The Devil's Bathtub
Originally the trip was just supposed to consist of just me
and an old buddy. .
Instead he ended up bringing his daughter and her girlfriend
who were both in their early teens.
We had planned to spend one day
hiking to and swimming in Doris Lake, spend
one day canoeing on Edison Lake and then backpack in
to the Devil's Bathtub, a natural lake in the John Muir Wilderness above
Edison Lake, and spend two nights.
overall was enjoyable.
The time we spent at the Devil's Bathtub was a
The mosquitos were voracious in the early morning and
evening and could only be driven back with a smokey fire which worked well but
left us permeated with smoke.
The first afternoon was a typical warm
When we arrived at the Devil's Bathtub we set up camp and
then took a swim in the lake.
Unlike Doris Lake the Devil's Bathtub was
cold and clear.
Me and my buddy swam to an offshore rock and sunned
ourselves like a pair of old walrus'.
The second afternoon was the wild
The sky was sunny and clear in the late morning and into the early
I took a break from the others, following a bear path up to
a high meadow directly under the rocky peaks. I never saw the bear and assumed
he was probably off his path sleeping somewhere at midday.
As I was
returning the cup in the peaks at the bottom of which lay the Devil's Bathtub
was rapidly filling with clouds. I took another quick dip in the lake to wash
off the grime from the trail.
As I set on a rock drying the raindrops
began. I stood under a huge cedar and waited out the cloud burst. After a good
rain it let up and I returned to camp.
Once in camp the rain returned
with a vengeance.
This time it did not let up and the area that our
tents encircled was rapidly filling up with water.
Me and my buddy
started digging a couple of short trenches to drain the water away from our
As we were doing so the rain let up.
And then we found
out why they call it the Devil's Bathtub.
The lightening was marching up through the forest.
The strikes were becoming more frequent and definitely louder.
We huddled under a giant cedar in a forest of cedar wet to the bone. Then we
stated hearing the lightening at the same time we saw.
The lightening continued it's relentless march towards us
Ka-Boom! It struck about a hundred feet away!
We thanked God profusely as the march of the lightening continued up
across the lake!
So we learned first hand why this particular spot held the name
of the Devil's Bathtub!
Later after the rain had stopped and we had gotten a fire
started I walked over to the spot that the lightening had struck.
I had seen a peculiar charred stump while collecting word.
I had kicked
the stump which was about six inches thick and waist high.
It had felt
like a kicked a steel column.
As I approached the spot that the
lightening had struck I noted that the same stump that I had kicked was now
The stump was totally dry after the fierce downfall of
And it was hot to the touch.
My theory is that this stump
had been struck by lightening more than once which refutes the theory that
lightening never strikes the same spot twice.
The weather conditions at
the Devil's Bathtub could be explained by the cup in the peaks under which the
Devil's Bathtub rested. The peaks must funnel the storm clouds together to
increase the severity of the storm.