How to start describing a good amazing weekend?
Well... I will start saying that mom and I always had a great relationship. But with age our relationship keeps getting better and stronger. Proud to say that she is my best friend, role model, inspiration, pain in the butt (like all moms... lol) and my heart.
I have been wanting to take her camping with me for a little while now and we finally made it happen. This weekend we went to Onion Valley, CA.
Onion Valley needs to be in your list for sure. It is only a 3 1/2 hours drive North from LA, up 9200 ft and in the middle of the mountains... Pine tress, snow top mountains, hikes to lakes, sound of water running, birds singing... Insane gorgeous!
The day before we packed the car with majority of the gear and in the morning all we needed was to pack the cooler, fill the tank and head out. We left the house by 6:45 am, filled the car tank and got on the road.
There was no traffic and the ride was super smooth... The drive is pretty much super dry until we get close to Lone Pine and the mountains starts to show and as soon as I see them, even more with some snow on the top I start to tear up... I know... I'm a little wuss and happy about it too...
How can you not tear up for this :
We went from 3000 ft (Independence, CA) up to 9200 ft at the Onion Valley Campground. The drive was awesome, with crazy turns and beautiful views all the way.
Campground was fantastic, there was a creek (Independence Creek) running full force close by it and the noise was so good and relaxing. All I thought was how amazing would be to sleep... but first a hike and then sleep.
We found our site, parked the car and as I didn't know how the hike I was planning would go, we decided to pitch the tent and get the site ready on the way back. Got lots of water, snacks and started our journey to the lakes. When I was researching the hike I found some lakes around the campground and one of the them is called Flower Lake, so of course that was my main destination. Why? Well... Since I can remember family and friends have been calling me Petra Flor and FLOR means FLOWER in Portuguese... that's why Flower Lake was my main destination. Go figure... lol!
First lake out of the three is called Lower Pothole Lake. It was a great way to start the journey, a good incline hike and a good motivation to continue...
The trail is also part of the John Muir Trail:
This trail it is great because the elevation gain is nice and smooth, with some switch backs that dosen't make you feel it as much. We keep going to the next lake called Gilbert Lake and there is where beauty start talking to you... Just gorgeous:
After Gilbert Lake on the path for Flower Lake was a short and flat hike to this beauty...
Yep... I sure went in. I absolutely love to jump in cold water and I am a true believer on the power of cleansing that this fresh water have on our energy and soul. Can be a lake, a river, a waterfall, a creek, the ocean... Makes me feel good, period.
I haven't been drinking at all and actually completed the whole month of May Alcohol Free Month. But one of the things that I actually enjoy it is to have a beer when I get to the destination of a good hike. So we did. I bought some Mammoth Epic IPA and we let it chill in one of the snow spots around the lake while I was playing in the water... lol! I know... Life sucks! HA... yeah right?! Life is AWESOME!
We prepared some avocado egg salad w/ bacon the day before, so we made a wrap to have it for lunch, some nuts and a yummy bear... voila!
I meditated for a bit and it is insane how different it takes control of me when I am surrounded by nature. I have been enjoying a lot what meditation is doing with me lately... you should give a try too.
Mom and I stayed there for while enjoying this beautiful place and started to head back. Every turn in the trail you see...
Back at the campground we started to set camp and it was the best sensation ever... I finally got a small tent for this quick trips and is so freaking easy to put it up and it takes less than 5 min. I also have a 4 person tent w/ a "balcony", which is good when you have a bunch of friends with you... but this one it is perfect for two and fast to pack.
We got ourselves some wood for the fire... I took my cast iron skillet (of course...) and decided to cook dinner in the fire pit instead of the little gas stove. We took the corn on the cob pasted with butter and salt already wrapped in foil to be ready to toss in the fire and cooked some pulled pork the day before to bring along... so pretty much everything ready to go and easy. Meal prep it is the key and as I love to cook this trips is more about the food I bring than anything else... lol! I know... I have issues. But let's be fair that it is a great freaking problem to have... hahaha!
I took some fresh veggies (onions, carrots, broccoli & cherry tomatoes), so I started to chop them...
Me and chopping... great relationship. I am always chopping in the kitchen... go figure! How good to be in a place like this and cook by the fire?
Makes me happy... so happy to have this simple things to bring me joy and build memories with those you care for. Sharing this experience with my mom, she saw the reason why I do this things and she was able to like it more than she thought she would and want to go again soon... Another partner in crime to my great crazy ideas! And she is pretty cool to hangout and we laugh a lot together... a lot!
Ohhhhh. Can't forget to mention that I also got some avocados for the trip and selected them with a lot of love, and what did I get?
A perfect ripe one!!!!!!!!! YES! I think I have magic hands to pick them... for real.
We left the beer chilling in the creek a few steps from us. While I was making the plates, mom went to grab the beer and dinner was set.
After dinner we just set by the fire and chatted a bunch....
The munchies kicked in a little bit later and we indulged ourselves with some s'mores to complete the night. We let the fire die and wen to bed pretty early, we were out no later than 9 pm...
I slept so good in this campground was phenomenal, for sure the noise from the water running made a huge impact on it.
For those that camp in the wilderness... Have you noticed that around 5 am ALL the birds are singing away? I actually have been paying attention the last few times I was camping and around 5 am, when the day is starting the rise is when ALL the birds sing together. After that time period each flock of birds have a time in the day... but in the morning it is party time!
Mom and I got up around 6:30 am, talked for a bit, opened the top of the tent so we could go back to lay down and still see outside and maybe sleep for a little longer.
We ended up sleeping for another 1 1/2hr... was glorious!
Breakfast was another great meal. We had some leftover pork from the night before so I decided to have for breakfast with some eggs. Yummm. Leftover are so good, and when you add more goodies to it, you can't go wrong! Mom took overnight oats for her and I knew I would like some eggs for breakfast and I am glad I did, because it was the bomb!
I was trying to check another lake before we got back on the road, but the trail was steep and mom was feeling the hike from the day before so we didn't push it. So... I was planning to see a new lake and jump in again, and as we didn't go I decided to see if the creek close by the campground had a little "pool" for me to dip myself in it... and I found one... lol! Perfect place to immerse myself in it and meditate.
Pack the tent and camp was easy... easy and we started to head back to LA. We both were in great mood, the way back was gorgeous and we made it back in great time.
As soon as we got home I actually went for a run to the beach and back (5 miles loop).
This weekend was fantastic... It really was, for so many reasons. Stoked to be able to share this moments with my mom and build memories for a life time.
It is never too late to do something that makes you happy and make someone else happy too... whatever it is. If you mean it... they will feel it too.
Hope you enjoyed the pretty pictures I got and a good time little story.
Cheers to life!
Love the pics! Did you have those amazing s’mores we made?!!!! They were sooo good