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.
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.
Liberty pass at 11,200 ft.
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.
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.
San Miguel de allende
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 .
view from front entrance.
Side of house view
Swinging chairs inside house to look at views
Lake Tahoe most always has amazing sunsets.
fireworks from the house on 4th of July
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.
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 !
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.
Here are some photos of gem Lake another time when there was no snow. Gem lake is a beautiful turquoise and green color.
Mono 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.
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.
Photographers line up nightly to get that perfect sunset photo at the Tufas.
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.
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 !!
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 !!
This last summer I was able to visit a few of our National parks in between my house sitting jobs. I had the pleasure of seeing Olympic national park, Glacier national park, and Mt. Rainier national park. One thing about national parks is they are quite crowded!! Campgrounds hard to get into , trails crowded. The most crowded of these 3 was Glacier National park. I had to get in line at 4:30 a.m to get a campsite and I was 3rd in line at that time. Trails were bustling with people. I thought that would really bother me in the beginning , however these places are so beautiful that it just got to be something I got used to
Really what this post is about is the interesting people you see and meet on the trails.
For some reason, in Olympic national park we saw lots of people from India and the lady’s would be dressed in their beautiful sari’s and out hiking the trails ! I wish I had gotten a photo of some of them . I just love the colorful clothing .
In Glacier and Mt. Ranier I saw more Japanese and Chinese. These folks have endurance and the children don’t seem to complain at all while hiking a 10 mile hike . I mean tiny tots of 5 years old just plugging along with Mom and Dad , Grandpa and Grandma. No whining , no fussing. Climbing up big inclines , on 8-10 mile hikes. Some of them hiking all the while in those little slip on tennis shoes that barely have a sole. Some people I saw in flip flop doing long trails. Some with just a tiny bottle of water in their hands. Then come the American hikers in the decked out hiking gear. All the latest in hiking clothing, the best of boots, the full packs , the camelbacks, etc.
Of course you also get the totally overweight and out of shape but yet determined folks and the elderly doing what are quite strenuous hikes. One couple I talked to in their mid 80’s going up the Wonderland trail at Mt. Rainier. That one had me huffing and puffing.
I saw lady’s in heals (altho only on the lower parts of the trails), a woman a couple miles up the trail carrying a cup of coffee and no water.
I am not trying to say that one group or the other is doing it the right way. Just an observation I made of all the different types at the national parks . Many of them most likely checking one more place off their bucket list , just like myself.
Then you also get the guys swimming in the glaciers at Glacier national park. This was not an easy thing to get this photo op. This guy had to get out there aways in the ice water and then climb up onto a chunk of ice to get this photo ! And then scramble out quickly before having coronary arrest !
Glacier National park was a place to see for me . It was on my bucket list. I passed thru there when I was 15 years old with my parents and was in awe of it. Always wanted to go back.
This summer I had 3 and a half weeks in between some house sit jobs. I decided to travel and explore Washington and Montana. Unfortunately , Washington was on fire in early August when I set out so pushed on to Montana. Fires in Montana as well but Glacier was not to bad. Some days smokey , some days clear.
Spent 9 days in Glacier national park and took many hikes and many photos so this will be a series of posts .
What can I say. One only has to look at these photos to see the beauty of this place. The top left photo is of Grinnell Glacier. In 1906 Glacier National park had 120 glaciers. There are now 26 and they are rapidly melting. I heard that Grinnell glacier used to be huge but as you can see, it is now chunks of ice. On the right is one of many beautiful hiking trails. Next photo is the ever funny, quirky looking Moose. Next to that is the beautiful and old St. Mary’s lodge in many Glacier. Next photo is Lake McDonald.
I looked online before going to see about the camping and most of it was first come, first serve and I read that one must get in line at 5 a.m to get a spot. Very true in August. I got in line at 4:30 a.m and was the 3rd in line. By 6:00 the line was about 12 cars. I think 4 or 5 of us got campsites. Glacier is crowded but so beautiful that you don’t even care. And a lot of the trails you just need to get a couple miles in before the crowd thins out.
Hidden lake. So beautiful. It wraps around the mountain .
This guy thought it might be fun to surf the frozen waters ! Ha Ha. He about had a heart attack from the cold. This is at Grinnell glacier.