During the retreat we are focused on our formal program of creativity. Even so, there is plenty of time to have as your own. This can take the shape of just kicking back at our cozy cabins with their lake views. Or you can, and should, get out to explore.
The Lake Alpine area was originally named, in 1855, Silver Valley by the Murphy’s Party as they searched for a route over the Sierras. About thirty years before that it is said the area was visited by Jedediah Smith, the famous mountain man. And before that, Lake Alpine was a summer home to the Miwok Indians, who were amply supported by hunting, fishing and the gathering of pine nuts.
Today outdoor lover’s continue to be delighted by crystal clear lakes and steams. And in the late summer, the reason we come here as we do, the crisp mountain air brings forth resplendent Sierra colors – where deep green pines are offset by fabled golden aspen quaking – and we begin to feel the ending of summer’s heat.
As you explore be open to the ample opportunities for viewing nature. Take photos and sketch. Watch birds, wildlife and trees. Watch water, sky and light. And at night, looking up, you are drawn in to a heaven filled with constellations and planets. Brilliant stars abound, alongside a full moon.
If hiking is desired, the Stanislaus National Forest includes extensive trails. The hike to Inspiration Point is popular, and trekking to Duck Lake a favorite.
Or get out on the water. From our cabin it is an easy walk down to the dock were you can rent a boat. It’s a whole different view of things to look back at the shore. You might pick a small fishing boat to cast out a line, or get a small motor boat for kicking a bit of breeze into your hair. There are canoes and kayaks for skimming the surface peacefully; or, press hard for cardiovascular exercise fitness. And in our favorite back-to-camp camp, there are paddle boats. (Just saying “paddle boats” give a glow of days gone by.)
Or know the lake by strolling its edge. Or camp out on our deck with a steamy cocoa to watch time unfold. Or close your eyes to drink in breeze caressed pines. Being in the Sierras is a special kind of splendor … feeling grounded, feeling playful, feeling enriched and feeling peaceful.
An important note about the water: The lakes and streams are beautiful. It’s tempting to think of drinking right from them. Don’t. Though clear and delicious these lakes and streams (like any) may contain bacteria. That said, indeed, dip your feet in, swim (yes, bring your swim suits – swimming last year was invigorating!) and maybe the catfish will come up to nibble your toes.
Also nestled into our mountain resort you will find a lodge holding a restaurant, where log walls are offset by a large stone fireplace inside and an open air deck outside, a cozy bar that offers a selection of local wines and beers, and a shop that serves as both general store and gift shop. There you can find ice, groceries and snack items, along with fresh brewed coffee, fishing hooks, books, clothing, hats, toys, gifts and souvenirs galore. Though! the best souvenirs you’ll gather are the memories we’ll be making, and the best gift will be the days you give yourself going into fresh realms of journaling.