I was pretty jazzed by the state of Loch Leven Lakes. I’d always wanted to swim out to the islands but never remembered to bring a towel. Now, thanks to our cold but otherwise lame winter, the ice is thick enough to baby-deer it over. It’s a good thing™.
This hike is also neat since you cross the Donner Pass rail tracks, so the odds of seeing extremely long trains with many engines is pretty high. Downside is if you’re on the wrong side of one going up-hill, it’s a wait. Good snack time, though.
Really nice hike. This was Stevens Trail, down to the North Fork of the American River. In the morning, the valley was filled with mist, which burned off by the time I got to the bottom.
When we first moved here, one of my favorite things about California was the large difference in smell that a small distance in travel can make. Wales has a lot to recommend itself (chiefly, the bacon), but unless you’re in one of the south-east’s more urinique areas, the whole country smells like a similar mix of animals and the sea. The Coast Range around the Bay has a smell — eucalyptus mixed with burning VC cash? — that’s very evocative.