House sit in Atascadero with visits to the coast.

I recently did a 2 week house sit in Atascadero which is small  city in San Luis Obispo county in central California. Atascadero is a beautiful farming region with  rolling hills,  wineries and only 20 miles from the  central California coastline which includes the charming little towns like Morro bay, Cambria, Cayucos and  one can also visit Hearst castle. The larger town of San Luis Obispo, and beach town of Pismo beach are nearby as well.

My first house sit with horses. One mini named Little O , and another horse named Hot shot, as well as Doozle the goat , 2 cats, rabbits, chickens and Tank the tortoise. Sweet little farm with a garden, and fun assortment of animals.  Deer every morning in the yards surrounding the property. I really enjoyed this house sit. Enjoyed the animals, the farm, and seeing this beautiful area.

While in Atascadero , I went wine tasting Photo Editor-20181011_172657.jpgHiking Photo Editor-20181011_172408.jpgTo the Harbor festival in Morro Bay, The pumpkin festival in Cambria, and colony days festival in AtascaderoPhoto Editor-20181103_212909.jpgPhoto Editor-20181018_204521.jpgPhoto Editor-20181018_204251.jpgPhoto Editor-20181009_153240.jpgWent to Montano de Oro  state park which is beautiful. Here are some photos of Montana de oro and Morro bay.

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Zebras on Hearst castle property. Mr Hearst used to have a private zoo. 

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The hills around Atascadero 

I took quite a few trips to the coast as it was only a 25 minute drive. Really Loved Morro bay which is still a quaint little fishing town and Cayucos which is a funky little surfing town.  Cambria is a small town that is charming with lots of shops and restaurants. A bit more upscale then Morro bay and Cayucos.

Saw some beautiful sunsets at Morro bay. P1040494.jpgP1040501.jpgP1040498.jpgP1040510.jpg

I had a great time  in Atascadero and hope to go back to housesit for Chris and Sharon again next year if possible.

A lot to do and see in this area.

Carmel, Point Lobos State Natural preserve, and Big Sur.

After The Hoedown which I talked about in last post, I had a quick 5 day house sit in Nevada city .   Here is a post about Nevada city from a stay I did there last year. https://sueswanderings.com/2018/01/03/nevada-city-california/.

This time was a quick  sit with Stanley and Lexie

My next house sit is in Atascadero , CA. but with 3 days to play I decided to stop in Carmel on the Sea. I got a cute little Air BnB right near town and was able to walk to town and the beach. Carmel beach is beautiful with clean white sand.

The downtown area is cute and full of shops, restaurants, wineries, and gardens. However I find it a bit pricey for my liking. It is a very upscale town. I did hand out my petsitting card  to a few people. Who knows. Maybe go back to petsit one day.

I spent one day at Point Lobos state reserve which is only a couple miles from Carmel and beautiful and wild. It is definitely worth a stop. I hiked the 5 mile trail along the coastline.

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I also drove to Big Sur one day. I stumbled upon a wedding photo shoot while there. Here are a few of my photos.

P1040309.jpg What a spot for your wedding photos !

Some more photos of this beautiful stretch of coastline.

The California coastline really is amazing. North, central and south. South being more crowded and congested but still beautiful. Northern and central coastline are rugged and wild. Do your self a favor and get to the California coast.

 

Next stop is Atascadero !!

Lost Sierra Hoedown

Lost Sierra Hoedown is a fun little (only 500 tickets sold) Hoedown music campout in the Sierra Nevadas . It takes place in a small town called Johnsville, Ca. at the old Johnsville historic ski area.

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This from the founders:

Our mission is to re-invent the music festival, inspire land stewardship through outdoor recreation, and support Johnsville Historic Ski Bowl.

The Lost Sierra Hoedown is a weekend of simple outdoor living, and human-produced music you can dance to: folk, country, bluegrass, and Americana. This hoedown will raise funds and awareness for the re-opening of Johnsville Historic Ski Bowl.
Below is Z who is the founder of the Hoedown and who grew up in the area. Thank you Z for such a fun time !!
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Azariah “Z” Reynolds , one of the founders of the Hoedown.

Hoedown is a campout event filled with foot stomping , fun loving music and lots of super nice people who will be your friends by the end of the weekend. These are Hoedown photos of past and present hoedowns. I have gone to 5 out of 6 of the hoedowns. I really enjoy the smallness of it, the music, the venue and the whole brotherly vibe!

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Sam Bush band going for the shot ski drink
Sam Bush and friends trying out the shot ski.

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The Johnsville historic ski bowl is also the home of the Plumas ski club. These folk ski on the old time longboards. I have yet to get out there to watch a race but hope to in the following season.

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     The Plumas Ski Club’s purpose is to promote community skiing activities; through historical re-enactments of 1860’s era ski racing in the Lost Sierra. Our primary mission is to raise funds, by sponsoring community events, for the continued maintenance and eventual re-opening of the Johnsvile Historic Ski Bowl.
We have a volunteer board of directors and we enthusiastically welcome all volunteers and new energy to the club! This community based ski club has developed, maintained, and operated the historic ski bowl since the 1950’s.
We are a valid 501c3 and donations are always welcome. Please contact us if you wish to donate.

     Johnsvile Historic Ski Bowl is located just above Johnsville CA. Map here

Longboard Races 1/20, 2/17 and 3/17/19 – 2018 Winners

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Lots of nice hiking to do in this area as well. So, if one is tired of the nonstop music you can hit a trail to one of several lakes. Below are Rock and Jamison lakes.

Point Reyes National seashore.

I recently had a few days free from house sitting and went on a 4 night camping trip to the coast. I camped at Samual P.Taylor state park which is a great location to camp and explore Point Reyes National seashore. I love this area. So much to see, miles and miles of hiking trails, beautiful beaches, Tule elk, whales, all kinds of birds, wildflowers galore in early spring.  Samual P. Taylor state park sits nestled in a heavily treed area. Pretty campground with lots of nice, roomy spaces. It is $35 a night which is high but that is Ca. State park price.  Some sites with electric, there are central showers and food boxes to protect your food from the many raccoons. The small town of Point reyes station is just down the road. And in fact there are many cute, very small old style coastal  towns all along the coast here. So , besides visiting Point Reyes national seashore, it is also fun to just drive around . 

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Point Reyes National Seashore is a 71,028-acre (287.44 km2) park preserve located on the Point Reyes Peninsula in Marin County, California. As a national seashore, it is maintained by the US National Park Service as an important nature preserve. Some existing agricultural uses are allowed to continue within the park. Clem Miller, a US Congressman from Marin County wrote and introduced the bill for the establishment of Point Reyes National Seashore in 1962 to protect the peninsula from development which was proposed at the time for the slopes above Drake’s Bay. All of the park’s beaches were listed as the cleanest in the state in 2010.[4

The Point Reyes Lighthouse attracts whale-watchers looking for the gray whale migrating south in mid-January and north in mid-March.

From its thunderous ocean breakers crashing against rocky headlands and expansive sand beaches to its open grasslands, brushy hillsides, and forested ridges, Point Reyes offers visitors over 1500 species of plants and animals to discover. Home to several cultures over thousands of years, the Seashore preserves a tapestry of stories and interactions of people. Point Reyes awaits your exploration.

Point Reyes is one of my favorite places on the Northern California coast. It is only an hour from San Francisco yet so many people do not know of the beauty that is there.

 

 

8th annual Guitarfish Music festival

Guitarfish is an intimate camping and music experience in a magical setting;
over a mile high, in the woods, on the South Fork of the Yuba River,
at the Cisco Grove Campground. This year was the 8th annual and I have gone every year except one.  

Set in the stunning Sierras at Cisco Grove campground, the festival also provides an enchanting setting to enjoy the South Yuba river, hiking, world class mountain and road biking, towering trees, and starry skies. Emphasizing the importance of water, Guitarfish works in partnership with non-profits to educate on the issues of overfishing and water pollution, promoting water conservation and preservation of clean oceans and watersheds, with a portion of proceeds going towards such. Guitarfish aims to provide a direction for positive change to sustain and maintain healthy watersheds, rivers, streams, lakes and oceans and to preserve all living beings that depend on it. Coming together to honor this big blue ball we all call home feeds the magic.

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Ruby Mountains in Nevada

I had been wanting to go to the Ruby mountains for a long time . It is about a 6 hour drive from Truckee, Ca. so have never quite made it till just a couple weeks ago. Finally went to camp for 3 nights and hike the second week in July.

The Ruby mountains kind of sit off by themselves in Nevada . The drive is long and boring from Reno, Nv to Ruby’s . It is pretty much desert with not many towns of interest in between and then all of a sudden when leaving out of Elko you begin to see them. They just pop up out of the desert and go as high as 11,380 feet.

The ‘Rubies’ were named after the garnets found by early explorers. The central core of the range shows extensive evidence of glaciation during recent ice ages, including U-shaped canyons, moraines, hanging valleys, and steeply carved granite mountains, cliffs, and cirques. All of these features can be seen from 12-mile Lamoille Canyon Road, a National Forest Scenic Byway which traverses Lamoille Canyon,[4] entering the range near the town of Lamoille

 

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My friend Melody and I camped for 3 nights at Thomas creek campground. One of the only campgrounds there. If you go on a weekend, reservations are highly recommended.

The first day was spent setting up camp and cooling off in this nice little swimming hole right in our campground. Beautiful sunsets each day !!

Second day we did about a 8 mile hike up to Liberty pass , passing Lammoille lake, and then looking down on Liberty lake from the pass. 2000 foot elevation gain so a pretty good work out.

The next day I went up a canyon right out of the campground  just for seeing the magnificent wildflowers. My knee was hurting and Melody had a huge blister so we didn’t do a big hike. I went 2- 4 miles round. trip . Wildflowers were amazing !!! And cooling off in the swimming hole for the afternoon was nice . It was pretty hot and muggy when we where there. A super nice wildflower display was going on and it is hard to see from the photos how great they really are. But, here are some glimpses of it all.

There a couple other hikes to do here but this is all we had time for.

Beautiful spot to see . There are also Bighorn sheep in this area if you are lucky to spot them.

 

Housesitting and Incline Village sit.

For about 2 years now I have been full-time house sitting .  Some of the places I have house sat at are Lake Tahoe Ca., Truckee Ca. , Edmonds Washington, Vancouver Washington, Portland Oregon, Fort Bragg Ca. , Nevada city Ca.,  San Miguel De Allende Mexico.

It has been a whirlwind and taken off like I never thought it would. I have become increasingly in demand. There is a big demand for house sitters out there. I get my house sits around my hometown Truckee, Ca. and Lake Tahoe area by word of mouth. Some of the out of town sits are also by word of mouth. Some thru websites . I have taken care of Chickens, Rabbits, Dogs, Cats and fish.

One of my current house sits last month was  at Incline Village , an upscale town on Lake Tahoe, Nevada . Very beautiful area but then anyplace on Lake Tahoe is beautiful. Incline just happens to be one of the more expensive towns on the lake to buy a house.  In fact there is a home for sale right now in the area  for 70 Million dollars. Yes, that is right. Wow!!

In Incline Village  I watched Noble the Golden Retriever and Rascal the Bunny. In fact I am going back at end of July for another 2 weeks at the same house. Both sweet pets. Lovely home with great views.

Here are some photos of my house sit up on a hill in Incline Village overlooking the lake . Taking care of Noble the Cream Golden Retriever and Rascal the bunny .

Did some beautiful hiking while there in Incline off of Mt. Rose Highway. Mostly along the Tahoe Rim Trail.

The Tahoe Rim Trail as a 165 mile thru hike or can be enjoyed as multiple day hikes with  amazing vistas, high alpine lakes, meadows and peaks along the way that  always make for a rewarding experience. These are some photos taken along the Tahoe Rim trail.

Will post soon about some of the pets I have taken care of and other house sits.

Eastern sierras camping trip part 3. Rock creek canyon

 

 

Rock creek canyon is one of my favorite places to camp for a couple nights along the Highway 395 corridor. A few beautiful hikes from the Mosquito flats trailhead. You can go into Little lakes valley. Most popular of the hikes. Or you can go up to Ruby lake and on to Mono pass. You can also climb up to Dorothy lake . I think there are a couple other hikes as well that I have not yet done.  There are quite a few campgrounds on this 10 mile road.  I prefer the Lower pines campground. It is close to Rock creek lake and close to the trailhead.  There is also Rock creek lake resort that has some cabins for rent and a small shop and restaurant.  Many people go there for the home made pie !

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Rock Creek is located on the west side of Highway 395 at Rock Creek Road. This 20-mile valley is easy to find between Mammoth Lakes and Bishop, California, at a turnoff from Highway 395 at the exit for Tom’s Place. Once you begin the ascent along the 10-mile paved road into gorgeous creekside terrain, the options for summer and winter outdoor recreation unfold before you. Rock Creek Canyon is famous for Little Lakes Basin, where a string of high-elevation lakes are linked by leisurely hiking trails surrounded by 13,000 foot peaks.

Park at the road’s end to see the best of Rock Creek on foot. Expect blazing colors in fall – some of the brightest anywhere in the Eastern Sierra – as well as wildflowers in spring and sparkling lakes in summer. Dogs are ok on a leash. Little Lakes Trail: Also known as Mosquito Flats trail, the Little Lakes Trail is a beautiful and popular hike at the top of upper Rock Creek Canyon, accessed by the main signed trail leading from the parking lot at the road’s end. With the potential to hike to Mono Pass, four miles and 2,000 feet up, many hikers simply stop to take in the views after reaching one of the lakes along the way: Mack Lake, Marsh Lake, Heart Lake, Box Lake, Long Lake, Gem Lake and Chickenfoot Lake. The trail offers dramatic views of surrounding Sierra peaks, excellent wildflowers in spring and early summer, and vibrant fall colors. Popular with fishermen and day hikers.

 

This time when I went to Rock creek canyon there was still quite a bit of snow about 3 miles in on the trail. I did not make the hike all the way to beautiful gem lake because I was not really into hiking thru this snow. There  is someone ahead of me on the trail with ski’s on. This was early June . Of course we did get some snow in May so it was taking awhile to melt out.

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still some snow due to our late snowfall this spring.

Here are some photos of gem Lake another time when there was no snow. Gem lake is a beautiful turquoise and green color.

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Here are a few of the other lakes on the trail.

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Eastern Sierras part 2. Mono lake

walkway to tufa state park
walkway to tufa state park

fullsizeoutput_2309Mono lake doesn’t look like much when you drive by although  it is very pretty , especially at certain times of the day as the colors can change on the lake. It is in a high desert setting just behind the Sierra mountains. In fact Highway 120 connects from mono lake and goes up and over the sierras to Yosemite.

From Wikipedia: Mono Lake is a large, shallow saline soda lake in Mono County, California, formed at least 760,000 years ago as a terminal lake in an endorheic basin. The lack of an outlet causes high levels of salts to accumulate in the lake. The lake sits at an elevation of 6,378.

I think to get the full beauty of it you need to stop off and take a walk at either south Tufa state park or Mono lake park to see the tufas. Sunrise or sunset are incredible times to make that stop. The town of Lee Vining is there if you want to stay the night in a hotel. Or several campgrounds up highway 120 which connects at mono lake.

Tufa state park is like walking on the moon. Very amazing formations.fullsizeoutput_22fafullsizeoutput_22f9fullsizeoutput_22ecfullsizeoutput_22e5

 

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Another interesting spot on the lake is the Black fissures. A little hard to find but well worth checking out. Ask at the visitor center how to get there. _MG_4484.jpg

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Photographers line up nightly to get that perfect sunset photo at the Tufas.

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Mono lake is well  worth the visit !!!