"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, October 14, 2021

Tunnel Hiking and Snow & Rain Evacuations

Placerville, CA
Elk Lodge

October continues to be a gorgeous month.  With such beautiful, sunny Fall weather Ron and Rene of R and R On the Road met me for a waterfall hike at Sly Park.  Once again, the firefighters did a great job protecting the lake and except for a burned area just before the lake, you can't see any fire damage around the lake or on the trail.
The huge pines make Rufus look tiny.
Look at the lovebirds!  Rufus says, Hey, I want in on this too!  The water is so low.  Usually it is right in front of the bench.
The creek was flowing nicely and there was still some fall color out.

Me, Ron & Rene.  Unfortunately Steve was working but he'll join us for pizza after the hike.
Rufus having a blast!

No water at this end of the lake at all!  What I like is that the trail follows right along the lakeshore.  But not at the moment.  It's not just drought.  They release a lot of water for the snow melt in the Spring.
The Dogwoods are still showing some red.
After our wonderful hike we went to Whitewater Pizza.  One of our new favorites!
I brought cupcakes to celebrate Ron's birthday.
There's someone I know from long ago camped at our campground.  Wayne and I went to high school together.  Funny how you run into people!
This is his huge, sweet dog.  A large Italian breed.
With the river flowing right in front of us we can do short hikes along the water.

Emigrant Gap, California
Snowflower RV Resort
Since we didn't get a chance to stay at this Thousand Trails Park last year, I thought I'd make a 10 day reservation to check it out.  This park sits at over 5000' elevation and closes the end of October before the snow hits.  Since the holiday weekend is over and the temperatures are dropping this gave us plenty of sites to choose from.  It's so nice to be back in mountains!
We snagged a nice long pull-through.  Our friends Rick and Angie will join us in a few days.
I've read about the tunnel hike up here for years and always wanted to try it.  Fellow RV friends, John & Tina, were here in the Summer and they said it was fantastic.
Mutual friends, Tim & Leslie Muchow came back up to hike it with us.  You need headlamps and/or flashlights as some of these tunnels are long and totally dark.  The 4 1/2 mile trail takes you through parts of the original Transcontinental Railway which was completed in 1868.  The  Donner Party had come through this area in 1846 and didn't fare so well due to an early brutal snowfall that left some to cannibalism to survive.  These tunnels were used until 1993 when a longer, taller tunnel was built that was more reliable.  It runs very close by.
These old tunnels are now popular for hiking and for some gritty urban graffiti.
Here we go!
When you pop out of the tunnels there are some great views of the surrounding mountains and some of the tunnels up head.

Looking through one of the tunnels ahead to one after that.

Here comes one of the longest tunnels.

Some have "windows" with views and some are pitch black.

This one had a bit of a creepy look to it.
At one point you get a nice view of Donner Lake below.

At this junction the new railway section crosses the trail if you hike a bit further than the tunnels.  You can stand on top of it and if you're lucky you can watch the train go underneath you.
Two trains came by but we missed them both.
Painted on top of the bridge.  We agree.  This was a great hike.

There were still some patches of snow left from a storm that came by a couple of weeks ago.
After a nice snack stop we headed back.
You can see the rock climbers above.   This is a must-do if you're in the area!  Afterward we stopped in Truckee had lunch, walked around a bit and finished with a couple of chocolates.
We had some critter nibbling on our pumpkin decorations and figured it was a raccoon.
Turns out it was the cubs that are still hanging around the area.  We had heard they were here in the summer but thought with the colder weather they might have gone off to hibernate.  We made sure to throw them out since you're not supposed to have any type of food out for them.
Our neighbor took this cute video and sent it to us.
We were looking forward to Rick and Angie arriving but there was a sudden snowstorm predicted to roll in overnight, so they thought they'd wait and see.  Good call as it really came down and snowed through the next day.  Since we still had a few days left we didn't care as it would melt pretty quickly.  We were there to just relax.
Wow, that was a lot of snow!

Nice and warm inside!  I love it when we can catch the first and last snowstorm of the year.  

We walked around the lake and Hurley loved playing in the snow.
Well after a couple days the park decided to close their season early as more stormy weather was predicted for the next week and we'd all have to evacuate.  Rick called to check on the roads and they told him this before we knew.  Staff spent the day plowing and making sure we could all get out safely by the next day. Many left today but we figured we wait for more melt for the next day.
The cubs stopped over to say goodbye.
More of it did melt the next day as the sun came out.  We were very bummed we had to leave early.  

Well, it was beautiful while it lasted.

Coloma, California
Ponderosa RV Resort
We arrived back in Coloma for the rest of our reservation time.  We parked next to my brother, right across from the river.
The next week brought that crazy Cyclone River storm pattern.  As a matter of fact it was predicted to bring so much rain that THIS park decided to close and we all had to evacuate.  AGAIN!
Turned out to be a good call as the river rose to the boulders across from us and flooded the campground roads and sites.  We packed up once again and just moved to the Elks Lodge.

Placerville, CA
Elks Lodge
So much happening these last few days in October.  We celebrated our youngest son turning 30!
We snuck in a quick meet up for dinner with RV friends Ruth and Dale before they head to sunny Arizona.
On one of the few sunny, warm days left I got up on the roof and finally replaced the old attic mushroom vents.  They were so brittle and starting to crack.  I watched some YouTube videos and replaced them both.  I learned what Butyl tape is.  Gotta say I did a pretty good job.  I also checked the rest of the roof, vents, gutters, skylights, etc but all looked good. 
So shiny white.  Now the roof needs a good cleaning.
We celebrated Dia de Muertos at our favorite Mexican place with Doug & Deanna.

And we always end our meal with a round of Turantula!
Our county was having a fundraiser for the Caldor Fire and John was one of the cooks.  We enjoyed the food and friends once again.  Our county is a tight knit bunch.  A lot of money was raised that night.
Kevin, Me, Steve, John, Judy & Tina
A day spent at Apple Hill with our daughter, Kaylee.  Gotta pick up apple donuts, fritters and pies!
Ron was getting inducted into the Elks and since we all sponsored them, we met up at Tim & Leslie's house for wine and a very filling charcuterie board to celebrate.
And we wrap up our busy October with a picture of Jaxon dressed as a UPS delivery person!  He had a lot of fun this Halloween.  I sure hope November is a little quieter.