Silver Lake, California
Latitude: 38.669 Longitude: -120.121
A number of high Sierra lakes in California are reservoirs and are controlled by power companies and water districts. Most offer boating (some ban motors), fishing, camping, and if they are near a national forest there may be vacation homes leased to families for a long period.
Silver Lake is about four hours from the San Francisco Bay Area on Highway 88, most of which is a two lane road with some turnouts and passing lanes. I arrived there after scouting out a lower altitude lake for kayaking on Tuesday, Sept 26. Winding past a resort and clusters of leased vacation homes on a one lane road, I ended at a turn-around and an opening to the beach area. The water had receded, and the path was firm so I drove on the edge of the lake until I came to a stream bed still wet.
It is a very peaceful place, and at this time of year there were no bugs. Dozens of geese were sitting on the shore, preening, nibbling grass and swimming in the cold water. I kayaked around the rocky shore and later fed the birds with apple core and some peanuts. Mixed with their tracks in the mud were much larger mammal prints, perhaps a bear or perhaps a mountain lion.
I slept in the van, and the temperature dropped from 80 in the afternoon to the 40's, and my light sleeping bag was marginally warm by early morning. That morning I packed up and drove back toward the highway and stopped to kayak near volanic deposits that formed a small cove. The fishermen around the shore and in the water claimed to be having good luck.