we got back about 4am last night from our first vacation since moving west and my first weeklong camping trip. it was great! our 1 year anniversary of moving to Portland is coming up in a few weeks and this time last year we were beginning to pack up our quaint little home on Stanley Avenue in North Carolina in anticipation of the moving company.
Oh how a year flies by!
A little about our vacation. I'll try to list off the things we did, places we went, things we saw, and quirks of the days, but pictures tell better stories.
|Clutter HomeStead for the Week|
So we set up, with out sweet free picnic table, our too big for 2 tent, and our hammocks under tarps. And don't forget about the shower station (pictured below) complete with a solar shower and loofah hook. Gotta stay clean when camping for a week and creek baths in 40 degree mornings won't cut it!
|Shower Station complete with loofah hook|
|Campfire Night 1|
- had Chick-Fil-A on the way down!
- took a nap in a McDonald's parking lot in view of Mt. Shasta in Weed, California (yes a real place)
- saw Lake Tahoe and did the Rim Drive with stops at Kiva Beach, Emerald Bay State Park, and a visitor center on the much more scenic Nevada side of the loop
- hiked North on the Pacific Crest Trail from Ebbetts Pass at elevations between 8000 and 9000 feet
- hiked up to Inspiration Point from Lake Alpine including a detour off trail through some loose rocks
- read nearly 2 whole books!
- saw Mosquito Lake, Bear Valley, Mark Twain's Cabin in Gold Country, and countless little Gold Towns on the way to Yosemite
- hiked in snow IN JUNE!
- hiked to Bridalveil Falls in Yosemite National Park
- saw panoramic views of Half Dome, El Capitan, Vernal Falls, Nevada Falls, Yosemite Falls, and the Yosemite Valley from Glacier Point
- saw Elk run through Tuolumne Meadows on our way out of the Park through Tioga Pass
- drive on scenic byways through the Eastern California Desert at night passing a bluegrass rave at a closed gas station, 2 sheriffs herding cows back into their pasture, a gas station with a sign explicitly requiring 'guns left in car', and beautiful lakes
I tried to make a Google Map of this all.... maybe it worked, maybe not. Check it out here
For those interested in more details on the bullet points, read onward.
|Kiva Beach at Lake Tahoe|
|The Dogs Loved it!|
|Us at Emerald Bay|
|Emerald Bay with a "castle" with a guy who squatted on the island buried there|
|lion king moment with Tails on Ebbetts Pass Pacific Crest Trail Hike|
|from our Hike on the PCT from Ebbetts Pass|
|Subaru Ad near a Reservoir|
|Snow in June? In the Sierra Nevadas at 9,000 feet, yes.|
|Hiking up Inspiration Point above Lake Alpine|
|one of the many cool rock creations on top of Inspiration Point|
|View before the final summit of Inspiration Point|
|First Yosemite Stop: BridalVeil Falls - CROWDED!|
|Family Photo at Glacier Point with Half Dome in the background|
|Lower Yosemite Falls|
|Pisgah Being Awesome|
|Final Picture on the way home|
Everything on our trip was beautiful and most of the time I felt like it must be fake because of how big and breathtaking things were. I'm not sure how anyone moves from the West to the East Coast...things are just so much bigger out here. There are volcanoes, snow in june, Half Dome, massive rock outcroppings, and In n Out Burgers. Everything is also so wild out west...cue the song. You can go 100 miles without gas or cell service, which while that's a first world problem, it truly makes things feel wild and undeveloped. Which is nice, unless you're running out of gas. We saw gold country and old gold mining towns with original architecture saloons, mines, etc. California is also MUCH dryer than Oregon, especially Eastern California. Camping in dry 7,000 feet air was a new experience that made me appreciate Oregon rain and the Willamette Valley. It's truly beautiful and Yosemite was more than I could have prepared myself for. Nevada is a funny state, there truly are casinos JUST across the state line in any possible spot, it's entertaining. Camping for a week was a great vacation and a great time to just disconnect, sit by the fire with my dogs, and read nearly 2 books after hiking. I could go on with more stories of the random gas stations, the cows in the road, or more, but the pictures capture 1/2 of the beauty we experienced last week.