As you might guess I didn't hang out at Tamarack Lake and instead walked back out to my van, arriving at 4:10. Just enough time to get my bear canister back to the forest service office before closing. I got there at 20 till the hour but, who knew? They close at 4:30. I went to the door anyway hoping to beg myself a door opening and some poor soul was trying to lock up. She kindly took my canister and a few minutes later, while I was divesting myself of accumulated trash in their trash cans, she told be all was well! At least I didn't have to wait till opening tomorrow to return the dang thing.
I looked at my maps and I couldn't see any FS campgrounds along highway 50, which seemed surprising to me. So I dropped in at the outfitters there in So Lake Tahoe (nice folks) and they told me about this FREE campground off of highway 89. There are 11 sites and you can stay for up to 7 nights. The only downside is there is no potable water but who cares? I got a gallon o'water in the van so I'm good to go.
As usual while sleeping in my van in an unfamiliar place, I didn't sleep well and awoke at 3:30PM. I ruminated till about 5:00 when I finally realized I didn't have to lay there till daylight and could just take off for home. Yea! Off I went into the dark of early morning. Highway 50 never seemed so downhill. I managed to hang on till I got to Placerville, where I stopped off at Mel's Diner for a good breakfast.
I do love driving and seeing my state, but as I moved farther west, and time passed, I needed to pulled off and snooze for an hour or so. I guess the coffee didn't really kick in like I'd hoped. Back on the road I remembered there was an IKEA right at the junction of Highway 80, west and east. Hum...