Maybe I should get a boat and swim the dogs through the summer. Really, I'm thinking about it. I can't hike due to the rattlers, but the girls all love to swim.
Lake Elizabeth is LA County's largest natural lake. The lake has a rich historical past. The lake was once known as Laguna de Diablo (the Lake of the Devil) There are many stories of the Devil's pet (monster) that lives in the bottom of the lake that has attacked cattle and people. These stories go back to the 1800's.
In the 1880's Don Chico Lopez and two other men claimed to witness a monster with bat-like wings rise from the lake. Workers reported seeing ominous shadows over the lake cast by the demon and the disappearance of livestock was recorded. In 1886 a Don Felipe Rivera said that a 40 foot long creature with 6 legs and 2 leathery wings had eaten some of his cattle. Basque immigrant, Miguel Leonis purchased the ranch around the lake and the story goes that after losing several of his animals, Leonis hunted the creature and attacked it. The wounded creature apparently hid in the lake and then allegedly fled the area.
The creature resembled a pterodactyl
I started to walk around the lake and then noticed a road going towards the hills. Of course, I had to investigate. I have never been on this road. We walked several miles.
In 1780, Father Junipero Serra named lake Elizabeth La laguna de Diablo because those who lived near the lake believed it contained the Devil's pet. In the late 1800's Tiburcio Vasquez and other banditos used the lake as a hideout for their stolen cattle and horses. I hear there is a cave that Tiburcio used in the area. I will see if I can find it!
It kept going and going. I started to get an eerie feeling especially with the high rocky cliffs to my right. I know enough to "listen" to my gut. I didn't have a gun on me. We turned around and headed back to the lake. It's getting close to Cougar kitten time.
We walked by an old orchard to the right of the lake.
We got surprised by 3 mule deer in the brush :0)
We came across an old abandoned residence. Now it was just old wood with some graffiti, but you could see the work someone had put into the place.
Cypress trees were meticulously planted, stairs and rock walls were still standing. There was also a rock fire pit at the top of the stairs. Very cool.
They had a beautiful view. I always like to wonder about who might have been living here. I wish those who knew the story would tell about it in the local paper or something. I know it must have some interesting tale to go with it.
Champ and Yoko took a minute in the shade to rest
See the rock wall around the property. Someone did a lot of work.
My "flower" kids
This is a reminder that we are hiking in a rural area. Could this be the work of the devil's pet? Have to keep the story going :0)
Yoko takes some time out for a swim. She has no fear. :0)
I yelled at her to get out of the reeds. They can be pretty sharp.
Little man Champ wasn't quite ready for a swim :0)
So many beautiful things to look at. Quail, rabbits, hawks, deer, and even the different colored reeds were interesting to look at.....I'm a sucker for nature. :0) Honest, this lake is only 10 minutes from us and I have never hiked this far around it. It just goes to show you that there is so much beauty right where you live. You just need to get outside and explore. We will be back, real soon.
In fact, we came back the very next day. To be continued!