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Destination: Inaugural Julian Starfest - August 2008
One of the highlights of a wheeling trip is sitting around a campfire at the end of the day. In the evening twilight faint spots of white begin to fill the sky. Daylight soon becomes starlight.
The first dim spots of light to be seen in the sky are planets. As the sunlight fades, more distant stars begin to appear.
Over the years I have learned to identify the North Star and the Big Dipper. Along with Orion's Belt and the Seven Sisters, which is familiar to many as the logo of Izuzu, they are some of the more recognizable star formations.
It was 9 am and the temperature was in the mid-90’s when we pulled off the highway at the start of the Swansea-Cerro Gordo Trail. The broad expanse of the Owens Lake lay to the south and the rugged slopes of the Inyo Mountains rose to the north.
Before the water wars of the early 1900’s, Owens Lake and the surrounding valley supported a thriving agriculture and mining population. As the Los Angles area grew, water was diverted from the eastern Sierra Nevada watershed and the Owens Valley to satisfy the thirsty population of the Los Angles Basin. Soon, the Owens Lake was reduced to a dry, dusty flatland. By the late 1990’s, a settlement was reached that reduced the diversion of water from the eastern Sierra Nevada and the Owens Valley. With water flows returned to the Owens River, pools of water were beginning to collect in the once dry lake. The once dry lake was now a patch-work of various colors in the morning sun.
Destination: CJ Strike and Fishing
Friday morning and the blustery wind of the previous days had ended. The morning sun was on its daily path through a clear blue sky. It would be a great day to be outdoors. If you can’t go 4-wheeling, might as well go fishing. Mike and I loaded the boat with necessary gear (poles, tackle, and bait), hooked the trailer to his 4x4 pickup and headed for the lake.
The “lake” is CJ Strike Reservoir managed for recreation opportunities by Idaho Power Company. Located on the Snake River, the reservoir provides hydroelectric power for southwest Idaho and irrigation water for the many farms in the area. CJ Strike also provides a variety of year around recreation opportunities including waterfowl hunting, fishing, and water sports. This day, fishing was on the agenda and crappie were biting.