Point Reyes National seashore.

I recently had a few days free from house sitting and went on a 4 night camping trip to the coast. I camped at Samual P.Taylor state park which is a great location to camp and explore Point Reyes National seashore. I love this area. So much to see, miles and miles of hiking trails, beautiful beaches, Tule elk, whales, all kinds of birds, wildflowers galore in early spring.  Samual P. Taylor state park sits nestled in a heavily treed area. Pretty campground with lots of nice, roomy spaces. It is $35 a night which is high but that is Ca. State park price.  Some sites with electric, there are central showers and food boxes to protect your food from the many raccoons. The small town of Point reyes station is just down the road. And in fact there are many cute, very small old style coastal  towns all along the coast here. So , besides visiting Point Reyes national seashore, it is also fun to just drive around . 

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Point Reyes National Seashore is a 71,028-acre (287.44 km2) park preserve located on the Point Reyes Peninsula in Marin County, California. As a national seashore, it is maintained by the US National Park Service as an important nature preserve. Some existing agricultural uses are allowed to continue within the park. Clem Miller, a US Congressman from Marin County wrote and introduced the bill for the establishment of Point Reyes National Seashore in 1962 to protect the peninsula from development which was proposed at the time for the slopes above Drake’s Bay. All of the park’s beaches were listed as the cleanest in the state in 2010.[4

The Point Reyes Lighthouse attracts whale-watchers looking for the gray whale migrating south in mid-January and north in mid-March.

From its thunderous ocean breakers crashing against rocky headlands and expansive sand beaches to its open grasslands, brushy hillsides, and forested ridges, Point Reyes offers visitors over 1500 species of plants and animals to discover. Home to several cultures over thousands of years, the Seashore preserves a tapestry of stories and interactions of people. Point Reyes awaits your exploration.

Point Reyes is one of my favorite places on the Northern California coast. It is only an hour from San Francisco yet so many people do not know of the beauty that is there.

 

 

8th annual Guitarfish Music festival

Guitarfish is an intimate camping and music experience in a magical setting;
over a mile high, in the woods, on the South Fork of the Yuba River,
at the Cisco Grove Campground. This year was the 8th annual and I have gone every year except one.  

Set in the stunning Sierras at Cisco Grove campground, the festival also provides an enchanting setting to enjoy the South Yuba river, hiking, world class mountain and road biking, towering trees, and starry skies. Emphasizing the importance of water, Guitarfish works in partnership with non-profits to educate on the issues of overfishing and water pollution, promoting water conservation and preservation of clean oceans and watersheds, with a portion of proceeds going towards such. Guitarfish aims to provide a direction for positive change to sustain and maintain healthy watersheds, rivers, streams, lakes and oceans and to preserve all living beings that depend on it. Coming together to honor this big blue ball we all call home feeds the magic.

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Ruby Mountains in Nevada

I had been wanting to go to the Ruby mountains for a long time . It is about a 6 hour drive from Truckee, Ca. so have never quite made it till just a couple weeks ago. Finally went to camp for 3 nights and hike the second week in July.

The Ruby mountains kind of sit off by themselves in Nevada . The drive is long and boring from Reno, Nv to Ruby’s . It is pretty much desert with not many towns of interest in between and then all of a sudden when leaving out of Elko you begin to see them. They just pop up out of the desert and go as high as 11,380 feet.

The ‘Rubies’ were named after the garnets found by early explorers. The central core of the range shows extensive evidence of glaciation during recent ice ages, including U-shaped canyons, moraines, hanging valleys, and steeply carved granite mountains, cliffs, and cirques. All of these features can be seen from 12-mile Lamoille Canyon Road, a National Forest Scenic Byway which traverses Lamoille Canyon,[4] entering the range near the town of Lamoille

 

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My friend Melody and I camped for 3 nights at Thomas creek campground. One of the only campgrounds there. If you go on a weekend, reservations are highly recommended.

The first day was spent setting up camp and cooling off in this nice little swimming hole right in our campground. Beautiful sunsets each day !!

Second day we did about a 8 mile hike up to Liberty pass , passing Lammoille lake, and then looking down on Liberty lake from the pass. 2000 foot elevation gain so a pretty good work out.

The next day I went up a canyon right out of the campground  just for seeing the magnificent wildflowers. My knee was hurting and Melody had a huge blister so we didn’t do a big hike. I went 2- 4 miles round. trip . Wildflowers were amazing !!! And cooling off in the swimming hole for the afternoon was nice . It was pretty hot and muggy when we where there. A super nice wildflower display was going on and it is hard to see from the photos how great they really are. But, here are some glimpses of it all.

There a couple other hikes to do here but this is all we had time for.

Beautiful spot to see . There are also Bighorn sheep in this area if you are lucky to spot them.

 

Housesitting and Incline Village sit.

For about 2 years now I have been full-time house sitting .  Some of the places I have house sat at are Lake Tahoe Ca., Truckee Ca. , Edmonds Washington, Vancouver Washington, Portland Oregon, Fort Bragg Ca. , Nevada city Ca.,  San Miguel De Allende Mexico.

It has been a whirlwind and taken off like I never thought it would. I have become increasingly in demand. There is a big demand for house sitters out there. I get my house sits around my hometown Truckee, Ca. and Lake Tahoe area by word of mouth. Some of the out of town sits are also by word of mouth. Some thru websites . I have taken care of Chickens, Rabbits, Dogs, Cats and fish.

One of my current house sits last month was  at Incline Village , an upscale town on Lake Tahoe, Nevada . Very beautiful area but then anyplace on Lake Tahoe is beautiful. Incline just happens to be one of the more expensive towns on the lake to buy a house.  In fact there is a home for sale right now in the area  for 70 Million dollars. Yes, that is right. Wow!!

In Incline Village  I watched Noble the Golden Retriever and Rascal the Bunny. In fact I am going back at end of July for another 2 weeks at the same house. Both sweet pets. Lovely home with great views.

Here are some photos of my house sit up on a hill in Incline Village overlooking the lake . Taking care of Noble the Cream Golden Retriever and Rascal the bunny .

Did some beautiful hiking while there in Incline off of Mt. Rose Highway. Mostly along the Tahoe Rim Trail.

The Tahoe Rim Trail as a 165 mile thru hike or can be enjoyed as multiple day hikes with  amazing vistas, high alpine lakes, meadows and peaks along the way that  always make for a rewarding experience. These are some photos taken along the Tahoe Rim trail.

Will post soon about some of the pets I have taken care of and other house sits.

Eastern sierras camping trip part 3. Rock creek canyon

 

 

Rock creek canyon is one of my favorite places to camp for a couple nights along the Highway 395 corridor. A few beautiful hikes from the Mosquito flats trailhead. You can go into Little lakes valley. Most popular of the hikes. Or you can go up to Ruby lake and on to Mono pass. You can also climb up to Dorothy lake . I think there are a couple other hikes as well that I have not yet done.  There are quite a few campgrounds on this 10 mile road.  I prefer the Lower pines campground. It is close to Rock creek lake and close to the trailhead.  There is also Rock creek lake resort that has some cabins for rent and a small shop and restaurant.  Many people go there for the home made pie !

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Rock Creek is located on the west side of Highway 395 at Rock Creek Road. This 20-mile valley is easy to find between Mammoth Lakes and Bishop, California, at a turnoff from Highway 395 at the exit for Tom’s Place. Once you begin the ascent along the 10-mile paved road into gorgeous creekside terrain, the options for summer and winter outdoor recreation unfold before you. Rock Creek Canyon is famous for Little Lakes Basin, where a string of high-elevation lakes are linked by leisurely hiking trails surrounded by 13,000 foot peaks.

Park at the road’s end to see the best of Rock Creek on foot. Expect blazing colors in fall – some of the brightest anywhere in the Eastern Sierra – as well as wildflowers in spring and sparkling lakes in summer. Dogs are ok on a leash. Little Lakes Trail: Also known as Mosquito Flats trail, the Little Lakes Trail is a beautiful and popular hike at the top of upper Rock Creek Canyon, accessed by the main signed trail leading from the parking lot at the road’s end. With the potential to hike to Mono Pass, four miles and 2,000 feet up, many hikers simply stop to take in the views after reaching one of the lakes along the way: Mack Lake, Marsh Lake, Heart Lake, Box Lake, Long Lake, Gem Lake and Chickenfoot Lake. The trail offers dramatic views of surrounding Sierra peaks, excellent wildflowers in spring and early summer, and vibrant fall colors. Popular with fishermen and day hikers.

 

This time when I went to Rock creek canyon there was still quite a bit of snow about 3 miles in on the trail. I did not make the hike all the way to beautiful gem lake because I was not really into hiking thru this snow. There  is someone ahead of me on the trail with ski’s on. This was early June . Of course we did get some snow in May so it was taking awhile to melt out.

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still some snow due to our late snowfall this spring.

Here are some photos of gem Lake another time when there was no snow. Gem lake is a beautiful turquoise and green color.

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Here are a few of the other lakes on the trail.

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Eastern Sierras part 2. Mono lake

walkway to tufa state park
walkway to tufa state park

fullsizeoutput_2309Mono lake doesn’t look like much when you drive by although  it is very pretty , especially at certain times of the day as the colors can change on the lake. It is in a high desert setting just behind the Sierra mountains. In fact Highway 120 connects from mono lake and goes up and over the sierras to Yosemite.

From Wikipedia: Mono Lake is a large, shallow saline soda lake in Mono County, California, formed at least 760,000 years ago as a terminal lake in an endorheic basin. The lack of an outlet causes high levels of salts to accumulate in the lake. The lake sits at an elevation of 6,378.

I think to get the full beauty of it you need to stop off and take a walk at either south Tufa state park or Mono lake park to see the tufas. Sunrise or sunset are incredible times to make that stop. The town of Lee Vining is there if you want to stay the night in a hotel. Or several campgrounds up highway 120 which connects at mono lake.

Tufa state park is like walking on the moon. Very amazing formations.fullsizeoutput_22fafullsizeoutput_22f9fullsizeoutput_22ecfullsizeoutput_22e5

 

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Another interesting spot on the lake is the Black fissures. A little hard to find but well worth checking out. Ask at the visitor center how to get there. _MG_4484.jpg

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Photographers line up nightly to get that perfect sunset photo at the Tufas.

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Mono lake is well  worth the visit !!!

Camping and hiking trip for 7 days to Eastern Sierras. Part 1

In between house sitting I recently went on a 7 day camping and hiking trip in the Eastern sierras. I have visited this area many times and one of my favorite campgrounds is Aspen . It is located on highway 120 a few miles up from Lee Vining as you go towards Yosemite.  Aspen is quiet and peaceful  although it has a creek running through with some cascading waterfalls at the top of the campground. The waterfalls can be quite loud!!  I actually dreamed of cars crashing one night from the sound of the falls. Here are a couple photos of the campground and the falls.

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Fairly nice campground although it does only have pit toilets. It is $12 per night and $6 with the Senior pass.

Normally , in the past I have had my dog Jasper with me but he passed a couple years ago so this time I went into Yosemite a couple of times to hike . No dogs allowed on trails there. I entered from Tuolumne Meadows entrance and nothing was open yet as far as the lodge or campground so it was a nice tine to do some hiking there with no crowds.

My first day was a doozer of a hike as in 10 to 12 miles round trip. Not a lot of elevation gain but a lot of distance. The trail was from Tuolumne meadows to Glen Aulin and beyond .

Glen Aulin High Sierra Camp is an established campground—one of six High Sierra Camps—located in Glen Aulin next to the Tuolumne River in Yosemite National Park in California, in the Sierra Nevada.

I went just short of the actual camp but far enough to see the series of cascading waterfalls that are just above the camp. Amazing hike. Very beautiful the whole way, Relatively flat and easy. Some uphill but elevation gains of only about 800 ft. for this hike.  You have to hike in about 4.5 miles or so to get to where the waterfalls start.

Here are photos along the trail and then leading up to the falls. Right after the bridge , keep going to reach the falls . Just Beautiful !!! And the views  are amazing as well.  This first group of photos  is along the first couple miles of trail as you meander along the Tuolumne river. So peaceful and pretty.

You come to a bridge about 4 miles or more in. Don’t stop here because it is downhill another 1/2 mile or more  to the series of waterfalls that are not to be missed !!

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The bridge

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The Waterfalls !!!  I would rate this hike a 10 for the beauty of the whole trail and the magnificent waterfalls.

The next day I did another hike in Yosemite to Elizabeth lake. This was a 5 mile round trip hike with a 1000 ft. elevation gain . The trail head is located in the Tuolumne meadows campground at the back of B loop.  Elizabeth lake is a small lake located below Unicorn peak and  the scenery around it was very beautiful.

My next post will be about Lundy Canyon and More waterfalls !!

House sitting in Truckee and Lake Tahoe for most of the summer.

It looks like I will be house sitting in Truckee and Tahoe all summer. Have a few lined up thru most of August with a few days off here and there.

This is fine with me. Truckee ,Ca. is my hometown  and I was gone all last summer house sitting in Washington and Oregon. Then I was house sitting for 2 months this winter in San Miguel De Allende, Mexico. . I missed Truckee in the summer. Did not miss it so much in winter. It is one of the best places to be in summer. Beautiful weather with a lot of outdoor activities . There are  Lakes, rivers, hiking , swimming , and tons of free music in the summer.  I may do a post on just the music that goes on here and several on hiking trails in the area. Of course if you are big into skiing or boarding then it is also a great place in winter !! Winter is beautiful , however I am finding a break from the snow to be very nice !!

Truckee is a small town in the high Sierras at an elevation of 5800 with a population of around 16,000. Here is an article about Truckee being named coolest ski town. https://www.truckeesun.com/news/sports/truckee-named-no-1-coolest-ski-town-in-north-america/.

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Here are some photos of the beauty that surrounds Truckee.

Lake Tahoe is just a short 12 miles from Truckee. Lake Tahoe in photos below .

So yeah ! House sitting in Tahoe and Truckee cant be to bad. Can it !

Here are just some of the pets I take care of in Truckee and  Tahoe.

 

San Miguel De Allende is a Romantic town with many weddings, and engagements.

San Miguel De Allende is the wedding capitol of Mexico or so I have heard. I believe it too.

Every weekend in the Jardin which is the center of town there seems to be a few weddings going on. And engagements. I saw many engagements and weddings. The weddings usually involve the whole party parading thru town with mariachis in tow and sometimes large dancing people, donkeys carrying tequila for the wedding party, etc..

Mariachis play every night at the Jardin in San Miguel . On weekends there will be several different groups of musicians playing and many times you will see a proposal going on with the man on his knees offering the engagement ring while mariachis play in the back ground.