This winter was a Sierra snow year for the books. I’ve lived in California all my life but don’t remember a winter where it rained for three months straight. All the snow meant my Sierra objectives were looking a little bleak and buried. I brushed up on my map and compass skills with REI and hit the trail in Mokelumne Wilderness at the beginning of June. My destination was a place I’ve never been: Fourth of July Lake in the Carson Pass Management Area.
If you’ve got a car, good company, and some time to kill, camping in the Bay Area is just a stone’s throw away. Saturday night campsites are generally booked months in advance. Weeknights? You’ll have a better chance. I was stuck in the Bay Area one Saturday for a Chainsmokers concert. A quick browse on recreation.gov showed a Friday night Glen Camp site at Point Reyes National Seashore. I whipped out my credit card with lightning speeds, and within seconds, a campsite nestled in the woods was mine.
Three day weekends are not for sitting around. With the constant downpour California has been receiving, there was no place dry this past weekend within a reasonable driving distance. Josh and I got out on Sunday for a little bit, and suddenly, I remembered what it was like to be outside and not sloth-y. Josh had school on Monday so I was stuck at home sans car.
Try as I might, I laid in bed, watched TV, made biscuits… but by the time noon rolled around, cabin fever had hit. It was time to get out of the house. Luckily, there’s a good number of parks within walking and biking distance of where I live. I put on all the waterproof stuff I own and headed out into the downpour to Laurelwood Park to summit Sugarloaf Mountain.
It’s basically been raining in the Bay Area for the last 2 months. Save for a couple patches of sunlight here and there, I’m beginning to think I live in the Pacific Northwest. The gloomy weather has made outdoor climbing more or less nonexistent.
Our favorite local crag, Castle Rock, is soaked. Yosemite Valley and Bishop have mostly been under snow, or just too wet to climb. Most of my free time has been spent training or hibernating or some combination of the two. Finally, this past weekend, we decided to get out and stretch our legs; rain or shine. Our pick was Purisima Creek Redwoods Open Space Preserve just south of Half Moon Bay.
It’s been a hot minute since I’ve posted anything local. It’s also been a hot minute since the last time I went on a real hike that didn’t involve carrying a crash pad or a rope. With a supposed bad weather window everywhere within a reasonable driving distance, we opted to stay at home to attempt some Sierra peak bagging training. (Read: hiking and putting in miles cause it’s been forever and a day since my feet have actually hit the ground) I opted for my local favorite at Big Basin Redwoods State Park, Berry Creek Falls.