Nonconsumer Vacation Part 2

I thought I’d share a few more photos of our nonconsumer camping trip. It’s not easy to find a lake this big and this remote in the Sierras. The access to this one involved a nail-biting 20-mile drive that took almost two hours. Luckily my husband is very cool under pressure, because I was practically hyperventilating as the passenger. First of all, it was one lane, so you had to either pull over or back up for oncoming cars. Second, the dropoff was sheer and terrifying. And finally, driving that carefully and that slowly for almost two hours is exhausting! I began to understand why the directions included the promise of “a cold one” waiting for us when we got to the campground. We definitely took them up on it!

This is the kayak we rented and paddled around all day. We pulled up to have lunch on a small island and another time along a beach on the main shore to rest. We only made it a little over halfway across the lake, and we only saw two fishing boats and one other kayak the entire day. That’s what I call remote! No motor boats or jet skis, just the way I like it. I like my wilderness experience served with a dose of quiet.

This was one of the crossings on the raging river, still high from snow melt. One was so high and deep we had to take off our boots and wade in to our thighs. This one we crossed on a log.

Here I am outside our fancy tent cabin, where we sat and read and looked out at our gorgeous view of the lake. It was completely unimpeded by anything except Sequoias. This was taken right before we left to tackle the drive back out. My husband should get a medal for his driving performance.

We didn’t take any pictures of our motel/pool day, so you’ll have to imagine me alternating between reading in the shade and paddling around in the cool water for about six hours. Ahhh.

Our vacation was nonconsumer because almost everything we consumed was an experience (camping, hiking, kayaking, socializing with fellow hikers, looking at the stars, swimming) or consumable (meals and wine). We bought one souvenier each:  a baseball cap. But I don’t feel bad at all about buying a memento of a vacation. I still love the gecko we bought on our road trip two years ago. He’s part of the family now.

What have you been up to this summer? Please share your camping stories and nonconsumer vacation adventures in the Comments section.


  1. Marie-Josée says

    Great pictures Angela. I particularily like the one of you on the rocks by the lake. What beautiful scenery, and gosh I would have been terrified of traversing the river on the log! I too love the quiet of nature, and living in down-town Montreal bothers me noise-wise. My husband isn’t bothered by the occasional siren sound or the distinct “hum” background noise of the city. I was raised in the Canadian North in a home where the only noise came from the television which was not constantly turned on. He was raised in a home where the television was always on – which may explain this fundamental difference in our natures. I am increasingly attracted to vacationing in nature, as opposed to visiting a large city, and I think it is directly related to our move to the heart of the city. Glad you thoroughly enjoyed your non-consumer vacation. Thanks for sharing.

    • Angela says

      Marie-Josee, I agree that how much television was on in your home when you were young can account for fundamental differences in people. I myself have never been able to stand having the TV on in the background, especially in the daytime it actually depresses me. But I have had more than one friend who likes it almost as company, to keep from getting lonely.

      We love vacations in big cities and in nature, sometimes both in one trip, which can be ideal.

      Thanks for commenting!

    • Angela says

      Thanks so much, Cara. I’m so glad you like the blog and enjoyed reading about our vacation. I enjoyed writing about it.

      thanks for commenting.

    • Angela says

      Nancy, I’m afraid that photo makes it look as though we crossed on a very thin log, when in fact it was much wider than that. My husband was steadying himself for the photo on that smaller log.

      Good for you with the valance project! Great job, and thanks for sharing!

  2. Judy says

    Sounds like a great holiday, love the photos! The road sounds terrifying! We were on a bus trip through Denali National Park recently and the road sounds very similar. Luckily for me I was on the side of the bus furthest from the drop, still had that white knuckle feeling though!

    • Angela says

      Judy, that does sound absolutely terrifying. I think I would rather trust my husband and our small vehicle than a random bus driver and a huge bus. I agree it’s very brave. But it must have been gorgeous there.

      thanks for commenting.

  3. says

    OMG 2 hours! I already have a dead fear of driving and cliffs. I would be a freaking basket case after 2 hours of that experience. Congratulations on making it out alive!

  4. Laurie says

    We wanted to celebrate our 20th wedding anniversary by doing something more special than just a dinner out. So we rented a cabin along the New River bike trail in Virginia. We traveled about 2 hours so that we felt we were “getting away”. Our cabin had a beautiful view of the New River and Virginia’s beautiful mountains. The rule was we would only do what we love and wanted to do. So we biked and walked the trail photographing the different wildflowers in bloom. My husband fished the New river in his canoe and was in heaven! I brought a few good books to read from the library. We cooked our favorite dishes. We toured some of the area’s local towns (on foot or bike) and learned about Virginia’ss rail history. Our souvenirs are the photos we took. It was a wonderul anniversary!

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