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Outdoors with Don Q: Wildflowers and trout fishing at Frog Lake

Two weeks ago, I wrote an article about the wildflowers blooming along the paved highway in the Davis Lake area of Plumas County, California.

This week's article is about a high-altitude hike that Elaine and I took to little Frog Lake in the Mokelumne Wilderness Area of California, as our way to celebrate Father's Day on June 16.

Our purpose for that Sunday hike was three-fold: To walk on snow fields (which we did), to photograph wildflowers (which we did) and to fish for rainbow trout (which we did).

You, too, might want to take that same hike in the very near future and here's how to do so:

What to take:
In a small daypack, take snacks or a light picnic lunch complete with your favorite soft drinks or water, sunglasses, sun screen, hat, mosquito repellent (lots of it!), camera and even a light sweater (just in case).

If you're a fisherman:
Take some small lures (I was spincasting with small red/white striped lures and we also tried Power Nuggets and nightcrawlers).

How to get to Frog Lake from the Winnemucca Lake Trail:
Drive south from Carson City for 43 miles on a combination of U.S. 395, Nevada S.R. 88 and California S.R. 88 to the top of Kit Carson Pass.

At the Pass, you will have to pay a modest fee to park in the U.S. Forest Service parking area.
From there, you will be hiking on a well-defined trail that leads you to Winnemucca Lake, which is about a two-mile hike from that parking area.

Winnemucca Lake is a large, high-altitude, super-deep, ice-cold, trout-filled lake that lies at the base of Round Top Mountain (elevation 10,364 feet), the highest point in the Mokelumne Wilderness Area.
You’ll be walking at high altitude (8,500-9,000 feet), so if you are not accustomed to that type of elevation, remember to take it slow and easy with lots of rest stops, so you can catch your breath.

Here’s a special “Don Q” hint:
Taking numerous photos of the surrounding, spectacular mountain scenery and the wildflowers along the trail is a great excuse for making multiple stops. I do it often and I’m not ashamed to admit it.
After hiking for about a mile, you will see aptly-named Elephant Back Mountain directly in front of you and little Frog Lake on your left.

Frog Lake:
Turn off the main hiking trail, travel a very short distance to the lake and then find a good place to enjoy some fishing and relaxing.
I would suggest anywhere along the lake side that has most of the trees.
And as an unexpected bonus:
If you hike to the top of the ridge at the far end of Frog Lake, you will be looking down on Red Lake, far below. A great photo op!

Wildflowers:
Last week, the wildflowers were not quite at their peak, but I have an educated guess that they should be looking great by the time you read this.
Last week, the best display of wildflowers was along the west shoreline of Frog Lake. The flowers are all kinds of bright colors: Green, white, red, yellow, blue, violet, etc. You’ll see lots of Mule's Ears, Indian Paint Brush, Lupine, Buttercup, etc.

Finally, an important bit of advice:
If possible, try to go on a weekday, not on a weekend.
On weekends, the Winnemucca Lake Trail is jammed-packed with all kinds of wildflower lovers from far and wide. You won’t be lonely!

And, as a special two-part reminder:
01. Please do not trample on other flowers while trying to get a photo of a unique flower or group of flowers.
02. Please leave your dog home.
Be considerate of the others who have hiked there to admire that high-altitude display by Mother Nature.

Bet Your Favorite Pigeon
Bet your favorite pigeon that he can’t tell you the best time to photograph the wildflowers along the trail.
If he grins and says, “Your best time for those photos is early in the morning or late in the afternoon,” he has been there as a photographer.

— Don Quilici is the Outdoor editor for Carson Now. He can be reached at donquilici@hotmail.com


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Day R. Williams scored top of his law school class in Evidence and Constitutional Law, and he wrote for the Law Review. He is known as a fine legal writer. Day has practiced solo for more than 20 years in Carson City. He has handled contract disputes, personal injuries, bad faith by insurance companies, probate, estates and trusts, appeals, and a murder case. Day has tried cases and appeared in court in Carson City, Reno, Minden, Yerington, Ely, Fallon, Pahrump, and Las Vegas, and he has argued before the Nevada Supreme Court and the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. He was a driving force in the first citizen-initiated grand jury in Nevada’s history.

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A Carson City couple have made a commitment to take on the toughest job they're destined to ever love. Warren and Anita Shaul have been accepted into the Peace Corps and will begin work in Nicaragua this month as volunteers.

Warren Shaul says he was motivated to join the Peace Corps because when he has traveled, he enjoyed experiences where he had the opportunity to stay in one place and build friendships with the people he worked and lived with.

Sparks police say a Carson City man is the suspect in a bizarre incident where at least 100 rounds from three different weapons were shot from the second floor of Motel 6 early Thursday morning. No one was injured but several vehicles were damaged.

Luis Alberto Machado, 34, was arrested following the incident at the south side of the Victorian Avenue motel, after police fired a single shot that missed but forced him to surrender. He faces charges of obstructing with a firearm, assault with a deadly weapon on police officer, trafficking controlled substance and felony property damage.

Carson High has a new principal to call the shots around the school. Tasha Fuson stepped up to take over the biggest position Carson High offers to begin her 20th year in education. Mrs. Fuson has lived in Washoe Valley for the last seven years after growing up in Las Vegas. She chose Carson because she lives close and she (and her family) have been highly involved in the community for the last seven years.

The Carson City Sheriff’s Office is looking for a 14-year-old girl, considered a runaway. Jocelyn Morales is 5 feet 2 inches, 102 pounds with brown, shaved hair. She was last seen Aug. 19, when she left her Hot Springs Road home and failed to show up for school, said Carson City Sheriff’s Detective Steve Olson.

She was last seen wearing a gray hooded sweatshirt, gray leggings and black Vans shoes. Jocelyn has run away in the past, however she did not bring any additional clothing with her. She is entered into the National Crime Information Center as a runaway.

Tickets for the 2014 season of the Polar Express aboard the historic Virginia and Truckee Railroad are now on sale. The perennial holiday favorite all-ages train ride from the frosty Northern Nevada landscape to the North Pole, will run from Nov. 20 to Dec. 22. The hour long V&T diesel train ride includes a keepsake silver bell, hot chocolate and cookies, entertainment and a reading of The Polar Express.

The Carson City Sheriff’s Office will conduct another pedestrian crosswalk operation on Friday, Aug. 29. These operations are conducted to educate the public in pedestrian and driver safety, said Carson City Sheriff's Office Sgt. Scott McDaniel.

Earlier this month, a similar operation was held where 50 traffic citations were issued along the north and south ends of Carson Street.

The operation, in cooperation with the Nevada Highway Patrol, was done as a way to address pedestrian safety and a growing number of motorists failing to yield as pedestrians cross sidewalks, said McDaniel.

Attention musicians: The Carson City Symphony will begin rehearsals for the 2014-15 concert season on Wednesday, August 27, 7:00 to 9:15 p.m., at the Carson High School band room.

The Symphony, conducted by David Bugli, is a volunteer orchestra of about 55 players who perform music from the 15th to 21st centuries. It is open to string players at any time without audition, and to other instrumentalists when positions are available. Current openings are for strings and horn. Musicians who are interested in joining should contact the Symphony at 775-883-4154.

The Carson City Board of Supervisors are meeting today in the Sierra Room of the Carson City Community Center. Go here for the agenda and here to watch it live.

A 50-year-old Sacramento man, Timothy Eric Seibel, was arrested Wednesday, 2:56 p.m. in the 3300 block of East Fifth Street on a felony parole violation charge, a Carson City sheriff’s deputy said. He is being held without bail until a court hearing.

In other arrests: A 33-year-old Carson City man was arrested Thursday, 2:19 a.m. in the 900 block of South Carson Street on the following misdemeanor charges: Possession of drug paraphernalia, driving on a suspended license, no valid insurance, and two counts violation of a suspended sentence.

Carson City firefighters are participating in a second night of drills, according to dispatch. This drill is centered in the 500 block of West King Street. Firefighters did a similar drill on Tuesday night. Firefighters were called shortly before 8:30 p.m. to the location.

The Douglas County Sheriff’s Office has made a tentative identification on the skeletal remains discovered June 23 near the top of Spooner Summit in a remote, wooded area between the Tahoe Rim Trail and Kings Canyon Road.

The cause of death is still pending the autopsy results. Douglas County Sheriff's Sgt. Pat Brooks said Wednesday that DNA from the remains has been collected and DNA has been taken from the parents of the person who it is believed to be the deceased.

CARSON CITY — A total of 174 applications were submitted by Monday’s deadline to operate 76 medical marijuana dispensaries in Nevada, the state Division of Public and Behavioral Health reported.

As many as 45 employers will take part in an upcoming Job Fair sponsored by Carson City Health and Human Services, Job Opportunities in Nevada, and the Carson City Chamber of Commerce.

The event is Friday, September 26 from 2 to 4:30 p.m. for the general public. Veterans will be able to enter the Job Fair at 1:30 p.m. for early admission.

The Job Fair will be located in the large gym at the Carson City Community Center on 851 East William Street, Carson City, Nevada 89701.

The Builders Association of Western Nevada Women’s Council, which serves Carson City, Douglas and Lyon counties, continues its Helping Hands program this year by giving single female homeowners some help with upgrades and repairs to the homes they own.

Helping Hand signups continue with an August 29 application deadline.

Nevada middle and high school students and schools are encouraged to enter in the Nevada Prescription Drug Prevention Video Contest sponsored by Gov. Brian Sandoval and Attorney General Catherine Cortez Masto.

This is an opportunity for Nevada students to get creative and use social media to promote awareness about prescription drug abuse and encourage their peers to stay away from abusing prescription drugs.

Winners will be selected from each Nevada school district. Final winners will be announced Nov. 3, 2014.

A very small earthquake measuring a magnitude 1.38 rattled Carson City at 11:54 a.m., according to the Nevada Seismological Laboratory. The quake was located about 2.3 miles east southeast of Carson City.

Go here to learn more.

Work on a critical construction phase of the Carson City Freeway Project has finished, according to the Nevada Department of Transportation.

Completion of the 2B-2 roadway project is considered a milestone, NDOT officials say. The project included roadway grading, utility relocation, extensive drainage facilities to channel storm water runoff and construction of an overpass bringing Snyder Avenue over the future freeway.

Tyler Turnipseed was named chief game warden for the Nevada Department of Wildlife Monday. He is only the fifth Chief Game Warden in NDOW’s history, a position that oversees all game wardens in Nevada.

Game wardens enforce wildlife and boating safety laws across the state, in rural areas and on Nevada’s waterways. Turnipseed is relocating to Reno from Winnemucca where he spent 10 years as the sole game warden for that growing community.

A Silver Springs woman was booked Tuesday into Carson City Jail on a felony warrant charge of criminal contempt, failure to appear in court, a Carson City sheriff’s deputy said.

Kathleen Elizabeth Campbell, 24, was brought in by Lyon County deputies on the warrant, filed July 28, 2014 out of First District Court, for failure to appear on a gross misdemeanor charge of possession of a dangerous drug without a prescription. She is being held without bail until a court date is set. In other arrests:

Here is this week's fishing report for rivers, lakes and streams in Nevada and Northern California. This report is for the week of Aug 20-27. Varying conditions exist due to extreme drought conditions.