Short, Short Trailer, Long, Long Trip: Calaveras Big Trees State Park 2016_10_07

 

We are blessed to re-visit the awesome Calaveras Big Tree State Park, in California. We spent a couple of days here, many years ago, on our way to Yosemite National Park. This time, it was even more relaxing, and with the motorcycle, we were able to explore CA 4, which was an exciting ride.

We ran, full speed, from the cold in Carson City, Nevada, and didn’t look back! I hope we can go back again someday, but with a warmer rig or warmer weather! We were advised not to take Ebbetts Pass (CA 4) to Calaveras with our van and trailer rig, so we set the GPS for Placerville, CA and headed in from there.

This proved to be a nice drive, a semi-freeway, mingled with two and four lane roads.

We went through Lake Tahoe, never spotting a welcome to California sign!

Welcome to California!

Lake Tahoe, CA

Interesting bridges along the route

We arrived at Calaveras and set up camp. TWICE! Between picking a site and then paying, we did not realizing the first site was reserved…oh well, we ended up with a great site all the same.

Calaveras Big Trees State Park, Arnold, CA

Calaveras Big Trees State Park, CA. Still jacket and hat weather, but no signs of snow!

Motorcycle Ride! We finally were able to get back on the bike, and took  a ride back towards Lake Tahoe, on the the road we didn’t want to tow the trailer on. It was perfect temps for a ride and this is absolutely a bucket list place for riding. The road does go down to almost one lane, for a good portion, and I have never been on a 24% grade road before! No smoking brakes for us!

CA 4 – Ebbetts Pass Scenic Byway – Alpine State Highway (depending on which map you choose to look at)

Ebbetts Pass Scenic Byway, California

Ebbetts Pass Scenic Byway, California

Ebbetts Pass Scenic Byway, California

Ebbetts Pass Scenic Byway, California

We took a short lunch break and checked out this National Forest Campground.

Silver Creek Campground, on Noble Creek. Ebbetts Pass Scenic Byway, California

Ebbetts Pass Scenic Byway passes through Stanislaus National Forest and Humbolt Toiyabe National Forest

Yes, that white stuff is snow, but I didn’t see any mosquitoes!

Ebbetts Pass Scenic Byway, California

We spent Saturday evening around the campfire of B.J. and Karen, from Santa Barbara, CA. They just returned from a trip to Alaska, and shared their experiences and tips with us. Another item to add to the bucket list! Other Saturday sights were this blue jay and the meadow near the camp sites.

Blue Jay, Calaveras Big Trees State Park, CA

Meadow, Calaveras Big Trees State Park, CA

Sunday, we walked the North Grove, which is an easy paved 1.7 mile loop, close to the Park entrance. Then we rode the motorcycle across the Park, which is about ten mile (one way,) and a fantastic ride to the end of the park. The great views and quiet road, led us to the South Grove trail.  This is a five mile loop hike to the Agassiz Tree, the largest Sequoia in the park, through a few other rather tall trees. As we came out at the end, there was a small gathering of people, watching us come up from the trail. It seems the rustling in the bushes was a bear! Unfortunately, we didn’t get a pic, but, we didn’t have an up-close encounter at the creek, either!

North Grove, Calaveras Big Trees State Park, California

North Grove, Calaveras Big Trees State Park, CA

North Grove, Calaveras Big Trees State Park, CA

North Grove, Calaveras Big Trees State Park, CA

North Grove, Calaveras Big Trees State Park, CA

North Grove, Calaveras Big Trees State Park, CA

South Grove Trail. The five mile hike, which we did in the late afternoon, was not overly difficult.

South Grove Trail, Calaveras Big Trees State Park, CA

South Grove Trail, Calaveras Big Trees State Park, CA

South Grove Trail, Calaveras Big Trees State Park, CA

South Grove Trail, Calaveras Big Trees State Park, CA

South Grove Trail, Calaveras Big Trees State Park, CA

South Grove Trail, Calaveras Big Trees State Park, CA

South Grove Trail, Calaveras Big Trees State Park, CA

South Grove Trail, Calaveras Big Trees State Park, CA

South Grove Trail, Calaveras Big Trees State Park, CA

Agassiz Tree. South Grove Trail, Calaveras Big Trees State Park, CA

Does this tree make me look short? Agassiz Tree, South Grove Trail, Calaveras Big Trees State Park, CA

Agassiz Tree. South Grove Trail, Calaveras Big Trees State Park, CA

Agazzi Tree. South Grove Trail, Calaveras Big Trees State Park, CA

A nice sunset view of the creek.

Big Tree Creek, South Grove Trail, Calaveras Big Trees State Park, CA

We had a great visit at Calaveras, you need to rest up PopPop…we are off to visit the grands tomorrow!

Resting before next week with the grands! South Grove Trail, Calaveras Big Trees State Park, CA

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