The sand dunes around Pismo Beach are barren and suitable only for ATVs and “four wheelin”. However, there is one natural gem, hidden right between sand dunes. This gem is a fresh water lake called Oso Flaco Lake. Oso Flaco means Skinny Bear in Spanish. Oso Flaco Lake was discovered by Spanish conquistadors way back in the 19th century while they were scouting the California coast. Today, Oso Falco Lake has been turned into a well preserved and well cared for park which is very surprising to the visitor.
After relaxing on the beach and having lunch at Kings Beach, we drove back down through Nevada on the eastern shore of Lake Tahoe. Sand Harbor looked like a really nice place to spend the afternoon. So we did stop and we continued our relaxation into the afternoon and evening. According to the Nevada park service, Sand Harbor is the most popular, with sandy beaches, a boat launch, picnicking and group use facilities. Yep, the sandy beaches is definitely true…and much more.
Lake Tahoe has some great beaches. Kings Beach is one of them. We found Kings beach a great place for a family beach day. Fine sand, shallow water and crystal clear water. There are also lots of great places to eat which adds to the fun. I’m not sure if Kings Beach is a Lake Tahoe popular spot or not, but we found it to be almost empty. There were just a few people enjoying the sun in the middle of September. It’s true that we visited Kings Beach on a Tuesday and most weekend tourists were probably gone by then. Nevertheless, we liked the place. What’s it not to like at Lake Tahoe anyway?
Driving in for the very first time to Lake Tahoe is quite an experience. The road is winding through the mountains and suddenly after many bends in the road, we got to see the Lake Tahoe basin…it is huge. We heard that the lake is very large, but when you see it from the road in one of the many vista points, the lake is indeed huge. Once at Lake Tahoe, everyone told us to drive to Emerald Bay. We did drive to Emerald Bay and hiked down to the lake. This is a splendid place. Read on to find out the details.
Yosemite Valley is the place where you can get some great views of the sourrounding mountain peaks you can also experience some great hiking in Yosemite. Most of the hiking trails in Yosemite lead you far from the Yosemite Valley floor, but there are some easier hikes that can be easily accessed from the Valley. The easiest and most popular hike is the Mirror Lake loop trail. This is by far the easiest trail in Yosemite. Mirror Lake changes dramatically with the changes of seasons at Yosemite. The views you get to see at Mirror Lake all depend on when you hike this trail.
We have recently taken a day trip to Silverwood Lake and Wrightwood here in Southern California. While these destinations are practically unknown to tourists, they are popular for the local people. They are perfect travel destinations for a day trip on a sunny day (which are plenty in Southern California). Water, nature and maybe…snow will make a great weekend Southern California trip.
We visited Annecy, France at the beginning of October and stumbled upon this beautiful farmers’ festival. It took me a while to figure out what the name of this festival was but I finally found it: Return from alpine pasture (Le Retour des Alpages). It takes place the second Saturday of October, every year. We just happened to visit Annecy on that Saturday and it was great…We sampled local food, saw a cow parade and listened to local music…all this with tons of other people.
A dry season in California creates new beaches on Big Bear Lake. This picture from September 2004 shows lots of white sand on the shores of this beautiful lake. You can also notice the dry vegetation. If you know Big Bear, you will notice that this green is very dry compared with the normal bright green that you normally see in Big Bear throughout the year.