Yes to Sleeping Outside – Solo in Bridgeport, CA

Those of you who have been loyal readers know I make the trip from Tahoe to Yosemite pretty often.

If not, you have some catching up to do!

Yosemite in the Spring 2017

Rain Rain Don’t Go Away 2016

A Sky Island – Kuna Crest 2015

Hiking Yosemite’s Bermuda Triangle  – Tenaya Canyon 2014 (it’s a long one!)

25 Mile  Day Hike from Lukens Lake to Tenaya Lake in Tuolomne

From No Stops Allowed to Destination

In the summer, those trips involve me blowing through Bridgeport, trying to make good time on the way toTuolumne. No stops allowed until Travertine Hot Springs on the way back.

But for this July weekend, I was looking for a nice camping spot, not too far from home in Truckee and started wondering if there was actually anything to do in Bridgeport, just 2.5 hours away.

A quick Google came up with a private campground at the reservoir with one opening. And with that, and my brand new I-can-stand-up-in-it car camping tent, I had my weekend planned.

You’re Going Alone?

The recommendations on hikes started rolling in: Virginia Lakes and Twin Lakes were the top ones.

That is, after the sideways glances and “you’re going alone?,” “I’ve never been camping alone” and “you shouldn’t be camping alone” conversations.  I forgot that this was still a thing, having camped solo more often than with others. In my early 20s I spent more nights outside than inside on my solo travels.  But yes, I was going alone and I was going to enjoy it!

The Photo Tour of Bridgeport Reservoir, Virgina Lakes and Twin Lakes

Here’s the tour!

1 -Yes to sleeping outside and seeing sunrises. More please.

2 – My actual campsite, not some Instagram posed shot, I promise!

3 – The morning stillness on Bridgeport Reservoir.

4 – Perfect time for an early morning kayak, while everyone else is still sleeping!

5 – The amphibious water smartweed in full bloom. Edible and medicinal. Fun fact: it can accumulate gold in its leaves from mine tailings. For real!

6 -Flowers galore!

7 – So still; so dreamy. The Virginia Lakes hike.

8 – The Virginia Lakes hike had everything. Flowers, lakes, streams, and fish!

9 – Old miner’s cabin near Virginia Lakes, barely standing up with some help from a few logs.

10 – The pelicans and I ate dinner together.

11 – The sun going down, as seen from my tent!

12 – Last day. Hiking up from Twin Lakes and enjoying some bluer sky again.

The final word on Bridgeport, I’d go again in a second!

Rachel McCullough is an avid runner, hiker, mountain biker, rock climber, yogi, skier and photographer living in Truckee, CA. Follow @rachelmcphotos on Instagram for stunning images of beautiful Sierra scenery. In addition to sharing her love of the outdoors through Tahoe Mountain Sports, Rachel volunteers as board president for the nonprofit Tahoe Silicon Mountain to help build our local entrepreneurial ecosystem, teaches skiing at Northstar California and founded and is CEO of McCullough Web Services, known for building impeccably designed websites for clients near and far.




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