Monday, September 22, 2014

Pinecrest Lake Getaway!

We piled up the nuggets in the car and took a little trip to the mountains this weekend! My husband and I were celebrating our wedding anniversary, and we always love to get away and spend time together in the great outdoors. Captain was pretty psyched to hunt squirrels and birds in a whole new area!

Exploring the entry to our lodge.

We stayed at the dog-friendly Pinecrest Chalet (more on that, and general comments on dog-friendly lodging, towards the bottom of the post if you are interested). It was great to be out in the forest and to be pretty close to Pinecrest Lake. We were in Stanislaus National Forest, which is to the North of Yosemite a bit, and feels a bit more untouched in comparison to Tahoe and Yosemite.We have been to this area once before, but didn't explore it much as it was part of a trip to Yosemite and Mammoth (what a great trip that was too!) We chose to return because it's a doable driving distance from where we live, and because there was both a lake and hiking/forest. And because we could bring Captain!

Excited to be on a morning hike right outside our lodge!
Nugget 2 woke us up bright and early Saturday morning, so we headed right outside our door for a little hike. Captain was so happy!

Checking out Pinecrest Lake
Later in the day, we stopped in the lake for a swim. From May 15-Sept 15, no dogs are allowed on the Pinecrest Lake beach. Luckily, we went just after Sept 15! Still, Captain had to be on leash....always a bummer in my opinion, but I get that not all dogs are as fabulously, wonderfully, perfectly behaved as mine ;)

Ok....we *might* have done a little off-leash time. He is a Vizsla. And he was just too excited.

Cuddling back at our lodge:

And more early-morning lake time the next day- (I love, love, love this shot):

On the drive home, we stopped off at a reservoir with some hiking trails. So much fun being out on the trail and exploring!

A note on dog-friendly travel and lodging: Trying to find a nice rental option that is dog-friendly is always a challenge, particularly in pricey California. Where we stayed on this trip was fine, but a little disappointing for the price (we got a two bedroom unit, which had more space, but was very run-down and not as clean as I would like). I feel like unless you have loads of money to spend, you're compromising on quality when you want to bring the pup along. At least, that is the situation we have often found. There are plenty of dog-friendly hotels that do a pretty good job out there, but most of the rentals we've found that are dog-friendly are fairly beat up, dated, and not super clean or well taken-care of. Kind of at odds with my desire to keep everything clean and nice for nugget 2 (and hey, my desire to stay at really nice places).... but, it is wonderful to have the option to bring the dog along, and to explore beautiful parts of the country. Sites like VRBO and Dog-Friendly Tahoe have easy-to-use dog friendly features, which has helped in the past. Do you have a favorite place to bring your dog along? Or websites you use to find dog-friendly rentals? Or does your 4-legged family member usually stay behind on trips? Feel free to comment below!

Regardless of accommodations, I'm always happy to see my Captain running around in the forest, nose to the ground and tail wagging, enjoying life and sharing it with us!

Both nuggets doing well! Nugget 2 continues her quest to track down Captain, wherever he goes... and he continues to put up with it, mainly because she is dropping more and more food for him ;-)


  1. Such beautiful pics. Captain is so handsome!

  2. Captain looks like a very adventurous dog! Here at Gary Rome Hyundai we have a Vizsla as well, his name is Jack, he's four years old and loves to play fetch outside!