2003 Fourth of July Trip
(Sunday, 29 June - Sunday 06 July, 2003)
After an unsuccessful Terrible Two, I was ready
for some less stressful exercising and fun playing in the mountains! Sarah
arrived at my place Sunday evening and we headed out to my family's cabin near
Arnold, CA. We had a rather full week of trapsing around the Sierras planned,
and I was looking forward to it. We got to the cabin, unpacked, and hit the
Monday was spent wine tasting in Murphys, sampling the excellent wines and
taking a tour of the exquisite grounds of
the Ironstone Winery and
tasting in the dainty tasting room of Milliaire Winery (which has a very
tasty and affordable Clockspring Zinfandel) - life could be worse!
We woke up early on Tuesday and drove a few hours to the Yosemite high country,
hiking Lembert Dome and Gaylor Lakes and Peak, both beautiful hikes.
Lembert Dome in particular was a very favorable effort-to-view ratio. We
sussed out where the Mt. Dana trail was for reference on Tuesday when we were
planning on hiking to its summit. After our hikes we drove down to Lee Vining
and checked into our room at the Tioga Resort. We had a terrible dinner at
Nicely's, tried in
vain to get a drink at the saloon in our hotel (it served only beer and wine,
and was un-staffed), then settled for a beer in our room before retiring.
Up early again on Wednesday, we drove to town and waited a few for a local cafe
to open so we could caffeinate ourselves. A short'ish drive back up to Tioga
Pass brought us to the start of our attempt to climb Mt. Dana. After that butt-kicker, we were ready for
some rest. We'd considered going to Bodie or Black Point, but we were pretty
tired after hiking Dana, so we decided to just return to the cabin. We
arrived there after a lovely drive north on 395 and an excellent dinner at
BBQ in Walker.
We decided to do a little active recovery on Thursday and the South Grove
trail at Calaveras Big Trees seemed like just the ticket as its just a few
miles from the cabin, not short, but not difficult, and we'd never done it
before. It indeed proved to be a fun hike
despite my nearly getting killed by a pine cone, and we spent the rest of the
day relaxing and enjoying being in the mountains.
My folks came up on Thursday night, but decided not to join Sarah and I on a lovely 4th of July hike to Winnemucca Lake, Round Top Lake, and Fourth of
July Peak. We had a nice BBQ afterwards and retired fairly early after
doing a puzzle of a Kandinsky piece.
On Saturday we all drove out to Virginia City, Nevada, a funky
touristy mining town. It was fun wandering around town, but the highlight for
me was walking around the old, decrepit Virginia City cemetary. I've never
seen such a forlorn graveyard in such a state of decay. We had dinner at the
superb JT Basque Bar
& Dining Room then drove back to the cabin.
Sarah and I packed up and left Sunday morning, back to the Bay Area grind.
We had lots of great hiking this week - I was not overly thrilled to go back