Tuesday, August 2, 2011

A Great Place to Soak Your Bones

There is a place within a 120 miles of Sacramento, which had escaped my visit before.  I had heard whispers of it, but had missed out on realities this treasure held secreted away.  Yesterday, I was allowed discovery.

Grover Hot Springs is peacefully cradled on the east side of the Sierras at 6,000 feet above sea level.  It is a pleasant 4 miles west of Markleeville, at the very end of Hot Springs Road.

There are telltale signs on nature's canvas, along the drive out of Markleeville to the Hot Springs.  Hot Spring Creek meanders peacefully across verdant meadows in copious shades of green!  From the ground, water springs forth at a hot 148 degrees.  It contains a variety of dissolved minerals, often found in thermal springs, which create interesting features as waters emerge. 

Because this prolonged winter season dumped double the average snowfall and rain on the Sierras, bountiful evidence is provided everywhere in the surrounding landscape.  The native grasses, trees, wildflowers, seem to be outdoing themselves in a way I have never seen. 

There is still a good amount of snow in the mountains.  We experienced an unexpected adventure with it, which I will blog about in a day or two. 

At Grover Hot Springs, there are two pools.  The green color of the older pool is attributed to the mineral content from the springs.  This pool is kept at approximately 102 degrees to please visitors.  There is also a newer cool water pool on-site.

Once privately owned, the facility is now part of the California State Park System.  There is nearby camping, and day use facilities as well.

I also highly suggest visitors to the area, check out the delightful town of Markleeville.  There are quaint shops, cafes and restaurants.  From Sacramento - A perfect day-trip or one tank of gas getaway!

For more information, you can visit the Grover Hot Springs website.

The website provides great information about the reasonable fees associated with the Grover Hot Springs and Campground.  There is also a resource for maps, directions, and amenities available in the park, and surrounding area.

Think: Fishing - Camping - Hiking - Swimming - Biking - Relaxing!

Monday, January 3, 2011

California's Inaugeration Feels Like Deja Vu All Over Again

At Sacramento's Memorial Auditorium, where I graduated from high school an ancient era ago,
Californians inaugerated Jerry Brown their new Governor this morning.   This is a return trip to the Governorship for Jerry.  He served 8 years in his two terms between 1975 and 1983

Brown had ran his campaign against Meg Whitman with the promise, "NO NEW TAXES without voter approval."  California's budget woes have prevailed for a number of years now.  State money issues helped unseat Grey Davis as Governor when he was recalled in 2003.  With seven years of the Governator (Arnold Schwarzenegger), the disfunctional political gridlock, of the state assembly accomplished little in dealing effectively with budget concerns.

There is one thing I can say about Jerry Brown, while sitting in and observing a meeting of his Council on Wellness and Fitness, back in the early 1980s.  The council had become bogged down for a number of hours while trying to give life to an action item.  It was then, Jerry Brown in his second term as Governor, walked through the door, early afternoon.  I watched as he quickly and skillfully was able to extract information as to where the panel was in the process.   He put them on tract, and headed the panel on the path to success as a council.

Conservatives railed because he chose to live in a small apartment directly across the street from the State Capitol, rather than live in a newly built Governor's Mansion, began during the Ronald Reagan Governorship.  The new digs had been built a distance from the capitol.  Brown was often seen driving around town in a green Plymouth Satelite, he remained popular with those that saw him as being practical and a fiscal conservative.

The new Governor's Mansion was never occupied by any California state Governor, and was eventually sold.



Brown has promised to travel California and engage in town hall meetings to determine what Californians want from their government, while questioning what they are willing to pay for.  There are already rumblings that a proposed "tough budget for tough times" will be presented as soon as March, with it possibly coming to the people via special election by June.  It will be interesting to watch how all this shakes out.

California has a penchant for the unusual and the avante garde.  I must admit I will miss our Governator, but also look forward to what Jerry will bring, this time around.  He isn't likely to be boring - His history includes a stint in a Jesuit seminary, with his intent of becoming a priest.  He has practiced Buddhism in Japan, and worked with Mother Theresa.  Throw into the mix - his one-time relationship/friendship with rock star, Linda Ronstadt, and I doubt the glitz "The Governator" brought to the capital, will cast much of a shadow on Jerry Brown.