South Lake Essentials

by Doug 1. August 2011 02:12

It's the end of July. The LA Foothills are hot, dry and the mountains of the Sierra's are calling. Time to collect a few friends, pack up the buggy and head north on Hwy 395.

Well, that's exactly what we did. Our hiking buddies (Dick and Chuck) joined us on Thurs night for an early morning Friday departure. Our destination: South Lake, at the end of the mountain road out of Bishop, CA. We had a cabin rental waiting at Parchers Resort just a mile down from the lake. At nearly 10,000 ft elevation the air is exceptionally cool and clean. The creek behind our cabin (as with every creek in the around) screamed with high levels of run off from the winters whopping snow season.

We hiked, rented a small boat, fished, drank a beer or two and generally had an excellent time. Yeah, our cabin was a little rickety, but that didn't get us down. There was too much fun to be had on the trail, the lake, the snow fields and around the camp fire.

Check out the video, and take a 7 1/2 minute trip to South Lake to see for yourself. Enjoy!

Santa Barbara Getaway

by Doug 7. May 2011 23:01

First a little blog administration:

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Ok now on with the show. Virginia and I have just returned to Los Angeles from 3 days at our ritzy neighbor to the north: Santa Barbara. We've both been before. But it was so long ago and our memories have faded. This trip was a great re-acquaintance and we come away solidifying the fact that it's a very special place for us.

Beach & Mountains: The Same but Different

Sure, in LA we have the beach. And lots of mountains. However the physical layout of these elements in SB is really a crucial aspect of why the place is so appealing. The mountains aren't towering over the beach as in Malibu. And they're not at a perpendicular angle to the water as in Santa Monica. From the waters edge, the gradual upslope from the beach (through town and continuing through residential neighborhoods to the foothills) allows you access to prime Pacific ocean offerings: stunning views and cool ocean breezes no matter where you are.

Montecito: Done the Right Way

A more beautiful place to have a coastal home would be difficult to find. Part of the appeal is that it's got a very "country/rural" feeling - stemming from one key feature: Old growth oak trees never get cut down. The roads and properties are canopied with hundred year old oak branches that you simply cannot "landscape" back into the property once you've cleared the lot first. Each home is nestled into place. It seems that the land has priority, then the structure. The results are inspiring and beautiful.

Got 5 minutes? Check out our trip highlights below.

About >

Hey, Doug here,  thanks for visiting.  


Here's a little about me:


  • Web developer
  • Cyclist of mountains, bike paths and bike lanes
  • Hiker, backpacker, car camper
  • DIY guy - home improvement, software & home movies
  • Reviewer of novels and technical books
  • Married with cats and horses


My wife and I live in the shadow of Mt Lukens on the edge of the Angeles National Forest:


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