Appetizers
July 5, 2007
No Snow, No Hotdogs

IMGP0217_edited.jpg July 4, 2006

IMGP1450_edited.jpg July 4, 2007

Our almost-annual Fourth of July trek into Fourth of July Lake in the Mokelumne Wilderness just south of Carson Pass was startling in the contrast it provided of the Sierra snowpack of the past two winters. A year ago on our customary route we crossed snowfield after snowfield, such as here, just above Lake Winnemucca. In fact, the attendant at the reception cabin at Carson Pass advised us not to attempt the hike without poles or crampons, which we didn't have. We made it nonetheless. Yesterday, no attendant issued any such warning, and none was needed; not a single patch of snow was encountered on the trail. The lack of snow made the hike easier, but the five miles from Casron Pass to Fourth of July Lake still took about three hours.

Then we had to walk back out, this year without the support of the fuel we enjoyed a year ago, "natural pork hotdogs" from Bledsoe Natural Pork of Woodland. Seems the Sierra snowpack isn't alone in being off lately. Bledsoe Natural Pork's inventory of hotdogs also has been down, explained John Bledsoe when I stopped by his table at Sunday's farmers market under the Capital City Freeway at 8th and W streets in Sacramento, expecting to stock up on franks to enjoy lakeside. He just hasn't been able to keep up with demand. He expected, however, to have a whole new batch ready any day now, perhaps by this Sunday's farmers market. If I grab some it doesn't mean I have to walk all the way back into Fourth of July Lake to enjoy them, does it?

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