See the bear?” she asks. The kids’ eyes widened like saucers. “Yeah,” she continued. “They wrecked our car carrier and coolers …

Don’t Mess with No Bears
No sense crying over spilled milk, right?

An excerpt from Book Five in “The Knowledge Path Series” dedicated to helping you find the place of your dreams in the Sierra Mountain resorts.

We spent Saturday hiking down the trail into Emerald Bay to check out the Vikingsholm.

Vikingsholm in Emerald Bay

A 38-room reproduction of a ninth-century Norse fortress from the land of my wife’s ancestors that flows through half of my kids bloodline.

After the tour we talked our way into D.L. Bliss State Park — at first they wouldn’t let us in for day use.

We found out the park is named in honor of timber and railroad magnate Duane Leroy Bliss.

His heirs donated 744 acres of land to the state in 1929.

It has since grown to 2,149 acres.

We just wanted to go to the beach.

Rubicon Point Lighthouse

And, I wanted to see the light house built in 1916, Rubicon Point Light.

For that minor request they kindly gave us permission.

Wikipedia says …

Over the years it has deteriorated to the point that many people mistake it for an outhouse; today, however, efforts are being made to restore the tower.

The lighthouse at Rubicon Point has the highest elevation of any American lighthouse; it stands 6,300 feet above sea level, at a point where it could be seen from most places around the lake.

Spotting Eagle’s Nests

We spotted an eagle’s nest in an old diseased, leafless pine tree along the way.

Heading for the Beach

The beach turned out to be a local boaters cove with about a dozen boats anchored.

Their owners had set up their portable grills on the beach.

Our kids climbed the rocks they found around the southern edge of the beach and swam in the ice-fed lake.

One day back at the campsite a woman walks over while we were cooking some breakfast.

See the bear?” she asks.

The kids’ eyes widened like saucers.

Yeah,” she continued. “They wrecked our car carrier and coolers …

Love Dem Bears

She had left them out against better judgement and in spite of all the signs saying bears were on the prowl for food.


Including suntan lotion.

Need to be locked in cars, not tents.

Not anymore.

Bear lockers are the ticket.

Just ask the owner of the car in Truckee years later when a black bear turned up locked inside of his car prowling for something to eat.

Truckee Home Invasion

Another night in the camp latrine I overheard a guy telling another camper that only  black bears frequent the campsites.

The one sighted was about 5 feet tall.

Scary enough, right?

So you can see why we kept the discussion about bears to a minimum.

Especially at night.

We didn’t want to spook the younger kids, girls and wives.

Oh, ok and me.

Don’t Tempt Bears

Needless to say, when tucked away in sleeping bags in our tents almost any sound heard in the dark is sleepily interpreted as a would be bear ready to break in looking for something we forgot to lock up.

We still talk about it.

Sadly, when our vacation ended.

I couldn’t bear or bare returning by the long and boring way home.

Instead we took the scenic back roads.

Taking the Scenic Route

We drove counter-clockwise on the 89 to the 50  past the “Y”, north up the Nevada side of the lake and east out to the US 395.

We normally take US 395, the southern section, on our yearly trip to Mammoth Lakes but, on the other side of the Sierra Nevada range.

Over one pass we encountered three cows meandering on the pavement.

As I came out of a blind hairpin curve.

Just living large and enjoying their almost shortened life.

Steaks anyone?

No sense crying over spilled milk, right?


(32) Plan extended seasonal vacations during summer and winter months. Group destination locations together in regional trips to explore what several bucket list towns have to offer in the general vicinity – with only a week or two vacation time to spend, we recommend organizing your itinerary by travel regions.

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