This summer has been a bit of a mixed bag for me. I had to say goodbye to way too many amazing, loving people in Chicago. I had to leave what was probably the most utopic teaching environment that I’ll ever encounter. I’ve been on a handful of adventures! California is truly the most beautiful and varied landscape I have ever viewed and I’m spending more quality time with Danny than ever before… but just as frequently I’m hanging out by myself (which lost its appeal about 2 weeks in).
I know, I know… break out the violins. I’m just saying this to explain why I have mostly positive feelings about the summer drawing to a close. I have nearly sealed the deal for a middle school teaching position at a small school outside of town, and though I know I will regret saying this once I’m knee deep in back to school stress – I’m ready.
Well, almost ready. 🙂 Danny has 4 scheduled weeks of vacation each year of his residency, and next week will be our first week off together since our trip to Florida last summer! We decided a few months ago that Lake Tahoe would be the perfect destination for late July, since the Central Valley will be HOT. So we’re fleeing to the mountains. Here’s the game plan.
Drive to Tahoe in the AM (5 hours) and hike the General Creek Trail at Sugar Pine SP. This trail offers a 6.5 mile RT hike to “Lilly Pond” or a 14.5 mile RT hike to “Lost Lake”. Naturally, Lost Lake is supposed to be infinitely more beautiful and scenic, so that’s our end goal.
We can check in to our site as early as 2pm, but I imagine we’ll get there around dinner time. I plan to have dinner packed and ready for the fire (maybe a foodie camping post should be in the works for this trip). Dan and I always set up the tent together, he builds the fire and I… wait for the s’mores. I’m always wait’n for those s’mores!
Wednesday we’re going to head over to Emerald Bay SP. I’m especially excited to trek around this area. It looks gorgeous! I am planning an easy-going morning with a visit to Vikingsholm, an early 20th century Scandinavian “summer house” (read: mansion). Who says you can’t combine a little culture with your camping?! Then we’re going to head to the beach and soak in a little mountain sunshine.
In the afternoon, we’ll head onto the Rubicon Trail. We should be able to keep the lake in sight during the entire 6.5 mile track.
We’ve reserved our campsite at Sugar Pine for Wednesday night, too! The fewer times we have to set up camp, the more time to soak up all that wilderness.
Thursday is all about the lake! We’ll pack up our camp and drive north to Tahoe City. Here I’m hoping to rent a 2 person kayak so that we can go out on the lake for a few hours to explore the shoreline. Last summer, we toured an estuary/lagoon in West Florida via canoe and (when we weren’t threatening to joust each other with the paddles) we LOVED it! Now that I’m reminiscing, I must say that I truly felt that canoeing was a test of our marriage commitment (and then I saw a dolphin and we navigated through some mangrove forests). Dan was ecstatic about the idea, but we’ll have to see how it goes this time… in closer proximity even. 😉
Afterwards, I’m looking forward to touring around Tahoe City for a bit. I expect it to be a bit of a tourist trap, but I just love looking in little shops and experiencing the character of towns. That evening, I’m hoping to land a spot on a sunset sailing cruise. Danny and I have regularly daydreamed about owning a little sail boat and scooting off somewhere… sigh. Not that we have ever been sailing or know anything about it (though I suspect the vocabulary will be my biggest contribution), but you know – ya gotta start somewhere!
We haven’t booked anything for Thursday night yet because we’re toying around with the idea of driving down to Sacramento. As a teacher, I feel a sense of responsibility to familiarize myself with our state capital (and hey, it’s gotta be better than Springfield!). I’m hoping to hang out in Old Sacramento. It looks shamefully like a tourist trap, but the kid in me just can’t say no to reenactments!
And that’s the plan! We’ll see what slips through the cracks. 🙂