California Camping

I recently went on two camping trips in Northern California, where we are blessed with much natural beauty. 
 
Trinity Alps (July 2-5)
 
Traffic light on the long drive north
(except for construction before Weaverville)
Outside temp over 100
 
Great conversations,
in the car, along the trail, and at the waterholes
Familiar faces and friendly new ones
 
Tents scattered through spacious campground
Dried leaves and pine needles
Slivers of water visible through the trees
 
Scramble down to Trinity Lake, one third full due to drought
A flotilla of houseboats in the distance, water warm,
aroma of motor oil and the sound of jet skies
 
Full moon at sunset, reflected on the water
From my topless tent, trees silhouetted
and a few stars in the dimly lit sky
 
Long drives to trailheads at cooler altitudes
A doe and fawn cross the bumpy dirt road
Glimpses of Shasta through the haze
 
Refreshing swims in bowls of granite
Some wildflowers in bloom
Distant thunder, a few sprinkles
  
Cicadas turning on and off
The chirps and twill of birds
Beautiful silence
  
First Saturday in Weaverville
Food, music, and art at Our Space Gallery
What more do I need?
 
No fireworks and follies light
Enjoy the night
Heat Heat Heat
 
Loon Lake (July 16-19)
  
I had a wonderful long weekend kayaking, hiking and swimming in the Sierras with Blue Water Ventures. We loaded up our kayaks at Loon Lake, just west of Desolation Wilderness, and paddled to a boat-in campsite at the north end, called Pleasant Lake. Fortunately there was a slab of granite near the launch site so we could get our gear down to the water, about 30’ below it’s pre-drought level. I paddled to camp with Anne, learning to steer without a rudder.
 
Our group of 13 women, four of whom I knew in advance, was catered to by a half dozen staff and volunteers. We received kayaking instruction (I learned how to rescue and be rescued from a flipped boat) and were served delicious meals. It was a very relaxing and enjoyable trip with great company and perfect weather.

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