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Lost LakeJune 22, 2009

I realized this week that I'm a moron. We live five minutes away from an entrance to the Lake Chabot Regional Park. It's gorgeous, immense, and it's legal off leash space for dogs. We do walk up there sometimes, but I always seem to forget about it.

And there's this one point that I've passed many times on one of the trails where a sign points to Lake Chabot. I thought that the lake itself was miles and miles away, that it would be a four hour hike or something. I always planned to pack a picnic someday and hike it.

Then this week I mapped it out on gmap pedometer (you know about that site, right?).

It's a MILE AND A HALF AWAY. The lake is almost right there, and I'd never hiked to it. Lame-o.

So today I set about repairing that. After a good morning's worth of writing, I headed off with Clara for our adventure. It was warm but there was a good breeze. There were flowers.


You know everything (I know you do), so what are these?


Aren't they wonderful? There were so many of them, clouds of them. They look like a cross between an orchid and a lupine, but they had no scent.

Clara runs ahead:


And then, you know what?

WE GOT LOST. Not very lost. It wasn't like I didn't know how to get back -- I remembered every turn I took (and I had my cell phone). But I couldn't find the damn lake. I saw it in front of us once, but I couldn't get us to it. Blast it all. After about forty-five minutes of looking for it, I had to turn us around because I'd only planned on hiking about an hour, with water for Clara at the trailhead at the beginning and end, so I hadn't carried any water. (I won't make that mistake again. I didn't like worrying about her. She was fine, but I was stressed.) With the sun and her dark fur, I didn't feel like messing around with overheating her, so we headed back. It was a bit frustrating.

But it makes it better for next time. We're SO gonna find it.


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The wild flower you admired is wild sweet pea also called goat's rue. The plant is the source of rotenone.

It is native along the entire West Coast but can be cultivated in wild flower gardens anywhere in North America.

Those flowers look like sweet peas, but I could be wrong

It's definitely something in the pea family, though not a species I could readily identify. I know someone who probably can at least narrow it down, though. I'll send him around.

Not sure but the flowers look sort of like sweet peas to me. Are they on a vine?

The flowers may have been "Lady Slippers", not sure, just a guess. Lupine does not have a scent that I know of... You should get a coloring book all on wild flowers. I love coloring books, but the ones on wild flowers are really special.

Sounds like a wonderful adventure! And so close to home..

I think they are wild sweet peas. check this out:

What a wonderful place to hike!

Be careful with the water. Don't want u to end up lost in the forest like some of our ridiculous callers..

love me a good adventure! and when there are flowers along the way, well...that's just about a perfect way to spend the day! next time be sure to take some water!

i believe these are sweet peas. lovely, no?

Being from New England, you reminded me of the line often attributed to people from Maine - you can't get there from here (or in the local vernacular, yeh cahn't get theah from heah!)

Anybody else find it charming that Mary Plante was firsst to identify the wild sweet peas?


I vote for sweet peas too. We used to have a lot of them growing wild in a field not far from the house where I grew up. Good luck finding the lake next time!

Eek - getting lost is something I'm very good at! Good tip about the water. The Gmap Pedometer site is something I've been looking for - thanks for the link!

Are we living parallel lives? Probably not, but...

Just two weekends ago, we went to Lake Chabot for the very first time. We went the long way around, to the other side, and took a couple of bikes. (for some reason I decided to walk) Very well used on that side. Lots of orange sticky monkey!

We didn't get lost that time, but now I need to drive straight back up into the hills behind our house to hike on this end of the lake. There's a campground back in there. But I bet it feels crowded when it's full.

And I Hate seeing just where I want to go, and not being able to get there! So frustrating!

I didn't realize that those would grow by you. I see them every summer up around Graeagle/Quincy area. I've even brought seeds home but they didn't germinate this year, much to my dismay. Maybe once the rains start....

Yeah, Sweet Peas... that's what I was going to say... okay I admit it, I was just going to call them "Pretty Flowers". But I still would have been right!

Sweet Peas! They are so easy and lovely to grow in a garden too. And they make terrific cut flowers!

I lurve them almost best of all.

Man, that dusty road makes me thirsty just looking at it.
You're not a moron (we ALL know that); you had sense enough to turn back when you did. Some people can't even figure that out.
Have fun with your new discovery!
Ugh, I gotta go get a glass of water.

I have no idea on the plants - when I moved to California, a friend from Grad School gave me a book called "Roadside Plants of Southern California" because of my total unfamiliarity with local plant life. Better luck with the next jaunt to the lake!

Thanks for the gmap pedometer link. It *might* motivate me to walk!

Yes, Wild Peas. Sweet peas have slightly different stems and a scent.

Sorry you didn't find the lake--yet! I know you will some day. :)

Definitely sweet peas. My parents had them in their garden when they lived in Indiana. They're beautiful but invasive. If you ever want to grow them, be sure to grow the annual kind (don't get a perennial clipping from a friend, unless you want sweet peas for ever and ever and ever! :)).

Thanks Mel,

It's definitely a sweet pea. With those winged stems, it's going to be a sweetpea in the genus Lathyrus. I can go any better cos I don't have the plant in hand - need to look at winged stipules at base of leaf etc.

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