.All Trips / California / North America / Southwestern USA

California’s Mammoth Lakes Basin

09 Mammoth Lakes Basin

California’s Sierra Nevada mountains have some pretty spectacular scenery! 
The “Lakes Basin,” as it is commonly referred to, is only a few miles from the town of Mammoth Lakes.  Mammoth Lakes sits on the eastern slope of the Sierra Nevada range and is best known as a top notch down-hill ski destination.  It is especially popular with skiers from the Los Angeles area.

(Mammoth Lakes Basin)

The Mammoth Lakes Basin is mostly a summer destination, being a popular spot for hiking, biking, rock-climbing, camping and fishing.  There are more than a dozen lakes set in this beautiful environment of mountains and forests.
We visited the area several times when we lived in California and our kids were young.  Always had a pleasant half …

Read More

Tagged , ,

“Pic of the Week”, January 6, 2023: Heather Lake, Sequoia National Park

04 Hike to Heather Lake

Heather Lake is a popular day hike destination in California’s Sequoia National Park.  The trail begins from the Wolverton parking area, heads north (part of the Lakes Trail) and over 4.1 miles climbs about 2,000 ft to Heather Lake (situated at 9,280 ft).  It’s considered a moderately difficult hike.
There are two options to getting to Heather Lake from the Lakes Trail:  1) The Hump Trail requires more elevation gain (about 200 ft), is shadier, and doesn’t have the exposure of the Watchtower Trail.  It is the safer option, even if it is slightly longer.2) The Watchtower Trail is not for those with a fear of heights as it takes you on a ledge blasted from a sheer cliff for a half mile, …

Read More

Karl on | Comments Off on “Pic of the Week”, January 6, 2023: Heather Lake, Sequoia National Park
.All Trips / California / Southwestern USA

Sherman Library and Gardens, Newport Beach

00 Sherman Library and Gardens

The coastal city of Newport Beach is known for its beautiful sandy beaches, swimming, surfing, beach walks, a nice harbor, and trendy homes (and the beautiful people who populate them).
We were surprised to find a small garden and library complex in the city adjoining the Pacific Coast Highway that was most pleasant to visit and explore.  We visited in the winter, before the CoVid pandemic, and while some plants weren’t in bloom many were and we really enjoyed our visit!

(Orchids, Sherman Garden)

The botanical garden is thoughtfully designed and is a lot of fun to explore.  Arnold Haskell was the founder of Sherman Library & Gardens.  He was a businessman who enjoyed gardens and education.   After accumulating the land over a …

Read More

.All Trips / California / North America / Southwestern USA

Majestic Yosemite Falls!

00 Yosemite Falls (2)

At a height of more than 2,425 ft (739 m), Yosemite Falls is the highest waterfall in Yosemite National Park and even one of the tallest waterfalls in the world. It can be seen from many vantages in the park. I’m especially fond of this view from across the valley, although the perspective from Glacier Point is also pretty terrific.
Yosemite Falls is a popular attraction, especially in May-June when it’s at peak flow from the melting snow pack in the Sierra Nevada mountains, as it was when we visited this past spring.

View of Yosemite Falls from Valley Floor

View of Yosemite Falls from Valley Floor

Yosemite Falls is actually made up of three separate falls:
1) Upper Yosemite Fall (1,430 feet) comprises half of the fall’s vertical drop.   The upper fall is formed by the waters …

Read More

Tagged , , ,
.All Trips / California / North America / Southwestern USA

Yosemite National Park’s historic Cemetery

00 Yosemite Cemetery

I’ve traveled to Yosemite National Park at least a dozen times in my life, always enjoying each visit, but it was not until my latest visit that I discovered it had a small historic cemetery in it.  
Yosemite Cemetery (also known as Pioneer Cemetery) is located in Yosemite Village, near the Yosemite Museum.  It’s quite secluded and peaceful, shaded by cedars and surrounded by a low split-rail fence.  The graves were originally scattered throughout the park but after President Lincoln signed the bill creating Yosemite National Park into law, the remains were collected into this small cemetery.

Pioneer Cemetery, Yosemite National Park

Pioneer Cemetery, Yosemite National Park

It’s interesting to stroll through and read the grave markers for people who died here, many of whom played important roles in the development …

Read More

Tagged , , ,

“Pic of the Week”, August 28, 2020: Dogwood, Yosemite National Park

00 Dogwood Yosemite

When I make plans to visit California’s Yosemite National Park I target my trip for mid-to-late May.  Mostly this is because the snow melt in the Sierra Nevada Mountains is at its peak and the park’s waterfalls are overflowing and amazing.
A second reason for a late spring arrival is to see the dogwoods bloom.  There are two types of dogwoods: 1) a small ground plant (not the one I’m talking about) and, 2) trees that grow up to 30 feet tall having flowers about 3 inches wide.
Yosemite has many mountain dogwoods which are beautiful in bloom, as you can see.  Dogwoods are especially plentiful around the Merced River in Yosemite Valley, but are quite common along most of the park …

Read More

Karl on | Comments Off on “Pic of the Week”, August 28, 2020: Dogwood, Yosemite National Park
.All Trips / California / North America / Southwestern USA

Magnificent Mt. Shasta, California

00 Mt. Shasta 13

One of the most memorable drives I’ve done in recent years is the road that stretches between Klamath Falls, Oregon, and Mount Shasta in Northern California.  Route 97 heads southwest towards the ever looming presence of majestic Mount Shasta, one of the prettiest mountains anywhere.  
We did this drive last month and the views of that beautiful peak were one of the highlights of our trip.  It was a clear day and Mt Shasta was visible for more than an hour. We stopped frequently for photos because we were worried the peak might disappear the closer we got because of hills obstructing our view, but that was not the case; some of these images are interspersed with this narrative, each subsequent …

Read More

Tagged , , , ,
.All Trips / California / North America / Southwestern USA

A Day at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park

San Diego Zoo Safari (1)

The San Diego Zoo Safari Park is found near Escondido, California, about a half hour’s drive northeast of San Diego and its world famous San Diego Zoo.  
I’ve visited the San Diego Zoo Safari Park about a half dozen times in the past 35 years and really enjoyed every visit.  When we first came to the park decades ago the place was known as San Diego Wild Animal Park, but in 2010 the name was changed because some people were apparently getting it and the zoo confused.  This is not the zoo — it’s where you can go on a (sort-of) safari.  But at either place you’ll have the chance to see a large quantity and variety of …

Read More

Tagged , , , , , , , ,