Escape to Alpine County, CA

We headed for Alpine County over the July 4th long weekend.  As much as I enjoy lazy Saturday mornings photo editing in bed, weekend getaways are what fuels my creativity.  Between my full time job a the hospital, per diem job at Stanford, and my weekend photo sessions, these free weekends have been hard to come by.    So when they do, I pounce.   I was particularly excited about returning to Alpine County, especially in the summer, because I was captivated by its breathtaking beauty when we discovered the area on a detour route while driving back from Lake Tahoe earlier this year.   I had no idea where we were but I remember peering out the window and feeling wonderstruck by the majestic mountains covered in a blanket of snow.  Mixed with excitement and awe, it was also really scary to see the red avalanche warning signs, and feeling our rental SUV skid toward the ice walls, all the while recognizing that we did not have any cellular reception.  Nevertheless, I knew I had to return to this gem.  

Return to it, I did.  We went back the next month in February and stayed at Caples Lake Resort.    This resort is nothing of a resort.  In fact, it's probably the opposite of what you'd expect from a resort.  But I love that it's quaint and gives me a feeling of tranquility, which is what I hope for when escaping to the mountains.  We snowshoed on the lake, sunbathed in the snow, met a father and son ice fishing for trout, and watched the sunset.  I wasn't sure how we would handle going "off the grid" without having access to the internet or a television but once we got over the initial "uh-oh what are we going to do phase,"  it was pretty fun to spend time playing cards and hanging out the old fashioned way.     

I also packed my tulle skirt for photos on the last day, just because...  

The jumping pose was Dannie's idea :).  

Back to the July 4th weekend, we invited our friends Ian and Charry to come along.  It was so much fun!  We went trout fishing at Caples Lake.  I'm not quite a fishermen and definitely don't have the patience for all the tedious steps involved but I do enjoy going fishing with friends, siting in nature, with no internet or phone distraction, snapping endless photos, sipping on a Coors light, and united by a single goal - it was perfect!  

The next day, we hiked up Lake Winnemucca from Carson Pass and stopped by Frog's Lake along the way.  This has to be one of the prettiest California hikes I've gone on.   I couldn't have been happier or more excited to have another girl on this hike who shares the same love for photography, or rather, getting photographed as myself.  While the boys were busy climbing rocks and skipping ice, we happily found all the perfect angles.  The brisk air, cool temperature, and patches of snow along the way made this hike so refreshing.  Here's a tip:  leave your drink in the snow so that you can come down to an ice cold gulp!  Ahhhh.   

Ice skipping on Lake Winnemucca - it was Ian's (and probably Dannie's) favorite part of the trip!

Here's a view of the cute bed and breakfast we stayed at.  Not pictured is the wood burning sauna available on site - so great after a day of outdoor activites.  The hearty breakfast also came with our room rates, yum!

Still not ready to part ways, so we extended the trip with a detour to Rutherford Hill winery.   While the guys sipped on Zindafel, Charry and I munched on baguette dipped olive oil, and all savored the delights of Bouchon macaroons.  Thanks for a memorable adventure, friends.   These are the kinds of weekends I'll relish.