4th of July weekend and Nick's Birthday.

So, Nick's birthday is the 4th of July.  Every year we try to get out of town and do something special to celebrate, but it's funny how that weekend, everyone else seems to be doing the same thing.  We are always looking for fun places to trek to that are not overly crowded.  Last year, we went backpacking in Tahoe and amazingly enough were the only ones out there.  This year, we wanted to car camp so we headed 2 hours South down the 395 to Bridgeport, CA.

Now Bridgeport has a pretty big hometown 4th of July Celebration of sorts that involves a parade among other things.  We were more interested in getting out into the backcountry and finding some hot springs.  We settled on Buckeye hot springs and campground.

Surprisingly far back in the woods down a dirt road, the campground was beautiful and not overly crowded.  We'll definitely be going back.

We hung out, relaxed, went for some short hikes, read (I was finishing up "Game of Thrones" by George RR Martin--so good!), and played plenty of Dominion (a fun card game we are addicted to).

Sadly, the water levels were too high this year, and the hot springs, which are situated in the river, were actually too far under water for us to enjoy them.  When we got too hot, we drove up the road to Twin Lakes and found a beach to enjoy.  Situated far back in a gorgeous glacial hanging valley, Twin Lakes were just what the doctor ordered, clean clear cold water.  And boy do I mean cold!  Burr!

We did seek out some lovely hot springs-- Travertine Hot Springs, and enjoyed a gorgeous sunset (and tons of mosquitos) one evening overlooking the whole valley.  Sadly my camera died as we got there, so you are missing out on some awesome pics of me covered in mineral rich but very stinky mud, and an awesome rock that the hot water pours out of that looks slightly indecently like lady-parts.  :)

After a few days of fresh air and sunshine, we returned to Reno refreshed and rejuvenated.  How did you spend your 4th of July?