Monday, July 02, 2007

Camping at Lakes Basin

Mr Wonderful and I just had an idyllic weekend camping up in Lakes Basin, north of Lake Tahoe. I took Friday off and drove up to meet him at our campsite, which turned out to be the most awesome campsite ever. It was right on the Yuba River, but far enough removed from Hwy 49 to make it feel pretty secluded. Our particular campsite was the best, with space for two cars, lots of trees around us to make it feel semi-private, and only a matter of seconds to walk down to the river to cool off.

When I arrived (around lunchtime) on Friday, he was sitting there at the picnic table, reading his book. I was SO happy to see him, and he had been anxiously awaiting me...he even put a little welcome message on his car bumper ("Hi Baby!"). So sweet. We unpacked, set up the tent and the air mattress/sleeping bags/etc., and had a little lunch. I changed into my bathing suit and we walked over to the river and got in (slowly...and's FREAKING FREEZING water, since it's all melted snow). We went for a hike up into the woods and had sexy time out there in the wilderness, because we couldn't wait for nighttime and the campground was a little too populated for privacy. ;-) Then we drove over to Gold Lake so he could show me that area (where we originally intended to camp) and we both agreed that our campground was much, much nicer.

The next day we woke up bright and early, and after a big breakfast, we went back to bed. Heh. Then we got up a little later, and drove out to Upper Salmon Lake, where we hiked for a few hours. It was a heck of a trek...we hiked up to about 7000 feet, and my lungs were feeling every single one of the fifteen years that I smoked. But the view from the top was fantastic; I got some lovely photos of Upper Salmon Lake (photo left), little Horse Lake, and the tiny Deer Lake, which was rather dried up due to the lack of snowfall this past winter. I also got a couple of shots of the Sierra Buttes (photo below).

We got back to camp, had a little lunch and then hopped into the river for an icy cold bath. Yes, a bath. In the cold river water. Which I took voluntarily. And it was AMAZING. The water was cold, but not painfully so - you couldn't stay submerged for long, definitely, but it was absolutely invigorating. Mr Wonderful found a great spot that was just deep enough to allow a person to float underwater, with your hands on rocks on either side of you to keep you from floating downstream, and we washed off with some castile soap he'd brought. It was such a rush - and for some reason nobody from the campsite ever seemed to come down to that spot in the river, even though it was only a few steps away from the campground. So it was as if we had that spot all to ourselves during our stay, and we spent a lot of time down there, just chilling out and dipping our feet in the water occasionally.

After the river bath, we came back to the campsite and air-dried in the tent. I'd brought a towel, but it was so lovely and warm inside the tent, with the sun shining in...and later on, I went into the tent to read for a little while, but it was so warm and relaxing that I ended up falling asleep. Mr Wonderful snuck up on me and took this picture while I was crashed out. ;-)

That evening, we had the chicken chili I'd prepared & frozen at home, along with some (rather squashed) cornbread muffins. Mr Wonderful had been chatting with the campsite manager and got quite friendly with him, and the guy told Mr Wonderful about a concert that was being held out at an amphitheater in the woods, so we decided to check it out. was like the worst bar band you've ever heard, doing covers of some great songs, but doing them very, very badly. We tried not to giggle too much, and snuck away when the band took their break. We headed back to the campsite and I built an awesome campfire (almost too awesome, it was HUGE and we had to let it die down quite a bit). We had some s'mores and half a bottle of wine, and then snuck off to bed.

On Sunday we stayed in bed a little later, but eventually we had to rise & shine. We went into the little town of Sierra City for breakfast, and then hiked the PCT to Love's Falls, and joined back up with the Wild Plum loop. The Wild Plum loop is the trail we followed on Friday afternoon, so we knew our way around fairly well, and we went off the trail to the river, where there's a lovely little waterfall and a great place to hang out for a bit. Since it was our last hike before packing up and leaving, we weren't too anxious to get back to camp quickly. Even after seeing two rattlesnakes on the trail (I know!!), we still wanted to stay there and hang out for as long as we could. But eventually we had to get back to camp and dismantle everything, pack it away, and head home. Both of us wished we could have stayed longer, and we'll definitely be going back there again.


Anonymous said...

Sounds like fun! We're also planning a camping trip to Lakes Basin, which is how I found your post. Any recollection of the campsite # that you found so idyllic, or specific location within the campground? Thanks!

Snarkmeister said...

We stayed at the Wild Plum campground. Can't remember the exact number of the campsite, but when you get to the campground, immediately after crossing the bridge over the Yuba river, turn right. The one we stayed at was right where the road curves around to go back towards the bridge/entrance, on the inside of the loop.

Anonymous said...

Sounds like fun... thanks!