Archive for June, 2013

Lodge log books

When you’re on an overnight trip with 30 fourth and fifth graders (see Peabody’s earlier post), it’s a pleasure to find a safe place for a bit of peace and quiet. At the Clair Tappaan Lodge in the Sierras, that place is the Library, a medium sized reading room with a cozy wood stove and eclectic collection of donated fiction, travel and natural history books. On one of the lower shelves, are large Tupperware containers filled with visitor log books dating back to the 1930s. The oldest books simply list names and dates. But many are packed with the personal accounts of the Boy Scout troops, nature clubs, families, couples and individuals who have used the lodge as a base for exploring the area. My favorites were illustrated with maps and pictures or random doodles. Check out a few pictures here.

Donner Pass Overnight

My class went to the Sierras for the last week of school. We went there because we were studying the transcontinental railroad which went through this area. On the first day we went on a hike to the snowsheds, which are structures that were used to keep snow off the tracks. The tracks aren’t there, but I found a big hunk of metal which might be a piece of the Transcontinental railway. We hiked through the tunnel which was very cold, wet and dark. There was even some snow. Nearby there are Native America petroglyphs that you can walk right up to. People aren’t positive what they actually mean. We stayed at Clair Tappan Lodge, which was built by Sierra Club volunteers in the 1930s. The first thing we did when we got to the lodge was to drop all our clothes and sleeping bag in our rooms. There was one bunk bed and two triple bunk beds in my room. Then we went down to the basement to play ping pong. All guests who stay at the lodge have to sign up for a chore. Some of the chores are cleaning dishes, taking out the trash, setting the table – just like home, but instead of setting the table for four you’re doing it for 30. On the next day we woke up and made our lunches for that day’s long hike. It had rained the night before so there were billions of mosquitoes out. Halfway through the hike, we did a solo where you went for part of the way by yourself. After that we went to the top of the mountain and found a large patch of snow. In seconds there was a huge snowball fight. After that we had lunch, went back to the lodge, packed-up and drove back to school. Sometime I would like to go back in the winter when there is more snow.