July 1986 — Camping and fishing at Prosser Lake.

Prosser Creek Reservoir, near the California-Nevada state line, was one of the first places The Big Guy took me camping. It was a roughly 2-hour drive from our house east on Interstate 80 in my 1970 VW Bug; we left home at eight in the evening and by 11:30 we had our tent set up and the car unloaded, and we hit the sack. A thick cushion of pine needles lay under our sleeping bags, making for a wonderfully soft place to get a good night’s sleep.


The next morning, fog was blowing across the water and making Carpenter Ridge, to the west, appear and then disappear.

The lake view from our campsite:

By 7 in the morning we were back in the Bug, this time heading over some dirt roads — and occasionally cross country through the brush — from one end of the lake to the other, searching for the perfect trout-fishing spot.





Dinner that night was fresh trout and corn on the cob cooked over our campfire.

The view from the dam:

Back in those days, we spent a lot of our free time watching reruns of the TV western, Bonanza. The fictional Ponderosa Ranch was located on the east shore of Lake Tahoe, about 20 miles from where we were camping, and to our eyes, the landscape around Prosser looked an awful lot like the scenery in the show. We almost expected Little Joe and Hoss to come riding over the ridge!



We also explored the spillway, located at the north end of Prosser Creek Dam:




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