After a day of getting used to the altitude here in our little bit of Heaven, I took a hike up a mountain to a small lake with The Hubby, Lovely Daughter #2, and her Beau.
The snowpack in this part of the Sierra Nevada is at 400% of usual for this time of year. Because of this, things looked a little different. Many of the meadow flowers we're used to seeing at this time in years past were just little green shoots. Streams of meltwater ran down our normally dry hiking path. Waist-high snowdrifts lined parts of our walk.
Our destination was a sweet lake with a cluster of cabins for rent and a tiny general store that sells delicious, home-made lemonade by the pitcher.
Hikers love to come here and put their feet up at the oilcloth-covered tables and rest a bit in the old-fashioned lawn chairs.
Usually we see folks swimming in the lake as we sit and sip our lemonade. Often there's a knot of brave youngsters jumping off a sheer cliff on the far side, which makes for great entertainment.
This year, the only people on the lake were pushing aside ice to navigate their way around:
And the jumping rocks had a cold, forbidding look:
I amused myself taking photos of some of the fantastic textures around us:
And I spotted the coolest telephone booth, EH-ver:
The first thing that caught my eye was the blue phone book (natch!):
But then, I looked up and saw this dude:
Next, a high-decibel buzz split the quiet scene into splinters. I saw something I'd never seen before:
Men cutting up a snowbank with a chainsaw! First this guy made a series of lines in one direction. Then he made a series of cuts in the opposite direction:
Then three folks with shovels moved in and lifted up square-sided chunks of snowbank and tossed them aside:
Nifty! From a nearby porch a cute dog watched the scene:
Fully refreshed, we took a last look out over the scene...
...and scrambled down the mountain.
The best part is, we can do this for an entire week. Heaven!