Thursday, September 13, 2012

Lake Lopez

A final blast of wind and an impromptu barbeque ends the season at Lake Lopez.  My travel buddy belongs to a small close-knit band of windsurfers who meet every weekend at the lake during the summer months.  While they were all out on the water, I took my camera and strolled around the lake.

Lake Lopez is located ten miles east of Arroyo Grande in Central California.  It's a reservoir (as are most lakes in California) with a 20-mile shoreline.  Camping, fishing, hiking and, of course, windsurfing, make this little lake a very popular recreation area.  Reservations for campsites need to be made several months in advance.
   The hills surrounding the lake are dotted with old oak trees and provide homes for hundreds of red-headed woodpeckers.  Wild turkeys and herds of deer are prevalent, as well.  Driving back to Arroyo Grande on Saturday night, three deer sprinted across the road in front of us.  Black bears have been a problem this year, so there are no trash cans in the park.  Everyone must carry out their trash with them.  I never did spot a bear, but one of the windsurfers told me she was swimming one day and a bear jumped into the water, scaring her half to death.  The bear ignored her, however, and took a leisurely swim to the other side of the lake.  Amazing.

For families with young children, this is a wonderful place for a vacation.  The Mustang Water Slides and a kiddie pool provide endless hours of fun.  There's a grocery store, a snack bar and showers next to the boat launching area.  Kayaks and paddle boats are for rent.  The swimming is great.  Campgrounds are scattered throughout the park and many of them are secluded with beautiful views of the lake.  Ah, summer!  I'm sorry to see you go.

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