Our pets always make for a great story. But whilst it is cats and dogs which generally hog the limelight, bunnies can also make headline news. Just in case you have missed the very latest rabbit scoops, here are a few of the stories which have received media coverage.
No matter how many trails that you hike there is always one that remains your favourite and that you always hope to return to. In my case it is the Mist Trail in Yosemite National Park. I have never encountered another hike which offers the serenity, the drama and the variety of scenery that you find on The Mist Trail and I think that I could take on this route every day for a year and never tire of it. Continue reading
There is nothing quite like news of a hurricane to crystallise your thoughts when you are about to set off on holiday, especially when your accommodation lies right in its predicted path. This unfortunate situation has been visited on me twice and on both occasions I found myself glued to the weather reports. Continue reading
I recently read an article about what hotel guests love and hate about the establishments they stay in. It started me thinking about the hotels I have visited and I realised that it generally wasn’t the most expensive or prestigious properties that had impressed me the most. I understand that the higher prices of the more expensive hotels may have raised my expectations and caused me to be more critical but even considering this fact my best memories are largely of some cheaper stays. Continue reading
Every year millions of tourists head for Yosemite National Park in California to experience the many natural wonders of one of the most beautiful places on Earth. Whilst there is plenty to keep you occupied within the park limits, there are some spectacular destinations just beyond the entrances which are well worth exploring too. If you can spare a day or two beyond the park here are the places to head for. Continue reading
Yellowstone National Park is truly enormous. There are many natural wonders to explore but they are spread far and wide and so you face a lengthy drive to each destination. This fact makes checking the weather before you set out a very good idea but this is precisely what I didn’t do on the day I wanted to visit the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone. Continue reading
Growing up I was a great fan of Yogi Bear and knew that his fictional home Jellystone Park was based on Yellowstone. Years later and with a firmly established love of both bears and the great American outdoors it was inevitable that I should eventually pay a visit to the United States’ inaugural National Park and I set out with great expectations and the hope that I would see at least one of Yogi’s cousins.
Despite several visits to California Lake Tahoe was a destination I had managed to miss over the years and I thought it was time to put that right. I was planning another touring holiday starting in San Francisco which was to feature mainly places that I had been before so it was nice to ring the changes a bit by including somewhere new. I didn’t really know what to expect of the region and was slightly wary because it was not a national park and so I has concerns over urban development but I shouldn’t have worried.
Driving from San Francisco my first view of Lake Tahoe was spectacular. I weaved my way down a mountain pass and then suddenly there was a huge blue vista before me surrounded by snowy peaks. It was obvious that due to the wooded shore line and lower slopes most of the buildings which surrounded the lake were all but invisible from a distance. The only exceptions were the large casino hotels of South Lake Tahoe but that was fine.
The lake straddles the California/Nevada state line and the Nevada portion of South Lake Tahoe is a mini Las Vegas with several casino hotels and a touristy feel but just a couple of miles beyond the town you feel like you are in another world. I stayed in the RV park at Camp Richardson which was beautifully appointed in the forest and just a short walk from the water.
Sunset at the Lake
As the light began to fade on the first evening I took a stroll down to the water’s edge. Tahoe is gorgeous at sunset with the shimmering lake fading into darkness and brightly lit paddle steamers crossing the water. I decided that I couldn’t resist a quick dip and was surprised to find that the mountain lake was mild and perfect for swimming. The shoreline is sandy making for a wonderful place to relax during the day.
I has no time to relax myself, however, as I had planned several activities and excursions and my first full day started with a ride on horseback through the trees of the lower slopes. It was wonderfully peaceful trekking through the forest despite being relatively close to the road and Tahoe was really impressing me.
The Emerald Bay
After the riding I took a drive up to the Emerald Bay. This is a spur of Lake Tahoe famed for its stunning emerald colour and surrounded by steep cliffs. It was so pretty and above the water there was a stunning waterfall to explore. This was a beautiful spot of great serenity with stunning views as far as the eye could see.
The next day I set off for a drive around the circumference of the lake. En Route I just had to stop off at the Ponderosa Ranch of Bonanza fame. The house used in the television series is now a major tourist attraction and almost a mini theme park. In addition to a tour of the house there were recreations of Wild West shoot outs and animal exhibits to enjoy. It was a bit commercialised but I actually loved it! I was saddened to hear that the ranch has since closed.
It was then time to move on and I continued around the lake through Incline Village which is largely a development of holiday accommodation. Along the road I saw what looked like an interesting shop and stopped for a quick look. The quick look soon turned into a major shopping expedition as this wonderful outlet was packed with beautiful homewares and gifts. I left weighed down by several purchases and spent the rest of the drive wondering how I was going to get it all home!
On The Quads
The following day I went quad biking which turned out to be one of the best days I have spent anywhere on the planet. The original plan had been to take on the famous Rubicon Trail but a late snow melt meant the trail was not available and so I was diverted to the Nevada desert on the other side of the mountains. This turned out to be a good thing as the territory was a wonderful place to ride. Flying over the hills of red sandy desert I had snow-capped mountains as a backdrop and a crystal clear blue sky above. My guide was simply brilliant and we climaxed the trip with a race across the dessert flats.
My final day at Tahoe was marked by a trip up the cable car to the appropriately named Heavenly. There are some stunning views of the lake from the first station and the summit is a very pleasant place for a hike. I was sorry that I had not had more time in the area to do some walking but I felt that I had seen a lot in my four days and Tahoe was certainly somewhere to return to in the future.
With a heavy heart and laden down with quality gifts from that wonderful shop I drove away from Lake Tahoe the next morning and headed for my next adventure in Yosemite National Park.
Article by Sally Stacey
I have always marvelled at how the majority of visitors to Yosemite National Park remain in the valley rather than exploring further afield. There is no doubt that the full majesty of the park can only be experienced by expending some energy and taking a hike but some of the walks on offer are rather testing if your fitness levels are not up to par. I am a keen hiker and just have to take on the Four Mile Trail when in Yosemite but it can provide a severe test especially in the heat of the Summer. Continue reading
Whenever I travel anywhere I try to avoid the overtly tourist experience. I like to discover how people live, what the local cuisine is like and to find special places that are off the beaten track. This was never more true than when I visited Alaska. As part of my trip I decided to stay in a family home to see what life was really like and boy was it an eye opener. Continue reading