Thursday, January 9, 2014

All Dried Up, A Visit To Folsom Lake

I hadn't really noticed that it hadn't rained here in a dreadfully long time; not until people started posting photos of their trips to Folsom Lake and comments about how low the lake has been. It has been relatively low for a couple years now, so I really didn't think much about it. I mean, how low is low? A friend recently told me that it was low enough to see the remains of the town that the lake covered when the Folsom Dam was built. Yeah, that's pretty low.

Pretty soon after that, the history buff in me started to obsess about the tragic romanticism of a forgotten town submerged under water. I have a thing for old buildings and apparently that obsession extends to Gold Rush era building foundations, turn of the century door hinges and nails, and forlorn sawed off tree trunks. According to wikipedia (so it must be true!), Mormon Island was the location of Sacramento's first ball in 1849 and was the starting point of the Gold Rush.

I packed up the kids and dog and we ventured out to see what we could find. Along the way, we found out the dog gets carsick. That was fun, but thankfully didn't spoil our day. It was kind of eerie walking through parts of the lake usually reserved for boating and swimming, kicking old Coors cans from the 70s and wondering if rubbish like that counts as "artifacts" or trash. Artifacts are illegal to remove, so we took the safe bet and left the pop top can there for all to marvel. You're welcome.

This isn't the first year that parts of Mormon Island have been visible and unlikely it will be the last, but I do believe that it is the lowest the lake has been since the dam filled the area in 1955. Technically, the buildings we see are on the outskirts of town and are believed to be an old winery, the main town is still submerged. The plus side, I guess, is that it's been quite a boon for the State Park. The ruins are bringing quite the crowds and parking money to boot.

Rain, rain, come and play. We can see the Island another day.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Comments are moderated, it will be approved after I make sure you aren't a cylon. I have tests for that.