Being outdoors and off the grid always makes me feel refreshed and happy. Being disconnected in some ways made it possible to connect with things that are truly important to me: family and nature.
I’m lucky to have a husband who is such a topography nerd. On almost every trip, he would take us on some mysterious back road that he found by studying the map and it always ends up being an amazing spot that we seem to have all to ourselves. On this trip, he found a road that seems to go up to a nice ridge where there is a trail that might overlook a valley. His prediction was right. After a short climb, the trail opened up to a fantastic view of a green valley nestled between the ranges. Soon the trail took us onto a flat plateau on the top of the ridge. All we could see were wild flowers in every direction and snow-covered peaks of the Sierras in the distance. We were running and laughing and dancing, dizzy with the sense of freedom of being in that open place (or maybe just from the altitude).
I’ve been wanting to visit the hot springs of the Eastern Sierra and this trip we finally made it happen. We camped right by the Buckeye hot springs and made a trip to the nearby Travertine hot springs. We found ourselves marinating in a pool with two nude hippies and a family with maybe 20 kids. But it did take two naked babies about the same age as Ellie playing happily in the water to get Ellie curious enough to overcome her fear of getting into the hot spring. Once she did though, she was one happy dumpling.
Hopefully we’ll be continuing our 4th of July camping trips for years to come. Here is a comparison of this years Ellie in the Deuter versus last years Ellie: