Road Trip: Cali (P1)

We started out in Ontario in the incredibly fancy-for-a-road-trip-that-might-include-some-rough-terrain, white Chevy 2016. Coming from an Infinity 1992 that I gave up in March of this year after almost 10 years, this was quite the upgrade. The brakes were tight, which came in handy on all the winding paths.

I-5 North

We rode about 7 hours to Sacramento with 2-3 stops. We watched the land go from brown to the occasional green fields of fruits or wine to endless greenery. It was an epic transformation given the dry brown I’ve experienced in the past few months living in SoCal.

Redd’s sister was a gracious host. They made us dinner and we tried to make it through Star Wars: Rogue One; it didn’t stick. We were shown around the middle class quaint and tree filled neighborhood a few miles from the university. My favorite part was the miniature library. It looked like an oversized or family sized bird house where you can take and exchange books. These were on a few corners throughout the neighborhood. Though the train was loud outside, we didn’t hear it that night when we slept.

Redd and I walked the neighborhood that morning. His sister made us breakfast and we relaxed outside until we headed to the American River. It was a simple beauty! I took a walk and found a lot of small secluded coves. We made dinner later that evening, talked deeply about life, did some laundry, and finished the night with Ben & Jerry’s dairy free ice cream while enjoying the penultimate episode of Marco Polo season 2. What a good show!

The next morning we set our sights towards the Tahoe National Forest.

Before leaving we had cinnamon bun centers and a vegan chocolate muffin with mint icing at Pushkins Bakery. So good! On another note, have you ever checked out park websites? It was confusing!… to me anyway. We ended up stopping at the USDA Forest Service to get directions. We were recommended Snag Lake located above Sierraville (we were told it’s free and pretty). This is also when we lost signal. Good thing I had an idea of where to go and that GPS on your phone still works great without data.

When we got to Snag Lake 2 hours later, it was disappointing. It was a beautiful but a very still and quiet lake. We love quiet, but this was not what we envisioned. We explored and found a waterfall at Frazier Falls that was underwhelming but still good to experience. On the way to Snag Lake, we found a campsite called Carlton in Downievile along the northern Yuba river. The water was chilly, but it was beautiful! We set up camp in a secluded area and showered in the river. We brought beer and chips earlier and ended the night with the season 2 finale of Marco Polo. What an ending!

In the morning we cleared out and drove back to USDA Forest Service to ask how to get to North Fork. The prior day she told us there was a beautiful waterfall there. We were hoping she’d be correct given the disappointment of the Snag Lake recommendation. On the way we stopped at the Omega Diggings Overlook Trail. It was gorgeous and high! Hungry, we stopped to eat at the Rustic Table Restaurant. What a good breakfast nacho!

The driving road to North Fork was narrow and lengthy. We trecked to the top of the waterfalls via its stones, which was harder but we didn’t notice the trail. It was a little scary but I’m glad I was brave enough to do it. Redd also dropped his phone in the water! He didn’t seem to mind, especially when we got to the top of the waterfall. He jumped in several times and I rejected being taught to swim in that deep water. Did I mention how down to the bone chilly the water was? Once you’re submerged, it’s not too bad after. A couple told us about a swimming hole so we took a trail down to see it. It was so deep it was bluish green! Most of the rocks away from that scary hole were slippery but we still went in and then sunbathed on a couple of big rocks while chomping on mangoes. On the way out, we discovered a pipe with drinking water that was not only pure and fresh, but cold!

The day was so long we skipped going to Lake Tahoe. Instead we chalked up some big change and spent the night at a hotel. It was worth it!

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