Friday, July 21, 2017

detour: cooler mountains

Fleeing the week of 105+ degree weather, the mountains offered little respite. But 90 degrees at 6500 feet still sounded better, and camping, swimming, kayaking and hiking sounded like a great plan.

how much can you cram in/on a Subaru? A lot.

First things first: launch the kayak for the first time this season. The rivers have been running too fast and cold for casual kayaking, but now it's just right. There is something about water and granite and blue skies (and no cell service) to make you stop worrying about all those projects you left on your desk...

just breathe

old, cut tree with logging marks

tiny tree among granite

I didn't take any photos of our lovely camping spot, next to the creek, with a short walk to the lake. But I took full advantage of putting my feet in the creek, and a comfy chair, with a 800+ page new book, (the last in one of my favorite trilogies): now that's a great weekend.

a lovely start

meadow of mule's ear, not blooming quite yet!

But I guess I should put down the book for awhile (and it was way too heavy to put in my backpack) and hit the trails. For a short hike, no monsters this weekend. Except in the lake! I had really wanted to swim after our couple-mile excursion to the lake, but it was filled with catfish, swimming along the surface, intensely interested in whatever. I don't like fish that I can see. I got my feet wet and that was all.

perfect Salmon lake

too many catfish

But we continued, there were many lakes along the trail, and eventually there was a great one to take a lunch break, read my secondary (much more lighter-weight) book, and breathe the cool air.
granite trail
Sierra phlox
The trails are mostly granite, interspersed with giant boulders to climb around and over, and this year, still snow! The lakes were all full, there were fallen trees and a lot of debris on trail, but hidden flowers were everywhere.

pretty in pink, mountain heather

removing some jammed-up debris (and singing Toad's "Dam Would Break" for awhile after this...)

Sierra fawn lily

it wasn't that hot out, but I couldn't resist laying the snow/ice.

Back in the campsite, I hefted my book, ate marshmellows and looked up at the trees. And then back at my book, because honestly, what's going to happen next?

along our camp creek

Thursday, July 13, 2017


The same trails. The same trees. The same easy-access staging area. It was all getting a bit dull. But it was too hot to trailer far, I wanted to start early!

pretty, but boring

different day, same staging area

So time for a new perspective…I put it in reverse! I trailered to the usual staging area, and decided to just ride home from there (and my trailer would be driven home by S.O., awesome!). We are very lucky to have such an amazing trail system. Major thought he was in heaven! He always wanted to head home from these trails, but I had been too focused on elevation and distance, to just have a fun ride.

barrel trail: Major didn't care at all

giant piles of leftover gravel
Stu the Dog's trail!

Hidden water trough: lovely water, Major disdains
First I wandered up and down the hills a bit, just to get some elevation training (since it's all downhill going home). I finally rode down the strange hanging barrels trail, Major didn't care at all. We waded into the water, then stormed back up the hill…and towards home. Major couldn't contain his excitement, 'You mean we really are going home, not fooling me and turning around soon?" Nope, let's go!"

A little river play time
then back up the canyon and back down towards home

While it might be steep cliffs for a bit, it is what we're used to. So no worries as we trot along. It was a great, different look at the same trail. Panoramas opened up ahead, that had previously been hidden behind me. Boats on the lake (where we could walk across last year!)

the vertigo photo! (yes it was that green right here, weird I know)
I'll take this view

After the cliffs, it's an easy trail. And no one was out! Early + hot = empty trails. I'll take it.

haha, nice ears on the bridge of death
another disdained trough...sigh...
It's a sparkly!

We were home before noon. I think Major was pleasantly surprised at our turn of trail. And even better, my trailer had already been parked by my great S.O. I think I could get used to this new perspective.