While taking some time off in between house sits I went to Kanab , Utah to visit my friend Joni. Her and I met thru the animal rescue world . She was living in Nevada and I in California. We made several trips together to Kanab, Utah to volunteer at Best friends animal society. Please click on this link to learn more about Best friends. This is an amazing place to go and to volunteer. You do not have to volunteer. You can take the tour which is about 2 hours. The tour will tell you much about Best friends and take you thru the property with a stop in cats and a stop in dogs. If you want to know more about how this place came about , I would suggest reading this. Book about how Best friends came about. Or just go to the website and read about Best friends and their story. Fascinating !! I bought the book at an auction at a wine tasting event in Lake Tahoe back in 1997. After reading it I just knew I had to go there. I believe my first visit was in 1999. Here are some photos of the lovely Angles canyon that is the home to Best Friends.
I went back several times to volunteer. I also bought a piece of property in Kanab, Utah, thinking maybe one day of trying to work at Best friends and live in Kanab. I never did go to work there although my friend Joni did and this is why I am here again. Have not been for about 6 years. Came back to visit Joni, and to check out my lot. Here is is in the beautiful Vermillion cliffs.
Even if you do not volunteer or do the tour , you can go there and get a wonderful $5 vegan buffet lunch at Best Friends cafeteria and just drive thru the lovely location which is Angle’s Canyon and stop in for lunch. You may want to stop at the visitor center first for a map and to buy some fun stuff. The property is huge and beautiful with lovely spots to take a hike and to visit.
If you volunteer you can help clean, walk dogs, and even walk a cat.
If you don’t volunteer and are just touring the property then be sure to stop at Angels landing which is the pet cemetery. Best friends animals who have passed are buried here as well as members pets. I believe anyone can purchase a grave site here. It is full of wind chimes and special tokens. I love to just sit there and listen to the wind chimes. I can feel the spirits of the animals.
So if you are touring Utah, I highly recommend a stop at Best Friends !!
Also, Kanab is a good location if you plan to go to Zion , Bryce and North rim Grand Canyon national parks. They are all within a hour or so drive from Kanab. My next post will feature some hiking trails (not in the parks because we had dogs !) near Kanab. Lots of beauty in the area.
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.
Doozle and Little O
Deer in yard
While in Atascadero , I went wine tasting Hiking To the Harbor festival in Morro Bay, The pumpkin festival in Cambria, and colony days festival in AtascaderoWent to Montano de Oro state park which is beautiful. Here are some photos of Montana de oro and Morro bay.
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.
I had a great time in Atascadero and hope to go back to housesit for Chris and Sharon again next year if possible.
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.
I also drove to Big Sur one day. I stumbled upon a wedding photo shoot while there. Here are a few of my photos.
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.
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.
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 !!
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!
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.
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
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 .
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
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.
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.
The things I love about Guitarfish! It is small, its on the Yuba river, there are super friendly people, camping, yoga, drum classes, and great music for 3 full days !!
This year I camped with a group of friends who also love music. We had a great little camp set up in the shade. This is us at the music.
If you get to hot you can just mosey on down to the beautiful Yuba river for a cool down .
And you may even see one of the musicians strumming a few tunes down there.
Sometimes there are impromptu parades led by some of the musicians !!!
Guitarfish is also very family oriented with things going on all day long for children. There is a children’s camp with painting, drumming, learning.
I have been to quite a few music festivals in my time and this is one of my favorites, for the pureness of the people , the camaraderie , the music. You feel like you have made a couple thousand new friends by the end of the weekend.
All in all it was a very special time with very special people that left me feeling happy and fulfilled !
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.
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.
Liberty pass at 11,200 ft.
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.
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.
San Miguel de allende
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 .
view from front entrance.
Side of house view
Swinging chairs inside house to look at views
Lake Tahoe most always has amazing sunsets.
fireworks from the house on 4th of July
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.
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 !
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.
Here are some photos of gem Lake another time when there was no snow. Gem lake is a beautiful turquoise and green color.