A day at the beach in southern California!

A day at the beach in southern California!
A day at the beach in southern California!

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Marshall Gold Discovery State Historic Park in California

Last week after visiting my son Jon in San Luis Obispo, I headed up to Pollock Pines to visit Tom and Judy. It was quite the experience. Cloudy and gray most of the time. Plus with all the recent flooding, there were landslides, swollen rivers, sinkholes, dams threatening to burst, and the saddest was seeing houses in water halfway up their sides, trees drowning, and lots of standing water where there had not been any before. We took a trip up to my nephews house and stopped at the Marshall Gold Discovery State Historic Park. 
It is an incredible place that celebrates the discovery of gold in 1848, on the South Fork of the American River at Sutter's Mill, in the town of Coloma located in El Dorado County. Yes the grass is that green from all the recent rainfall, so green it hurt!
I love cloudy days,  especially when they are the backdrop for one lone tree in the green, green grass; kind of a melancholic's dream.
This is the South Fork of the American River, swollen from rain, muddy and belligerent.  It was awesome.
The ruins of the original Coloma jail are still standing in the park. Below you can see how small it is. Above you can see how the men were kept in.....heavy iron doors. The inside was so miserable and dreary that I couldn't even take a picture of it. A brutal place to be incarcerated.

Reflections in the gray water. How cool is that? I just love it.
We then took the shortest State Hwy, California 153, up the hill to the monument.
The monument to James Marshall, the man who first discovered gold in the mill he shared with his buddy John Sutter. Once the gold was discovered, the lumber mill was abandoned and everybody and his brother began panning for gold. The mountains behind the monument, are alive with the late afternoon golden rays of the sun... the only gold I saw at the park!
Me and my sister Judy, brother in law Tom, niece Michele with little Jade Rose and Kelly with Carson and Olivia. Great times with great people. Blessings to you all! Susan Little

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Joshua Tree National Park, California

A lone Joshua Tree in Joshua Tree National Park. Last week, after visiting with Cara, Ethan and Wyatt in Arizona, I stopped in the desert to look for rocks and take pictures. I love the Saguaro cactus, as they look like people and are so very strong. Birds nest in small holes and little spaces where the arms grow out from the trunk.
This one reminded me of a mother and child, holding tight to each other.
I stopped in Joshua Tree National Park to camp for one night before heading home. I did get my $10.00 Senior pass which allows me to get into the parks for free for the rest of my life and get 1/2 price on all campsites within the parks. One happy old person over here.
Joshua Tree is so incredibly beautiful. I had to change campsites once, as  one other old person was certain I had camped next to him because I was over the moon for him. In truth, I never even saw him until I had set up camp, then he wouldn't leave me alone, so I quietly packed back up and drove away when he wasn't looking. Sometimes a girl's got to do what she has to do.
Gorgeous Cholla Cactus. Even though they are gorgeous, they are vicious and attach themselves to any part of your body that touches it. I got poked in the foot, then when I tried to pick it out of my foot, it got stuck in my finger, then when I tried to get it out with the other finger, I got poked again. When you get poked, the needles stay in your clothing or skin, and it hurts like you cant believe.

I walked all through the desert taking pictures, and enjoying the scenery. What a place! Huge boulders, amazing Joshua Trees, ocotillo, cholla cactus. So amazing.

This is the campsite I ended up at. No strange men, just lots of wide open spaces. I brought enough wood for a campfire but not any food for dinner. I did have tea with milk and some Fritos. A very nice couple from Canada came over and joined me at the fire. So interesting to talk with them.
I walked around behind my campsite and found the most interesting trails and scenery.

Just at sunset, Michael, the Canadian, climbed this rock directly opposite my campsite. I grabbed my camera and got a shot of him at the top.
On the week before, on my way home from Cara's, I stopped in Whitewater Preserve which  is just outside of Joshua Tree. It is a beautiful preserve with a small year-round creek running through it. Endless trails, gorgeous scenery, and it is free to camp there! Still haven't camped there, but love to stop and walk through the trails.
 Ice cold water runs down the wash.
 On the day I stopped there, I had Cara's dog, Ollie, and together we walked through the trails and explored. Ollie loved it!
Snow capped mountains made the preserve even more beautiful. Thank you Lord for a wonderful day! May God bless and be with you and yours. Susan Little

Thursday, January 5, 2017


 My niece Natalie and I stopped by Ponto Beach in Carlsbad, California, yesterday. It was late afternoon, cold, but beautiful.
Just look at all those rocks! I know the surfers watch the waves, but I watch the tide and wait for it to go out so I can find all kinds of interesting rocks, shells, glass and whatnot. It was great fun.

Friday, December 16, 2016

Great Falls Park in Virginia

Over Thanksgiving I flew out to Virginia to see my son and his family. It was a cold autumn day when David took us hiking at Ft. Belvoir, where he works. That would be me followed by my granddaughter Eva!
The sight of falling leaves and clouds makes me so happy. Here I got both.
One morning we drove out to Great Falls Park in Virginia. On the way we stopped to get this shot of the Potomac River. 
The magnitude and the majesty of the falls was way more than I had ever expected. It took my breath away to be surrounding by such beauty.
I love to be with my son David and daughter-in-law Lindsay as well as my granddaughters Eva and Leven. They are always so wonderful to me and take me to the most beautiful places and serve me the most delicious meals. Lindsay's gingerbread cookies are my fave, and soon she will be making Ninjabread man cookies....
 We climbed all over the rocks and walked along the river, exploring all the nooks and crannies.
 Now doesn't that look fabulous!
Me with my awesome family.
 Eva jumped up on boulders, climbed up walls and was as nimble as a little cat. 
 Me and David looking over the edge.
Yes that is a kayaker bombing the river. I was shocked to see so many kayaks out on the river, shooting down the waterfalls and racing down the ice cold river.
 A peaceful moment on the river. 
 I did my best to keep up with the kids but believe me it was not easy. 
My little Eva, pretending she is a dinosaur. I will miss you all so much.

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Eastern Sierra Nevada Mountains, California

My need to get out into the wilderness and see some fall colors and rambling streams led me this last week up to the Eastern Sierra Nevada Mountains. I camped up in the Bishop Creek Recreation Area and loved every minute, well almost every minute. The biting wind and the freezing cold were a little difficult.
 The aspen are turning golden yellow and orange, and still fluttering their leaves in the breeze.
My campsite right on Bishop Creek. Had a campfire first thing in the morning and believe me it was cold!
 The morning sunrise was spectacular! I was the only one at my small campground that was up and about to see the sky change color.
 This little creek is the love of my life. She calls to me and I answer.
 In my exploring I found groves of golden aspen, barren mountains and blue sky.
There is a small lake at my campground where people flock to fish. At every lake I visited fishermen were gathered along the shore or out in their little wader boats fishing. Even in the strongest of bitter cold wind, there they were unwilling to leave their post.
One of the lakes I had never seen, North Lake in the Bishop Creek Recreation Area. Sublime beauty hidden away in the Sierra Nevada Mountains.
I stood in the stream and balanced myself on several rocks in order to take this picture. That was a miracle in itself that I didn't fall in. As soon as I stepped back on the shore, I stepped in a squishy mud puddle and got my shoe all muddy and wet!
 How stunning it is up here. I camped at 8000-feet, and drove up to Lake Sabrina at over 9000-feet. Such beauty. Such majesty. Such glory.
 Clouds over the Sierra Nevada Mts. There was no snow, even though it looks that way, its just white mountains. There is such a variety of scenery here.
An early morning burst of light shining through a cloud at my campsite. 
South Lake in the Sabrina Basin. It was very, very cold, and people were still out fishing.
Out looking for wood, I wandered through this aspen grove, admiring the trees, color and shapes. Golden leaves littered the ground, thousands and thousands of leaves. Every time the wind blew, more leaves fluttered to the ground.
Up near North Lake, the scenery is totally different. Barren, red dirt, a few pine trees and lots of sagebrush. Quiet. Peaceful. Wonderful. Thank you Lord for being here with me.
What a gorgeous way to wake up in the morning. The Eastern Sierra Mountains with a dusting of snow and a covering of clouds. So beautiful. God be with you and yours.

Copyright©2009 Susan Little, thecampingqueen72@yahoo.com. All rights reserved. Use of photos requires written permission.