Drive: To Pinecrest

by Layne Edwards

Just before summer this past year, my wife and I went to the mountains for a few days. We rented a cabin through the popular VRBO.com (Vacation Rentals By Owner).

The cabin we rented was in Cold Springs which is only a short drive to Pinecrest. We didn’t need anything super extravagant since we planned on spending most of our time in the outdoors.

After arriving at our cabin and unloading our bags, we drove up the road to get a bite to eat. The first place that looked decent was called Mia’s.  It was a nice day and since it wasn’t so warm we got a table outside in the back. We ordered a sampler which included anchovy stuffed olives, mozzarella sticks, and artichoke hearts.  We also ordered a plate of their coconut shrimp along with some micro beers.  We sat and enjoyed this nice peaceful setting, along with our appetizers and beer.  We decided this was enough food for one meal and it was time to explore Pinecrest. The food was great, by the way.

We made it to the lake which wasn’t very busy yet. We were already dressed for a hike so we grabbed our fishing gear and backpacks and decided to walk around the lake and fish if we found any good spots to drop our bait. We made it to the dam and decided to cast our lines out there based on everything we had heard prior to going. The fishing was ok. We each caught a trout and called it a day. It was nice to hike the lake again. Years ago we hiked to Cleo’s Bath but didn’t know that we could make it anymore at our age.

We finished our hike and headed back to the cabin to freshen up before dinner. We also needed to figure out where we would go for dinner because we didn’t bring any food with us to make ourselves.

We couldn’t find a whole lot of options up there so we chose to go back to Pinecrest and try their Steamed Donkey restaurant.  We didn’t realize at the

Photo credit: pinecrestlakeresort.com


time that it was a higher end restaurant. Thankfully we could get in without reservations. It must’ve just been the time of the year. I enjoyed their Rack of Lamb and my wife loved her Grilled Salmon.  We both washed it down with a glass or two of some Cabernet Sauvignon.

The following morning, we woke up and had coffee on the deck of the cabin. We did some more hiking and fishing (and eating and drinking.)  We went back and tried Mia’s pizza and were glad we did. The rest of our short vacation to Pinecrest was a lot of fun but I won’t bore you with all the details. I write these short stories to not only remember the fun trips we’ve taken but to also remind everyone reading of what beauty we have so close by.

I’ll end each story with this: All in all we are lucky to live in the Central Valley. I hope to share with you all the places I go to help give you an idea of what you can do for a fun filled weekend just hours (or less) away. We have the Sierra Nevada mountains, the coast with several fun places to visit, Napa, and much more.

About the author: Layne Edwards is a retired percussionist. He studied at the University of North Texas College of Music in Denton Texas and has traveled around the country being hired out by various artists. In retirement Layne decided to call Ripon his home along with his wife.


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