The gentle, blue-blooming saddle between the trails of Mattingly Creek and Alturas Lake Creek is a ten mile hike from Atlanta and seven miles from Alturas Lake.
The ten miles from Atlanta were filled with all variety of gentle and steep trail, narrow and fairly open areas, and views up rocky peaks. All I remember of the seven mile trail down Alturas Lake Creek was a gentle slope on reliable sand and gravel. All down a wide mountain valley.
I also remember when the trail became a dirt road with two ruts rather than the one option of the path. I was convinced the lake could not be far away and remember my disappointment when the lake never seemed to appear.
But appear it did, although still a long way in the distance. And, once we did finally get to it’s shores, I found out there was still the walk along the north side of lake to get to the campground. It was a long, long walk.
The campground was filled with trucks and cars and all sorts of tents and gear. We made quite the entrance, walking through with three horses, three kids, and Mom and Dad. We had barely settled on a spot and started pulling the packs off the horses when other campers were joining us and asking questions.
My Dad was in his element!
Now that I think of it, these sixty-two years later, I’m not sure but what the attention Dad knew awaited when he came into the campground, fully loaded as a horse-packing family, was one of the reasons he’d drempt the entire trip up.