Friday, May 18th…relaxing paddling all around…
There is a crawfish on the endangered species list called the Shasta Crawfish. It is only found in this area. It is getting eaten up by ordinary crawfish that has been introduced by fisherfolk using them as bait. The Shasta Crawfish has adapted its protective coloration to blend in with its environment.
The Shasta Crawfish is turquoise, moss green with burnt orange claws. And that is what you find within the waters of Ja She creek. Clear and clean. Where the light hits the bottom, it turns the lake bottom turquoise. I can easily say that this is one of the most beautiful spots on earth that I have ever seen. Pure and wild. Little dragonflies that are clear, save for two turquoise dots on either end. Swallow tail butterflies dancing with the gentle breeze. The springs bubbling forth create enough movement that the surface is dappled and dances with the reflection. Depth perception is nearly impossible. It is clear 30 to 40 feet down. You have no way of knowing how deep the waters actually are.
It is here that we filled up our water bottles, twice, even tho there was a spring close to where we camped. We filtered the water, but I doubt we really needed to. It takes awhile using the hand pumped filtration system but we didn’t mind. We took turns and let the canoe drift about in the dappled sun with the gentle breeze and accompanying buzz of insects and birdsong. High above, the cry of an osprey.
Ja She creek isn’t really a creek per se. It’s a deep lake with water bubbling up from underground, after having travelled through 50 miles of porous vocalic lava flows and under mountains. The source being Tule Lake near the California/Oregon border. This 50 mile underground journey is why the water is so darned pure and clear.
At the northern tip of the creek are more fishing traps used for hundreds of years by the native americans who populated this region and still used today. Not only did they use the traps for catching the rainbow trouts and sucker fish that live here, but they used them as a fish husbandry station that insured a continuous supply of food.
Friday night stars and a hooting owl.