Places where you can avoid our miserable summer heat
July 17, 2002
I HATE hot weather.
I am NOT a warm weather person.
Thank Goodness, the days are getting shorter as we move back to my favorite time of the year: Winter.
When it is cold and frosty with all kinds of ice and snow and it is below freezing, I come alive again.
I LOVE wintertime!
So having said that and apparently with no quick end in sight for these God Awful, record-breaking temperatures readings, how does one cope with our unusually hot, dry weather?
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Well, ponder these thoughts:
1. Be thankful we live where we live.
By that, I mean that even when the temps get up to 100 degrees or higher, there is still some relief.
First of all, our nighttime temperatures drop dramatically when the sun goes down. It is not unusual for the thermometer to drop anywhere from 30 to 45 degrees from the daily highs at this time of the year.
That in itself makes the daytime heat a little bit more bearable.
Secondly, if you want to quickly get cooler, you can take a short drive into the nearby mountains. By going there, you can experience temperatures drops of about 10-15 degrees, depending on where you go.
A 95 degree day in Carson City can quickly become a very nice 85 degree day at Lake Tahoe.
2. Be thankful that we do not live in other parts of the country such as the Mid-West, East Coast, deep South or the desert Southwest.
And, that statement is based on two very important facts:
Because we are in high desert country, we normally experience radical changes between daytime and nighttime temperatures.
If you happen to live in those other parts of the country, that is not true.
For example on July 10:
Brownsville had a high of 91 and a low of 75.
Charlotte, N.C. had a high of 94 and a low of 74.
Little Rock had a high of 95 and a low of 76.
Memphis had a high of 98 and a low of 78.
Phoenix had a high of 109 and a low of 86.
Washington, D.C. had a high of 85 and a low of 74.
Then, when you add in their miserable high humidities, those combinations become very uncomfortable weather conditions of endless, hot, sweltering, muggy days and nights.
That is not true in our area.
Our humidity is always at a comfortably low level.
On that same July 10 date, Carson City had a high of 105 degrees, a low of 55 degrees and 22 percent humidity. Which translates into: uncomfortably hot in the daytime, but a very enjoyable nighttime temperature, together with the low humidity.
So, if you are one of those poor souls who is miserable in this hot weather and looking for some relief, what is there to do?
Many years ago, I discovered an easy way to solve this problem.
That solution was quite simple — just go high, where it is cooler.
By that I mean go into some of the higher sections of the nearby, Sierra Nevada Mountains.
Here is a list of some “cool” lakes where you can go during the “Dog Days” of summer:
NEARBY AND A SHORT DRIVE:
Red Lake: This lake lies along California S.R. 88, about 40 miles south from Carson City. It is just before Kit Carson Pass. The lake is at an elevation of about 8,000 feet.
Caples Lake: This lake lies along California S.R. 88, about 50 miles south from Carson City. It is between Kit Carson Pass and the Kirkwood Ski area. The lake is at an elevation of about 8,000 feet.
Silver Lake: This lake lies along California S.R. 88, about 60 miles south from Carson City. It is just past the Kirkwood Ski area. The lake is at an elevation of about 8,000 feet.
Kinney Reservoir: This reservoir lies along California S.R. 4, about 50 mile south of Carson City, just before you reach the top of Ebbetts Pass. The reservoir is at an elevation of about 8,500 feet.
NEARBY AND A SHORT HIKE:
Frog Lake: In the Mokelumne Wilderness Area of California. This is an easy hike of about one mile from S.R. 88 at Kit Carson Pass. The lake is at an elevation of about 9,000 feet on the way to Winnemucca Lake.
Winnemucca Lake: In the Mokelumne Wilderness Area of California. This is an easy hike of about two miles from S.R. 88 at Kit Carson Pass. The lake is at an elevation of about 9,000 feet.
My favorite lake for spring, summer, fall and winter activities.
MEDIUM DRIVE WITH AN OPTION OF EASY HIKING:
Virginia Lakes: This area is just seven miles west of Conway Summit on U.S. 395, about 15 miles south of Bridgeport, Calif. There are a number of small lakes that can be reached by either driving or hiking. The area is at an elevation of about 9,800 feet.
MEDIUM DRIVE AND A MODERATELY DIFFICULT HIKE:
West Lake: In the Hoover Wilderness Area, of California. It is reached by a combination U.S. 395 to just past Bridgeport, Calif., a dirt road to the Green Creek Campground parking area, a three-mile hike to Green lake and then and then a very steep, switchbacking, one mile hike to West. This one mile section will definitely test your legs and lungs. The lake is at an elevation of about 9,700 feet.
MEDIUM DRIVE AND A VERY DIFFICULT HIKE:
Ada Lake: A small lake situated above Oneida Lake, which itself is located above Lundy Lake, Calif. Lundy Lake is near the south foot of Conway Summit on U.S. 395, south of Bridgeport, Calif. This is a very steep, lung-testing, leg-tiring, 4-mile hike. Do not attempt unless you are in good physical condition. The lake is at an elevation of about 10,000 feet.
South Lake, North Lake and Sabrina Lake: All located at an elevation of about 10,000 feet. They are in an area about 25 miles west of Bishop, Calif., via a paved road. Lots of people on weekends.
LONG DRIVE AND A LONG, DIFFICULT HIKE:
Lake 11,370: This lake is named for its elevation of 11,370 feet. It is located in Dusy Basin in the John Muir Wilderness Area of California. You reach it by a combination of a paved road from Bishop, west for about 25 miles to South Lake and then by hiking over Bishop Pass. This is a long, steep hike at high altitude (11-12,000 feet).
So, if you are interested, go ahead and pick and choose from this list.
If not, then you should stay inside your air-conditioned home and wait until the weather begins to cool off as Fall approaches.
It’s your choice.
— Bet Your Favorite Pigeon
Bet your favorite pigeon that he can’t tell you the highest lake that I have ever visited.
If he grins and says, “It is Upper Striped Mountain Lake, at 12,500 feet, south of Taboose Pass (11,700′), near Big Pine, Calif.,” he could have been on one of my five backpack trips into that area.