By Vicki Wells Larson
A trip to the River will be one of the optional activities on our BTL weekend, so late Sunday afternoon, Peggy, Richard, and I searched out our favorite Mokelumne River hangout location on Hwy 26, aka Red Corral Rd., found the bridge over North Fork, walked down to the water, looked, and remembered.
You can still see a rope dangling down the side of the rock across the river, and another hanging from a high tree up river.
Is the dam (below right) the one we built (below left)? Those rocks are huge!
Notice the carved steps in the rock? Our spot is now a designated end point for a Class III+ whitewater river run known as the "Tiger Dam Run, Mokelumne River." How cool is that??!!! Bring your kayaks, and let's go!
I remember running to the dorms to put on swimsuits, cramming as many as people possible into whatever cars were available, a hot drive on a long winding road, parking at the bridge, slathering on the Baby Oil (girls only), stretching out on large granite slabs to "catch some rays", sometimes with a paperback book, jumping off rocks into the deep clear river, and splashing in the water to cool off on a scorching hot summer afternoon. The most courageous (or crazy) among us climbed behind the very high rock wall, up into a tree, and dove into the deep pool, while those watching screamed and waved.
Then and Now, I love this place!
Saying it out loud, or even thinking it quietly, the name Lodestar conjures up powerful memories and reflections. And meaning.