9/11/21 - Short Blog
Here in the Central Valley, we have had 64 days of over 100-degree temperatures this year, and it doesn't appear to be over yet. We are breaking our own records...but not in a good way. It is no wonder that Monterey County reports that the majority of its summer visitors are from the Central Valley. However, traveling to the Coast every weekend in the Summer is not always financially feasible. We have to find ways to get away from the heat of the Valley, without breaking the bank! Luckily, we have access to a number of lakes in the mountains all under 2 hours from the city. (Bass Lake, Shaver Lake, Huntington Lake, Pine Flat Lake, and Hume Lake are the most popular)
Mum and I had not planned on going to Shaver Lake the weekend of September 11, but decided we would head up into the mountains for a few hours to enjoy the cooler weather and give Maverick some exercise. We left Mum's house around 9:30 am after watching Cristiano Ronaldo's historical Manchester United "come back" debut. The drive up the mountain is a twisting road that takes you up 5,319 ft in elevation in about an hour and 15 mins. Our original intent was to go to the Lake Day Area on the East side of the Lake near Sierra Marina due to the ability to pull the car right onto the beach next to the Lake. However, upon arrival at the beach at Shaver Lake Watersports, we decided to make camp here.
Tip: Not all areas around Shaver Lake allow you to drive onto the beach. These areas are also not free. A fee of $10-20 is required to gain access to Day Use Areas with beach vehicular access.
Maverick immediately made his way to the water's edge. He loves to swim! I let him play in the water for a bit, then took him on a short hike around the lake toward Shaver Lake Point and the Stevenson Creek Dam. We stopped every so often to dip our feet in the water and cool off.
When we hit the 2-mile mark, we turn around and head back toward our beach camp. Mum had stayed behind to read and enjoy the view of the lake. Once back at the beach, Maverick and I did some more swimming, and then we relaxed.
The beach began to get crowded by this time (around 12pm), so we decided to make our way back down the mountain. As we passed through the town of Shaver Lake proper, we decided to stop at the Hungry Hut to split a hot dog and a chocolate shake. Yes, even Maverick got to enjoy a hot dog, no bun.
Tip: The Hungry Hut is pet-friendly with 2 patio areas for outdoor seating. They even have dog treats for your furry friend! Just ask! Or do what I do and order a hot dog wiener without the bun. This should cost about $2.00.
One thing that is very clear when visiting Shaver Lake, is the sense of gratitude for the first responders and firefighters that fought to save the town during 2020's Creekfire. Thank you signs are still hung around every corner even a year after the disastrous fire was contained. Even after seeing the area a number of times now since the fire, I am still in shock at the change in scenery. The landscape surrounding the Lake and town itself tells the story of the destruction and damage the Creekfire caused last year. It is such a sad sad time in our state and those surrounding us. This year, we wait to see if our Giant Sequoia Trees (the largest in the World) at Sequoia National Park will survive the KNP Complex Fire.
Note the burned mountain in the background of the photo below. The lake was surrounded by fire.
This was a quick trip, but getting away from the heat for even the shortest of times is a relief.