.  Everything was set.  Then the Federal government shutdown happened.  Yosemite was closed to the public and we were looking for a contingency plan.

Ultimately, we choose to spend our time in the Mokelumne Wilderness, up by Kirkwood.  We spent two days hiking; the first day we walked from Carson Pass to Lake Winnemucca, and the second day we hiked around Caples Lake up to Emigrant Lake. The hikes were 5.5 miles with 700 feet of climbing, and 8.9 miles with 1,100 feet of climbing, respectively.

Having hiked the trail to Lake Winnemucca previously, I was expecting that mother nature would have nothing exciting in store.  Oh, how wrong I was.  As we approached the lake, it was apparent that there were a tremendous number of spiders flying through the air.  Apparently it was spider migrating season, or as we came to call it, “the Great Spider Migration.”  It was something akin to the Great Wildebeest Migration in Africa.  There were thousand, if not hundreds of thousands, of spiders migrating on the end of webs, flying through the air as high as the eye could see.  Trees were flocked with spider webs abandoned by their passengers after becoming entangled.  It was a strange and incredible sight.

The hike to Emigrant Lake, while not having the same arachnid excitement, was a unique view of the back side of Kirkwood.  Having skied the resort many times, this was my and Karen’s first visit during the summer.

Overall, I think all four of us had a great time.

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