Category Archives: camping

New Year’s Day and Monterey Bay

We planned a couple nights with the T@G over New Year’s at New Brighton State Beach hoping for a break in the rain. We had beautiful weather, but it was cold (for a Californian); in the low  30º’s. A great campground on a bluff overlooking the Pacific. We set up camp, investigated a bit and then went to a nice restaurant in Capitola to celebrate the new year. New year’s day we hiked down to the beach, walked along the water’s edge a bit, and sat in the sun. I had a T-shirt on! Worst thing about winter camping is it gets dark so soon. So I was BBQing in the dark and we sat around a wonderful fire while we had dinner. Pictures prove we were there………..

sunrise at the campsite

sunrise at the campsite

Capitola at the tip

Capitola at the tip

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group campsite

chillaxin' on New Brighton Beach

chillaxin’ on New Brighton Beach

dig hole, fall asleep

dig hole, fall asleep

beautiful blonde

beautiful blonde

pelican

pelican

hiking back up to the campsite

hiking back up to the campsite

sunset at our campsite

sunset at our campsite

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Lost

We took a short vacation out multiple days with the Tag to the Lost Coast in northern California last week. I’d first heard about the area as a backpacking trail which mostly follows the surf line  through the King’s Range National Conservation Area. It took us over 6 hrs. to get there; the last 30 miles from Ferndale to Petrolia on a windy, hilly, barely two lane road. I was very happy to be in the Jeep. The last 6 miles were mostly on an unpaved road with one creek crossing as we headed towards Mattole Beach, the trailhead for backpacking north to south.

The Mattole Beach campground is on BLM land, with only 15 undeveloped sites, and has only potable water and vault toilets. The sites are good sized and we scored one at the edge of the dunes. We were a little disappointed about not being able to see the water directly, but soon discovered the dunes were protecting us from the winds.

morning light

morning light

Looking north and south from our campsite:

September 29, 2014_untitled_1517

 

 

 

 

 

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path to the beach

path to the beach

Our first hike was via the beach to Mattole River which empties into the Pacific; maybe a mile one way. The dogs were having a blast running all over and of course Chloe investigated the surf immediately.

little dog-safe distance from the surf

little dog-safe distance from the surf

Chloe retrieving

Chloe retrieving

Mattole River

Mattole River

looking up river

looking up river

river meets the Pacific

river meets the Pacific

 

happy dog

happy dog

We had great weather throughout with one day of severe winds. Unfortunately that’s the day we had planned to hike to the old lighthouse; maybe 3-4 miles south. About 2 miles out with the wind, we knew it’d take twice as long to get back against the wind. Coupled with soft sands  and really tired dogs, we headed back, never reaching the lighthouse.

windy day

windy day

September 30, 2014_untitled_1546

 

tide pools

tide pools

 

lighthouse around that bend

lighthouse around that bend

This was our longest time out with the Tag and the first to use our solar setup to keep our trailer battery charged. I’m excited to say, we didn’t run out of juice for the entire trip. Of course, we don’t use much; the refrigerator is on all the time, but we only use the lights for bedding down, and had no use for the fan this trip with cooler weather.

Being so close to the redwoods we took a little diversion on the way home via Avenue of the Giants. K loves trees!

tree hugger

Ave.Giant

 

 


 

 

 

 

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Sacramento River

Last weekend we took an overnight to a State Park just a short walk to the river.

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Hardly anyone there, a few at the group spot over a 100 yards away. We pretty much had the place to ourselves. We picked a site with lots of trees, set up camp and then took a hike to the river. As usual Chloe was the first in. We didn’t change to our suits so we just splashed around to cool off; it was about 97º.

camp

camp

We of course had an excellent dinner with a cold beer and the next morning a great breakfast.

morning light

morning light

K had found a shorter hike to the river with a nice beach and some trees to provide shade, so we took off after breakfast this time with our suits on to explore the river more.

dog in river

dog in river

dog in dirt

dog in dirt

chillaxing on the beach

chillaxing on the beach

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Folsom (not the prison)

We had our shake down trip last weekend with our new teardrop trailer; we spent one night at Folsom Lake. Everything worked perfectly. We cooked a great dinner the night we got there and a fantastic breakfast the next day. Best of all was the refrigerator. No having to buy ice or food falling into the water. Even better, the beer was super duper cold!

 

getting diner ready

getting diner ready

August 23, 2014_untitled_0540

August 23, 2014_untitled_0541

can we go to the lake now?

can we go to the lake now?

 

breakfast prep

breakfast prep

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Tag Your It

Been busy examining, commiting and executing the plans for the next several years vacation time. Here it is, a rig to get to the places I want to go; road or no road with my bikes, dogs, and partner.

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And my new Jeep to get me there. Sitting in the lot just before it’s to be detailed.

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We brought the teardrop home yesterday and have our first shakedown trip next Saturday. We’re going to a local lake just for the night. Fortunately swimming and hiking are in the plans for Sunday morning. We have reservations for local weekend trips already organized and we’ll be packing bikes for most of them. Still in the works, 3 weeks of vacation, for longer, bigger, further away excursions. Here’s some possible locations: Olympic National Park, Yellowstone, and the Grand Tetons. The requirements are always, bikes and dogs allowed.

peace, ks

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Winter in March

Seems a long time ago, but we had a wet March and  coupled with buying a Concept2 indoor rowing machine, I haven’t been on my bike much since. I love my rowing machine. It’s quite a different workout than a long training ride. In fact, right now, training rides are the farthest from my mind. I’m rowing 3 days a week and on a 24 week workout plan which indoor rowers are familiar with (Pete Plan). I am looking forward to alternating rowing/commuting to work but I have to get over a stretch of overtime the next week or so.

concept2-4_1

 

I’m actually on vacation this week and we just returned from camping in the Sierra foothills, our campsite on the edge of the south fork of the Yuba River. No bikes, no hiking, just playing in the water with the dogs (which the little one hates), investigating the locals, and sitting around campfires enjoying coffee and reading a book.

 

2 person, 2 dog tent

2 person, 2 dog tent

 

Morning mist………..

Yuba River

Yuba River

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N39 5.5758 W120 2.4108

LAKE TAHOE. I’ve been on vacation since mid-May, and it’s been a good one. I actually can’t remember the last time I took two, whole weeks off at one time. This block of vacation was actually saved to go to Ireland but I had to delay the trip until this upcoming Sept. Anyways, took off for Tahoe last Monday and spent a glorious 4 days there. We didn’t really have the luck of the Irish with us as far as weather was concerned. Spatters of rain began  within a 1/2 hour into the drive. Rain continued to increase as we reached the Sierras and as we passed the summit on Highway 80, it was a serious downfall with temperatures registering 40˚F. I worried a little about camping in the snow, I mean, it was only midday and it could easily drop to  freezing by nightfall.

our camp spot near the lake

our campsite near the lake

First we had a lunch in Tahoe City, did some grocery shopping, and headed for our campsite. Set up tent, get all the logistics in order (had to use a bear box for food and aromatics) and make a fire as soon as I could. It was cold ( a lot of layers under that coat)!

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A  misty rain was off and on the rest of the afternoon and we actually cooked dinner and stayed outside until a little after sunset until the rain returned in earnest. We packed everything up and headed for the tent; K, myself and my dog. I was looking forward to my new sleeping pad, really a backpacking air mattress made by Big Agnes, the insulated Q-Core Superlight. The last few trips I’d been experiencing hip and back pain with my old pad and was hoping for the best with my new one.

We just made it into the tent, convinced the dog she’d be more comfortable at the end of the tent instead of on top of me, when it really started to pour. My tent is also a Big Agnes and I’d really never  tested it in heavy rains. Well, tonight was the night. It rained steadily throughout, but we were dry and “snug as a bug” all night long.

dry tent

dry tent

No rain upon awakening but heavy clouds, and I checked the weather report to discover there would be intermittent sun and showers. It was also cold, so I set about making a morning fire before we cooked breakfast, and had some downtime drinking coffee, reading, and picture taking.

Tahoefire

Tahoestonepine

sky before we left for the hike

sky before we left for the hike

This trip was a hiking one. The last few times to Tahoe we’d brought the mountain bikes. There are lovely trails where dogs are aloud just above the campsite in a State Park. But, we’d been doing so many miles on our road bikes and completed the Permanent just a week ago, so we left the bikes at home. Today’s plan was one of two hikes around Squaw Valley; we chose the 5 Lakes Trail, not far from Alpine Meadows ski area.

looking back

looking back

a rest in the shade

a rest in the shade

K and C

K and C

mule ear

mule ear

higher still

the valley

at the treeline

at the treeline

We started too late to make it to the lakes; they would be another 1-1/2 miles. So we stopped at a switchback with a wonderful view and a place to sit for a snack, and some rest before we headed back down.

me and C

me and C

This hike was listed as moderate; the first half was much steeper but we climbed about 2,000 feet in a mile and a half. We really liked this trail and hoped we’d get back to it vowing to start earlier so we could get all the way to the lakes. Here’s our route, you can see the lakes to the left:

5 Lakes Trail

5 Lakes Trail

To be honest, we were tuckered out, including the dog. We stopped to replenish our ice, but other than cooking dinner and having a evening campfire to sidle up to, we hung out at our campsite the rest of the day. Look some shadows!

12 inches fron the fire

Tahoehanging

The next day’s weather report said no more rain, with temperatures predicted to be on the rise. We awoke to sunshine but all of us were feeling a bit weary from yesterday’s hike so we decided to head to Truckee River for the day. Chloe’s favorite thing (besides the frisbee); water! We packed an excellent lunch and found a perfect little spot, with great access to the water and a good amount of stick throwing material.

Truckee River

Truckee River

happy dog

happy dog

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Tahoeriver

TahoeKateChloe

TahoerivertreeWe’d been cooking in camp for all our meals so for our last night’s dinner we went out. Nothing fancy but they had really good beer. As usual, I made an evening fire and we relaxed and read, and talked until the evening cold drove us to the tent. On our way out we stopped for a late breakfast in Tahoe City. The restaurant was filled with old bikes; here’s one.

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