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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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A 5.4 pound bear cub is the newest guest at Lake Tahoe Wildlife Care. The female, about 10 weeks old, was dropped off at the front door of the Bear League without a note or any word on where the bear came from or where her mother may be.

The cub is just learning to walk, but according to LTWC, she doesn't quite have the hang of it. They say her overall condition is good and she is eating pretty well, even with being so young.

A 22-year-old Carson City man was booked into the Carson City Jail on Wednesday, 4:45 p.m. on a misdemeanor warrant charge of violation of a suspended sentence. The warrant was issued Jan. 23, 2013 out of Carson City Justice Court for failure to appear. Bail: $3,000.

In other arrests: A Carson City woman was arrested Wednesday, 7:15 a.m. in the 1700 block of North Curry Street on a contempt of court warrant charge, issued out of Carson City Justice Court.

CARSON CITY, Nev. (AP) — The Nevada Supreme Court has upheld the removal of a state controller candidate from the June primary ballot because he doesn't meet residency requirements.

The Carson Tahoe Health Auxiliary hosts a rummage sale Friday, May 2, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., and Saturday, May 3, 8 a.m. to noon at the Eagles Lodge, 1380 E. 5th St. (between Roop and Saliman streets) in Carson City.

Donations for the sale are also needed. Items can be taken to the Eagles Lodge, Wednesday, April 30 and Thursday, May 1 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Auxiliary members will be there to accept your donations. NO LARGE APPLIANCES, COMPUTERS, OR EXERCISE EQUIPMENT PLEASE!

For more information, call Gwenn at 775-220-6116.

Carson City Cadette Girl Scout Troop 196 hosts a free Outdoor Education and Safety event May 3, from 1 to 5 p.m. at the Washoe State Park.

This event is part of the troop earning their Silver Award, which is the second highest award a girl scout can earn. The event is geared toward school-age children, but everyone is invited.

What a wonderful surprise! My husband and I arrived at our home to a find a beautiful display of red sparkly hearts arranged all over our front lawn. Also displayed on our lawn was a sign that read, "You've Been Love Tapped By The Carson Rainbow Girls." Oh how fun

"So how long do these stay on my lawn," my husband asks. We found a piece of paper on our front door. This was our "notice." We must contact the adult advisor of this fundraising project to have the Love Tapped display of love removed for a donation of $10.

Mothers will be the star passengers Sunday, May 11 on a special edition train ride from Nevada's capital, Carson City to the 1860s boom-era mining town of Virginia City.

Tickets are on sale now for a window seat into Nevada's Old West aboard the historic Virginia and Truckee Railroad. The ride features storytelling, history and lore, shopping, a long stem rose for mom, and brunch opportunities in Virginia City.

Carson City Fire Department responded Wednesday afternoon to a traffic accident at Robinson and Stewart streets. At least one person was seriously injured in the crash in which Care Flight has been ordered.

Firefighters had to extricate of one of the victims. Arriving personnel reported the vehicles had major damage. The landing zone for Care Flight was going to be the Carson Nugget parking lot.

The crash was reported at 3:13 p.m.

Ben Masters, 13, travels Saturday to University of California, Berkeley to participate in an official World Cube Association competition at Wheeler Hall.
Ben, who has been practicing his “cubing” skills about five months, has a personal best time of “about 17 seconds,” which has been perfected as he has practiced during his free time through each day and has worked up to doing five or six “solves” per hour, he said. He attends eighth grade at Dayton Intermediate School.

The Carson City Sheriff’s Office would like to advise the local community that a representative from L.A.W. (Let’s All Work to Fight Drug Abuse) publications will be in the area for the next two weeks selling ad space to produce the latest edition of their magazine which is customized for Carson City.

The ad space purchased is not only used for the purchase of the latest L.A.W. publication, but also pays for materials for crime prevention, teen related material, coloring books, and other safety related materials.

Here is this week's fishing report for rivers, lakes and streams in Nevada, Northern California and the Sierra. This report is for the week of April 16-22, 2014. Opening day for most fishing on California waterways is Saturday, April 26.

Partnership Carson City conducts a Prescription Drug Roundup, Saturday, April 26, at four locations. Folks are encouraged bring their unused and expired prescription drugs to one of the drop-off locations for proper disposal, as this helps protect the community and the water supply.

Drop-off locations are at Smith's Food & Drug at 599 E William St., and at Save Mart Supermarkets at 3620 N. Carson St.,3325 Hwy. 50 E., and 4348 S. Carson St., all in Carson City

A 26-year-old Carson City man was arrested Tuesday on suspicion of driving on a revoked license, a suspended registration and not having proof of insurance.

According to the Carson City Sheriff's Office arrest report, a deputy made a traffic stop at Roop and Washington streets because of a suspended license plate.

Shane Dwight's new album This House will be released this week.

Northern Nevada residents will get a rare chance to see Shane Dwight perform at Carson Station Casino, Carson City, Saturday, April 19 at 8 p.m. The concert is free.

In the music industry, there is often a preference to try and quickly define an artist and his music by placing him in one or two genre categories. The problem is a preconceived model doesn't fit someone like Dwight.

YERINGTON — Several hundred of Joe Dini’s friends, family and colleagues paid their last respects Tuesday at a funeral mass for the former, longtime Nevada Assembly speaker who was described as a quiet, humble man who became a “legislative giant” with a nose for compromise during more than three decades in the legislature.

The third annual Egg-stravaganza takes place Saturday, April 19 at 10 a.m. at Mark Twain Elementary School in Carson City.
This 16,000+ candy-filled egg hunt is a FREE event for Carson City children. Aged zones are set up for toddlers through 11 years old, with a separate zone for special needs children. Even the Easter Bunny will be there for pictures and to celebrate with the kiddos.

In support of a renewed movement to get just three more states to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment, Northern Nevada residents met and rallied in front of the Nevada Legislature at noon on Tuesday in support of Sausalito-resident Helene de Boissiere-Swanson.

Two people were injured Tuesday afternoon after their SUV rolled about 200 feet off the edge of a cliff around the snow line at Ash Canyon, Carson City Fire Department Chief Stacey Giomi confirmed.

A NAS helicopter from Fallon arrived to the scene and successfully airlifted the two out of the canyon and placed them on awaiting Care Flight helicopters. NAS was called as the helicopters it operates are able to navigate tight spaces. The NAS helicopter rappelled two rescuers from the air to get to the victims, Assistant Fire Chief Tom Tarulli said.

The Sausage Factory in Carson City, celebrating its third season as the official hot dog vendor of the Reno Aces, is giving away six tickets to Wednesday night's Aces game against the Las Vegas 51s.

The public is invited to Carson City Chamber’s Soup’s On! luncheon on Tuesday, April 22 to hear Congressman Mark Amodei tell about the trials and tribulations of being a member of the U.S. Congress.

He will present his interpretation of the votes (or non-votes) that affect our everyday lives. Always an engaging and lively speaker, Amodei’s signature style is to not bore his audience. He is witty and down to earth, and we will get an earful.