Me, a few days later with internet info at the ready: "Let's take Rufus to Northstar and go hiking."
Ron: "Sounds great!"
Northstar Ski Resort is located just outside of Truckee, CA and is a 2 hour drive from our home through the Sierras and Tahoe National Forest. It's a great place to go for winter activities like skiing, snow boarding and ice skating. I had no idea it was also famous for summer time fun too. Some of the more popular fair weather activities include golfing, mountain biking and hiking.
I had read on another website that there was a free gondola ride to the mid mountain lodge and from there we could hike many trails. That's not entirely true. Let me explain. The Northstar pass for hiking is $13 per person and includes the gondola ride to the mid mountain lodge and also another lift (Tahoe Zephyr Express) located at the lodge to get hikers to the top of the mountain. We went to what we thought was the Northstar gondola only to find out it is owned by the neighboring Ritz-Carlton properties. THIS is the free ride I had read about :-) However, it limited us a bit because we couldn't ride to the top of the mountain.
|looking back down to where we started our ride|
|FREE charging station, one of two that I saw in the lodge|
|bikers on the left, hikers on the right|
|your bike goes up the mountain ahead of you, a worker at the top takes them off the lift|
|found a big enough rock to sit on while putting on his booties|
|he practiced with them at home a few times, now for the real test...|
|follow the leader...|
|I feel like a dwarf among these giants|
|our trail went right past these fun slalom turns meant for the bikers|
|Rufus ponders the lake water to decide if he wants to take a dip|
|Ron tosses in a few rocks to entice Rufus into the water|
|contrails from the planes working on putting out nearby fires|
Rufus did go in the water for a brief moment-too quick for the camera!
After a small snack we headed back to the lodge. Funny how the trip back seems to pass by quicker than the trip out. Back at the lodge we needed to decide how we'd get down the mountain. We could either walk down to the car or walk back over to the posh resort with the free gondola ride down the hill. We decided to walk the short 3/4 mile trail down to the base.
|not a sound was heard from this little hiker on the ride home|
All in all we ended up hiking nearly 5 miles. Rufus was a tired pup!
|What a great way to spend my birthday!!|