When I tell people I’m from California, I usually get a response questioning my ability to surf and/or if I can see the ocean from my house. Considering I grew up in the Central Valley, my “surf” was behind a boat on one of the many lakes and rivers. Folsom lake specifically was a huge part of my childhood as it was just a bike ride away. With the slightest glimpse of the Spring’s sun, we would be packed up and headed for the water.
To see more of sunshine playtime in California check out the post, “Jumbled July Shenanigans in California”.
Back to Folsom Lake. So, how did this aquatic social park get here? Before the massive body of water, there was a dainty little town that was home to 2,500 Mormon immigrants seeking riches after settlers struck gold in the nearby city of Coloma. Developed in 1848, it lasted only 100 years before the city was flooded for the Folson Dam project that created the lake we know today.
Thank you internet for this photo of the historic town during it’s prime.
After 2 consecutive dry seasons, Folsom Lake is at a record low of only 17% capacity. Below is a comparison of the dam when the lake was full and one of the present state of drought.
With levels this low, the lost city from the 1800’s has revealed evidence of it’s once thriving existence. Now that you can walk miles of what usually is underwater, we decided to head out to see the city we had been swimming over for years. (Recognize these boys? Mike and Hayden were my amusing partners in crime during the last adventure in Europe).
Here, you can see old roads and remaining stones from what could of been a local home, saloon or school.
If you’ve ever enjoyed a summer on this lake, you’ve seen at least one of your friends (if not you, yourself) dive in after a phone, a pair of sunglasses, keys, watch… pretty much anything that doesn’t float. I can only imagine how many of these were found during the early days of the drought. On this excurssion, we were lucky to see older items that had been discovered and placed on display for the public to view.
Luckily I’m writing this post with rain hitting the windows and predicted snow fall in the mountains. We’re all hoping for the return of a lake in the near future, so I’ll leave this post with one of my favorite night photos I took on Folsom Lake years ago after a day of play in the sun. !
I’m calling it Folsom Pond these days and pray for the return to lake status!
This poor lake! So sad to see it in such terrible conditions. Hopefully Folsom and the Sierras get pounded in this last part of winter!