Alan and Jonna's Graeagle, CA trip

This was our fifth (!) annual trip to Graeagle in the California Sierra Nevadas to spend New Years Eve with Jonna's family. Even though we were there the last few days of December, we're counting it as a 2013 hike since this is how we have started out the new year for the past few years. We did a short snowshoe walk near the cabin; a short hike into Graeagle; spent a day doing our traditional climb to the top of the sledding/ski hill in Plumas-Eureka State Park and zooming back down; and then a final day back at Plumas-Eureka sledding a side hill. We had great snow this year (in stark contrast to a year ago), had two days of perfect sledding, had loads of fun and thoroughly enjoyed our time with Jamie, Bri and Rosie!

Here are some of our favorite photos from the trip (each photo is a thumbnail linked to a higher quality picture.):

1) Last year, we bought Bri and Rosie snow shoes but didn't have any snow so we couldn't use them. This year, we had lots of fresh snow so we could finally get out and give them a try. Here is Brianna crossing Gray Eagle Creek.

2)Alan, Jonna, Jamie, Brianna and Rosie exploring the national forest land jjust to the west of the town of Graeagle, CA.

3)Our next big adventure was our annual visit to the old ski slopes at Plumas-Eureka State Park. As you can see from this photo, there was plenty of fresh snow this year!

4)Fresh snow means great sledding and we had plenty. Here is Jonna taking a run down one of the short but steep hillsides where we knocked the rust off our sledding skills.

5)Once our skills were back up to speed we started our traditional trek up to tthe top of the old ski run. The snow shoes cut our time to the top in half (compared to years past).

6)As always, the view of the Sierra Nevadas from the top of the hill was spectacular.

7)We also got a traditional group photo, before zooming down the hill! It was 30 minutes to the top and about 5 minutes to get back to the bottom.

8)The next morning we took a short walk into town. Here is Jonna at the Graeagle Store.

9)Gray Eagle Creek as it flows through town.

10)For New Years Eve day we headed back to Plumas-Eureka State Park for another day of sledding. After a couple of days sunshine and freezing temperatures, the snow got crusty to the sledding was *fast*! We found a steep side hill where some snowboarders had built a jump. Here is Jonna on one of the first runs, going fast enough she is catching air off every little bump.

11)Bri, looking serious with her goggles on.

12)Jamie, fearless as always, on a "face first" run.

13)Rosie looking cool with some striking clouds behind.

14)Happy siblings: Jonna and Jamie.

15)Rosie taking the jump on the intertube. Sadly, the 'tube only lasted a few more runs before the landings off the jump caused a blow-out.

16)Jamie on the Red Rooket, catching some big air off the jump.

17)Another big jump by Jamie.

18)Alan on a run. Alan had his GPS with him and captured speed data on each one. The highest top speed recorded was 17 mph!

19)Brianna about to head over the jump.

20)Jonna heading down the hill, with the beautiful trees and sky behind.

21)Brianna catching some big air over the jump.

22)Rosie braving a face first run over the jump.

23)By the end of the day, the hill was so fast that some sled runs were a bit out of control. Here is Jamie sliding sideways at the bottom of the hill.

24)The jump took a beating from all our runs. Here is Jonna exploding some of the snow off the jump.

25)Those big smiles aren't being forced. This was the most fun we've ever had sledding at Plumas-Eureka State Park!

26)A rare photo of both Jonna and Alan.

27)The end of a terrific day and of a great trip to Graeagle!

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Alan Fleming