Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Spanish Flat

Since the weather forecast was going to be Spring-like over the weekend, my husband said, "Let's go camping somewhere we haven't been before and within a two hour drive." CA State Parks aren't friendly with dogs on trails; so, that eliminated camping and hiking at a state park. First, I researched places to hike with the dog. After an hour of hunting, I found Smittle Creek trail at Lake Berryessa, along with a campsite not too far away from the trail. I called the campground to check if they were open. There was a recorded message stating if nobody was at the kiosk then drop off the envelope with the filled out paperwork and money in the box. So, off we drove not knowing what we would find.

We were surprised! There was only one other couple camping in the campground. We took site # 31 since it was far away from the couple and the views were great.

After settling into our site, we headed off to Smittle Creek Day Use area for the five mile round trip hike on Smittle Creek trail that snakes along the shoreline. 

Even with all the rain so far this winter, the water level is still extremely low. 

Along the trail, there were many spring flowers and manzanita trees in bloom.

There were numerous folks walking the trail, picnicking, and enjoying the beautiful warm day. By the time we got back to the car, the parking lot was empty.

Back at the quiet campground, we enjoyed watching the boaters return while snacking on appetizers and relaxing. 

The next morning we explored the campground. During our walk, we discovered an area of abandon campsites and roads. Later in the morning, we met a lady that told us that the campground was once much larger. There once were hook-ups, cabins, and a concession stand to the facility. The campground was once part of the State system, but after the 50 year lease expired the State didn't renew. Now the campground is under the Federal Bureau of Reclamation. It will be interesting to see if the Bureau of Reclamation plans to restore those abandon campsites and roads leading to the sites. 

We were rewarded with such a beautiful, relaxing day and quiet evening that we plan to return here again.