Jackson Meadows #6 October 2015

I went for the final week of camping season at Jackson Meadows – East Meadow camp ground for Tuesday to Saturday and had the entire loop to myself until Friday night. It was fantastic. So quiet, all I could hear were the birds, chipmonks and wind in the trees. Oh, and then there was the leaf blowers cleaning up the pine needles for an inspection that week. Ugh. Why blow the sites and the roads when they would be covered in just a matter of weeks. oh well…. luckily it didnt last too long.

Fishing was good however, I had forgotten my rod holders (dam!!) and also forgotten to charge my fishfinder battery, so it wasn’t all as perfect as I wanted it to be. I improvised and caught 8 trout, kept 6. I had charged up my fishfinder and hoped to do my last fishing Saturday morning however it began pouring rain around 5am and finally at 9:30 I gave up and hauled the kayak up from the lake to go home.

I decided to do some videos of Biggs and Ben this time. Mainly documenting a journey up Pass Creek but also some playing around the lake/beach. I was hoping to capture whats its like to go exploring with them. The lake was the lowest I have seen it. With the middle depth in the part directly off my campsite, only 11 feet deep. And the main channel off the boat ramp (which was unusable) was only about 30 feet deep. Islands appeared that are invisible in the springtime. I look forward to see it full next year.

Here’s the video. Starts out with romping around on the lake, and then goes to the hike up Pass Creek

Jackson Meadows #4 2015

It’s the end of August, and I spent 3 days camping at Jackson Meadows, again.  This time I had the entire camp loop to myself.  Just me and Ben this time since Biggs had stitches that did not need to get in the dirt.  I caught 6 trout, kept the big one, a heavy 16 incher.  Beautiful weather, Ben and I swam together and he also swam along next to me while I kayaked.

We hiked up the south end of the lake, which is a big meadow, now dry, exposing foundations of old buildings that had been covered up when the reservoir was created.  Apparently the reservoir has gone thru many changes over the years.  It started as a Log Crib Dam in the 1850s to deliver water to the hydraulic gold mines via 80 miles of flumes and ditches.  About 1875 the dam was raised to form a reservoir 2.5 miles by .5 mile wide.  Then in 1883 the dam was again being strengthened and raised when it either collapsed or was dynamited with the resulting flood took six lives and  caused tremendous damage along the Yuba River Canyon and Sacramento Valley.  Then in 1965 the dam  was reconstructed to the state its in now.

Jackson Meadows First Campout in 2015

Wouldn’t ya know we  have another terrible drought year with nil rain all winter, but when it does rain, its on the Memorial Day weekend.  My first campout this year.  Oh well, I love weather anyway.  I find it fascinating.  Plus it really only rained a lot on the first day and nite.  Also made for beautiful cloud formations.

I had my lucky site #34 however, with regard with to the fishing… not so lucky.  I got skunked.  Zilsch.  One strike is all with four days of fishing from both the kayak and from the shore.  What worked last fall, yielded natha this time around.  But trolling in my kayak early in the morning while the lake was smooth as glass and the sunlight beginning to spread across the lake and the only sounds were my paddles hitting the water and the sounds of a wide variety of birds singing …. was  absolutely delightful.

Next year I will book it after Memorial Day weekend.  Way too many people.  A huge group of friends (not mine) from Reno took up almost the entire loop I was in .  Probably 30-40 kids and 20 dogs, all running thru my campsite on their way to the lake.  Baseball games, horseshoes, and some other thing that just seemed  to make a lot of noise.  They did paddle boarding, kayaking, canoeing, biking endlessly around the campground loop and splashed around in the freezing water while the outside temp was about 60 at best.  Little kids sure can handle the cold.  Anyway, it was kind of fun to see everyone enjoying themselves so I let it be.  Kate loves the sound of children playing, for me … eh, its ok for a while.  But Monday after everyone left and only two other campers in my loop… it was awesome.  So quiet and peaceful, I was sad to leave on Tuesday.

First day I got there I was lucky to have a break in the rain while I got my camp set up.  But shortly after it started raining again and continued thru the entire night.  I thought the lake was going to rise and take away my kayak.  That was a useless worry.  Metal roofs really allow you to listen to the rain, which is nice … for a while.  The next morning it did stop, I went fishing, and Kate arrived around 11.  Rain off and on, so we played Qwerkle inside when it was too wet outside.  Took a nice hike up Passe Creek which is running just great right now.  Waterfalls look terrific.  Saw some bizarre mushrooms that look like the formation of pods from the “Invasion of the body snatchers” movie.  Kate brought  dinner of some amazing shrimp and lemon linguini pasta dish.  Wow, it was amazing.   She left early the next morning since Memorial Day is a big weekend at the cemetery so she had to work.  We only live an hour and 45 away so its rather convenient.

This trip I got to try out three new addons to my old RV (now known as Doug).  A Goal Zero Yeti 150 and two Boulder 15 Solar panels.  Worked great keeping Doug’s batteries charged and recharging my laptop so I could finish Game of Thrones Season 4.  Also in electrical, I installed numerous LED lights throughout which gave off more light and took a lighter toll on the batteries.   For heat, since Doug’s heater is extremely temperamental not to mention a power drawer, I got a Mr. Heater Buddy … which works off LPG canisters and totally kept us warm while it was in the 30s outside.

Anyway, here are the photos..

Jackson Meadows October 2014

October is probably the best month for camping and fishing.  Empty campgrounds, hungry fish, nice cool weather, fall leaves and low lakes providing lots of shoreline exploring.  East Meadows campground was in its final week with only one other camper sharing the whole place.  The camphost had long gone, dogs could run free and it was so quiet and peaceful.  Until it started raining around 2am Wednesday morning and didn’t let up till the afternoon.  Lots of wind too.  So much, so that I had to take up the awning for fear it would rip.   Temperatures dropped to high 30’s or low 40’s.   For that rainy Wednesday we stayed in the RV and I finished two books and started a third.  I loved it.

Kayak fishing was the best ever.  I started fishing Tuesday morning and within 60 seconds of tossing out my trolling rig with a worm on the end, I had a fish on.  The strikes were constant.  I fished two hours on Tuesday, three on Thursday and just one on Friday, the day I left.  I caught 16 trout and took home 13.  Sizes ranging from 15″ – 12″.  No monsters but a whole lot of action.  I use a SEPS dodger with a worm about 18″ behind.  I have a specific area of the lake where the fishing is consistently awesome.

The East Meadows campground on Jackson Meadows Reservoir is now closed for the season, but the adjacent campground, Passe Creek CG is left open all year, so weather permitting (until it snows) I hope to make at least one more trip up there.  As seen in the photos the lake was down the most I have ever seen, but still beautiful.