Pleasanton California is a beautiful city about 30 miles east of San Francisco. It was incorporated in 1894 and has a very active downtown area. There is lots of nice stores, restaurants, art galleries, salons and museums. I think the reason it is always busy is because no charge for parking so people come and shop locally. More towns and cities should try this and bring more shopping back to their towns.
Our location at the Fair Grounds makes for easy walking downtown plus great walking and bike paths. I think we should enjoy our time here plus only about 10 miles from Amanda’s (our Daughter’s) house.
Another stop along the way was Beale Fam Camp located on Beale AFB near Marysville, California. This beautiful fam camp has 44 sites with full hookups, free wifi, laundry, showers, lounge, lending library and kitchen. Nice size sites with a lake across the street. This base is pretty remote but we enjoyed it greatly.
The base opened in 1942 with 86,000 acres as Camp Beale and in 1948 became an Air Force Base. It was used as a Prisoner of War Encampment during World War II. We took a drive out to the site and you can see parts of the cells still standing. Some of the cells have drawings on the walls still visible today after so many years. Today the base is an air combat command with about 4,000 military personnel stationed here.
One day we took a drive to Empire Mine State Historic Park in Grass Valley. This park covers over 856 acres. The mine operated for over 100 years with over 367 miles of tunnels and over 5,800,000 ounces of gold. Today they have restored some of the buildings, have exhibits, mine shaft and a beautiful home. In the visitor center they have a scale model of what the mine looked like in 1938. The grounds are very pretty but the home was closed when we visited.
The town of Marysville has a real Chinese influence. You can see this on the buildings in town plus a beautiful Chinese temple.
The area around Beale Air Force Base is farm land growing mostly rice. Never realized how much rice is grown in this country.
We spent 3 wonderful weeks in a timeshare at Marriott’s Timber Lodge in South Lake Tahoe. We loved having a washer and dryer, whirlpool, pool, fireplace and comforts. The timeshare is located at Heavenly Village where they have stores, restaurants, movies, bike rentals, ski resort gondola, and a short walk to casino’s and the Lake. We even had valet parking which was nice.
Lake Tahoe has a shoreline of 72 miles and an elevation of 6225 feet. Lake Tahoe is the largest Alpine Lake in North America. It is just beautiful and so peaceful to just sit and watch the water. This lake is known for the clarity of water, and the beautiful mountains surrounding it. While in the area we took many rides around the lake stopping at different points of interest.
One of our favorite spots was the Taylor Creek Visitor Center where we walked the grounds and saw salmon spawning and to our delight black bears eating the salmon. We got to see a mother bear and two of her cubs. It was just spectacular watching the cubs play and run into the stream. They have about 35,000 bears in the area and they can weigh up to 300 lbs and sprint at 35mph which surprises me. We also saw where the beavers made dams in the stream. We also were surprised that we met a couple from Connecticut at the creek, what a small world.
Did you know that Lake Tahoe was found in 1844 and that snowfall has been recorded every month of the Year. I found that interesting.
Another one of our favorite places was Tallac Historic Site. In the late 1800’s it was a resort where the wealthy came and enjoyed themselves on 74 acres. The grounds are just beautiful and we enjoyed walking around reading the little signs as the season had ended and all the buildings are closed.
One thing nice about this area is that at least 70% of the land is owned by the Forest Service so it is enjoyed by many. We took many hikes, bike rides, enjoyable walks and car rides. This is a really cool place and we enjoyed it so.
One day we took a ride to Carson City, Nevada which is the capital. The city was named after Kit Carson and became a state in 1864. Silver and gold were discovered in Carson City. We rode around the city and saw the State Capitol, Governors house and all the state buildings. We visited Nevada State Museum which was pretty cool. They have a huge walk thru mine, Carson City Mint, (original coin press) animals, Native American display, firearms, and the most beautiful gems in the world. Really enjoyed learning more about Nevada.
While in Carson City we had lunch at Red’s Old 395 Grill. Really cool looking building with stuff hanging off the walls. It advertises as the best barbeque – it was just okay in our book. Guess for the west its good.
We visited the Campground By The Lake which is operated by the city. What a beautiful campground this was. They have a dump station, showers, fire pits, tables, store, pull thru sites, water and electric, and bike paths. It sits across the street from the lake plus a recreation complex and library sit next to the property. If we had not been staying at a condo we would have stayed here. Just beautiful.
Our stay in Lake Tahoe was just wonderful – kept busy and enjoyed every minute. We even saw 3 movies while here, out to eat twice and toured Carson Pass, Caples Lake, and the Momon Emigrant Trail.