I Love the Outdoors: Camping in Dog Valley
Growing up, almost all of our family vacations were done out of a tent. My parents’ love of the outdoors led us to almost every national park on the west coast. I mean seriously, I have camped everywhere. Now, I too love to go camping. Unfortunately, we haven’t had much time to go this summer, so over the weekend Dylan and I figured we would just go out for a night.
Because we live so close to Lake Tahoe and the Sierra Nevadas, campsite options are pretty much endless. But, since it was a very last minute decision, we just headed to Dog Valley. If you drive west past Reno to Verdi, and head up into the hills, you’ll end up in a beautiful valley with no sign of civilization. It’s where we would camp in high school and it’s where Dylan and I cut down our Christmas tree now that we’re older.
So, on Saturday I ran to the grocery store to grab a few things, we picked up firewood, and then the three of us took off! According to the map, the place we found is 48 minutes from our apartment, making it incredibly easy to get there.
The spot we found was on the far Northeast corner of the valley. So we unloaded, set up our tent, and cracked open some beers!
Bruce does really well when we go camping, but he definitely prefers non-campsites camping. Here he can roam around without a leash and we know he won’t bother anyone. Bruce loves to smell everything, roll around in the dirt, and sit in his chair by the fire. Because yes, we bring him his own chair.
The evening surprised us with a small sprinkle of rain. It was nothing to send us home, obviously. And it ended up giving us a beautiful rainbow over the valley! In love!
I loveee a big fire. So as soon as it hit 5ish, I built our fire and lit it up! I kept it going all night until we agreed it was bedtime.
One of the reasons I love a great campfire is because of camp food. Everything tastes better cooked over a fire in my opinion. And, one of my all time favorite meals is what we call TV Dinners: hamburger meat, potatoes, corn, onion, and lots of seasoning, all wrapped up in foil and cooked on the coals of a fire. So we had those wonderful meals for dinner, then s’mores for dessert!
As much as I like sleeping in a tent, we failed this time. We did not have enough blankets at all. We were both up, every hour on the hour. And, Bruce and I were constantly fighting for the middle spot! Always pack extra blankets, always!
I was so happy to wake up in the morning. I was ready for the sun, and of course, the fire. So I was up at about 5:30 am building the fire! For breakfast we made eggs and bacon (delicious!) and I had another s’more.
After breakfast, we cleaned everything up and packed up the car. We then took a quick little hike with Bruce around the valley.
And after that, we were all finished with our camping trip. We headed out, and were back in our apartment by 10:30 am.
When you think of how easy it is to get there and back, it makes me wonder why we aren’t camping every weekend. But, weekends like this are also extremely special. I love when I get to getaway with just Dylan and Bruce.
Where do you go to getaway from reality and enjoy the outdoors? Share in the comments below!
Distance: 14 ish miles
Driving Time: 35 ish minutes