Gig Harbor is located on a small inlet near the southwestern portion of the Puget Sound. We have previously visited the Seattle area on the eastern side of the sound but this was our first time on the west side in what’s known as the Olympic peninsula. This is a huge tract of land bounded by the Pacific Ocean on the west, the Strait of Juan de Fuca on the north and the Puget Sound on the east.
We left our RV parked near Crowley Lake and made the drive to Lake Tahoe to visit with our friends Steve, Wende and Brady. It’s always fun to spend time with them but summer in Tahoe at their nice home is special.
Lake Tahoe is a truly beautiful place at any time but summer is especially nice with a pleasant climate, clean mountain air, the blue lake and the variety of colors in the snow topped mountains. We enjoyed lots of hiking, biking and took a ride up the Heavenly gondola and did a little hiking around the ski runs.
Lee Vining put us close to Mono Lake and the June Lakes Scenic Loop. Located just north of Mammoth Lakes, June Lakes is another collection of beautiful mountain lakes. June Mountain is a small ski area (7 lifts) which is affilated with the much larger Mammoth Mountain ski area.
Mono Lake is a very interesting lake, ecologically and socially. Since it has no outlet the water in Mono Lake is very salty, 2 to 3 times higher concentration of salt than the ocean. As a result there are no fish in Mono Lake but that doesn’t mean that it is lifeless. The lake has a massive population of tiny brine shrimp as well as alkaline flies. The combination of the shrimp and flies attracts a wide variety of birds here. Notably, the majority of California seagulls are hatched in Mono Lake. There are also some migratory birds that stop here during their trip from Canada to South America. Notably the Eared Grebe spends a few weeks here to molt and fuel up for their non-stop flight from Mono Lake to Ecuador and Columbia. Interestingly, this bird is very efficient in the water but cannot walk on land. It has to land and take off from water. If it finds itself on land it will die there unless a human finds it and takes it to water.
Continuing our drive along the Blue Ridge Parkway, we stopped off in Newland, NC, at the lovely Secluded Valley RV Park. It is indeed located in a little valley with a stream along one side and small lake in the middle. It is an appealing campground that was very quiet during our stay. We would like to take the weather we experienced here with us everywhere we go: low to mid-70s during the day and mid-50’s at night. Continue reading
On our drive from Hocking Hills to Akron, we stopped in Canton in order to check out the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Like me, you may ask, why is the Pro Football Hall of Fame located in Canton, OH? The primary reason is that the American Professional Football Association, which later became the National Football League, was founded in Canton in 1920. In addition, the Canton Bulldogs were an early pro-football power team. If you’re a fan of professional football, it’s worth taking the time to visit.