June 2012 – Sardine Lake again

WHUFU Trip: Nor Cal | 0

Someday I will actually internalize the lesson to pay attention to myself! A couple of years ago I did a little two-day quickie trip – first night Sardine Lake, second night Sierra Hot Springs(SHS). I actually blogged about it, sigh… As I type this, I am doing the trip again. I am breaking new ground here! Instead of describing the excitement of new things, I am describing the contentment of doing old things again!

I am typing from the van at SHS, at the meadow-edge of the camping area. The brutal 5,500′ desert sun is shielded by typinghe van to my left. The XX mountains are straight ahead through the windshield, YY miles north across the table-flat Sierra Valley. The lovely meadow (aka cow pasture) is 50′ to the right outside the open van door. It’s just windy enough that it’s not buggy; I’m not in mosquito protection mode, in other words, it’s pretty f–ing ideal!


So what’s up with my first sentence? Well last night, even though the area in general seemed deserted, Sardine Lake campground was quite crowded. After I had picked the best of the crappy sites still available I settled in to do my no internet local computing thing. Finally, I decided to read my post on being here before …. where I clearly told myself that next time I should camp at Salmon Creek instead.  Right down the hill and a much more pleasant situation. Big Sigh…

But it all worked out fine – I pretty exactly reprised my stay of last time:

  • do the meadow nature trail,
  • which leads to the edge of the swimming pond,
  • skirt the pond,
  • which puts you by the dam that makes Sardine Lake,
  • where there is an excellent sunset, reflecting off the Sierra Buttes and on the quiet little lake.
  • then an underwhelming morning, with the unshielded sun pounding the van.

That plan was good two years ago, and it was good again. But NEXT TIME, I am going to enjoy a pleasant morning creekside at Salmon and see how long that hike up to Sardine really is.


My no-windows van actually stays cool a long time in the morning.  I hung out and read till noonish, then drove into Sierra City for breakfast.  That plan was a FAIL – my place was closed and  the other place stopped breakfast at 11, BUT the other place (## Inn) had dining in a lovely garden with a good-sized fake stream burbling through it.  Really very pleaqsant.  Gold Lakes Road to Graeagle, diesel, Clio, road to Portola with fancy golf estates, nice drive down the west side of the valley to …. SHS – check-in time 3:14PM.


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