One of the great things about California is that it's filled with surprises and unexpected treasures virtually everywhere you turn. The famous places such as San Francisco, Monterey, Carmel and Big Sur, Lake Tahoe, Yosemite, the Napa and Sonoma wine counties, and the beaches, play lands and deserts of southern California are all deserving of exploration, but so are the less-traveled and not-so-publicized portions of the state....and there are many of them.
In this show, we chose two such less-lionized regions to feature. I've enjoyed visiting the Clear Lake region many times in every season. Of course, summer is prime time there for water sports of all kinds. In the winter, the bird population explodes. In the spring, the hillsides are green and accentuated by carpets of brilliantly colored wildflowers. And year around, the wine tasting is wonderful.
And Lassen Volcanic National Park, like Clear Lake itself, is a true marvel of nature. It's the southernmost of the living volcanos that include Shasta, Hood, St. Helens and Rainier that stretch north along the Cascade range from California through Oregon and Washington to British Columbia. In the sumer, Lassen's easily accessible for people of all ages and physical abilities. If you can't or don't wish to climb Lassen Peak, you can enjoy other and shorter walks to see geothermal activity, or you can paddle a canoe and try some fishing in Manzanita Lake or simply drive slowly through the beautiful park and get clear views of a rugged landscape still under construction.
You can find some of California's other hidden surprises elsewhere on OpenRoad.TV. We've proposed a few of them for you to check out on this page.
Meanwhile, here's a list of contacts we recommend in Lake County. Some were in the show and some were not, but they all provided guidance and support and we can vouch for their quality.
The kayaks we used paddling up Rodman Slough with Brad Barnwell were Advanced Elements 13’ high performance inflatable touring kayaks. They arrived at the shooting location in the back of compact car in a pair of 42# duffle bags. They were inflated in minutes using a portable air pump and were comfortable and easy to handle. A good ride.
The Tallman Hotel in Upper Lake is a beautifully restored and maintained historic structure. It's a welcome retreat after a long and active day outdoors and comes with its own excellent restaurant across a lovely patio.
And here are links to our stories and information on Lassen, Roaring Camp and the Niles Canyon Railway. I hope you hit the open road soon, discover your own surprises and then share them here with us. In the meantime, happy trails!.