The Metrolink

Oceanside to Los Angeles

Oceanside has a bustling transit center featuring three main train lines that travel through on a daily basis. Amtrak journeys around the country, the Coaster is mainly around San Diego, and the Metrolink goes as far north as Ventura.

Living here all of these years, you would think I would utilize it more, but I don’t.

One time I went across country on the train, another up north to Santa Barbara, and a few times to San Diego.

Not having anything planned for the weekend, we saw something online about the Metrolink costing only $10 for a round trip ticket for the day. So, we thought it would be fun to jump on and explore up north.

Quick videos to show you some of the ride. Here leaving Oceanside

The Plan

The plan was to go to San Clemente to walk around the shops, visit the pier. and, then stop for lunch at San Juan Capistrano. The train stops twice in San Clemente with one of the stops landing right smack in front of the pier. You disembark and there is no better stopover as you are near all of the action. Besides, the pier, there are shops, places to eat, and of course that beautiful beach. We gave a brief thought about bringing our bathing suits then going for a swim but decided that was for another time.

San Clemente Pier

The next stop in San Clemente was also next to the ocean but about a mile north of the pier. There again, you could get out and go to the beach but with less activity as by the pier.

We stayed on to see one of the next stops in San Juan Capistrano. Arriving in San Juan, the now slowing train, slid by quaint little shops where you could easily get lost browsing for hours.

We were excited to investigate these crafty stores, all filled with eclectic stuff such as out door decorations, antiques, pottery, etc. However, that was not to be as I will explain later.

We also saw cute restaurants with tree-lined shaded patios and ambiance for days. Our goal was to walk to Ruby’s Diner which we knew was close to the widely visited Mission San Juan Capistrano. Honestly, we didn’t know exactly how far away that was, but we knew it was pretty close.

Coming into San Juan Capistrano

However, we were surprised that the ground was super wet, it was raining, well, actually a hard sprinkle. The train was super cool from a fine tuned air conditioner and sitting in wet clothes didn’t sound like fun.

So, we stayed on to see the next stop in Laguna. After San Juan, the train started to turn away from the beach, it was actually inland Laguna Niguel we were going to, not Laguna Beach.

The Scenery

From Oceanside, right away you are greeted with a wide-open view of the harbor and Camp Pendletons secluded beaches. The ocean is to the west the whole time. In parts it feels like you are right on the beach and almost as if a wave is going to hit the train at any moment.

It is a stunning drive. The ocean was so sparkling clear on this day as you drive by both crowded and uncrowded beaches. On some deserted beaches there were only a few people, so I looked to the west to see where they were possibly parking, there was nothing. I’m thinking that they must have hiked or walked a few miles just to get the place all to themselves.

This part of the trip up north, is worth every penny.

However, as we turned east, there was no more sea, no more beach.

We stopped at Laguna Niguel but it was still wet out and we didn’t see anything we could do so, we stayed put and further north we went.

We passed by a few towns then decided to check the schedule and see when the train travels back to Oceanside. As it turns out, if you got off at each stop at this point, it will be another two hours before the train comes back around south. So, wherever we stopped and disembarked, at this point, we would have to kill two hours.

This meant that, we missed our two stops for lunch and strolling around the quaint shops in San Juan Capistrano. Mainly because the Metrolink did not operate very late on a Sunday.

It was decided that we would go to the Union Train Station in Los Angeles because there are things to do around there. From the gorgeous beaches to industry in Los Angeles, here we come. We were actually OK with the new plans.

We passed by so much, including, Disneyland, Knotts Berry Farm although they weren’t that close.

We Googled that you could get a taxi to either for a short six-mile ride or grab a bus. One of the stops landed you right at Angel Stadium. This is where most of the passengers got off as there was definitely a game that day judging by the people we could see in the stadium.

Angel Stadium

Union Station

Union Station itself, is iconic and has been featured in many movies with its majestic architecture. This station that I traveled from as a kid going to Texas, still looked like something out of the fifties with only a few exceptions. They didn’t have a Wetzel’s Pretzel or a Subway Sandwich shop back then.

The grand main lobby hadn’t changed and the ramps that lead down to the trains were still in place. The seating areas with over-sized chairs were still there and were as comfortable as they looked.

Union Station
Oversized Chairs

It is an amazing station but, now we were ready to explore the area and stretch our legs. Exiting the station to the outside, we were immediately greeted with an extremely humid and hot Los Angeles day.

Moving at snail’s pace, we decided to walk across the way to Olvera Street. Olvera Street is a historical avenue featuring a Mexican marketplace. Vendors of every kind, display their goods along a boulevard that also boasts restaurants and small cafes filled with authentic Mexican food. I was hot, very hot on this July day, so I had only one interest, well make that three… food, water, and a cool place to sit.

Through the crowded street, we passed by a few eateries and settled on one that did have my needed shady patio. Food…check, water…check, shade…check, all was good. I know, I know, I’m a baby, didn’t want to get wet, didn’t want to be hot.

We passed by a square that had music playing and stood for a while listening. Time was moving slowly as were the beads of sweat on my face. With a little more time until the next train south, I looked over at my traveling companions. I think we all came up with the same idea at once…

Union Station is air conditioned!!!!

Union Station
Outside Union Station

It was decided we would get a Wetzel’s Pretzel and kill some time in one of the over-sized comfortable chairs that we saw while walking out.

After a few games of 21 questions just to bide our time, the moment came for us to head to the actual train track. Now we get to once again, see life at the back door, as I call it.

Life at the Back Door

Trains travel through neighborhoods, by businesses, under bridges, and through tunnels. They meander around like sneaky vehicles behind your home, your business, your camp site, RV parks. Sometimes you don’t even know they are there while other times, their horns will blast you out of a deep sleep.

In the neighborhoods, you see their backyards. Do they have a pool, is their back yard unkempt or, is it well manicured? We are passing by and we see you!!!

Hundreds of businesses we cruised by and some you wondered what they did while others had everything in their back area for all to see. There were enormous metal scarp yards, lumber yards, auto shops, cars. wood working, etc. If the back of the building didn’t have a gate, graffiti was all over the place.

Ugly as it was, it was super interesting.

As we passed by the Los Angeles River, there were old bridges that were probably built in the mid 1900’s but they were amazing structures with ornate architecture.

The Los Angeles River and Ornate bridge

A fellow passenger pointed out the 6th street bridge, which connects the Arts District to the Boyle-Heights neighborhood. This more than half a mile long bridge, cost LA, almost 600 million dollars.

Unlike the other older bridges, this one is modern and as it turns out is on the news almost every night.

The new 6th Street Bridge

But in some cases, not in a good way. In the wee hours, cars are doing spin-outs and graffiti is marking it all up. This beautiful structure is being vandalized.

Some people love strolling the bridge, wanting to get a views of the mountains and the city. From what I read, it was becoming a hang-out for the neighborhoods nearby. If only some people didn’t ruin it. Especially. as much as it cost.

But that is life in Los Angeles, so many people.

Continuing on, we passed by train yards where shipping containers were stacked high, waiting to get loaded, and then shipped somewhere farther away. The dozens if not hundreds of railway lines wove through the city while we wondered how they kept track of it all, no pun intended.

Homeward Bound

As smooth as the train ride was, I couldn’t take a nap, unlike my fellow passengers. I was too busy being a voyeur, to the back door life of Los Angeles, Orange County and, finally San Diego County. That is part of the fun, a high speed form of people watching.

It was a long day as we pulled into Oceanside around 6:30 pm. I don’t regret missing out on the pier or San Juan Capistrano. That just opens it up for another trip, as it is only about forty minutes away.

We might pay attention to the schedule better next time and that is my suggestion to you. So, if you are ever looking for something to do, channel your inner child and get on board and ride the Choo Choo!!!

Story and phots: Debbie Colwell

HOLLYWOOD

The sun was setting and illuminating the skyline of Los Angeles. It was the end of the day, and each skyscraper was radiant with colors of yellow and orange.   It was a magical sight.   My front seat passenger agreed on how beautiful it was and was hurriedly taking phone photos while we zipped through the frenetic traffic of Highway 101. In between obstacles of cars, buildings, signs, and power lines she tried to get a shot, but it was near impossible from our current vantage point and speed.  Still, she managed to get something.

I have seen snowcapped mountains, sun splashed lakes, and colorful beach sunsets, all of which are beautiful in their own right.  However, a conspicuous row of skyscrapers lit up from the sun with various colors, can be just as stunning in my opinion.

It was if the city was giving us a vibrant good-bye to the fun filled day that we just experienced in its neighboring city…Hollywood.

Hooray for Hollywood

I have been to Hollywood many times despite the fact that it is almost two hours from my house. Our guests didn’t want me to do much driving once we got there so, they booked a bus tour as well as entry to Madame Tussaud’s Wax Museum.

It was decided what we would do for the day, the tour, the museum, Hollywood sign, movie star homes, the Chinese movie theater, and Rodeo Drive.  All within miles of each other but at least 30 minutes apart, thanks to traffic and streetlights.

The Bus Tour

First up was the bus tour in a combined package, including the wax museum. The boarding area was just a block away and all of us headed straight up to the open-air top floor although, I bee-lined it for the shaded area.

Riding on top of the double decker is the place to be as it seems like you have a bird’s eye view of everything.

However, gone are the cheerful tour guides that used to stand atop the bus spouting out interesting facts and humorous antidotes via microphone. Today, you plug in a supplied set of earphones near your seat and a voiced-in person talks to you at the volume you select.  Occasionally, the mysterious voice said something funny, but it didn’t have the same appeal as a live person.

Nonetheless, the facts that we heard for the almost two-hour trip were fascinating and informative.

Along the way, we saw the CBS building, Paramount Pictures Studios, the Capital Records building, The La Brea Tar Pits, the star packed Ivy Restaurant, LA Farmers Market, The Petersen Auto Museum, and, much, much, more.   There are many stops where you can get off and investigate further, then hop back on at a later time.

Three Famous Streets

The bus tour took us through two of the most well-known streets in Hollywood but couldn’t go down Rodeo Drive because of weight limits imposed.  So, we came back later to visit that infamous Boulevard.

Rodeo Drive

Rodeo Drive is not long, and it only takes a few minutes to go from point A to point B.  However, this two-mile-long street probably has more money in its stores than five malls combined.

This is where the super-rich come to spend.  On a lucky day you may see stars or entertainers with multiple bags in their hands.   Sitting proudly on the Blvd., the world-famous stores, jewelers, and designers all vie for the black cards and Benjamins of their wealthy customers.   You’ll see names like, Louis Vuitton, Dolce & Gabbana, Prada, Versace, Saint Laurent, Gucci, Tiffany, Cartier to name a few.

It is worth a few minutes of your day if you are in the city just to drive by.  Now, as far as going into the stores, I can’t help you there as I have only gawked from the comfort of my car.

Hollywood Blvd.

Do you remember this famous song ‘Celluloid Heroes’ from the Kinks? Its lyrics were as follows, “You can see all the stars as you walk down Hollywood Boulevard.  Some that you recognize, some that you’ve hardly even heard of.”

It is so true; miles and miles of terrazzo and brass stars are set into the sidewalk with the names of movies stars, singers, musical groups, or even politicians. I must admit some of the names I did not recognize, as the song said.  However, because of my age, I did know a lot of the old-time movie stars, directors, and such.  Unlike the teenager in our group who kept saying, who? Who? Who?  I felt like I was walking with a barn owl.

However, they have given stars to some of the more contemporary entertainers of today, probably to keep it interesting for the younger visitors.

Sunset Boulevard

I used to journey up to Hollywood just to cruise along Sunset Blvd.  It has been featured in so many movies and videos.   You blast music and drive along while enjoying the unique atmosphere of this iconic street.  

First, Sunset is known for its giant billboards. The billboards are five times the size of anything you would see along a freeway, some are as tall as the building itself.   Most of the oversized posters show upcoming new movies, TV shows, or music.  

Along the route you will also see the historical Chateau Marmont , a hotel that has also been in dozens of films, and hosted many famous guests.  Also, along the route is the Comedy Store,  where legendary comedians have either performed or gotten their start.  Other places to note are the Viper Room, once owned by Johnny Depp, and The Whisky a Go Go where the likes of Led Zeppelin, The Doors, and Kiss have performed.

For simple food, there is Mel’s drive -in, and where we ate, Carney’s.  Carney’s is distinct as it is in an actual old Union Pacific locomotive.  You can eat outside or in the dining car.  My burger was excellent, and you can sit along Sunset watching the fancy cars drive by.

When we visited this area many years ago, we would try to see who was in the expensive cars.  Most of the time, we just made up who we saw. This time it was Jerry Seinfeld in a beautiful black Audi, and Miley Cyrus in another expensive auto.   We saw Meryl  Streep ,Barbara Walters, and in a super luxurious  car, Pierce Brosnan.     Sadly, it wasn’t them, but the drivers held a close enough resemblance for us to pretend and make each other laugh.

Along Sunset Blvd., you will also see side streets that take you up into the hills to view the movie star homes. This wasn’t on our bus tour, but I did a side trip to show my guests this exclusive area. We drove by Beverly Hills and Bel Air, two of the most well-known areas.  Most of the mansions are hidden behind gates, large trees, and shrubs, so, not much to see.  However, if you look closely, you get glimpses of some of the massive estates.    Also, you can see these mansions on hill tops overlooking the Los Angeles Valley and Pacific Ocean.

I knew the street where Barbara Streisand formerly lived so, on many occasions, I have taken my friends on that road.   Now, I don’t remember the exact house on the block, so I always let my passengers know that this is the fifty-cent tour, if you want to know the exact location, take the forty-dollar bus tour.

Madame Tussauds Wax Museum.

Back to the museum after getting off of the bus, we really did see Meryl  Streep, well…in wax form that is.

When you go up the first set of stairs, you are greeted by one of the most favorite and loved actresses of all time, Betty White.  You can stand right next to her statue, and I was surprised on how short she was.  With all figures, everything is actual, height, feet size, hand size, etc.  She looked so real; I was amazed.

 

As you proceed through the museum, you are greeted by stars, musicians, singers, etc.  What really impressed me were two things, one, that you can get close and interact with the wax statues.  In some cases, props are set up for you to use for photo opportunities.  As an example, you can sit on the bench with Forrest Gump, put on gloves and box with Rocky, wear Hannibal Lectors straight jacket.  Or, you can ride on a camel with Lawrence of Arabia, dance with J-Lo, look into the eyes of Angelina Jolie, or sit in a chair under the scary scissor hands of Johnny Depp.    It wasn’t just looking at wax figures; it was interactive and fun to see.

 

The second thing that impressed me was that most of the statues looked so alive and exactly like the person. In a few cases, I feel they failed, but in most, it was if they were really there. On a few, I was waiting for them to talk to me and tell me that it is just a joke; we are actually standing in front of you.  That is how lifelike they were.  Their eyes were so perfect, and you can see veins on their arms and legs, no attention to detail was spared.   It is very impressive and worth the price of admission in my opinion.

Grauman’s Chinese Theater

Just a few steps away from Madame Tussauds sat the TCL Chinese Theater, formerly Grauman’s.  It will always be called that as I have visited it many times in my life.

 Nonetheless, it is the place where entertainers are remembered by having their hands and feet imprinted in cement.   Most of the prints were from people long ago, does John Wayne ring a bell?   Once again, the youngster in our group was reciting her mantra, who? Who? Who?  Luckily, a few newer cement blocks were up front such as the cast of ‘Twilight’.   We had a bet on who had bigger feet, Team Jacob or Team Edward.  I bet on Team Jacob and won with his size 11 shoe.  Jacob is Taylor Lautner and Edward is Robert Pattinson.

It was still nice seeing these world-famous sights regardless of what age you are, but it helps to remember the likes of Tyrone Power, Rock Hudson, Lucille ball, etc.

As the day slowly turned to night, we had one more sight to see.

The Hollywood Sign

We put Griffith Park in the GPS and it took us to a street that was smack in the middle of a perfect view of the Hollywood Sign.  This is one of the most famous icons in the world so you have to get a shot of it.

We wanted to go to the Griffith Observatory but GPS said thirty minutes and by this time we were too tired. 

So ends our day in Hollywood.  It was a fun filled day of sights and stars, well maybe not real stars. So, in ending, I have only one last thing remaining to say about this trip… *Hooray for Hollywood.

Photos and story by: Debbie Colwell

*Hooray for Hollywood is a song first featured in the 1937 Movie, Hollywood Hotel.  It later became the staple soundtrack intro song of the Academy Awards.  

The Top Gun House in Oceanside

If, I am remembering the Top Gun scene correctly, Tom Cruise motorcycles his way up a steep hill and lands on a side street to the home of his love interest, played by Kelly McGinnis.

She supposedly lived in a cute little Victorian cottage dressed in blue and white, with an amazing view of the Pacific Ocean from the patio.

He was already late and she was clearly waiting for him. Then what does he do?  He asks her if he can take a shower…really?   Seems rude to me, but oh well, it is Hollywood.  They soon settled on the porch and enjoyed a nice evening until it was time for him to scurry off, riding on the now famous motorcycle.

So, in 1986, Hollywood came to the quirky little town of Oceanside, some 30 miles north of San Diego. I say quirky, because it has been that way at times until lately where it has turned into a coastal gentrification.  Out with the old, in with the new.

The movie gave us a chance to gawk at the tiny home while watching the movie, with screams of, “Hey, I know that house, I know that street!”

It soon became the ‘Top Gun’ house to residents and visitors alike.

It sat by itself on a corner for many years, even after its claim to fame in that blockbuster movie.

Originally, it was the Graves house on North Pacific Street and it really did have those awesome coastline views.   It was built in 1887 and was Dr, Henry Graves vacation home. It was subsequently sold to others and in 1986 as mentioned; it was rented out to Paramount Pictures for two weeks to film.

With or without the movie notoriety, the home still has architectural value as one of few oceanfront Victorians in San Diego County.   Note the decorative wood work and gabled roof.

So what and where is it today?

The city moved it from that lonely corner, and it now sits a few blocks away to become part of the new ‘look’ of Oceanside.

Gone are the empty corners and bye-bye to the sleepy town feel.   Nowadays, it is all grown up and fancy. Just like the infamous and touristy Huntington Beach.

One of many seating areas along the new resort feel of Oceanside.

The Top Gun house is now a pie shop right smack in the middle of all of the action. On the weekends, lines are 30 deep to get inside.  The menu is sparse, but I hear the pies are actually good, but small.  I was happy to hear that they are made with strawberries from local fields and apples from nearby, Julian.

Inside the pie shop.

 Red brick and bright blue umbrellas welcome you to a seating area to enjoy the pies, views, or just to people watch.

Inside the Pie shop and keeping with the decor of the era.

A nice place to relax.

Up front, there is a replica of the motorcycle that Mr. Cruise rode and now serves as a fun photo opportunity for kids or adults.

At first, I thought that it didn’t fit the décor of the two new resorts with their modern or Cape Cod facades.  However, I am getting used to it and I actually think what they made it into is a good idea. It is better than falling prey to the local termites like it was when it was down the street.

One of two new resorts in Oceanside.
The Top Gun House nestles between these fancy resorts.

The Sea Bird Resort.

Now, it has a fresh new coat of paint and is all dressed up to meet the tourists.

It is funny how a few minutes in a movie made this such an iconic symbol for Oceanside. 

Tom Cruise and Kelly McGinnis walked around this cottage many years ago.

But for Oceanside, it is so much more, it is nostalgia.

In ending, I still can’t get over that infamous scene, and can’t imagine going to someone’s home for dinner, walking in late, then asking if I can take a shower.  I know, I know, I need to get over it.  It was only a movie.

Ignore me,… instead, come on down to Oceanside and head to the pier once there, look east and there it will be…The Top Gun House.

Stories and photos: Debbie Colwell

The Funicular at Strands Beach in Dana Point

A couple friends sent me a video of something that I didn’t know existed in Southern California.    An actual tram that transports you down a long steep slope and then ends at a ramp where you can continue the trek to the beach.

 I had to investigate this myself since I was given a general idea of where it was. As it turns out, I found it quite easily near Dana Point in Orange County.

We zeroed in on it at Strands Beach which is only a few miles north of Dana Point Harbor, however it was closed. It was only open until 5:00pm and from what I understand, as of right now, only the weekends.

The other option to get to the beach was to take the long stairway to the bottom.

Bring on the Stairs!!

Since the view from top was only of the ocean, our curiosity killed us on what the actual beach looked like.  So, like daring out-of -shape ninjas, we began our journey down the stairs…and there were a lot of them.   Finally arriving at the end of the stairs, there was still a paved trail to go before you actually touched the sand.  I had to stay up with the dog and couldn’t take pics but I’ll have to come back one day this summer to snap a few.   

One of us did make the trek and reported back that the beach was stunning. Even though it was high tide, there was still plenty of sand for chairs and family activities.

Except for the harbor and neighboring Doheny Beach, Dana Point is known for its location high above the coastline.  On this beach, the view was spectacular because of the towering cliffs that spanned as far you can see.

It was a cool day and the water was still chilly but even with that, it still looked inviting to take a swim. 

So now back to the stairs.

I am here to report that, walking the stairs up, isn’t really that much fun unless you are super fit and love getting your heart rate going.  It is pretty steep, but they managed to make it easier by breaking up the amount of stairs at given sections. Sometimes you will walk up eight stairs, then two, then, five, then a landing area.

The landing area is handy as you can stop and look at the view or fake like you are looking at it, while actually trying to catch your breath.  Whatever your reason, the setting is amazing.

So we made it up the stairs no worse for the wear but agreed that we still wanted to come back and check out this tram.

A few weeks later, we were up in the area and decided to go take a look again. This time, the tram was working!!

Bring on the Funicular!!

The Funicular is what they actually call  this tram and a new word that I learned for the day.

The definition of a Funicular is: “A  type of cable railway system that connects points along a railway track laid on a steep slope.”

That is exactly what it was and we were ready to try it, but first, a little bit about it.

The Funicular was built in 2007 and is open to the public during daylight hours. As of today it was only open on the weekends though.   It holds no more than 8 people and is about a two minute ride each way.

The California Coastal Commission built it with the intent to make it easier to access the ramp leading down to the beach.  Also, for families who had tons of chairs, beach equipment, toys, etc.

It operates on the weekends year-round during daylight hours and all week between Memorial Day and Labor Day.

When I rode it, there were only three others on the ride down and one on the way up. I am sure in summer it is packed.

During the ride you get a nice few of the ocean as you descend. It is a remarkable view made even better as the vehicle moves so slowly.

Leave it up to the affluent Dana Point to have in its city, what is basically an elevator to the beach.  I have seen steeper cliffs in Northern California where they make you hike your butt up and down if you want to get to the beach.

Not here, we have the wonderful Funicular.

I know it is better for my health to walk, but heck after a day at the beach with sun beating down on me, a nice cool ride up the hill sounds just about right.

Story and Photos: Debbie Colwell

Lake Wohlford

As we were headed back to the dock to return our rented boat for the day, we heard a voice yelling, “I got one, I got one!”  It was coming from our boat!

After a couple of hours of no bites or nibbles, that was an unfamiliar series of words.   We had tried a few different coves along the lake and only got a hit as we were slowly trolling back to the rental dock. We were in the middle of the lake using two poles with lures.

Heading back to the boat dock.

Sadly, the fish pulled off the hook before getting hoisted into the boat, or should I say happy for him, although we always catch and release.   Only a few seconds later another hit, but this time the sizable fish was brought in.

The beautiful Rainbow Trout was easily taken off the line and released back into the lake.

So, we ended the day out on the boat with at least catching one on this beautiful sunny day in San Diego County at Lake Wohlford.

I had never been to Lake Wohlford so three of us had a hankering for lake fishing, and off we went.

Lake Wohlford is a medium sized reservoir set in the hills of Escondido.  Unfortunately, being a reservoir means no swimming or dogs allowed.

Winding through the roads to get there is a great Sunday drive in and of itself.   As you reach the last bend, you get your first view of what I first thought was a very small lake. Later while in a rented boat, I saw that it was much larger than it appeared.

At 190 acres it is considerably more sizable than its neighbor, Dixon Lake which is around 69 Acres.

Homes and a quaint little café are nearby, and it is hard to imagine that the huge Valley View Casino is only a few miles away.

Around the lake, there are an abundance of places to park and little strips of open area to fish or picnic. However, there are no concessions but, plenty of bathrooms.

We chose to rent a boat which we found very reasonable at $30 for the whole day! The no frills aluminum vessel got us where we needed as we explored around.

The Boat Dock from the middle of the lake

At one of our chosen fishing spots, dozens of Hawks soared over the treetops while Mallards and various other water birds splashed around on the water.

Look Closely for the lone Hawk.

On a whim, I checked on how this place ranked for bird watchers.  I was surprised to read those 182 different species of birds have been spotted there.   

Still green from previous rainfalls, there were oak trees, reeds, plus various other plant life gracing the shoreline as well as huge rocks and boulders.

Far in the distance we saw a dam but didn’t get close enough to investigate.

We were told that they stocked the lake with trout recently, but evidently, they weren’t hungry on this day. We thought they might be congregated in the shallows by the reeds, however, there was nothing, no bite or nibbles.

As mentioned, it wasn’t until we got in the middle of the lake that they struck.  So, this is where they were hanging out!   Too bad, it was right when we were leaving, although we stayed a few minutes just in case.  However, I believe we drifted too far from the original spot as we were excitingly waiting for the Rainbow Trout’s appearance on the surface.

One dedicated angler in our group wanted to stay to see if we could get more, while two of us were complaining about being hungry.  Hunger won out; it was time to leave.

We will go back again as the lake is open seven days a week mid-December through Labor Day but weekends only Labor Day through December.

The lake has Bass, Bluegill, Catfish, Crappie, and Trout and you can fish until dusk. In our case the boat had to be back by 6:30pm…plenty of time.  A fishing license is required, and day use is $8.00 plus, you can always fish from shore.

Fishing isn’t the only activity as there are plenty of hiking trails along the lake.

So, if you are in the mood to fish, hike, picnic, or just enjoy nature, this quaint little lake is the place for you.

Story and photos: Debbie Colwell