Ruffin’ it Recce Style Published June 21, 2019 By Staff Sgt. Taylor White 9th Reconnaissance Wing Public Affairs BEALE AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. -- Ever since spring mom has talked about how we are going to do these things called hiking and camping in the summer. Then one day I saw her pulling all sorts of gear out of the garage and packing our car with things I’d never seen before; like tents, sleeping bags, and a cooler. After she was done packing she opened up the door and said, “Alright Myla, let’s hit the road!” Apparently, we were going to start our adventure filled summer at Donner Memorial State Park in Sierra Nevada, and after that drive to the basin of Lake Tahoe, California to camp at this place called Meeks Bay. The drive was stunning! I had my head out the window the whole time with the wind in my fur smiling at how crisp the air smelt. My snout was going crazy with all the new smells. Whenever we took breaks to stretch our legs, I had to have my vest and leash on. Mom says California has leash laws for doggos that go hiking, so she wanted to make sure we followed the rules. The first thing I noticed when we got to the State Park was a piece of giant metal in the shape of humans towering over all the other humans. I later learned this statue is for a family that went through the Truckee Lake area in 1846. They ended up trapped in the snow. Mom said that some people got so hungry they had to eat their fellow humans that passed away in order to survive. The walking loop was only a half mile and was really easy to do. No hills or rough terrain, great for our first trip. On the trail I saw lots of kids having fun climbing old tree stumps, and even other humans with their dogs. Mom liked stopping at the benches along the trail, I loved stopping too, that way I could look at all the birds I’d never seen before. Down the street from the Memorial State Park was a big lake that had a bunch of metal platforms people used to get into water cars. Mom said next time we could do something like that, we just had to make sure we had the proper towing material before we brought one of those water cars out, I think she called them boats. After we smelled all the smells and dipped our paws in the river at Donner Memorial State Park, mom drove us down to the basin of Lake Tahoe. Finding the campsite seemed really quick and easy for mom. She reserved our spot online, but before we could set up we had to check in with a boss lady that warned us about these big things called bears that apparently will eat all our food. Mom promised me that she wouldn’t let that happen because there was a big metal box that she would lock my snacks in. At that same booth, mom picked up a couple bundles of wood. The boss lady only accepted cash though, mom got lucky that she had just enough paper money to pick up the fire wood. Otherwise, we would have been chilly from the breeze off the lake. From there finding our spot was really easy. Our tent fit perfectly underneath some trees at our campsite. We also had a big fire pit, a picnic table and even a grill. After setting up mom said she wanted to walk around. Lake Tahoe was bigger than anything I had ever seen. She said that normally she’d let me sit on the beach, but where we were staying they didn’t like dogs to be in the sand. After playing around the shore of the lake, mom brought us back to the campsite to make the fire. She was lucky that she had a hatchet with her to help split the wood. The wood that the nice lady gave her was really thick and would have burned too quick, mom said. She also said that we weren’t allowed to scavenge for wood or even bring our own because it puts the trees in danger. We were about a tennis balls throw from the water’s edge, apparently that made it colder cause I heard mom whispering to herself at night that she should have brought more blankets. However, I did my best to make sure she was warm with cuddles all night. The last thing mom said before she left the Tahoe area was that she was glad we had enough gas to get home. It’s much more expensive there. The whole way down the mountain mom sang songs to me as I had my head out the window. I can’t wait to see where she takes us next!