Jackson Meadows Reservoir 10/13

Due to the government shutdown most campgrounds were closed.  Many prematurely since they were due to close later on in October.  However, the Pass Creek overload campground, by the boat launch was still open as it is every year.  No facilities like water and bathrooms but a nice place to camp right on the lake.  So for the five days 10/14 to 10/18 I stayed there with Ben and Biggs, fishing.  I caught a couple nice rainbows however I didnt do as well as others, especially the boat fisherman.  Weather was delightful but cold at night, waking in the morning to 35 in the camper.  Lucky I had two dogs to keep me warm.  The lake was down the most so far this year, as you can see from the photos which provided some real interesting beach combing.  I think I have found about 4 or 5 rampela fishing lures this year once the water started receding.  Found one huge one  on this trip.

The sunset Wednesday nite was truly amazing.  I am having such a tough time selecting which sunset photos to put up since it just kept getting better and better.  I am showing the top two but there are 3 others that are definitely worthy of showing also.

Although, I can go up to this Pass Creek CG again this year (since they don’t close it) it will not be accessible once it snows.  Hopefully I can fit in one more trip before that happens.

Loon Lake Campout

Due to the ridiculous government shutdown, my plans to go to Wrights lake were aborted.  However, since Loon Lake is run for the govt. by a concessionaire it was still open.  Loon is also right next to desolation wilderness, the beautiful granite laden high country of the Sierra.  I hadn’t been to Loon in 5 years, I believe, and it was a great reminder of how beautiful it is.  I think its now my favorite lake to camp at.  It’s about 1.75 hours from the house with all smooth road and no traffic.

Fishing was terrific with one day getting strikes or nibbles on practically every cast of rainbow colored powerbait.  I ended up with 5 nice rainbow trout.  It was cold and windy at night with huge winds on Friday morning easily bringing the temperatures into the 30’s considering wind chill factor.  A couple fishing boats left out on the lake overnight were swamped with water from the waves splashing over the stern.  Bad luck had my heater deciding not to work in the rv, but I was able to use the oven and it heated the place up just fine.

With the lake down considerably, hiking along the shore was perfect.  Loon has amazing boulders combined with beautiful sandy beaches,  reminiscent of Sand Harbor in Lake Tahoe.   The ferns and grassy areas all had a yellow autumn color to them however the Aspen trees were just beginning to change. When the shoreline got a little rough for hiking with the dogs I was able to use my Garmin  and bushwack over to the Rubicon trail running parallel to my hike and came back that way.

My campsite, #17, was right next to the lakeshore, protected from the wind by plenty of trees and  with a little path directly to the lake.  A really sweet spot.

Fall Creek Mountain Hike 2013

After a couple delays we finally did our annual Fall Creek Mountain hike on 9/22.  It was just Stephen Bannister and Janelle and me this time.  We added to the normal route by going north after the climb toward Culbertson lake and then dropped down to the Crooked Lakes Trail and back to Island Lake.

fall creek mtn hike route

Here are photos of the trip.  You can go right thru them by beginning with first one and clicking the arrows to move fwd or back.

Jackson Meadows Sunset

I  attempted to camp at Gold Lakes last week however, the terrain was a bit rough for my old RV, so I ended up back at my favorite campground, Jackson Meadows Reservoir.  Lousy fishing again due to the warm water but had a nice time with the dogs swimming and kayaking.  We had some thunderstorms over the Sierra so the cloud formations at sunset were pretty amazing.  Here are some shots.

Jackson meadows sunset Jackson meadows sunset Jackson Meadows sunset Jackson Meadows sunset

Jackson Meadows Reservoir #2

This was a delightful trip back to Jackson Meadows Reservoir located around the 7,000 foot level in the Sierra Nevada Mtns, Tahoe National Forest.  Weather was cool at night and warm enough during the days for great swimming.   Kate and I  took the tandem inflateable kayak (SeaEagle) and paddled around the lake with Biggs inside and Ben swimming along next to us.  Fishing was lousy.  I tried salmon eggs and power bait.  Even tried my kastmaster lure and then lost it to a snag on the second cast.  We tried the strange method of keeping flies away with pennies in a ziplock bag filled with water and I do believe it worked.   We had site #34 which I believe is the best site in East Meadows campground.  It’s at the far end with a nice forest trail on one side and a straight shot to the lake on the other.  And an awesome view.  Water line was broke so no running water and therefore flush toilet bathrooms shut down for the first day.   Once fixed all was well again.

Passe Creek was still running, with small waterfalls but way down from when I was here two weeks ago.  We hiked north, this time, on the Pacific Crest Trail and it was just a beautiful hike.  I prefer it to the southern direction hike on the PCT.

Lakes Basin Spring Hike

Kate, the dogs (Ben and Biggs) and I took a nice 1.75hr drive up to Sierra Buttes in Lakes Basin area. We wanted to check out the campsites for future RVing up that way. It was perfect timing as the snow had greatly receded. In fact, it was equivalent to late June in a typical year. So the lakes were full and the waterfalls and streams were running full blast. We hiked to Frazier Falls, which I had never seen before since I usually go to this area late summer or fall and they are dried up. They were magnificent. Something like a 300 foot drop and this was at the 6200 foot level. We like to camp right on or very near lakes, so we really didnt find any great campsites in that regard, so we will have to just continue doing day hikes in that area. (click to enlarge photos)

Sardine Lake
Sardine Lake, Lakes Basin Northern California


Frazier Creek
Me and Biggs on Frazier Creek before we found the falls
Frazier Falls
Frazier Falls in Lakes Basin off the Old Gold Lakes road



Wildflower Hike Along the Yuba River

In April this year (2013) we did our annual hike along the Yuba River in Bridgeport (near Grass Valley, Ca). It was perfect timing with most all the flowers in full bloom. The river was quite low however, due to the unusually dry year we have had in the Sierra. Kate, me, Ben and Biggs, along with our friends Mike and Vicki and their pups. Note: if you click a photo in the slide show, it will enlarge and you can go thru them all that way, a bigger image for each.

Asilomar trip near Monterey

Kate and I happened across a fantastic deal for staying at the retreat center, Asilomar, near Monterey at Pacific Grove.  We stayed there three nites last week 2/21/13 and found it to be delightful.  There are something like 200 acres including beachfront with many buildings designed by the famous architect Julia Morgan.  We brought our bikes and road from our room to Cannery Row in Monterey.  Saw the famous Monarch butterflys, sea lions and a gorgeous coastline.  Fabulous trip all together.  Here are the photos.