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Celebrating Humbug Day and a few Eastern Sierra Campgrounds

We all have one. Nothing seems to go right and you just want to yell "Bah Humbug" and go back to bed.

But if you want to celebrate Humbug Day, you need to show up at the tiny historic town of North Bloomfield on June 13th.


I just happened to be there along with bunch of other folks.

Humbug-Day-1 Humbug-Day-3

Giant water cannons were used to literally wash apart hillsides in one of the largest hydraulic mining operations of the day.


Some people arrived by car, others by horse drawn cart.

Humbug-Day-2 Humbug-Day-4

I walked...from Malakoff Diggins State Historical Park just up the road.


It is a smaller park with just 30 sites, but they are nicely shaded. Prime examples are 10, 14, 17, and 19.

Malakoff-Diggins_010 Malakoff-Diggins_014 Malakoff-Diggins_017 Malakoff-Diggins_019

It is located about 25 miles east of Grass Valley in the Sierra foothills with typical Cal SP pricing.

From there it was on to Lake Tahoe.

I stopped by Tahoe State Recreation Area right in the town of North Tahoe.


I drove around this tiny noisy campground and not a single site would fit my small car and small trailer. Unless you are tent camping and need to walk to a supermarket, I would avoid this place.

I spent the next few nights at Ed Z'Berg Sugar Pine Point State Park. Turns out we already have the campsite pics on our website so I spent some time down at the day use area and beach.

Lake-Tahoe Sugar-Pine-Point-Beach Sugar-Pine-Point-Pier

Lake Tahoe is really blue. And deep. There is enough water in the lake to provide every person in America 75 gallons of water per day. For five years.

I stopped at a grocery store in South Lake Tahoe on my way to Silver Lake. Turns out they have a special parking area for little trailers.

Trailer-1 Trailer-2 Trailer-3

Pretty cool old school trailer. Look at the tiny wheels. And the nifty front window. We chatted briefly and agreed that smaller is better.

Anyway, on to Silver Lake.


Keep in mind that there are two Silver Lake campgrounds in the Sierras. This one near Lake Tahoe and the other near Mammoth.

Last time I camped here was in 2004. I was in my tent sound asleep when I heard a ruckus from my neighbor's site. Turns out they left a cooler in the backseat.


No problem for a determined bear.


The Stellar Jays enjoyed the feast as well.

Some of my favorite sites there are 18 and 58.

Silver-Lake_018 Silver-Lake_058

Last time I was in site 40, a great tent site.


This time I was in site 44, along with my friend Melanie who came up for a visit.


Between my small trailer and her rooftop tent we had plenty of inquisitive visitors.

The next morning Mel, Fred, and I enjoyed a decadent breakfast.


Then we walked to the Kit Carson Lodge next door.

Kit-Carson-Lodge Kit-Carson-Store

That is one of the reasons this campground is so popular. Campers can use the store and restaurant, as well as rent boats.

Silver-Lake-Boat-Rentals Silver-Lake

Be sure to make reservations in the summer. Otherwise you will see this sign as I did when leaving on a Saturday morning. It was $28 per night this time. Last visit. $12 in 2004.


I made a brief stop at Indian Grinding Rock State Historic Park.


It was heating up as the elevation dropped so I just walked the 23 sites without visiting the museum.

Sites 11 and 17 were typical of this pretty campground.

Indian-Grinding-Rock_011 Indian-Grinding-Rock_017

I ended up in the central valley with it's 110 degree heat at New Hogan Lake, specifically Oak Knoll campground.


There was still some water left...


But the boat ramp wasn't too happy.


Luckily most of the sites had shade. Either trees or ramadas.

I liked sites 14, 37, 44, and 50, with 50 being closest to the lake. And they are only $14 per night.

Oak-Knoll_014 Oak-Knoll_037 Oak-Knoll_044 Oak-Knoll_050

From there I continued south, hung a left at Fresno, and headed back up into the mountains to Dorabelle.


Located in the quaint town of Shaver Lake, this is one of several lakeside campgrounds in the area. The water level is kept quite high for the boating crowd.


There are 61 sites available with a mixture of tent and RV accommodations.

Take note that some of the RV sites have the picnic table and fire ring on the "wrong" side of the site. Like mine, number 33.


But my site was one of closest to the lake, where I watched a nice sunrise and checked out the beach.

Dorabelle-Sunrise Dorabelle-Beach

Other nice sites are 13, 23, 32, and 41.

Dorabelle_013 Dorabelle_023 Dorabelle_032 Dorabelle_041

20 miles east and 2000 feet higher than Dorabelle (around 7200 feet) is Huntington Lake and Rancheria Campground.


There are several campgrounds around this lake as well, but Rancheria is the largest. Along with Dorabelle, they were repaved and renumbered in the past few years which is why I am here. That, and the fact the temps are in the high 70's. Which I like. A whole lot.

Prices seem to have settled at $28 for the popular Forest Service campgrounds. But no flush toilets or showers. Which I don't like. A whole lot.

At this time the lake is a little less than half full.


A Ranger told me that they are draining Florence Lake because of dam repairs so Huntington should stay fine all summer as it collects the flow.

Plenty of good sites here and the tables and rings are on the correct side. 12, 20, 49, 65, and 112 (mine) were sweet.

Rancheria_012 Rancheria_020 Rancheria_049 Rancheria_065 Rancheria_112

I walked down to the lake on Friday morning to watch the sunrise.


Then gritted my teeth and drove 300+ miles to Brother Mike's house. Experienced the wonderful LA traffic. On a Friday afternoon. Pure culture shock.


Ughhh! Not my world.

I don't understand how freeways can be stopped in both directions. The peeps heading south need to talk to the peeps heading north and do some kinda swap. Then the freeway would be empty. In my world.

So I eventually arrived at Brother Mike's and said hi. He said bye and he and his family flew to Cabo San Lucas. No problem. I needed to take a brief break and he has some cats that can play with my little plastic dog Fred.

So Fred and I were sitting in the backyard taking photos. Fred has dreams of being a model.


He has gotten the "stay still" part down pat.

Out of nowhere a hairy creature pounced on him.


I managed to pry Fred from his jaws and the beast moved off, circling, giving poor little Fred the hungry eye.

Freddy-2 Freddy-3

I noticed that the beast was wearing a collar. It actually said Freddy!

Could something magical be happening?

Freddy told us he is a F1 Goldendoodle. Just nine weeks old. A first generation cross between a gorgeous male Standard Poodle and an equally beautiful female Golden Retriever.

Fred and I talked about asking Freddy if he wanted to join us on our journey. We both agreed and asked him.. I did the talking. As usual.

"You want to come along and explore the open road?" I asked.

"Does that come will all meals and lodging included?" He replied.

"Yes, but little Fred is not be be considered a snack."

"Not even a nibble?"


"Fine. Let's go have an adventure."

He posed for a formal portrait.


Big blocky head and huge paws and all. It will be an extraordinarily excellent adventure!

Regards and happy camping, Park Ranger


What a lucky dog! Freddy is so cute!

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