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California and Shaver Lake Camping – August 2011

Sunday, October 12th, 2014 by

I’m in New Jersey right now, visiting with my family, and seeing my grandmother. I’m also taking the opportunity to go to…IKEA. Yeah. For reals. The nearest IKEA to me is in Toronto. The nearest in the US is in Pittsburgh, and the second nearest US one is…in Paramus. So now I can say I’ve braved the Saturday Paramus shopping rush, and emerged victorious! The drive down was really amazing; a wonderland of fall colors, and today we went to the New Jersey State Botanical Gardens and got to enjoy a lot more of that. Really nice quick trip. Back to Rochester tomorrow!

But! Back in August 2011 I drove up to the Bay Area while Nathan had some laser time up there, and spent several days hanging with a bunch of friends, starting in the South Bay, and heading up East Bay-wards, before heading up to Shaver Lake for Danny’s birthday (which I had done on one prior occasion, and can find absolutely no photos or writeup of. Sad.)

Can’t have a lake trip without a turtle…

I left at 8ish AM from Pasadena, via a very quick stop at Vons to get some crucial coffee + breakfast. Trip north on 5 was fairly uneventful, as I guess Monday morning is a good time to go, but there are always amusements. A hay truck , getting on the freeway, gusting hay gleefully behind him…and another truck instantly passing him. No one wants to be behind the hay truck! Also, among all the billboards for the various California attractions and gas stations, there was a billboard for the aviation museum…in Pensacola, FL. ?! I have no idea. Also saw a truck for “Activated Carbon and Related Services”. What those related services might be, I don’t know. And then, of course, while I mostly stayed slow, I ran into a zone with a budget moving truck…who was going consistently between 70 and 75 miles an hour. This of course played poorly with my 74, since he couldn’t decide if he wanted to pass or be behind, but basically, could maintain no consistent speed at all. All of which, of course, were far fast far for a moving truck of his size. He wanted it to be a car. Stopped briefly at the Apricot Tree location to get gas, then carried on north. (It’s possible I know this drive and the few stops too well…)

Do not get stuck behind the hay truck!

Terrifying for a solid moment

Until you realize what is really happening

I turned off at CA-152 (I think) and headed through the western areas, through Gilroy, on my way to the South Bay. In a great way, the overpowering scent of garlic through Gilroy was fabulous. I made my way over to Mountain View, where I met up first with glasser, and then respectively, ctl, karen, and eisenbud joined us for lunch. After hanging out with them for a while, I headed up to Burlingame. My friend chris wasn’t quite done with work yet, so I went for a walk along the shoreline in Burlingame – lots of view of planes taking off and landing at SFO, then walking south, technically through the Robert E Woolley state park (which is what it said there, though now that I’m looking I see nothing for it on the state website. Either way…huh.) then down a bit more to where you have to cut inland to get around a body of water, looking across at the Coyote Point County Park. On the walk back, I stopped in at the Embassy Suites hotel for a few minutes, thinking I would have a drink overlooking the water, but just wandered around the large interior lobby for a bit. After that, Chris called and said he was leaving soon, so I went over to meet him at his apartment.

He showed me his studio, and we chatted for a bit, and then went out for some tasty gyros plates. After that, we walked around the “downtown” of Burlingame a bit, or perhaps one of the two areas that could be called that, and it was generally pleasant. We ducked into the library, and it was a beautiful old building that I would love to spend some time sitting and reading in. Chris even got his library card! We then headed back and just chatted for the evening, before going to bed. The next morning Chris went to work, and I hung around in his apartment for a few hours doing some work. I then packed up my stuff (leaving one crucial thing behind, of course) , and then headed into Berkeley where I met up with Nathan and Leah. We went over to Yali’s and had lunch and coffee, and Nathan and I worked there for a little bit, but then Jen offered us the use of her place (only a few blocks away) so we went over and socialized with her and also got a bunch more work done, so that was quite a pleasant afternoon. I got email telling me that Patagonia was having their half-off sale, and I wanted to buy a jacket, so later in the afternoon, Nathan and I went over to REI to try on the jackets to make sure I ordered the right one. Right around that point, ctl was coming home, so we went up to his place, and then went out and had dinner with him at Jupiter (after making sure I got my jacket ordered!).

Busted up causeway next to a pedestrian bridge

I guess you’re not supposed to go there?

Used to be payphones, I guess

The next day (Wednesday), Nathan was planning to head down to Stanford to have lunch with a friend of his, so I asked him if he could stop by Chris’s work place, and pick up the thing I had forgotten – namely, the bag with my power adaptor for my work laptop, and my mouse! Yeah, way to go me. He was unable to meet up with Chris on the way down, but did stop on the way back up. Unfortunately, traffic both ways ended up eating a lot of his day :/ I did, however, get a fair amount of work done, which was nice, and ran to the store to buy a very late-lunch sandwich when Nathan got back later. That evening we went out for a late dinner at Au Coquelet with Liana, where we sat and chatted for awhile. It had been a long time since I had been there!

Thursday was more work, and then included lunch with Jen at the Crepevine, and a very pleasant dinner with Elisa at the Triple Rock Brewery, where they were having “Monkey Head Night”, which meant it was fairly crowded, but we managed to magically snag the one open table, on the roof, which was awesome. Food was tasty, fun was had, and then we headed over to Trader Joe’s so I could buy some things for my camping trip. We then went to Nathan’s motel for a bit, since they were waiting for Kana to show up. After that point, we drove Elisa home, and went up to her place for a few minutes, she she hooked me up some hot chocolate powder, and also some bug spray (which I ended up not needing, yay!), and we hung out with her and Ethan for a few minutes. So…several seriously social days. Well enjoyed.

Lovely library!

I got almost no photos of people. Enjoy the semi squalid motels of Berkeley instead

The next day, in the morning, we went to Ledger’s Liquors, where I got some fun stuff to bring on the camping trip (we were supposed to bring “exotic” beers). We were supposed to have lunch with Kate, but lines got crossed, and that didn’t happen. Instead, Nathan and I grabbed very very tasty lunch at Cheeseboard, and then I headed out of town, driving west to Shaver Lake. The drive involves…valley, valley, valley, valley, valley, and then finally a sharp drive up the mountain, quickly getting into the wooded areas of the Sierra. I got to the campground, and met up with Ryan and Danny, and learned that I was going to be the only one who was also there that night. We roasted hot dogs over the fire, and played with the dog, and just generally had a pleasant evening, and then went to bed.

Serious Steelers fan

Major camping action

The next day we went for a walk with the dog, and getting back (ok, maybe the hike was the next day, but I think it was that day 😉 – it was really nice to go out walking a bit. After that, everyone started to show up – Kip and Glenn (and Dragon!), Dave and his friend whose name I am failing at, and Tim and Cornelia, and their new twin babies, Thales and Aurelia. Quite a mouthful of names, but they wore it well! I’d say we had a pretty great day – we swam in the lake a whole bunch, and had floaties, and went from one side of the lake to other, and split into this group and that group, and watched the two various dogs (Maka and Dragon) display their various levels of skill in the water. Dragon definitely took to it more readily – I’d have to say that Maka was less enthused. It was really nice to have a campsite so close to the lake, as last time we had been there, we had been about as far from the lake as you could get, and it was more of a driving trip to get down. This time we could just walk across the road and over…and on one back and forth, Dragon even surprised a deer! I’m not sure who was more astonished, Dragon or the deer. They just stood stock still staring at each other. I think Dragon was too astonished to even know what to do.

annabarr: Shaver Lake - August 18-22, 2011 &emdash; please-save
Maka not loving the water

Dragon and the deer


We went back and forth to the lake a few times, and then settled back in at the campground for games, dinner, and beer sampling. Danny did receive quite a wide variety of beers. The next day we got up, and went to the beach again a bit, and in the afternoon, Ryan wanted to play this game he had seen in Europe, called Kubb. It’s basically a team tossing sort of “horseshoe” style game, except there are several goals, and it’s interactive between the abilities of the two teams. Ryan had made the set to play with after seeing it previously. It looked pretty cool. It was pretty much a fun, super mellow day.

babies in the woods

boys in the woods

Playing kubb

Tim and Cornelia had to leave that afternoon, I think, and all of us were going to leave the next day, but the next morning, ryan, danny, kip, glenn and I all went over towards Dinkey Creek, where Danny had heard there were natural water slides. This is another long multi-partate campground set along the creek, and also contains many private cabin areas, and seemed like a neat location. We did find a couple of natural slides, though the water was quite cold, but they were most excellent. I also explored my way down the creek a little and overall had a nice time, and then, well…headed home!


sliding action! so much fun

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