Our second trip to Calaveras Big Trees was quite satisfying. And boy, California sure is green! I think our official favorite site there is North Grove #6. It has a beautiful view of the meadow, is nicely paved, and has a teeny bit of solar. It is also nicely spaced from its neighbors for privacy and less campfire smoke. Richard wants me to note that the site is slanty, but I thought it was just fine. So noted though.
Friday we got in with lots of light, thanks in part to Daylight Savings Time. That’s the one thing I have to give the loss of an hour; it does provide you with an extra hour of hitching light. Dinner Friday was a nice Shuttle Chef version of pork and beans. I sipped wine and listened to the sounds of the babbling snowmelt brook that ran right next to us. This was bone dry when we were here last. I had a little moment of overwhelm sitting in my chair throne, staring at the stars over the meadow. Sometimes it hits you, everything all at once, in a good way, and a heartbreaking way, but in the end, a glorious and grateful kind of way. (ok FINE, yes, this was after a glass or two of wine, BUT that doesn’t negate the sentiment!)
Saturday we drove to a trailhead for a hike on the Arnold Rim Trail, or ART for those in the know. It was hard to get good info on the status of the trail because this is pretty early in the season. This caused some angst for Richard, who likes nothing more than to have good beta. The trail was on Galileo Pro though, so we decided to go for it. What we couldn’t quite figure out was whether the waterfall was a 4 mile round trip, or 4 mile one way hike. I’ll cut to the chase: it was the latter. We did not make it to the falls. We did make it to the river though and were thinking of taking the equestrian trail back in order to do a loop instead of just an out and back. However, when we got to the robustly flowing river, we decided horses must be better than people at crossing rivers and ultimately decided not to risk it. Out and back it was, and we probably clocked around 5 miles. It was a shame the Logging Museum was closed because, judging by the equipment placed outside, it looked intriguing.
Then it was chocolate shake time, followed by nappy time, and eventually dinner time. But first, we walked over to the Visitor Center to get a couple of gifty things. It’s still cold enough to appreciate the toasty warm air of the heater, but not so cold as to require thermal clothing, so I didn’t bother with a jacket. We got caught in a few minutes of a downpour on our way back, but it didn’t last long. I cooked a Blue Apron meal of Pork and Cabbage Tacos with Pineapple and Pickled Jalapeño Salsa. YUM! We watched a couple episodes of “Lost,” did our stretches, and fell into blissful sleep. I don’t know why, but we both seem to recall our dreams much more vividly in Dory.
Sunday we did a little campground exploring before hitting the road. There is a nice boardwalk that goes across the meadow and into another loop of the campground. There is still some snow on the ground and a million mosquitoes at the lower end of the meadow. It seems like a nice place to camp though when the water has cleared up. This remains one of my favorite destinations and isn’t too far a drive to really get the feel of wilderness camping (even though Highway 4 is literally right next to you). The dump at Calaveras is currently closed, so we went home by way of Brannan Island, where we are reserved for next weekend actually, and used theirs. $8, good deal.
Total Miles: 144.8, 15.0 mpg there vs 18 mpg home, 3 hours 37 min. North Grove, Site 6. In the loop across the meadow, sites 52, 54, 56, 57, 58 might be nice too.