Sunday, July 15, 2007

Five Lakes Hike and the Sacramento Quickie


Got off work right around 10:15am and rode my Ninja up around the west side of the lake. Easily the most beautiful part of the lake to bike. Riding up around Emerald Bay will never get old for me, and hopefully I'll make a few trips back to Tahoe after I move back up to Seattle.

Kristina and I met up at a deli in Tahoe City, took our time chatting and eating the huge half-sandwiches at Rubicon Deli. We weren't really sure about our schedule for the day, we wanted to go for a little hike, and possibly raft down the Truckee--but Kristina didn't bring her floatie, and the river was incredibly busy. It seemed like a weekend crowd, not a Thursday crowd.

We ended up heading to the Five Lakes trail head. It was a 2.5 mile hike up the side of a mountain that used to connect the Alpine Meadows and Squaw Valley ski resorts. There are a few old chairlift poles on the mountainside, but no cables or chairs attached. I think they cut the cable to make people buy lift tickets to both resorts instead of getting all of the terrain for one relatively low price.

The bad part of hiking up an old ski-area is that there is very little shade. Lots of open area for skiing equals not many trees for shade! We forgot to fill up our nalgenes with water at the deli, so we did the whole hike with no water. It was pretty brutal, and once we found the first of the five lakes, we hopped in. It felt great after sweating on the hike up, and the lake was probably a little warmer than Lake Tahoe (because it isn't as deep?).

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We hiked back down, then headed to the River Ranch, which is a little restaurant at the end of the commercial float trip. We got one of the last remaining tables with shade, and ordered some nachos and fries to go with our 6 cups of water :) We munched those down by about 4:30pm, and were still planning on hitting up the Truckee pickup frisbee at 6:30pm. Floating didn't really sound great, but we were pretty warm again from the hike down--so we tried to find a beach on Lake Tahoe to toss the frisbee and swim.

After a few misses, we found a little boat launch place. It didn't have sand, but it had a little small-gravel area for people to splash around in. We waded and tossed the disc a bit, but the wind was pretty brutal, so we packed it up and decided to hit the really good happy hour deal at the River Grill. I went there once before, on one of my first motorcycle rides around the lake. $3.50 huge margaritas. Yum. We gulped those down, then headed out to frisbee. We were among the first few there, and tossed the disc around until the game started around 7pm.

I forgot about the whole elevation thing, and that--combined with the tequila in the margarita--didn't bode too well for Kristina. She played a lot of points and played well, but in between points she hunched over a few times and held her sides. That elevation change can be brutal--and she already lives at 3k feet! After frisbee, we zoomed back to Nevada City, and I decided to have a little fun on Hwy 20 and zoom past a few of the trucks trying to slow our progress down.

I was well ahead of her, so I decided to head to Safeway and pick up some pita bread and hummus for a late-night snack, and of course, some Nacho Cheese Doritos! Yum x2. We nibbled on those, then promptly fell asleep.


Friday started off around 9am. For me, at least. Kristina still wakes up super-early, even when she isn't teaching in the summer. Although, I guess waking up at 7am isn't super-early compared to her usual 4 or 5am wakeup time during school. We chilled for a few hours, then decided to go check out the new Harry Potter movie and see if any tickets were available for the matinée showing. We stopped by Pasties, a really good breakfast shop in Grass Valley, and ate our vegie pasties while standing in line, waiting for the ticket office to open for Harry Potter 5.

We were about 20th in line, and the theater wasn't full--on the first full day of shows, which surprised me a bit, until I realized Grass Valley is only 20k big, and most fans probably saw it Thursday night. The movie itself was really well done. I enjoyed it a lot, and the cinematics and casting were very well done, like usual. The only gripe I have with Harry Potter 5 is that nothing really happened? It felt like a Simpsons episode. It made me laugh, and it had a few good messages, but everything ended in pretty much the same place it started.

We got back to K's place, and relaxed a bit, trying to figure out what to do before the Ani Difranco concert. We ended up just taking naps, lol. We were hoping to go for a walk with the dogs, but we were pooped from the hike and frisbee the day before, then a bit sleepy from the movie. We woke up and were on our way to Northridge Pizza, when Kirstina asked me how set I was on pizza. I said, "Not at all, really." She suggested sushi, and I quickly agreed that sushi sounded better than pizza.

We went to this little sushi place in downtown Nevada City, and sat at the only two open seats--at the bar. It was a bit cramped, but the sushi was amazing. It had been about five months since I last ate sushi, and that stuff is bomb. I had one bite where a piece of wasabi made my eyes water, oooh that's the good stuff :)

I decided to splurge on parking at the fairgrounds, instead of parking in Grass Valley and walking 20 minutes to the concert. Since the show didn't start until 9pm, the parking attendants had already left, and we didn't have to pay! Woot! Kristina and I checked the fairgrounds out, and found the sale tent. I ended up eyeing an Ani DiFranco DVD, and picked it up. I considered it a "parking fee." Can't wait to watch it later this week.

Roxie ended up meeting us a few minutes before Ani took the stage, and we had a blast listening to Ani and her band's amazing songs. It was truly the perfect setting to watch Ani play, and she seemed so happy to be playing her music among the trees and friendly concert-goers. There were trees literally surrounding the amphitheater, which made for a really cool experience. I spent half the time watching Ani sing, and half the time staring up at the stars. I saw a shooting star, but didn't have time to make a wish.

For knowing less than half of the songs she played, we all had a great time. She played two of my favorite songs, "Skipping Stones" and "You Had Time." Skipping Stones is such a great song, and I was happy to hear her play it. She talked a lot between songs, some about the war, a lot about the beautiful area, and also a lot about her 6-month old baby. What an amazing life that kid will have. How cool would it be to have Ani DiFranco singing you lullabies every night?

Roxie headed back to Sacto for the Saturday Tournament, and I crashed at Kristina's place for the night.


I woke up at 7am and was out the door by 7:15am for Sacramento. The ride was pretty uneventful, and I made it to the fields in West Sac with plenty of time to spare. I took it easy the first game, and only played a few points. We won that first game about 15-3. The second game had us play the eventual champions, and we got pounded 4-15. That game was a wakeup call, and we beat the next team 15-4. We had a bye in the 4th round, and ended up 2nd in our pool.

We played the top team from the other division, who we beat pretty handily. They had just finished a really rough game, and the sun was getting really hot--so while we rested in the shade, then were out running for an hour in 100 degree weather. In even conditions, the game would have been close, but we won 15-7 because of the circumstances.

With the score at about 7-4, I sprained my ankle pretty bad on a weird play. I tried to help a teammate out in the end zone, as I saw his guy breaking for a score. I poached off my guy and tried to make the D, but misread the wind and the disc. I went up to block it, but realized I was too far underneath it, so I made a sort-of half-assed jump, then was planning on turning around and running back to defend my guy. I landed, then took a step and heard my ankle pop about four times in quick succession, and I went down. It hurt like a bitch, and I stayed down on the sideline for the next few points, but when we took half, I was able to walk over to our shade-tents. Walking wasn't as bad as I thought it would be, so I'm hopeful that I'll get to play in the Hats, Hops, and Hucks tournament next weekend. I iced it on the sidelines, and I'm pretty sure it is a low-ankle sprain. I'll probably ask the guys in Physical Therapy at work if I should do any particular exercises to get it ready for next weekend.

For the Finals, we ended up having a rematch with the team from round two. We ended up giving them a much better game, as we changed our strategy up a bit. The game was tied at 6-6, but they ended up pulling away in the 2nd half, and we ended up losing 8-13.

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Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

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The tourney was a blast, and while I didn't get to play the 2nd half of the semi's game, nor the finals, I had a really good time hanging out with all my Sacto frisbee buddies, and drinking beers on the sideline during the Finals game. Also, I'm glad I hurt my right ankle, and not my left ankle. I don't really need my right ankle to ride my bike, but my left ankle is in charge of shifting gears, which can be important at times!

After the tourney, we showered at Conor and Kristen's, then headed to John and Liz's for games. Kristen and Conor crash and burned out of the poker game, and promptly fell asleep on the couches. I ended up beating John heads up for 1st place. We didn't have any bets going except one: if you lost a pot with pocket aces, you got to make someone chug a beer. Not only did I win the tourney, I also lost a pot with pocket aces, which I slow-rolled to lose a small pot to two-pair on the river--perfect! I then tried to make Liz (the victor in the hand) chug a beer, but she pretty much sipped it--weak. I only had one noticeable suckout, which was KQo preflop all-in against A5o. Not a huge suckout, but it helped me stack up and eventually take out Dave. I think I took out John by picking up ATs and calling his bluff-all-in preflop with T6o.

Headed back to Conor and Kristen's to crash.


Woke up at 11:30am, wow. Thought we'd wake up earlier than that, and get a bite to eat. Kristen and Conor had a wedding to go to in Stockton at 2pm, so they rushed around then we headed our respective ways. The ride back to Tahoe was nice. I love that ride through the El Dorado National Forest. Lots of curves, like riding around Tahoe--but along a river for a 20 mile stretch or so.

I got home and saw the kitchen counters completely covered with beer cans. It put my Coast Trip beer can shot to shame. I guess they've been partying nonstop since Thursday night. Holy crap I'm glad I was out of town this weekend!

I should have the Pirates v. Ninjas updated by Tuesday afternoon. More softball tomorrow night, and the big frisbee tourney next weekend. Fun in the sun!

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