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A Day Hike at Hensley Lake


A quiet hiking and fishing lake just outside the historic town of Raymond.

One of our New Year traditions is to take a long walk on New Year’s Day.  This year, Hensley Lake was our destination.  We wanted to find a place to let the dogs stretch their legs… and ours as well, after plentiful holiday feasting!  We arrived in the early afternoon, delighted to find that only a few mountain bikers, horseback riders and dog walkers shared the trail. We set out on the loop trail that leads through the Frisbee Golf Course (a delightful surprise attraction we will have to revisit) and were quickly distracted by the features of the landscape.  

The water level was low, revealing the rolling hills usually hidden below the waterline. The raking winter light was lovely, creating a stark contrast between bare oaks, dry grass and blue sky.  We had a simple picnic lunch on the trunk of a fallen oak.  The air was crisp and cool.  The silence was profound, without the daily drone of traffic, construction, and the inevitable sounds of day to day life.  We left the lake feeling peaceful, a bit winded, and blessed by the beauty of nature.  

There is something special about staying close to home for the holidays, with no travel, heavy traffic or strict schedule.  While they may be far away, our friends and family are close to heart, and so is the hearth, with a crackling fire and the pleasures of home.  Happy New Year Everyone!

Jon Bock, Artist/Photographer and Chairman for Sierra Art Trails and owner of  Williams Gallery West, Oakhurst



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