Category: Day hiking

Hiking Stebbins Cold Canyon loop at Lake Berryessa

We loaded up the car and headed to Berryessa for an afternoon hike. Fun company, nice light and just the right amount of casual effort make it one of our best local hikes.

The day was marked by emergency responders descending on the canyon as we were heading out. Two helicopters, a plane and two volunteer firefighters from Vacaville were the first wave. It was hard to really know what was going on – what they told us was that they thought that a climber had fallen. I helped in a minor way by finding and directing them to a game trail that they could follow. It’s not a crag that I know to be on climber’s lists. After quite a bit of searching, the helicopter found one person and lifted them out before returning to the accident site. We left before seeing full resolution. It all seemed fast paced – a worrisome sign. Back towards the trailhead, probably a dozen fire trucks were starting their response.

Lake Berryessa in the background.

Lake Berryessa in the background.

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Day hiking to the Peter Grubb Hut, Pacific Crest Trail

This is one trashed PCT emblem. They're no longer made this way. I think it's neat.

This is one trashed PCT emblem. They’re no longer made this way. I think it’s neat.

We closed down the office, and invited some of our volunteers and all of the organizations in our building for a day hike north from I-80. I’m so glad that we did.

Day hiking and tenkara fishing Caples Creek

Clouds came in and thunderstorms were forecast so we decided to hike in the trees. Alpine lakes would have been preferred but Caples Creek, nature, exercise and good company made for a nice Sunday.

It was my first attempt at tenkara fishing. I had and have not a clue about what I’m doing. I’ve never been a fisherman and I’m taking the “just figure it out” approach. Lisa watched me cast just long enough to thoroughly tangle my level line and lose a fly before I retreated to the beach and a pb&j.

My fishing setup weighs about half a pound. With that penalty, why not? My desire is mostly to hold fish in my hands and then put them back. Seems like a fun way to connect with nature.

My fishing setup weighs about half a pound. With that penalty, why not? My desire is mostly to hold fish in my hands and then put them back. Seems like a fun way to connect with nature.

A week backpacking the Ruby (Nevada) and Sawtooth (Idaho) Mountains

Dani and I took an eight day trip. It was pretty darn perfect.

Lunch in the Rubies. Lake two of four.

Lunch in the Rubies. Lake two of four.

We’d been planning a cross-country trip around the Sierra’s Blackcap Basin. It was snow free and I’d always wanted to go. A day before our trip, we shifted gears and decided to head east to new mountain ranges.

Tea time. Dani playing with his new camera.

Tea time. Dani playing with his new camera.

The Ruby Mountains of Nevada met my excited expectations. We walked through big peaks and past many lakes. We car camped and backcountry camped. We visited the crest and saw the desert on both sides of the range. We crossed a snowy pass and left the day hikers behind. It was casual, relaxing, and beautiful. I scored a 15 mile downhill through the beautiful Lamoille Canyon on my new road bike. We drove the “backside” of the range. We’ll go back for the rest of the crest trail.

Early season trips often mean wet shoes.

Early season trips often mean wet shoes.

The second leg of the drive brought us in to Idaho. We landed in a friend of a friend’s backyard in Ketchum. BBQ, bluegrass band practice, welcoming locals, a campfire, a shower and a bed – it was an excellent stop between trips and drives.

With our new beta, we backpacked two nights past Alice, Toxaway, Imogene and Hell Roaring Lakes. We crossed three snowy passes. We had absolutely stellar campsites. On our first backpack in the area, we did Sawtooth Wilderness right. Snow travel makes for wonderful solitude.

On the summit of Sand Mountain, looking out towards where we came from. Sawtooth Wilderness, Idaho.

On the summit of Sand Mountain, looking out towards where we came from. Sawtooth Wilderness, Idaho.

The area is crowded with hot springs. After tacos at Redfish Lake, we found a soak on the Salmon River before a night around a fire at our next trailhead. The region is absolutely decimated by beetle kill. There was plenty of wood.

On the 4th of July we had three things on our agenda: hike ~10 miles to Sawtooth Lake, soak in a secret off-trail hot spring, and drive 10 hours to Lake Tahoe. Dani set a runner’s walking pace to the alpine zone. The lake was frozen and beautiful. The spring, apparently the best around, was a quick stop before hitting the road.

Sawtooth Lake. Five miles up in an hour and a half. We were there when the backpackers we just starting their days.

Sawtooth Lake. Five miles up in an hour and a half. We were there when the backpackers we just starting their days.

Highway 95 across Oregon between Boise and Winnemucca was one of the straightest that I can remember. It felt like we’d go 20 miles between turns. Driving, I was reminded of these places to visit: the Jarbidge, Toiyabe and Santa Rosa mountains and the Owyhee River canyon.

Sometimes road trips and backpacking trips can be tiring. Re-entering California with a stop at Dani’s home on Lake Tahoe, filled with family, friends and food helped make the week a true vacation. We SUPed, swam, played bocce, and took the boat out. Capped it off with a nice dinner out with just us “kids”.

Dani, dude. It was a fantastic trip. Looking forward to doing it again soon.

ADZPCTKO 2014

I had the opportunity to fly down to Kick Off this year and I took advantage of it. It freed me up to spend the night at Scout and Frodo’s, day-hike the southern 20 miles of the PCT and add on Sunday night in the campground after the event.

Of course, it was a wonderful time.

Briefly:
– My favorite thing about KO is the opportunity for us play community. I really like getting to chat the regulars year after year. Meeting the new hikers, if only briefly, is nice too. I met a whole lot of great people.

– I was witness of a helicopter doing a body recovery 😦

– KO is always really hectic and busy for me. This year was a little less so because the weather was bad, and I’d made a concerted effort to downsize the expectations on my time at the event.

The crowd of fun hikers that the San Diego network hosted just before KO.

The crowd of fun hikers that the San Diego network hosted just before KO.