It was a good day although we didn’t get going until late. The morning started cloudy and cold. Hot cereal, pears and coffee for breakfast. We decided to ride bikes. Tom wanted to see some of the trail he’d missed. I was just going to go to the store and see whether they had batteries from my small flashlight, which had gotten very dim, and maybe buy a can of food to stretch the meals. After riding 19 miles on Saturday and 12 Monday I really didn’t feel like riding much.
The store, which is part of the resort three miles from the RV park, is very small and pricey but they have a variety of goods. We rode the trail that goes along the lake. And they did have just enough small batteries left for my flashlight. I bought the last of them. At this point I decided we should probably stick together and that I’d go wherever it was Tom was going rather than heading back to our campsite.
I remembered from the previous day, riding up this trail, that it is rather narrow and running off of it would result in going down a steep bank and into the lake. We maneuvered down with no accidents and the sun had come out by then so it was warm and cheerful. Along a short stretch of this part of the trail there were a number of ponderosa pines, in the midst of all the lodgpoles, standing like old friends from the past. And the dry needles in the sunlight smelled good. We took the trail back the way I had come and that included riding through the stretch with the very tall fireweed. Then we arrived at a road (just past the fork that goes to Thielsen View Campground). Here, I’d come down from the woods and across the road to continue on the trail. Tom suggested we turn left and ride the road for a while. I had doubts but it turned out to be really fun. No cars came from either direction and we had the highway to ourselves. The few hills were doable and we loved riding fast down the other side—very short hills compared to those on the Rim, but great fun. My odometer registered 18-20 mph a couple of times.
Lots of forest thinning is taking place on that side of the lake and we could see a number of summer homes tucked away in the trees. I think most of these cabins were grandfathered in years ago. I’ve researched a bit for possible sewage runoff to the lake but the studies I found didn’t show any. We hope the thinning isn’t for more houses but is for reducing fire danger.
After a while we came to another trail crossing and this was where we turned to go back to the bridge that arches over Silent Creek. We stayed at the bridge for at least a half hour, enjoying the warmth and color of this fall day. The creek truly is silent as its waters flow quietly over rocks and logs toward the lake. Silent Creek, amber in the late afternoon sun, is the main water source for Diamond Lake. I took pictures, trying to include some of the blueberry leaves turning color, and then joined Tom on the bridge where we were pleased to see two hooded mergansers gliding swiftly down toward us. They must have spotted us because as they emerged from under the bridge they rose briefly into the air before landing to continue their journey. We went 12 miles today, according to my odometer.
Lovely sunset tonight.