Rock Creek Canyon photo essay

It’s so easy to stop seeing the place you live. When I was a kid, I took the acres and acres of fields and streams behind our property for granted, safe to roam for miles through a verdant playground. The city seemed hectic and loud when I first got there, but I stopped hearing the sirens and car alarms. And here in the mountains, while we were completely wowed when we first got here, and we still find it quite lovely, we no longer step out of our house and say “Look at that!” It’s hard to keep fresh vision indefinitely.

That bit of spatial complacency is one of the reasons that we had such a good time last weekend when our friend, Becky, visited us in our canyon. Becky, to put it succinctly, is a bad-ass chick. Four years ago, at the tender age of 28, she moved into a 17 foot Casita trailer and started living as a full time nomad. In addition to having adventures, she started a wildly popular blog about her life, Interstellar Orchard. She’s a featured young blogger for our camping club, has written several e-books, and actually makes money through her online presence. I followed her for years as we prepared to launch our own mobile life, and we worked with her for 2 years in a row at We told her to look us up if she was ever traveling up California’s 395, and this week, she did!

It’s so much fun to host visitors here, because they inevitably say “Wow” when they get their first good view of the whole canyon. Becky is no stranger to elevation after working in some high places for summer jobs, and she’s fit from jogging, so she was game for a nice 4 mile hike from a trailhead that starts at 10,200 feet. When we want to show off Rock Creek Canyon, Little Lakes Valley Trail is always our pick. It features a string of beautiful lakes, surrounded by high mountains capped with snow. Becky was suitably impressed!

I asked these two to line up for a good picture, and could they please move their hats so I could see their faces? Instead I got super dorks! 🙂

Becky asked us for a nice photo and we made googly eyes at each other.

Photographer at work.

Another photographer at work.

It was the perfect day for a hike.

JJ deftly crosses the raging stream.

I panic about crossing the raging stream.

Over the snow, and almost to our goal.

Long Lake

We were all starved after so much grandeur, so we retired to the cafe for lunch.  Becky is not a giant eater like us, but she did her best to attack the huge portions of food that Rock Creek Cafe is known for.  She managed to eat half of a smoked pork BBQ sandwich, and most of a boysenberry crumble with ice cream.  She was a little green afterwards, but seemed to enjoy herself.

Now, just after a giant meal, what’s the smartest thing you can think of to do? Yep, dive into a mountain lake that’s nothing but melted snow.  I think I scared Becky pretty bad about the water temperature, because when we all lined up on the launch rock, she jumped in when the count was just on “1”.

JJ jumped a second time, just so that you could enjoy this picture.

We had a great time with Becky, and although she moved on, further north on 395, she didn’t go too far. She’s just south of June Lake, and we’ll get together for a hike around Convict Lake tomorrow. I guess I can pre-title next week’s entry “Convict Lake Photo Essay”!


Work is going well, but JJ and I are both starting to feel the effects of being on our feet all the time.  We’re still getting out for regular walks, but it’s awfully tempting to just put our footsies up at the end of the day.  As exertion goes, this is not the most physical job I’ve ever had (that award would go to Serrano campground, and the 12 hour days that went with it) but it’s close.  This is the time of year that we need to focus on getting quiet time for ourselves everyday, and making sure to get at least 5 sessions of yoga in each week.

I’m fond of mentioning to visitors that we get snow every month of the year, and this past Sunday was a good example.  The day before was windy and cool, and we woke up to several inches of white stuff on the ground, and temps in the 20s.  It’s really funny to watch folks get out of their cars and see the look on their faces when they feel the cold air.  It might be 80 down below, but it was still winter this weekend for us!

Until next week!


4 thoughts on “Rock Creek Canyon photo essay

  1. That photo of you and JJ from a distance, looking out at the lake, ought to be the cover of your book, when you write it…

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