Hiking and biking South Lake Tahoe

Holy Moley my summer is busy! A week after my epic Lake Powell trip the Little Sister and I loaded our bikes in the car and drove to South Lake Tahoe to do some mountain biking and see our Uncle. When we showed up our Uncle was under the weather and not feeling up to mountain biking with us. That was fine, we decided to try a few trails without him.

And that is when we had a rude awakening.

Do you remember that I got a new bike about a year ago? It was a hybrid road bike that could handle “light” mountain biking. Well the first ride of our Lake Tahoe trip I realized how light that really meant. The Little Sister and I got up early and headed for the start of the Power Line Trail off Saddle Rd. I don’t think we even made it five minutes when we realized we were in over our heads. 

The Power Line Trail I have come to discover could be classified as an intermediate trail. Some of the websites we looked at said it could be a beginner trail, but there was A LOT of sand on the trail and our tires were slipping all over the place. And not just my tires. The Little Sister was having issues also. We were bummed, but knew we couldn’t mountain bike the trail. It was a rude awakening to realize that we needed real mountain bikes (not hybrid bikes) to ride the kind of trails we were hoping to ride in Lake Tahoe. Very quickly our mountain biking trip turned into a hiking trip. It was a bummer but we tried to get some biking and hiking in during the week we were there.

I forgot to mention that we started the trip with a short bike ride in Mammoth Lakes. We took the Lakes Basin bike path from Horseshoe Lake to town and then hitched a ride on the trolley (with our bikes) back to Horseshoe Lake and the car.

When we realized that we could not bike the Power Line Trail we decided to hike it instead. Our hike was a bit of a loop through Power Line Trail - Cold Creek Trail - Power Line Trail. Overall it was about seven miles of hiking and I was starving and sweaty afterwards!

The next day we left early to hike the Rubicon Trail in D.L. Bliss State Park. Our Uncle highly recommended it and it did not disappoint. Parking is limited so we got there early and were happy we did. The hike goes from D.L. Bliss State Park to Emerald Bay along Lake Tahoe with some amazing views. The hike is fairly level but it was pretty long for two girls who live at sea level and where now at a much higher elevation. We made it to “Boat Camp” at Emerald Bay before turning around and hiking back. This was a beautiful hike and I would do it again!

I feel like a made a few mistakes on this trip and one of them might of been not having hiking boots. My hiking boots fell apart during the Mammoth trip I did right after Memorial Day. Literally fell apart. The soles cracked on the Parker Lake hike and by the time I was in the grocery store that night they had come off completely. I had those hiking boots for years and loved them. I wasn’t in a hurry to find a new pair and for that reason I only brought converse tennis shoes (with arch supports) on the Tahoe trip. Probably not my best idea considering we were doing 7-8 mile hikes and I was wearing converse….

The following day my Uncle was feeling better and took us on a bike trail behind his house. It was a about 3.5 miles and I had to walk my bike twice, but it was fun and I was inspired (again) to get a real mountain bike! The rest of the day we laid low as the hiking had done a number on my feet. I had some quality hammock time!

Our final day in Tahoe we took advantage of the paved bike trails and biked from Myers to just past Baldwin Beach where the bike path joined the highway before Emerald Bay. Round trip it was about 22 miles. The trail was beautiful and my hybrid bike did great. 

This Lake Tahoe trip was a lot of fun. I realized I need a real mountain bike if I want to bike in the mountains (which I think I do) and that I need some new hiking boots. Lake Tahoe is about a ten hour drive from my house and I wish it was closer. I am trying to see if some more biking / hiking trips can be in my future!


Lake Powell, an epic trip.

“This is it folk, an epic trip to Lake Powell. A once in a lifetime opportunity”.  

No, this was not a late night infomercial.  It was a line in an email I received from a friend almost a year ago.  He was proposing a week long houseboat trip on Lake Powell and T and I were in.

I had never been to Lake Powell before and had no idea what to expect. Our friend organized the trip and we rented the Axiom Star, a super fancy boat. He also did all the meal planning, prep, and bought or rented a ton of stuff for the trip. Don’t worry, we all split the cost, but when our friend goes big, he goes BIG.
Axiom Star and crew. Photo by T and T.M.
I did very little research before the trip except to monitor the weather in Page, AZ.  T did a little research before the trip and that is how we ended up going on our Upper Antelope Canyon -photo tour.

Everyone met up on Saturday and it was a bit crazy organizing everything.  Keith, our friend who had organized everything had ordered all this stuff online and everyone had different jobs to do.  Some people were picking up food from Safeway, putting it in coolers and bringing it to the house we rented for one night.  There was a Walmart pick up, people needed to get the power boat and jet skies.  Then someone had to get paddle boards.  It was nuts.  Once all this had been done, everything needed to be put in the fridge or freezer.  The next morning everything was organized in coolers and we headed to the boat at 9:30am.  I think it was already 105 degrees outside.

Loading the boat was another crazy adventure and I am thankful for the porter with the quad 4X4s and their train of three bins.  We had five cars worth of stuff.  It took 12 people three hours to load the boat and finally we were on our way.  As soon as we were out in the lake we turned off the boat and jumped in.

Vacation time.
Lake party.  Photo by Jo
Except then our boat started acting up.  The engine was catching weird and we called into the marina and a mechanic met the boat out on the lake.  Eventually we were underway and the mechanic was supposed to come out the next day.

Our boat was meeting up with another houseboat and it was the people we go to Cherry Lake with.  T and I were on the boat with the people we went to Cancun with and they were related to the Cherry Lake people.  A brother-sister relationship and then tons of cousins and spouses, friends, etc.  The Cherry Lake crew have a houseboat timeshare and come to Lake Powell every two years.  Our Cancun friends had come with them years before and wanted to come again with a second houseboat and that was how this trip got started.
Our boats a Padre's Bay. Photo by T
We arrived, anchored the boat SECURELY to the shore and had salmon salad and chicken wings for dinner.  There were four couples on the boat and we each got our own (small) stateroom.  There were also four kids on the boat and they slept on the top deck.  The Axiom Star is a first class boat with air conditioning.  I have a hard time sleeping in air conditioning and bundled up at night with a beanie to be able to sleep.  Everyone else loved it

The next six days were cell and internet free.  I hardly took any photos.  We were divided into cooking crews and when it was your couples day, you cooked all day.  You were paired with someone else as a team of four.  Everyone cooked twice.  I would get up in the morning and do some yoga on red rocks on the edge of the lake.  I also tried stand up paddle-boarding for the first time and ended up doing it everyday.  Sometimes I was standing and other times sitting.  A lot of the time I would hang out with Brenna, Keith’s wife on the lake and we would just talk or explore.  It was cool.
Early morning paddle-board.
Me and Brenna.

Paddle-boards from above.  Photo by T.
T brought his canoe and that was fun also.  It was a little tipsy, but a lot of fun.

SUP and Canoe at Lake Powell.  Photo by T.
I went on the seadoo once and it was not my thing.  We took the powerboats (the other boat had one too) to do a hike in West Canyon.  The Cherry Lake boat had done the hike before and told us to go until it “dead ends”.  Remember that point.  Both boats went as far as we could into West Canyon and then we swam until we made it to dry land.  The group of us then followed a small stream until we got to a shallow slot canyon that we had to swim through.  It was awesome.
West Canyon slot section.  Photo by T.
I somehow ended up with the front group in the hike and after the slot canyon we climbed over some boulders and followed the train through a river wash that was very exposed to the sun and hot.  We eventually found a smaller slot canyon that ended (dead ended) at a small but deep swimming hole.  We figured out that the six of us had gone forward and the rest of the group had not.  When we got back to the boat the Cherry Lake boat was gone and our boat had been waiting for us for about an hour.  Opps.  On our our boat of 10, 6 of us had completed the full hike.  

On the boat ride back a rain storm came in.  It was monsoon season on the lake and all the water we were swimming in was from a monsoon earlier in the week.  We had two monsoons when we were at Lake Powell and they were pretty cool.  The second one, which was smaller than the first, was when we were coming back from hiking West Canyon.  It was a cold wet ride back and I was pretty cold that night.  The first monsoon was one evening about 4pm and you could see it coming.  All of a sudden the wind picked up and it started POURING rain.  We had most things secured and just did our best to stay out of the water as much as we could. We were camping in Padre’s Bay and there were about six boats around us.  As the storm was letting up someone from the Cherry Lake people yelled that a houseboat a few boats down had come loose and needed help.  A group ran down to help secure the boat and thankfully they did.  It turns out the danger with houseboats is them fishtailing and ending up on the shore, beached.  When you “anchor” a houseboat in Lake Powell you actually secure the back of the boat on both sides with anchors that you bury in the sand on land.  It is a process, but really important.  The Cherry Lake boat are houseboat pros and admitted they save at least one houseboat a trip.  Lucky for them they got to save two this trip.

A few days later we were all enjoying the lake, playing games on the slide coming off the boat, when someone asked, “Is that normal?”.  Another boat had come loose and had done a 180.  The bad thing was no one was on board and the seadoos were starting to get tangled.  We ran over and yelled and tried to see if anyone was there before boarding and saving that boat.  I just helped, but it was amazing that two boats were not secure.  Secure your boat if you rent a houseboat.  Learn how to REALLY secure your boat well.

I mentioned in the beginning of this post that our boat was having some engine issues and a mechanic was supposed to come out.  Those issue eventually led to the guys taking the boat back for some service and the girls having a day to themselves on the shore.  I think our plan might of been to explore more of the lake, but engine troubles kept us in one spot.  It was a beautiful spot, but I can see that there are so many beautiful spots on Lake Powell.
Lake Powell
This trip was delivered as a once in a lifetime trip and it might of been, but Lake Powell is a place I hope to continue to visit and explorer.  I had an epic trip and fell in love with Lake Powell.  I can’t wait to go back!


Hiking Upper Antelope Canyon - Photo Tour

My summer was pretty packed and my first adventure was a trip to Lake Powell on a houseboat that a friend had organized. Lake Powell is in Utah and Arizona. T and I got there a day early to go hike the Antelope Slot Canyon.  A co-worker had recommended the “photo tour” and we went with Chief Tsosie Tours.  The photo tour was limited to six people and you needed to bring a tripod for the best photos because we were going to the upper Antelope Canyon to get the “light beams”.  It turns out that only photo tours are allowed to bring tripods into Antelope Canyon.

There are two types of tours in Antelope Canyon and two sections of Antelope Canyon where there are tours, upper and lower Antelope Canyon.  The canyon is on a Navajo Reservation so you have to go with one of the five tour companies and have a guide.  The companies truck you in (in the back of a 4X4 truck) over about a mile of very dirty 4X4 terrain.  The photo tour was in an air conditioned SUV and the guide (George) told us you didn’t want dirt to get in your camera so that was why the photo tour got an air conditioned SUV.

That reminds me, the day before our tour I found this video on YouTube about the 5 important tips for Antelope Canyon and it was pretty good.  The guy had gone on the photo tour and his tips were good. One thing he mentioned was to bring a scarf to cover your face as it can get really dusty in the canyon.

There were six people on our tour and our tour guide George was excellent when it came to timing the light beams perfectly.  There were lots of people in the canyon but the photo tours are the only ones who could have tripods and the only ones who could stop tours to take photos.  The rule was that you could only stop for 2 minutes so George (the other guides called him “Photo George”) would get everyone set up and then clear the space and start the timer to shoot.  He was the only guide that was not Navajo, but the Navajo guides seemed to like him because if their group was behind us they then got good photos too.  

One thing about the photo tour is that you don’t really learn anything about the canyon. Our friends had taken a different tour of Lower Antelope Canyon and learned about different names of places in the canyon and different places that were significant to the Navajo people.  I didn’t really hear that going on during any of the tours in Upper Antelope Canyon.  If you are interested in the cultural significance of the canyon to the Navajo, see if you can find a tour that covers that topic.  Our photo tour was all about the photos.

T was the one who booked this tour and he was really surprised at how busy and Disneyland-ish it was.  Not his style at all.  But George was awesome and we got some great photos.  There are slot canyons all over this area and T knew some people in college who used to travel to Utah for the weekend and shoot them.  We discussed doing that next time and not taking a tour like this again.

So bottom line, glad we did it and got amazing photos but won’t do a tour again.  I just don’t like feeling like cattle.  But as being part of the herd was the only way to see Antelope Slot Canyon, I am glad we got to be “Kobe beef” and be part of the photo tour!


3-2-1 SUMMER!

4th of July has just passed and my summer is about to get hot. Literally and figuratively. I have four trips planned in the next month and two of them are to hot places. The funny thing is that all four of them are different and require completely different clothes, or “wardrobes” if you will. But I am really excited about ALL of them.

My first trip is to Lake Powell for an “epic” houseboat trip. At least that is how it has been described to me. The trip includes two houseboats and over 30 people. I have never been to Lake Powell and the photos look amazing. T and I are bringing his canoe for its first voyage! I have been told I only need to bring sunscreen and bathing suits. Lake Powell here we come!

T and I are arriving a day early to take a photo / slot canyon tour in Page, AZ and on the way home we are stopping in Las Vegas for a night. This is going to be a great trip.

My next adventure is a mountain biking trip to Lake Tahoe with the Little Sister. My Uncle lives up there and he is going to take us biking. I am a little worried that I am going to be the weakest link in our mountain biking gang. The Little Sister has been going on long rides for a while and my Uncle is a former Ironman Triathlete. Me…. I have been going to some spin classes at the YMCA and sometimes ride my bike 4 miles to work….my only (maybe) plus is that I spend a lot of time at high elevations in Mammoth so maybe that will help. I am also hoping we don’t do extreme mountain biking. I don’t think my bike can handle it. But once again, a whole new collection of clothes needed. I think about this because the trips are pretty close together and I am trying to figure out my packing….

The day after I get back from Lake Tahoe I leave for Boston, Massachusetts for a week long program at Harvard. I know, HARVARD! I am so excited. This is a work related thing and calls for a different wardrobe. The weather is going to be HOT and humid and the clothes need to be mostly professional. And then, even though it is hot, I have to have layers because the program is inside in air conditioning. I rented a studio apartment in Cambridge and am looking forward to my trip. I know it will be packed with work related stuff, but I am looking forward to visiting this area for the first time.

My next trip (four days after I return from Harvard) T and I are taking an Airstream trip to a bluegrass festival in Wyoming. We are going to Idaho and Montana on this trip and taking his canoe and our bikes. And Samson the cat. Samson is an Airstream cat. T wants to show me all his favorite fishing places on this trip and places he talks about moving to. I always ask him if there is an ocean there when he talks about moving…. I love living near the ocean…. This trip also has a completely different clothing need. What does one wear to a bluegrass festival anyway? I am excited to go on this trip and see all the places that T loves so much. It is going to be fun!

I pack for my first trip tonight and feel like the ball will start rolling downhill really quickly after that. I am excited to have so many adventures lined up this summer and look forward to sharing them with you here.



June in photos

June is over already.  This might be a reoccurring theme, but this month flew by! What does Ferris Buller say?

"Life moves pretty fast.  If you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it."

So true Ferris, so true.

I think I looked around a little, but I need to look around more so I don't miss my life.  Here are a few moments I captured in June.

After graduation I went out with work people and eventually ended up at Silky Sullivan's listening to this band, Soul'd Out. 

I was working on a project at Chapman University and loved the stairs that led from the parking under the football field.  Well played Chapman.

Some friends of mine started a drink ware business (coffee junkies that they are) and I love seeing their products in stores!  Keep living the dream guys! The Created Co.

And then I went to Petals & Pop, a champagne / flower bar with vintage glasses.  Yes please!

Some time in June I was at Shuck having oysters and beer (for me), Prosecco for the little sister) when we decided it would be a good idea to order the lobster Mac N Cheese.  It was a good idea....

Speaking of the little sister.... the neighbor gave me one of those smart lightbulbs that you can program to turn on and off and she kept calling and calling.  I snapped this photo to text her so she saw I was busy and why I wasn't answering the phone.  It makes me laugh when I see it.

T the Middle Sister and I helped a friend host his company picnic.  These signs made me smile and later made me laugh when I realized they said "Ice Tea" instead of "Iced Tea".  I kept walking by them and couldn't figure out what was missing.

Summer time.  The only time I MIGHT eat tomatoes.  I don't like them but sometimes I find I have a batch of tomatoes from someones yard and T and I have really good caprese salads on the back patio.

And then there is Samson.  I swear this cat sleeps 21 hours a day....


Hiking McGee Creek near Mammoth, CA

On the same trip that I hiked Parker Lake in the Eastern Sierra I also finally got to hike McGee Creek.  Sunset Magazine had a write up about McGee Creek Pack Station (horses) a few years ago and T has gone fishing there a few times.  We even camped right below this area last year on our way to Cherry Lake but I had never made it up to McGee Creek.  Until this year right after Memorial Day.

Even though it has probably melted by now, there's was a lot of snow on the ground still when I was in Mammoth after Memorial Day.  The McGee Creek hike was no different and the ranger at the visitor’s center had warned us that eventually snow would block our path.  She was correct, but it was a nice hike anyway.

Mo and I hiked McGee Creek after we had explored the Owen’s River Gorge closer to Bishop.  I think we hiked / walked the “lower gorge” as we dead ended at the power plant.  The walk was exposed and along a paved road that the Department of Water and Power (DWP) used to access the power plant.  We saw some climbers and fishermen but overall felt like it wasn’t really a nature hike like we were looking for.  It was interesting but very exposed.  I thought it would be cool to bike it before I realized it dead ended about two miles in.  We went to explore another section of the gorge but changed our mind as a big asphalt truck went by us.
Owen's River Gorge

The drive to McGee Creek Canyon switchbacks up a hill with beautiful views of Crowley Lake.  Drive past the campground and the pack station to the small parking area with a bathroom and a few camp spots.  The trail is easy to follow with a few different paths that get you where you are going.  We took the path that veered left to walk in the aspens and next to a very full and fast moving McGee Creek.  We walked through patches of snow and eventually met up again with the main trail. 

The beginning of our hike was exposed as we were walking in a canyon carved by a glacier.  Eventually we made our way into some aspen trees but not before crossing a few minor streams that had decided to flow in the middle of the trail.  Eventually we got to a place where we could not continue our hike because the snow blocked our path.  It was still a lovely day and we enjoyed the hike very much.

When we returned to Mammoth we tried a different brewery for "after hike beers".  This time is was Mammoth Brewing Company and for the first time I got to sit outside on their patio as I have only gone here in the winter before.  Mo and I agreed it was a great way to end our day.


Current Crush: topless & barefoot, constellation, and hipsters

Crushes can be so fun! During the first part of them.

I mean they are are called "crushes" because they ultimately crush your soul.  At least the high school romantic varieties of crushes. I am SO GLAD that part of my life is over.  And as a romantic side note, I ended up marrying my college crush and am happy to report I have continued to have a crush on him for almost twenty years..... Holy CUSSword!  Almost Twenty Years.......
Torii and Elizabeth


Okay, back to my current crushes that don't actually crush my soul and are not of the romantic variety.  I have three current crushes and they make me feel a little bit more giddy than might be normal.  I mean, these are just ordinary things that I have a little crush on.

First up:  topless & barefoot nail polish from Essie.  Described as a "barely there soft beige pink", I kind of love this nail polish color.  It just makes me happy when I paint my nails this color when it starts to get warmer.  It looks natural, or maybe I should say neutral, but a little polished.  I used to paint my nails all the time and have noticed that I am not so religious about it anymore.  Not sure if that is a good or bad thing, but I do know that I always love it when I paint my nails this color!

hands hold mug
-----Essie Topless & Barefoot nail polish from laurens-list.com

Next crush:  Aquarius Constellation Ring.  I found this ring at a local store and kind of loved it.  Mine is silver with crystals as the stars, and it was a fun idea to wear my birth constellation as a ring.  I am not into "my sign" or horoscopes but this ring kind of charmed me and I smile when I look down and see I am wearing it.  I found some online at luulla.com if you are interested in having a constellation ring of your own!

constellation ring chart

Third crush:  Hipster Cocktail Radio on Pandora.  Pandora is a music streaming service that let's you create stations by songs, artist, or themes.  You can create a free account and thumbs up or thumbs down songs to curate your music stations.  Free accounts have a few commercials and paid accounts do not.  I stumbled across this music station in a store.  I was there with my sisters and we commented how good the music playlist was.  The girl working told us it was Hipster Cocktail Radio on Pandora and I have been hooked ever since.

So there you have my current crushes.  The everyday items that are making me a little more giddy about my day than I normally am.  And lucky for me, these crushes will probably turn into lasting relationships!


A well placed accessory

This morning I wanted to wear my pajamas to work.


I was tired and didn't want to get dressed.  It happens near the end of the spring semester.  The burn out / draining / do I have to go to work feeling.  I guess I should consider myself lucky that it doesn't happen more often.  I hear there are people that feel like this everyday they have to go to work......

So I pulled myself together and got ready for work and two things happened.

The first is that I put on a big black and white striped / geometric scarf that I got at H&M during the New Orleans trip and the second is that I wore jeans to work.

JEANS! What is happening to me?

The truth, my work fashion is evolving and I just realized it.

This blog is not a fashion blog but I do talk about what I wear sometimes.  Ironically my number one blog post is my Lucky Dozen Challenge blog post which is a post about a clothing challenge the Little Sister and I did some years ago.  It was when I was at my previous job and I had a lot of reasons to look very professional. During my nine years at that job I curated a specific look and had a lot of people tell me they were always inspired by my style.  You can see some of my other Lucky Dozen challenge photos on my Flickr account.

When I resigned, my new job was close enough to my house that I could ride my bike to work.  A lot of my old work outfits didn't work on the bike so I modified them and over the first year (which just ended) and realized my work look had evolved.

There are a number of reasons for this.  Riding my bike to work was one factor.  My job is different and not so "public" facing so I am not always on display.  A lot of my colleagues are casual (college professors) and the building where my office is has a mix of really nice dressed people (the president and vice presidents) all the way to the student workers. It is a fashion mix for sure.

My own style has been evolving over this past year and today I wore jeans for the first time to work.  They were new jeans.  Dark and boot cut.  Very flattering.  I got them a few weeks ago and love them.  Never underestimate a good pair of jeans.  This morning I just wanted to feel comfortable for work so I put on the dark jeans, a black sweater, and some cute flats.  I then added the geometric scarf and headed to work.

I was comfortable and looked put together.  A little French-ish actually.  My day was open so I didn't need to see anyone in a meeting.  I was walking across the lobby when a colleague saw me and said, "You look fabulous.  A well placed accessory is everything.".  And just like that, I realized my style had evolved.  And that I might even wear jeans again to work. And that scarves can take a boring outfit and change it into something special.  It is the power of a well placed accessory.... and a power i need to embrace more often.


Hiking Parker Lake, June Lake Loop, Eastern Sierra, California

It’s been a number of years since I started visiting the Eastern Sierra.  Sometimes it feels like I am stuck in the movie Groundhog Day and living the same day over, and over, and over again (hello ski season during the last drought).  Other times I am overwhelmed with how much I haven’t seen.  

The week following Memorial Day, Russia / Costa Rica / Iceland Mo and I spent five days exploring the Mammoth area.  One one of those days we hiked to Parker Lake.

Parker Lake Trailhead sign

Parker Lake is on the June Lake Loop.  The dirt path leading to the trailhead is off of Grant Lake.  The June Lake Loop is a road you can take that goes around June Lake, Gull Lake, Silver Lake, and Grant Lake.  If you started the loop at June Lake, the turn off for Parker Lake is at the end of Grant Lake right before you hit Highway 395.  If you want to skip the June Lake Loop, you can catch the end of it on Highway 395 and drive into the dirt road for the Parker Lake trailhead.

Parker Lake was not on my radar and the reason we hiked it was because enough snow had melted that the trail was accessible and in good shape.  A ranger at the welcome center in Mammoth recommended it and I was glad she did.  It was a record snowfall this year and I didn’t realize how many hikes were still snowed in until this trip.  Mammoth Mountain (the ski hill) has said it will stay open for skiing until August if that helps to paint a picture.  Devils Postpile is hoping to open mid-July but still reports over 20 feet on the road.  Bottom line, California had a great snow year and I wasn’t thinking about that when this “hiking” trip was planned.  Lucky for us, we had Parker Lake.

My very old (1969) The Mammoth Lakes Sierra (Genny Schumacher) states the hike to Parker lakes is an “Intermediate Hike, 2 miles”.  I guess that is true.  My heart did get pumping during the first part of the hike, but then I got into a rhythm and it was a nice hike.  The trail was easy to follow and well maintained.  The first part of the hike is exposed (no tree cover) but then you come to some aspen groves for shade at different parts of the hike.  Starting out you are above Parker Creek and eventually the trail finds the creek and you finish the hike walking next to it to Parker Lake.

Parker Lake is another beautiful lake in the Eastern Sierra.  I don’t think they will ever stop taking my breath away. The U-shaped glacier carved valley makes a spectacular backdrops to the melted snow lake.  

 We did this hike on Memorial Day and there were a lot of hikers and even about four tents at the lake.  The day was sunny but not hot.  When we stopped at the lake for a snack and break, it was a little chilly in the shade.  As of the writing of this, the Parker Lake trail is dog friendly!

The hike back had a beautiful view of Mono Lake in the background.  

After the hike Mo and I drove the June Lake Loop back to June Lake.  Mo didn’t remember doing it before and it is a beautiful drive.  The area is technically called the “June Lake Basin” and in addition to the four lakes accessible by car on the June Lake Loop, there are numerous other lakes (like Parker Lake) you can get to by hiking.  I have hiked to Fern Lake before and was excited to see so many other lakes to hike in this area.

We ended the day at the June Lake Brewery and Mo took this funny photo with our beer and one of my water bottles.  Stay hydrated up there!  With water, not beer…..