zyzyly (zyzyly) wrote,

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57053--The first pictures I took in California

Not really--I took a few pictures last week, but today was the first time I actually went out with my camera with the intent of photographing something. I have almost every Monday off, and one of my objectives for the year is to spend at least a part of my free Monday going out and doing something interesting. I was reading something yesterday about the historically low water levels at the local lake, and thought that sounded like a good place to go. Malida got up early for school, and I got up with her (and made the coffee). I tossed my stuff in the car and took the back road to the lake.

sunrise on Grant Line Road

The sun was coming up as I headed down Grant Line Road. I stopped to take a few pictures. This road starts about a mile from my house, at the freeway interchange, and leads directly into a rural area. One of my favorite roads.

I got out to the marina at Folsom lake at about 8 am. I was pretty much the only person there, except for a couple of people walking their dog. It was peaceful.

folsom pano

It's kind of shocking to see how low the water is. It is at about 33% of the historical average for this time of year, and at only 17% of capacity. All the marinas are closed, and all the boats are sitting up in the parking lots. Even the lowest boat ramp is well above the water line. That's drought for you. I was out of the country the last time we had a drought like this.


A buoy marker for the channel leading from the marina and boat ramp.

mormon island

There used to be a town that sat near the confluence of the north and south forks of the American River. It was established in the late 1940s, just after gold was discovered near here. The town was Mormon Island. When the dam (which you can see in the distance) was built in the 1950s, the town was submerged. Traces of it appear in low water years. This is a foundation from the outskirts of the town. The actual town is under about 90 feet of water, further west, but there is a lot of evidence of prior human habitation.

natoma ditch

Remnants of the Natoma Ditch, which was a 20 mile-long ditch built in 1851 to bring water to the miners living in the area. Tree stumps line the route of the ditch.


People seem pretty good about not stealing the artifacts. There are piles of rusty pieces of metal, old beer cans and other things on many of the tree stumps. Here is a bone, found near the old dairy. It seemed to short to be a cow bone, but maybe it was one of those short cows.

I walked for about 3 1/2 hours. It was nice to be out exploring. Interestingly, I took more pictures here today than any one day in Europe.
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