January 22, 2011… it should be cold and it just was not. Well, not unless you were in the Central Valley of California enduring the very thick and frigid fog. After days of seeing fog, the call to the warm sun was just too hard to resist.
Early in the morning it was off to the Sierra’s. Taking my wife and my two oldest grandchildren to Dodge Ridge for a day of snowboarding, I dropped them off and headed back down to Pinecrest Lake for a quick few shots.
The lake was semi-frozen (with a very thin crust of ice on the top and dozens of signs warning people to stay off the unstable ice). Ignoring the fact that the sun was directly over the south side of the lake, I spent a couple of hours walking the north shore from the west. This panoramic shot was from the western edge of the lake at the Pinecrest beach area.
The warning sign said it all: “WARNING: Unstable Ice & Snow – KEEP OFF”. With that kind of a warning, and the fact that you could visibly see cracks in the ice, you would think that people would pay more attention to the warm conditions and how the affected the thin ice. On my shoreline trek I saw people walking their dogs and following the rules of “Keep Off the ice”… Just before I left there was a young couple with their three small (very small) dogs… Suddenly, SPLASH! In went one of the dogs. Yelp! Yelp! Then a second and a third SPLASH!!! I was about thirty feet away when I heard the young woman screaming to her dogs to get out of the water. The man kept shouting “Where did he go?” As I got closer, one, then two, then all three appeared between the rocks… shivering and shaking. I’m sure glad the small dogs got out when they did as the air may have been warm, the water was not. The guy was just seconds away from trying to reach into the freezing water to get them… I think he saw the water was deeper than he expected and chose not to chance it.
It was an exciting few moments at Pinecrest Lake that day. The warning signs said it all: “Unstable Ice & Snow – KEEP OFF”. Well, all’s well that ends well. The views were fantastic.