Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Misadventures in California

The diversity of California continues to blow my mind.  We got a last-minute Cheapo ticket to Reno, Nevada for a spontaneous spring adventure and snuck away last week.   The plan was to head to California for a little trail running road trip.  We were well aware that it was still winter in the High Sierras and there would be lots of snow, but our idea was to drive up and over Donner Pass to visit some greener parts of California.  In particular the trails of Auburn, California area with its easy access to the American River trails and the Western States Trail system.

We arrived to a blue sky day and took a super-quick road trip to Lake Tahoe and up to Truckee.  Later in the week, I had plans to gather with running friends who live in both of these places, but we thought we would take advantage of the day and enjoy the views under a clear sky.  With storms in the forecast, it was a great idea.

Dancin' in Truckee

Drama Queen in Tahoe

We rolled in to Auburn, changed in to our running clothes and set off to find ourselves a trail.  Aaaah!  Sweet Springtime.  It's was glorious to run in our T-shirts, splash through puddles (and deep streams) and smell the growth.  There were signs of springtime everywhere and the outdoor world in the American River Valley was coming alive. 

No Cliff Poopin'!!

American River

Spring time on Quarry Road

We decided to head up Brown's Bar Trail - on part of the Western States Course and were surprised to find the creeks overflowing and water running down the middle of the trail.  Yiiipeee!  We splashed our way up the trail, getting wet and dirty and happy and joyous.  The creek crossings just kept getting deeper and deeper.  We debated turning around, but we were having too much fun.

And then we almost stepped on a newt.  Shortly after, we discovered another and another and another.  Orange Bellied Newts!  Surely a sign of spring. Or a sign that magical things do exist in this world.

The shady trail, cold water and dark ravine made us pretty cold, pretty quick so it was time to abandon our newt friends and return to the "dryer" trail.  Keith was practically skipping his way down the trail.

....and so was I.

Hooray for Spring!


Danni said...


Leslie said...


Gretchen said...

Aw yay! I LOVE those newts! Quarry road is the start to some of my favorite trails. Yup. Glad you got to enjoy some of them. NOT glad all the crazy snow caused us to miss each other! :( Next time though. Next time!

Meghan said...

Did you lick the newt?!

Leslie said...

I gave him a big fat kiss and called him Meghan.

Leslie said...

Gretchen! Le Sigh! Next time honey, next time!!

Anonymous said...

awww that looks like so much fun!! I love the newt pics.

RunSueRun said...

Dang girl, you are one of the coolest people I know! ;-)

Helen said...

Glorious spring! - Your blog is infectious, I'm now off dancing my way to work.

Leslie said...

Hi Thea! Hope you're having a great winter - anything cool on the race/adventure calendar this year?

Leslie said...

Nooooooo, Sue. YOU are one the coolest I know! :)

Leslie said...

Hello lovely Helen, glad to put a little spring in your work day. Have a good one. Oh, and can I come visit in Fall? I'm going to be in your neighborhood. Coffee?

Paige said...

Oh there are so many things to love about this post :) The poop picture, hilarious (I might have to share that one with others, too good to pass up)! The cute newt! The bright green grass in the last picture! The adventure! What fun!

Helen said...

Well another wonderful high this morning! !st I read Jill's amazing race and now I've sat on your shoulder for a glorious run. If you are in Brisbane you are very welcome to visit and have a bed.

Deanna Stoppler said...

i really, really like that last photo! hooray for spring!

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