Without further ado, let me share with you what I did on my summer vacation. :)
Tuesday- Picture me flying through the air. That's pretty much what I did. I reached the airport in Sacramento a full 3 hours before the rest of my party arrived. I was shocked to learn that no matter how much the airport bartender flirts with you, no matter how much he stares at your boobs or legs, no matter how badly he looks like he hasn't had a date in years... that you still have to pay for your drinks. WTF is up with that? It's sad and shocking and just plain strange. $20 and 2 bloody Mary's later my party arrived. Away we went in search of the clothes we forgot to pack, sun screen, new sunglasses (mine cracked in my suitcase which was obviously too full to begin with), and our hotel rooms. Too tired to really get our party on and with an early start for Wednesday we headed down to Old Sac, hit Joe's Crab Shack (Seriously... try the Strawberry Comfort), and then right back to the hotel to catch some z's.
Wednesday- We pulled into the parking area at Hoyt's Crossing at about 9 AM. It would have been earlier, but the Tom Tom died and we needed to stop and get a new GPS. Have you all seen the Gizmo kiosks in your stores? FREAKIN AWESOME! Got a new Magellan (refurb) for $59. Anyway... Hoyt's Crossing. It was promising to be a warm day and it delivered. The hike is easy and as expected, the further you go the more scarce the other hikers become. Last year I hiked the opposite side of the river and water access was certainly easier this time! The sunning rocks are amazing and soothing and the water is the most amazing emerald color. (Pics to follow)
So let's talk about nudity for a second shall we? THERE WERE NAKED MEN EVERYWHERE. I was a little more prudent with my skin showing. Fear of actually sunburning a nip or something lower made the decision to stick with the bikini a bit easier. Even still... I spent 3 days cursing my sunscreen for not being as good as I thought it was. I have some tan lines that will likely be there for a couple months.
We left the river around 4 PM and made the drive up to Downieville.The hope here was that we'd be able to do a bit more hiking and maybe some tubing (too low for real rafting in Aug). When we arrived tired, hungry, and dirty... we checked into our rooms and then realized that the closest actual restaurant was 12 winding miles up the road in Sierra City. We were informed that you can get pizza or chicken from a local gas station but the grocery store is closed and in escrow so we couldn't buy anything else. We made the drive. The Buckhorn is a small restaurant with a mountain stream flowing through the outside dining area. The chops were good, the soup was amazing, and the bloody Mary was spicy. All in all it was worth it.
Thursday- Free breakfast... this is the nice thing about the smaller B&B type places. We stopped at the front office to turn in our keys and were greeted by the owner as well as about 10 other guests all sitting down to breakfast. We met some great mountain bikers about to start their day. They were going north while we were heading back south. We stuffed ourselves, exchanged some emails, and headed out the door. Destination- Somewhere near Washington, CA.
When they owner of the hotel that morning stated that between North San Juan, Downieville, and Washington we would definitely experience "the other California", she sure wasn't kidding. No offense intended to anyone in those parts... but I felt like a city slicker.. wearing shoes and all. Okay it wasn't that bad... but I did see a guy in cut offs and a holey tank top buying a magnum of Korbel and a little bottle of OJ at 9:30 AM AT A GAS STATION. I asked if he was going to make mimosas and he just looked at me like I'd grown a 3rd eye.
Have you ever put faith in someone and realized far too late that you might have been over estimating them? That's how the hike went. We trekked about 5 miles into the mountains... at times so far from the river that we couldn't hear the water anymore. The sweat poured off us, the burrs clung to our socks and shoes, and the flies buzzed in our ears and eyes. Why so far you ask? Well because one of our peeps had been there before and it wasn't "that far" it was "just a little farther". By the time we reached our destination... there was a bit of swearing, a lot of eye rolling, and then general laughter as we got the hell over it and took some great pics of the world's wisest frog. (Pics to follow).
Aside from that I did learn something else on the hike. You know the scene from Lord of the Rings where Frodo gets wrapped up in the spider webs? As it turns out, I experience that exact panic just by walking through a web on a trail. Three times it happened and three times I stopped and damn near slapped myself silly while completely freaking out and yelling, "GET IT OFF ME GET IT OFF ME". I relinquished my lead for the remainder of the outbound leg, but was allowed to resume the position on the way back (when all the webs had been cleared).
I don't think we ate anywhere special that night. I do recall meeting in the lobby of the hotel when we got back to Sacramento that evening and deciding we should just get some wine and kick it in our rooms. Somewhere between the lobby and the store we became complete losers and decided to get Arizona iced teas instead. I was in bed and almost dead by 9 PM.
I'll be back later with pictures and the rest of the trip.. which involves drinking, sand, peeing on my shoe, urban hiking, and praise for a couple kick ass establishments. Peace!