|Original hot springs house - Grover Hot Springs|
Markleeville, Fredricksburg, Gardnerville.....these names sound familiar. Look at the map and realize we have been several miles north of the area I remember.
Let's go check it out!
Taking Hwy 395 south to Hwy 88, we enter California at the base of the Sierras. Fredricksburg still has a road, but no town remains. I think it was just a single, old wooden building even twenty years ago. The mountains tuck in more closely here, the valley spotted with colorful trees, and small ranches. Ravines cut patterns through the grassland. This part of the valley is exactly how I remember it - absolutely beautiful. Yep, I could still live here.
We continue east toward Markleeville on Hwy 4 and I now remember that as the road I traveled from Stockton, CA. The general store is still there, along with four small eateries and a lodge. The county has a good size building on the corner, and the post office and library round out the town. All on the main street. Population 200, interspersed throughout the mountain.
A small side road takes us to Grover Hot Springs State Park. A small sign gives the "pool" hours. Pool? The campground is primitive with 22' trailer limit.
Around a corner and we come to a huge golden meadow surrounded by pine forest and steep mountains with jagged rock. It's pretty even in its brittle-dry state.
One small parking lot is full at 11:00 AM, the other has a couple spaces left. A trail cuts through the meadow and into the trees. The weather is perfect, just reaching 70 degrees when we arrive. Let's go for a walk!
I wear my Keene hiking boots all the time - driving the rig, out to dinner, grocery shopping. Today I'm in sandals :-(. So this can't be a hike, it has to be a walk.
The active creek is a wonderful surprise and we spend some time just listening to it moving over the rocks and through the beaver dam. Beyond the water, the forest canopy is healthy and green.
Bill points out the pool behind the large fenced in area - a real swimming pool - and the hot springs coming out of the ground above it. Oooh, makes sense now :-/
Today there are several people enjoying the hot water and the gate is open for all comers. But there is a chained "waiting line" area outside the fence so this spot must get crowds in the summer.
|Current hot springs pool|
Coming down the mountain Bill talks with Kevin who is feeling much better and expecting to be released later in the day. A couple changes in his meds seems to have made the difference. Great news! Plans are made for us all to get together.
They stop by to see our home, and then, like our first evening in Carson City, having a great time with new friends over dinner, we spend our last night here with old friends over dinner. We're so happy Kevin is okay.
|Bridgette, Kevin, Karla, Bill, Jodee|
Our week here has been a good one, and we're ready to move south to enjoy more of the beauty and adventure of Hwy 395.
|The only fall color in the mountains - this little tree really stood out|