Tiny Alturas, the largest town in Modoc County, usually rolls up the streets well before midnight. Classmates, who had gathered for a high school reunion (classes 1951-1968), celebrated under a full moon most of the night. We felt like joining them. We asked John, our motel manager, about possible fishing lakes. He told us how to get to two small lakes-Blue Lake and Clear Lake.
We left Alturas early Saturday morning, turned left off of Hi.395 at Likely, a little town, maybe 75 population. Drove about 12 miles to a bridge, turned right, drove 5 or 6 more miles until we reached a fork in the road. We ended up at a pristine mountain lake where the only sounds came from forest creatures. It reminded me of the awesome silence of backpacking in our younger days.
Shallows along the shore made bait fishing difficult, but I watched in amazement as a beaver swam through my fishing line only a few feet from me. Later, a loon proudly showed off 12 babies as they swam close enough for us to take their picture.
We set out to find Clear Lake. Drove over gravel and rocks with cows beside the rocky road peering curiously at us. The game warden warned us to be careful, because this is wilderness area and the narrow gravel road goes along steep cliffs. We had to give up finding Clear Lake. We agreed this side trip was a great throw-back to our backpacking days, but without the packs. Our car did suffer some, I am afraid.