Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Eagle Lakes, Soda Springs, Meeks Bay--all in a weekend

This is what our Saturday mornings look like. Van, dogs, cereal...
We had another Sierra trip this past weekend. As always, it was sort of a whirlwind, but we did get some good downtime in, in addition to road biking, hiking, exploring, van camping, etc.

The dogs love our Auburn camp spot. Lots of small mammals, birds, and a coyote even ran right by us!
We started out driving to Auburn Friday after work and going to our secret van camping spot. In the morning on Saturday (after breakfast and wildlife viewing, see pics above), we parked the van in the shade (and turned on the dog ventilation system--some great window fans) and took our road bikes out for a hill-laden voyage. We miss hills and hadn't gone for a ride away from Davis in WAY too long!

One of my favorite hills, Baxter Grade, going up..

Mt. Vernon Road
After riding, we let the dogs out for a short romp then drove up the hill farther to the Eagle Lakes area. We wished we had brought our hike book (it now lives in the van along with our Sierra Natural History book), because we didn't have any great ideas of places to go. So, we ended up in an OHV area hiking on dirt roads. It was OK, except that we chose the wrong road and ended up not going to Eagle Lakes! We did get a good workout though, and the dogs loved it. I think this area would be a great start point for a backpacking trip--there are a bunch of lakes back in there!

The first mile probably averaged around an 18-20% grade...
Not the most amazing view, but we did agree that the I80 corridor is crazy--several
roads and train tracks make for a big swath through the mountains.
Dude cuteness on the trail.
After our hike, we drove up to Soda Springs Road, intending to drive to the end of the road to a trailhead so we could hike to Tinker's Nob on Sunday. Unfortunately, the road was very rutted and (after we got the van unstuck from a very tiny ditch) we decided to just find a camp spot and hike elsewhere the next day. Much to our surprise and excitement, we ended up here: 

With this:

(FYI: That is the same margarita mix we had at our wedding from
World Market, we really recommend it and we want to try the other mixers they make!)
Another pizza from the dutch oven: crust pre-made by me with tomato sauce, italian cheese blend, broccoli, pepperoni, and nectarine. The nectarine added and amazing sweetness that really complimented the other flavors! 
The camp spot had great views and the dogs LOVED it. Even Spencer was totally happy sniffing in the bushes. This video is probably only entertaining to me, but I also did a 360 at the end to show the views!

On Sunday we drove to Meek's Bay at Lake Tahoe and did a ~10 mile hike out to a couple of lakes. We hiked out on FR 14N42 (see map here) to a line of lakes. This area was a nice day hike (lots of flowers) and would be a good point for a weekend backpacking trip so you could see more lakes than we did in a day. Recommended! The second lake we reached was warm enough to swim and we had fun (Spencer swam with us and we forced Carex to give it a try..). 

Gilia (sky rockets)
Aquilegia (columbine)
Our swimming lake.
The face of a dog who doesn't like water and went swimming anyway... (this is
after she had the crazies and ran all over the place after swimming to shore!)
In all, we had a great weekend. We hiked out, got an ice cream cone on the way home and made it back to Bruce the cat at home before dinner!

Happy about swimming.
Until next time...have a great week!

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