We were committed to getting up into the mountains this weekend, and so we did. But we were car camping, not backpacking, at Union Valley Reservoir, along Ice House Road off Highway 50. (Of course Tom Stienstra in the SF Chronicle singled this lake out the very day we arrived...so expect that it will get a lot more traffic now. Sigh.)
The large, spacious campsites at Wench Creek made us feel very much at home, and the hiking in this area has a lot to offer, particularly when the rest of the Sierra is still under a lot of snow. We managed to go on three or four nice hikes, none of which got above 7,000, and all of which had us tromping through a bit of snow.
And water. Water, water everywhere, as that snow turned back into a liquid and filled every possible low-lying stretch of trail.
If you don't like wet feet, stay out of the mountains this time of year!
But that same water made the rivers and cascades truly memorable.
And there were scenes of great beauty...We got back to camp every night feeling tired but quite please with ourselves.
We've posted the whole lot of photos on Picasa: Thundering cascades, snowy mountains, and scenes around the campfire...
Here one to give you an idea:
https://picasaweb.google.com/balzaccom/ ... mpout2011#
(Warning!---this was part of a large group camping trip, so there are photos of very cute children as well. And a few less cute grownups. When was the last time you took a group of people camping?)