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TR: 6/8/13-6/9/13 Robinson Lake

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TR: 6/8/13-6/9/13 Robinson Lake

Postby larroyo33 » Mon Jun 10, 2013 9:02 pm

So this trip was a bit of a disaster. My wife was out of town, work was slow, and I was left alone with my two dogs (MoMo, a samoyed, and Fozzy, a pomeranian/chihuahua). So I figured there was no good reason why I should not take the dogs to the Sierras for a quick overnighter. Turns out there was a good reason: the summer heat.

I got a late start on Saturday and did not leave San Diego until 7:30 am, so I did not make it to Onion Valley until about 1pm. When we got to Onion Valley, my car's thermometer said it was 79 degrees. This was bad. Because MoMo is a cold weather dog, I as general rule never take him hiking if it is over 75 degrees. But I was already out there, so I figured I would just start hiking and see how the dogs did. After a half mile or so, it became clear to me that I had to retreat or one of them would overheat. I think they were drained not only from the heat in Onion Valley, but also from the drive through the Mojave Desert, where the temps reached 109 at one point. Even with the A/C blasting the whole time, I think the desert sun coming through the windows left them pretty dehydrated.

ImageToo Hot For Fozzy

So I headed back to the trailhead and considered my options. I figured I'm already out here, and I do not want to get back in the car and drive another 5 hours back to San Diego. So, I looked for a car campsite in Onion Valley. Luckily, I was able to find an open campsite. Fozzy crawled under the picnic bench and MoMo crawled under a bush, and I gave them as much water as they could drink throughout the afternoon. Once the sun went over the mountains, Fozzy looked a lot better, but MoMo was still pretty dead.

ImageMoMo Sleeping Under A Bush

Knowing MoMo's tendencies, I was still hopefully that with a good night's sleep in the cool mountain air, he would be recharged to do Robinson Lake as a day hike in the morning. We got in the tent at 8:30 p.m., and I was up by 5 a.m. and at the trailhead by 5:30.

MoMo was a little groggy at first, but once we started hiking, I could tell he was feeling much better as he was leading the way charging up the trail for most of the uphill climb. The early start worked out great for us. It was shaded for the entire hike up to Robinson Lake, and for most of the hike down too. The shade was important because although the trail was short (1.5 miles one way), it was pretty steep (1,350 ft gain). After much huffing and puffing, we got to Robinson Lake at 6:40 a.m. Early enough to still have good lighting on the lake and the surrounding mountains.

ImageThe Sun Starting To Rise

ImageHiking Towards The Glow

Image13-06-09-3-Looking Across Onion Valley

Image13-06-09-4-MoMo Leading The Way

Once we got to the end of the trail, we walked around the north side of the lake and explored the area. We did not see anyone else at the lake or during our hike. It would have been a great place for a short backpacking trip (the best campsites looked like they were on the northwest side of the lake across the lake's outlet).

Image13-06-09-5-Robinson Lake Reflection

Image13-06-09-7-Us At Robinson Lake

ImageA Tree Above The Rocks

Once we reached the lake's inlet, we turned around and headed back down to Onion Valley, packed up, and then drove back to San Diego. I was glad I was able to salvage the trip, but I should have done a better job of checking the weather before leaving and planning around the heat. Based on the heat, I should have left San Diego much earlier on Saturday and hydrated the dogs throughout the drive up, or just stayed at home. I learned a lot of lessons this weekend to say the least.
Last edited by larroyo33 on Thu Apr 17, 2014 6:37 am, edited 3 times in total.



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Re: TR: 6/8/13-6/9/13 Robinson Lake

Postby Jason » Tue Jun 11, 2013 8:29 am

Congratulations on not only salvaging your trip, but also knowing when to turn around on the first day. I make a similar mistake with my dog when we first got him, but he was fine and didn't seem to hold a grudge.

Nice looking lake. I really like the photo of you and the 'hounds'! Thanks for the report.
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Re: TR: 6/8/13-6/9/13 Robinson Lake

Postby schmalz » Tue Jun 11, 2013 1:55 pm

Thanks for the trip report. I just noticed that trail on a map recently and was curious what the terrain was like. Looks like a nice spot. I wonder how much traffic it gets on a typical summer weekend.
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Re: TR: 6/8/13-6/9/13 Robinson Lake

Postby larroyo33 » Tue Jun 11, 2013 2:10 pm

Yeah, based on how steep the trail was I was a little worried about the terrain, in particular that there might be some rocky sections that would be difficult for the dogs. But the trail was for the most part just dirt or sand, so it was nice and easy on their paws.
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Re: TR: 6/8/13-6/9/13 Robinson Lake

Postby maverick » Tue Jun 11, 2013 2:27 pm

Happy to read the dogs made it out alright. Pretty pictures, really like the last one
with the flowers in the background.
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Re: TR: 6/8/13-6/9/13 Robinson Lake

Postby lostcoyote » Tue Jun 11, 2013 4:01 pm

good job :thumbsup:

never been there myself, always over kearsarge instead.
i think i'd like to go there for a 3 day weekend.
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Re: TR: 6/8/13-6/9/13 Robinson Lake

Postby KathyW » Wed Jun 12, 2013 12:58 pm

I love the reflections in the lake - very nice photos. It was hot this past weekend in the Sierra - even up above 10,000 feet above sea level. I also crapped out early on a trip over the weekend. I was drinking a lot, but just couldn't seem to stay hydrated. You're a good guardian of those dogs not to push them too much in the heat, and you still got a nice hike in.
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Re: TR: 6/8/13-6/9/13 Robinson Lake

Postby FeetFirst » Wed Jun 12, 2013 5:15 pm

KathyW wrote:I was drinking a lot, but just couldn't seem to stay hydrated.


Depends on what you're drinking... ;) :drinkers:

Thanks for sharing, larroyo33.
I'm still rather convinced that you can achieve more than you've ever dreamed of if you just lower your standards.
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