Saturday, May 10, 2014

Elizabeth's Lake

Hidden Lakes

This jewel of a lake is located in northwest Los Angeles County within the Angeles National Forest.  It is one of the few natural lakes in California.  It is technically called a sag pond.  These ponds are formed when fault movements stretch the crust of the earth, causing the ground to sink and fill with water.  That it sits directly over the San Andreas Fault and has an interesting story behind it, makes it worth a visit by curious travelers like me.

"Hey . . . and me!  Don' t forget this blog is about me!  It's Mimi's Suitcase, remember?  Not Marea's Suitcase."

"Um, right."  And so Mimi insisted we visit this lake and hopefully spot the monster living in its depths.  (Although rumors now abound that it has long been shot.)

  In 1780 Father Junipero Serra named it Devil's Lake.  Early settlers claimed a 50 ft. creature with six legs, a giraffe's neck, bulldog's head and wings of a bat lived here.  Father Serra thought it was the devil's pet.   Stories continued to frighten people away from it for the next 50 years.  People heard screams at night and ranchers kept claiming their livestock were being eaten.

But in 1849, when the Gold Rush began, people discovered this beautiful little lake and started to camp here.  One such vacationer, Elizabeth Wingfield, was camping with her family when she went down to the lake to fill buckets with water for drinking and cooking.  She slipped on a log and fell in.  Other campers couldn't help but laugh at the sight and the poor girl never heard the end of it!  From then on, it was known as Elizabeth's Lake.
 "Do you feel better, now, Mimi?  Less neglected?"

"No.  I think we should rename the lake."

"Let me guess.  To Mimi's Lake?"

"Of course!"

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