|We drove 30 miles south west of Mt. Shasta to a very remote pair of lakes deep in the heart of the Shasta Forest and just south of the Crags State Park. It was 18 miles of slow two lane to one lane blacktop forest road that wound upward from 2000 feet to 6000 feet. It was total isolation but a fabulous forest ride. The final 3 miles were on gravel that greone w progressively worse. In fact the final mile we drove over and dodged fallen trees and huge boulders-not to mention the ruts and heaves. Suddenly a yellow jeep startled us as it crossed our path in the total wilderness. We finally reached the rustic camping area and parked. A camper told us we had better walk the final mile to Tamarack Lake as the boulders and road conditions were beyond anything but a jeep or ATV. Nancy had done a spectacular job of driving! It had taken us nearly 90 minutes to get to our destination. We walked the final mile to the lake up the badly rumpled road noting the huge ruts and boulders-It was tough just walking it. The lake was so serene and beautiful and framed by a giant wall of stone with a large snowfield feeding the lake. It was a perfect mirror. We thought we'd be alone but alas there was a campsite with two jeeps and four scary lesbians. Ah the surprises the wilderness holds. We then hiked to nearby Upper Twin Lake-another jewel in the wilderness. The trail was very seldom used and often hard to read. We had to bushwhack our way through thick brush and climb up and down rugged boulders. It was slow going. The ground was covered with beautiful flowers in many areas and that inspired our progress.We built several cairns to mark our trail so we could retrace our steps back. Upon our return to Tamarack Lake Bill and Nancy got giddy and dashed into the lake for a swim . I stuck with a good wade since the water was pretty cool! We had a great time and all the whining and complaining about the horrible drive and mosquitoes dissipated to a dim memory. Four and a half miles and 885 vertical feet. We celebrated with brunch once again at Lily's Cafe. Tomorrow we depart this paradise for Coos Bay Oregon. Mid 90's here to upper 60's in Coos Bay!