Sunday, August 13, 2017

8/13 Merrill Campground, Eagle Lake, CA

I've been here almost a week, and it has been mostly very quiet here.  There is almost no development on this very large, natural, California lake in the Lassen National Forest.  The only marina is only two miles from this campground, and it is dry because of low lake level.  And this is the only campground on the lake which is reservable and has hookups. There are three types of camping sites here:  no hookup, electric and water only hookup, and full hookup, which gives everyone a choice.  In addition, since this is a federal facility, seniors like me get a discount. However, in spite of this, it is not heavily used--probably because it is so out of the way.  The nearest store, other than the small marina store, is 18 miles away in Susanville, CA. 

One really nice thing about this campground is the big trees, nearly entirely Douglas Fir.  This is the campground road on a cloudy day. You can see that even with the big trees, the campground is open and fairly sunny. 

 And my campsite. 

Eagle Lake and some of the surrounding mountains. 

 There is a six-mile long bike trail.  This part of it goes to the marina.

And this is the marina, except you can see it is completely dry.  You can launch a boat here, but you have to pull it up on the shore wherever you are camped. 

This photo was taken from the campground near the lake. 

This is the road in front of the campground. 

I thought this was a chipmunk, but in looking it up, I discovered it was a golden-mantled ground squirrel.  Apparently, you can tell the different between a chipmunk and ground squirrel because the ground squirrel does not have stripes on its face.  The ones around here are just a little bit smaller than the chipmunks I am used to seeing in the east.  (Did you know that there are more than 20 species of chipmunks?) 

Some friends and I drove into the "nearby" town of Susanville on a very curvy road with a speed limit of 35 MPH.  And Reno, NV, is not that far away, surprisingly.  

More photos of the lake on a sunnier day.   This grassy area should be the beach, but when the lake level really went down a couple of years ago, grass grew on the beach, so there is no beach anymore. 

This is the other end of the bike trail, heading towards another campground.  I did not make it all the way because I got worried about falling and not having anyone to rescue me.  Maybe will try it again tomorrow.  

And a really big tree near my campsite.


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