Sunday, July 05, 2015

El Dorado NF

First, a very important question. I am in search of a high-altitude, wifi-enabled, dog-friendly coffee shop on the western slope of the Sierra between HWY 108 and I-80. Where is this magical place only a few hours from Berkeley where I can go to work for a few hours, still bring George, and easily get in an evening run, camp in the truck, and get into the wilderness the next day? Towns along 49 are too low and too hot in the summer, and not very close to real wilderness. I guess Truckee is probably a good option (I do have friends there), but I'd prefer more access to granite, which is mostly further south. Kirkwood on 88 was OK this weekend, and it seemed like there were a couple potential places on 50 on my way home today. Anyway, I'd love some recommendations.

Now to the point: I braved holiday traffic to get to the mountains. I drove up 88 on Friday. Set up camp near Caples Lake (Schneider Camp) and hiked up Little Round Top for an excellent sunset. Saturday I had big plans, but my foot was hurting (I'm still not recovered from the 24-hour race), bad weather was coming in, and following a trail across the slopes of Kirkwood put me in a bad mood (as is often the case when following trails that are obliterated by ski resorts) so I shortened the loop significantly. I'll save the big Mokelumne loop I designed for later.  I camped Saturday between 88 and 50 near Packsaddle Pass, and bagged Ralston Peak before driving home this afternoon. Traffic wasn't too bad; it was mostly from Sacramento west that was backed up.

Ralston towards Tahoe

Ralston to the rest of Desolation


Several inches of hail

But we waited out most of it in a large cave



From Little Round Top to the south

Wildflowers were in peak form

Schneider Camp

This is a good tree.

More Schneider Camp

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