Thursday, July 2, 2020

blue hole adventure

"And I never saw blue like that before…" —Shawn Colvin

Never have I seen this color in nature. Glacial lakes came close, but is this blue? Green? Aquamarine? Turquoise? Whatever you name it, it was gorgeous!

where are we going today?

I first attempted to find this body of water, simply named "Blue Hole," with my friend C a few weeks ago. My GPS and maps failed me that time, so when we went back, I was armed with a newer (better) GPS app, laminated map and determination. These trails are very near where the Wild West endurance ride takes place, and Major loves this area.

heading out
almost there

We headed out, and I closely looked at my GPS, as there are multitudes of branching side trails, dirt roads, gravel roads, deer paths and just areas that look like they "might" be a path. I was following a track from a friend who had gone a few weeks before. First along a lovely, softly padded forest trail, then started down a gravel road, then down more on rutted 4-wheel drive only dirt road. It seems like we just went down and down, oak, pine, madrone and mazanita surrounding us. As we bottomed out there began evidence of old mining, then a side path brought the water into view.

Wow, we were awestruck. And a bit speechless while we wandered about. The horses didn't quite understand why we were just standing around taking pictures!

Blue Hole, complete with tiny island
not sure about this…

Yes, this is "just" a leftover from hydraulic mining, exposing the white rocks with no dirt left over. But the color! I read that the water is slightly acidic (I assume from rocks/minerals/mining) but people swim in it (when hot enough). Interestingly Major, who normally loves water, wasn't particularly interested in going in. Did it smell weird? I didn't care, just admired the view for quite a while.

ok, not a bad view!
read my ears: can we go now?
yeah, what's the big deal?
are they done already? photo by C

When it was time to go back…what goes down must go up (2,200 feet climbing)! And get lost a little bit…but I figured out my mistake and got back on the correct trail. There are views to forever across the Tahoe/El Dorado National forest, logging sections, very rural backyards and dirt bikes all interspersed with blooming sweet pea, blackberry, dappled sunlight, giant madrone trees and shady maples. It was great.

views forever (towards Tahoe)
sweet pea everywhere
love the leaves and shadows
at least the cut forest let us see the view!
shady and lovely

Back at the trailer the horses got a snack and we enjoyed lunch at the picnic table. I'll definitely be back, when I need another glimpse of whatever that color is.

one is deeper, one is wider, they're the same Major and Friday. And neither horse would eat their carrot greens…


  1. I love Major's ears. They are absolutely the best!!

    1. thanks, he sure likes to tell me a lot through them!

  2. So amazing!!
    That's all I have to say about that.

    1. yes, thank you partner-in-trails for joining me on the adventure!

  3. Absolutely gorgeous... it doesn't even look real...

  4. Gorgeous! Though I am all to familiar with water that color from post-mining areas around here. Sure is pretty, but yikes, I hate thinking about the unnaturalness of it. =(

    1. Agreed! The trees may have grown back but the effects of hydraulic mining in this area are easily seen. Worse is the areas with hard rock mining (we have both here) as they are poisoned with mercury. Lots of cleanup still ongoing!