"Two roads diverged in a yellow wood... And sorry I could not travel both. I took the one less traveled by. And that has made all the difference." --Robert Frost

Thursday, August 1, 2019

Boondocking in our Happy Place - Hope Valley, CA

Hope Valley, CA
National Forest - Boondocking

Back in the forest at our favorite place to decompress before the busy times before the wedding.  We had a special visitor to greet us.
Someone left a pumpkin carved face on a gall on a stick.  We named our new mascot, Wilson.
We love this spot off of Hwy 88 in Hope Valley.  So peaceful on the edge of a meadow under the pines with rivers and lakes nearby.  And LOTS of hiking! Great cell signal makes this a treasure.  We'll be staying 10 days.  With an elevation around 7000 feet, it stays fairly cool here even in summer.
We would've preferred a spot that gets some shade but didn't want to crowd the folks parked nearby.
Our view out front.  We called my parents and asked them to join us up here for the day.  We haven't seen them since January (it's August 2019 at the time of this post).  We put on the large shade screen on the awning which attaches easily and visited on the "Front Porch" for a bit then drove over to the Kirkwood Inn for some lunch.
This place was built in 1862.  Still original.  Great ambiance, food and drinks!

My Dad and Mom.
At the other end of the dirt road where we're camped at we spotted this patriotic trailer. 
The rivers around here are beautiful and full of trout.  Today we drove off road to find a more secluded lake to kayak on.  Blue Lakes are getting way too popular.
Ahh.  Perfect.  We had to portage down a hillside, but Tamarack Lake was our prize.  Almost no one out here.
Hurley loved him some splash and fetch time.

 A family of Merganser's floated past us. 

We paddled all around the lake and found a nice little spot to pull out for lunch.  We came upon some great spots to hike down from the road and pitch a tent.
Look at the little tree growing out of this old sump.  Life always finds a way.
Even though its August, there is still snow in these mountains.

While we were getting ready to pull the kayak out we found a geocache very close by.  Steve found it in the hollow of a big pine.

What a great day we had on the lake.  We'll definitely come back to this lake.  I'd love to get our rig down here but it's a long way in and the road is a bit iffy.

Back home we had a nice dinner and campfire.  You can see Wilson in the background on the railing.  It's very dry out here and we were surprised to find out we were still allowed fires.

The next day we drove another dirt road that we have hidden previous geocaches on.  We wanted to check them out and search out an old mining camp we haven't been to.  It's still mostly intact although much of the roof is falling down.
Some interesting graffiti.
This tree has grown so big it is pushing into the old cabin.  We walked around and looked for old glass, miner supplies and odds and ends laying around.  Much history up here.

Another day after Steve finished work we took a hike around Burnside Lake.  Another pretty little alpine lake that we'd like to kayak on another time.  Great spots to boondock along the lake but you couldn't bring a big rig up here.
The south side of the lake where Hot Springs Creek runs out of the lake.
Very pretty.  While we were looking for a geocache hidden near the lake we came upon a campsite that had a trail of clothes leading from the tent laid out on rocks and fallen trees for about a 1/4 of a mile.  This is a fairly remote area. Not just a few items.  Many.  And purposely laid out.  Since the camp looked used and had some newer items, neatly kempt, we reported it to the ranger.  They would check it.  Later in the week we went back but everything was cleared out.  Never found out what the deal was.
A curious deer checking out a campsite.
Back at camp we had a nice fire with our neighbors.  Rob and Kathleen are from Ione not too far from Placerville.  We all enjoyed a spectacular sunset.

The next morning I enjoyed my coffee al fresco in my 1980s Apple coffee mug.  It's my favorite.
We spent most of our evenings walking Hurley through the meadow to the West Fork of the Carson River where he can play in the water.
It's nice to walk through the wildflowers and look at the snow covered peaks all around us.

A quick moving storm blew through and made for another gorgeous sunset.

While we talked by the fire we reminisced about our beloved Coleman Popup that we camped in with the kids for 17 years.  The above picture was taken the only time we took it out without the kids once they were all off to college.   It was so sad being in it without the kids.  We never took it out again and later sold it to go fulltime.  Sure have a lot of good memories in that popup though.

Our last few days some of our Placerville friends, Jim & Jenny joined us.  That's there nice Grand Design behind us.
Their son, Brandon playing with granddaughter Marley.
Jim, Steve and Brandon.
Hurley isn't the only one that loves playing in the river.
Me and Jenny.
Jenny with the other granddaughter, Izzy.
The guys playing Corn Hole.
Our last campfire with friends and Brandon had some Campfire Magic to add some color.
A couple more days to ourselves and then we head to Placerville.
Hurley wanted me to share this joke with you all before I go.


  1. What a great and peaceful looking area! Definitely has the it factor. Great joke Hurley. 🤣

  2. LOL!!! What a beautiful spot and a grand time there you had.

    1. It's starting to get more popular, but it's still the best!

  3. What a gorgeous area. Hard to believe that snow is still around in the heat of summer.

    1. We'll have to camp with you guys here once we're out of "jail"!

  4. Beautiful spot! Hurley may be getting older, but that boy has still got some energy--and a sense of humor to boot!

  5. Beautiful spot. Peaceful place with family. Ya can't beat that.

    1. Our favorite place to unwind coming and going from CA.

  6. Looks like the perfect spot to enjoy family and friends! Burnside Lake looks perfect. Love to see Hurly having so much fun in the water - love his sense of humor :-))) So looking forward to finding our way back to days like these.

    1. So much to do in this area without going too far. Yes, I'm so looking forward to getting back out there too!

  7. Your pictures make me long for warm sunny days with highs in the 60's and no snow in the forecast. Beautiful area!

    1. Us too! Here in Monterey, CA (3/2020) and it's been mostly cold, rain and wind with just a hint of sunshine here and there to tease us.


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