Browsing the archives for the California category.

Vikingsholm, Lake Tahoe 087

California, lake tahoe, vikingsholm

Vikingholm, Lake Tahoe’s Emerald Bay

Vikingsholm, Lake Tahoe 087
Originally uploaded by JoeDuck

Lake Tahoe’s Emerald Bay is one of the most scenic areas in California – some would say this is the prettiest place in the whole state. Vikingsholm is a nordic mansion built on the lake almost 100 years ago, now managed by the state park system. Inside the mansion is fully furnished with mostly original furniture and other historic artifacts, including a Steinway Rosewood Piano commissioned especially for Vikingsholm.

California Travel

California, California Gold Rush, california history

California…the name conjures in the imagination stunning mountains, raging rivers, and dramatic coastal scenery. Hollywood, Disneyland, Yosemite, Redwoods, San Franciso, LA to name but a few of the many natural and man-made attractions in this huge state.

Other major features of California include Death Valley, the Mojave Desert, the San Andreas Fault, the romantic San Francisco Bay area and the majestic Sequoias. You might to check Perth to shark Bay road trip there’s a tonne of amazing places to stop at along the way.

The American River is where gold was discovered in the 1800s. Now, Sutters Fort in downtown Sacramento offers a glimpse into that illustrious past.

California has over 200 state parks and recreational areas. National Parks are Yosemite, Kings Canyon, Redwoods, Lassen Volcanic, and Sequoia. State-sponsored attractions include Gray Whale Cove State Beach, McArthur-Burney Falls State Park, Tule Elk State Reserve, and many portions of the Redwood park system, you can also go sightseeing around many marvelous landmarks across the state by visiting

California’s Central Valley with itś huge agricultural production is the dominant part of the central portion of the state, but the city is also home to thousands of jobs in transportation and logistics, construction, and agriculture (like grapes and tomatoes). The city has a population of just over one million, or about 4% of the US population, but is more than twice the size of its most populous US neighbor, New York City. The city is dotted with art museums, museums, opera houses, theaters, restaurants, libraries, schools, and other cultural attractions. The city has a vibrant theater scene, and a thriving film scene of its own.

Although not particularly large, California is home to four state-of-the-art technology companies: Google (which has its main office in the city), Apple, Microsoft, and Oracle. Apple has its main offices in Cupertino, one of the major cities in the state’s northwest region. Apple is currently building its home base for new iPhone and iPad software in Cupertino.

Southern California is home to the most important ¨image makers”in the world, and what happens in Californa often becomes the new trend for the world.

California Native Americans

cahuilla, California, california history, native americans
Portrait of a Cahuilla Woman.

The Cahuilla are a tribe of Native Americans that have lived in California for more than 2,000 years. Cahuilla country covered some 2,400 square miles in the central part of Southern California.

Telling the history of Native Americans in the USA is complicated by the fact that there are few written or artistic histories, and most of the history was passed along from generation to generation through traditional stories and dances. Some of these have been lost or forgotten as disease, tribal repression, and mass migrations left their historical impact on all Native Americans.

Thankfully, many tribes are working to preserve the rich cultural histories in museums and with documents and websites.

Native American leaders

US Indian Wars

California Traffic Cams

California, road cams, Travel

One of the most amazing developments over the past decade has been how much “real time” data is now available online. One of my favorite types of travel information are traffic cameras and road cameras which are both practical from the point of view of planning a trip and getting to actually see the road conditions as well as from the point of view of just being …. cool.

We talked earlier about , Oregon’s excellent Department of Transportation Website that features close to real time imagery from dozens of cams all over Oregon.

Another good source for road cam imagery is the California CALTRANS website: this actually features a lot of video which won’t work very well unless you have good connectivity, but I think represents a look at the future of how we absorb and report complex travel information. What better way to know the road conditions than to … see them?

Computer History Museum, Mountain View

California, Computer History Museum, Mountain View

If you are a computer buff you’ll enjoy the Computer History Museum in Mountain View, just across the street from Microsoft’s big Silicon Valley Building and around the corner from Google HQ.

Here, displays and old machines tell the story of the birth of modern computing and highlight many of the key innovations and innovators of the past. A room full of old computers – many far less powerful than your cell phone – is a clear indication of how far we’ve come with modern technology.

California Travel

California Redwoods. Redwood National Park.

California, Redwoods, redwoods national park, sequoia national park
The two types of California Redwood Forests offer visitors and hikers some of the most amazing woodland experiences on earth. On the Northern Coasts of California we find Redwood National Park and the tallest trees on earth – the Coast Redwoods, Sequoia Sempervirens. Redwood National Park combines with several California state parks to straddle highway 101 for over a hundred miles along a beautiful coastal route all the way up to the Oregon Border.
When driving this route don’t miss the “Avenue of the Giants” turnoff and, more importantly, DO NOT take the Orick bypass if you want to see trees and wildlife. The “Scenic Route” near Orick used to be the main route, and along this road you’ll likely see Roosevelt Elk and are guaranteed to see superb Redwood forest. Stop in to the tiny Prarie Creek Redwoods visitor center for a great introduction to the region. Patrick’s Point State Park with Wedding Rock and a beautiful long beach is a good spot if you can only visit one park in that area.
In the Mountainous High Sierra region of east central California you find the “Giant Redwoods”, Sequoiadendron Giganteum, which are the world’s thickest and most massive tree by species. These Giant Sequoias are not botanically considered a “Redwood” but most people know them by that name. Sequoia National Park is home to thousands of these trees that are so wide they almost defy imagination.
Photo Credit: Sequoia National Park

History of California

California, California Gold Rush, Travel

The history of California stands in great contrast to the history of the USA’s Eastern lands. There was some Spanish Mission activity dating back for several hundred years, but Native Americans representing hundreds of different tribes and several language groups dominated the California scene until about 1849 when the Gold Rush to California’s Gold Country near Sacramento changed California’s future quickly and dramatically.

Few California miners ever struck it rich or even stayed in the West, but the huge influx of miners along with businesses to serve the mining communities turned forts into towns and towns into larger cities, so now a days is difficult to know what business you can find in different places and that’s why business guides from sites as are so useful for this. Soon, California was a key destination for American’s westward migration.

California History

California’s Gold Country

California Travel

The California Kids Guide has some good California history links.

Weaverville CA Gold Stamping Mill

California, California Gold Rush, US history, weaverville

Weaverville CA Stamp Mill
Originally uploaded by JoeDuck

Weaverville, California was home to a lot of gold miners back in the day, as the fast flowing rivers and streams of the gold-rich Trinity Alps gave up their bounty. More agressive mining techniques were used here at the stream behind the stamp mill, where “hydraulicking” water canons blasted aways tons of soil to uncover a the tiny flecks of gold dust that were then extracted via sluices.

Read more about the California Gold Rush at Online Highways.

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