Twin Lakes a relaxing overnighter away from Lake Tahoe
Sometimes I’ve just gotta get away from the hustle and bustle of Lake Tahoe, even if it’s just an overnighter.
I love Tahoe, but so does everyone else, especially in summer.
When I nearly go volcanic after seeing drivers perform wildly illegal maneuvers on Lake Tahoe Boulevard and my already short temper makes me see lava red, I know I need to go.
And when Jill, my soon-to-be wife, who’s 5-feet tall and no threat to win an MMA title, yells out the window and is ready to throw down after another clueless motorist crosses into our lane because they are taking cell phone photos of the lake — we definitely need to break free of the basin.
Friday after work, we stuffed our Crosstrek with camping gear, strapped on the kayaks and got the flock out of town.
We left around 6 p.m. and pulled into a free camping area at Sonora Pass just in time to watch the sunset explode into flames and paint the sky red.
We set up camp in no time and found a flat rock where we laid and stared at the stars.
There was no alpine start the next morning, we were there to relax. In fact, I was chilly most of the night at about 8,500 feet and didn’t want to leave the toasty confines of the sleeping bag until I saw the sun.
We cooked our eggs and sausage and planned to make a quick stop just a few minutes away from our campsite, at some waterfall, before driving to Twin Lakes in Bridgeport.
Surprise! Leavitt Falls, and surrounding view, was incredible.
I have driven up and over Sonora Pass more times than I care to count and have never stopped to check it out.
From the overlook, the view of the 200-foot multi-tiered fall was good. But with a short, but challenging, hike down loose dirt, the view turned amazing.
I stood on a platform rock with sheer drops on three sides, held my breath, and took a panoramic photo.
The falls were gushing and water slammed into a small lagoon at the bottom before the furious flow joined the Walker River farther downstream.
We got back on the road headed for Bridgeport and picked up a couple of (absolutely delicious) sandwiches at the Bridgeport General Store & Main Street Deli and headed for the lakes about 14 miles out of town.
We drove by each lake, the upper lake is larger, about 400 acres, and draws water and jet skiers.
The lower lake, about 250 acres, is smaller and only had a couple of motorized fishing boats that were trolling at slow speeds.
We parked, ate our turkey, bacon club sandwiches and launched our kayaks at about 11:30 a.m.
Launching at Lake Tahoe at that time, the water would be choppy at best, even without wind.
This lake was glass. We floated then paddled, paddled then floated.
All with the glorious “California Alps” in the background.
High peaks of the Sierra Nevada were on full display. The snowy Sawtooth Ridge and Sierra Crest that divide the Twin Lakes Basin for Yosemite National Park was calling out, “climb me, climb me.”
That’ll be for another day.
We left and thought about camping Saturday night as well. We set up camp in the same spot that we enjoyed the night before and made dinner, brats with peppers and onions.
But reality can only be avoided for so long.
We both had to work Monday.
We needed groceries and clean clothes, so we headed home.
The Tahoe traffic wasn’t as bad in the evening, and our attitudes were much improved, however, I was forced to slam on my brakes to avoid a young kid on a scooter.
Home sweet home.
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