Off promptly at 7:00 AM for hike from Castle Lake to Castle Lake overlook passing by scenic Hart Lake. A 500 foot vertical and 3 miles total distance. Castle Lake was considered inhabited by an evil spirit and was called "castle of the devil." The Native Americans were quite afraid of the area especially in winter when they could hear the spirit groaning--They called the spirit KuKuPaRick. The groaning was later proved to be the ice formations. What a spectacularly beautiful hike through the heavily forested area surrounding Castle Lake to the barren rock strewn strata with all sorts of scrub bushes intermingled with blue, yellow and white wild flowers-incomprehensible beauty amongst the stark rocks. We crossed about 4 snowfields and had to scramble a boulder field hanging precariously at times before reaching the massive cliff overlooking Castle Lake 1000 feet below-framed in the background by massive Mt. Shasta at 14000. feet. This is called Castle Lake Overlook. It is a very spectacular setting and used in a recent Wolf's Christmas Card. On the way up we passed a small lake-Heart Lake fed by a large snow field and inhabited by loud and croaking bullfrogs. The trip consumed about 3 hours. The pictures tell the story best. It was a gorgeous sunny day and growing hot-in the 80's-by the time we reached the overlook. Castle Lake is a glacial lake and the outlet drains into Lake Siskiyou. The Lake is part of the headwaters of the Sacramento River. The lake is up to 110 feet deep. A lot of Alder trees and shrubs grow in the area and interestingly they provide rich sources of nitrates to the soil (Natural Fertilizer). The Alder has bacteria that are able to convert the nitrogen in air to nitrates. A miracle of nature. This is the reason flowers are so healthy and abundant in the area. The cats are having a blast at the beautiful wooded campgrounds watching the birds and the other dogs and cats. Everyone is happy!

We had a great brunch at Lily's Cafe-sole broiled on Caeser Salad.

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