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Camping close to home: not quite roughing it

With a three-day weekend looming, area residents are feeling the urge to commune with nature. And that means camping.

Whether you are in an RV, car camping or hiking into the back country, getting outdoors seems to be the activity of choice for Memorial Day weekend.

Good luck finding a place to camp this weekend, though. At Davis Creek Campground in Washoe Valley, some campers arrived as early as Tuesday to stake their claim to the perfect weekend getaway spot.



Jim and Joan Edwards, of Sparks, said the roughest part of camping is finding a campsite. Part of their difficulties, however, comes because they choose to camp in an RV – the “retirement roughing it,” Joan Edwards joked.

A tent with children running around is the purest form of camping, but by becoming great-grandparents, the couple figures they deserve a few of “the little luxuries of home” while camping.




“Being outside, that’s what it’s all about,” Joan Edwards said.

Ironically, Dave Edwards, of Reno, is in the RV sales business, but he and his wife, Brenda, pitched a tent Thursday and with dogs Tasha and Roxy, prepared for a night of roughing it – sort of.

After all, it’s just 15 minutes or so to get home from Davis Creek. Dave even had to go to work for an hour Thursday.

Backpackers who hike into remote locations with all their gear are true campers, and people in RVs with microwaves and ovens aren’t really camping. He and Brenda chose to walk the camping middle line, with a propane stove on a park bench and the truck nearby.

“This is roughing it enough,” he said. “It’s about as rough as I want to get.”

Food is the most important thing to bring camping, said Zachary Girolamo, 7, of Reno. He and his grandmother Barbara Johnston were holding down three campsites Thursday waiting for the rest of the family to trickle in over the weekend.

“We almost didn’t get spots,” Johnston said.

Memorial Day is the traditional start of the camping season, but beware of Labor Day, Joan Edwards said.

“That’s the frantic one,” she said. “That’s just before back to school and back to work.”

Breakouts:

Memorial Day weather breakdown:

Today: Highs in the Carson are are expected in the upper 80s with a low of 50. Winds of 15 to 25 mph are expected in the late afternoon along with some high clouds. Tahoe can expect a high of 75 and a lows in the low 30s.

Saturday: Another sunny day. Highs are estimated at the mid 80’s with lows in the 50s. Tahoe can expect a high of 72 degrees and a low of 36.

Sunday and Monday: There is a slight chance of afternoon and evening thunderstorms both days. High temperatures will hoover in the 70s with lows into the 40s under partly cloudy skies. Tahoe can expect the same slight chance of thunderstorms with temperatures ranging from the mid-60s to low 70s.

Be fire and bear aware.

The U.S. Forest Service is reminding campers to be careful with fire in this unseasonably warm and dry weather. Forest Service officials recommend carrying water at all times. Also, bears are out this season. It’s a good idea to make noise when walking in the forest to alert bears to your presence. Also, keep food in safe containers, not in your tent.

Getting the perfect spot this weekend may be tricky if you haven’t left yet. However, the U.S. Forest Service has eight campgrounds in the Carson Ranger District, and two open today for campers:

— Kit Carson sits at a 6,600-foot elevation on the West Carson River along California State Route 88. There is a $10 daily fee.

— Silver Creek is on California State Route 4 about 16 miles from Markleeville at an elevation of 8,000 feet. There is a $10 daily fee. Black bears are in this area at times, so be careful with food.

Other USFS camp grounds in the area include:

— Centerville Flat on California State Route 4, about eight miles from Markleeville at the junction of Silver Creek and the East Carson River. There is no charge to use this campground.

— Crystal Springs at a 5,800-foot elevation is on the West Carson River along California State Route 88 less than one mile from Woodfords. There is a $10 daily fee.

— Markleeville is a half-mile from Markleeville, just off California State routes 4 and 89 at an elevation of 5,500 feet on Markleeville Creek. There is a $10 daily fee.

— Snowshoe Springs sits at 6,100 feet on the West Carson River on California State Route 88. There is a $10 daily fee.

For information on other area campgrounds call:

— Alpine Chamber Interagency Visitor Information Office in Markleeville, Calif., at (530) 694-2475.

— Bureau of Land Management – Interagency Information Center in Reno at 861-6505.

— California Campground Reservation System – for anywhere in California: (800) 444-7275.

— Dayton State Park at 687-5678.

— Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest – Supervisor’s Office in Sparks at 331-6444 or 355-5311.

— Lahontan State Park at 867-3500.

— Nevada State Parks Region 2 Headquarters (Carson-Tahoe area) at 687-4379.

— Nevada State Parks State Headquarters (for the entire State of Nevada) at 687-4384.

— U.S. Forest Service – Carson Ranger District Office in Carson City at 882-2766.


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