Take a day trip to Big Falls Trail

This gives “slideshow” a whole new meaning:

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Take a day trip to Big Falls Trail, posted with vodpod

Blog post highlights:

  • Cliff jumping
  • A natural water-slide
  • Offroading through creeks
  • Hiking and exploring
  • A drainage ditch that’s fun to skateboard in
  • Read my story about Big Falls to find out how to get there
  • Enlarge the Google map at the bottom of the page to get a visual understanding of where Big Falls trail is located

Watch the video below in 1080 HD:

Take a short hike to a secluded water oasis.Big Falls trail  is nestled in the Santa Lucia mountains  near Lopez Lake.

It’s a naturist’s dream, including beautiful views, wildlife, swimming holes, water falls, skinny dipping (optional),  cliff jumping, trout fishing, and even a 30 ft. natural water slide.

“I like to go to the falls with friends, relax on a raft and drink beers,” Los Osos resident Jon Dison said.

There is a trail called Little Falls on the way to Big Falls trail but it was dry when I visited it.  The trail is overgrown with vast amounts of poison oak, and the water is stagnant and odorous. I hiked out there one time just to see what it was like and I will never go back again. Little Falls trail gave me one of the worst cases of poison oak I’ve ever had and the lack of a “little fall” at the end of the trail was a major disappointment. I’ve seen pictures of Little Falls online and what I saw looked nothing like that. If you’re reading this and know some secret about Litttle Falls Trail that I don’t, please leave a comment about it below this post.

From San Luis Obispo take Tank Farm Road, and follow it to the end.  Take a left on Lopez Canyon Drive, and follow it along the lake.  Immediately before the entrance to Lopez lake, take a right on HI Mountain Road.  Now take the first left, on Upper Lopez Canyon Road, and follow it past French Boy Scout Camp, until the pavement ends.  At the end of the pavement there is a “y” in the road, and it’s the dirt road on the right that leads to the falls.   It is approximately five miles down the dirt road to the trailhead of Big Falls.

Driving on the dirt road with a small car is not advisable due to the fact that there are creeks to traverse.  If you’re planning on walking or mountain biking down the dirt road, you should definitely wear water shoes.Once you reach the Big Falls trailhead, the hike to the natural water slide and swimming hole  is short.     This is at least a half day experience, and you should definitely pack food because there isn’t anywhere to buy food in close proximity.

If you enjoy skateboarding, leave early on your trip to big falls. There is a drainage ditch that is great for skateboarding in that locals refer to as “the funnel.” Some people drive all the way out to the Big Falls region just to skate the ditch.

Time tends to fly by fast when taking a day trip to “the funnel” and/or Big Falls. Go on a hot day and leave first thing in the morning. Big Falls trail has one of the most beautiful landscapes in San Luis Obispo County. Don’t miss out on this natural hot spot!

The natural water slide is my favorite part about the Big Falls Trail.

Are you ready to slide into happiness?

Big Falls Trail features an abundance of serene swimming areas that are surrounded by rock formations and wildlife.

Get away from the city air and breathe the wonderful oxygen that all the trees around Big Falls Trail produce.

Visit Bubblegum Alley

Blog post highlights:

  • Bubblegum Alley is one of San Luis Obispo’s most famous attractions
  • Some people love it and others hate it
  • It’s one of a kind
  • People the use the alley way for a variety of purposes
  • The alley is located on Higuera St. between Broad St. and Garden St.

You see someone put their gum on your favorite public bench and you freak out. You see someone sticking gum on a wall at Bubblegum Alley and you’re probably upset if you don’t have your own gum to put on the wall.

Bubblegum Alley is arguably San Luis Obispo’s most famous attraction.  Many people traveling through California stop in SLO just to visit the alley and stick gum on the walls. There is no other alley in the world that has as much gum on it as Bubblegum Alley does.

“I knew about the gum wall before I knew about SLO,” Said Tyler Kirkland, a Riverside resident that comes to SLO to visit his girlfriend.

Every time you pay a visit to Bubblegum Alley you will notice new additions and things you hadn’t seen before. Some gum on the walls doesn’t last for long but some pieces have been there for over 40 years. People use the walls for all sorts of different things. It is used as a giant canvas for gum art, as a place to post your business card, drawings, political statements, your phone number, famous quotes and more. Many people use it as an ashtray and stick rubbish on the walls.

“This wall has herpes” said Kirkland’s friend Omar Perez. “Why are there so many rubbers? That’s wrong!”

Kirkland, Perez and their friend Ryan Walker agreed that they hoped all the condoms used were for consensual sex.

The history of Bubblegum Alley is about as unclear as why there are so many tampons and condoms on the wall. There are a few different theories about who started the trend of sticking gum on the walls of the alley but none are definite.

“I hold my breath every time I go through here,” said Cal Poly alumnus Anne Fortini.

Some people are braver than others when it comes to visiting the alley.  Passerby have actually licked the wall to amuse others. Check out the audio slideshow below to see a San Luis Obispo local licking the wall. It’s quite disgusting when you think about it. Besides the fact that tons of people’s saliva is on the wall, drunk people from the bars have been known to pee on the wall, puke on the wall and who knows what else . Licking the walls should be completely out of the question and is highly inadvisable.

If you want to show your friends some cool pictures of yourself traveling, Bubblegum Alley is a great place to get some really unique shots. Take a walk down the alley, stick some gum on the walls and become a part of the legacy.

The alley is located on Higuera St. between Broad St. and Garden St. in downtown SLO.

Check out this awesome audio slideshow about Bubblegum Alley:

Word on the spot:

What is your reaction to Bubblegum Alley?

Anish Dhamija- "I'm kind of in awe and disgusted at the same time, if that makes sense. I kind of wish I had some gum to put it on the wall to be part of the legacy. To say hey I was there, I did that. It just tells you a lot about San Luis. It's a good thing not a bad thing. For me it is."

"I was like five the first time I came here. I have like a zillion pieces of gum on here. It just brings me back to my childhood I guess. It's cool, just the history, like someone had to start this with one piece of gum. It's kind of disgusting now that I think about it."

Alexis Rubianes- "It's my first time. I didn't know what to expect. Not at all. I've seen pictures but it doesn't do it justice as seeing it in person."

Sarah- “I haven’t been here before, It’s my first time. I honestly didn’t think we were going to find it. Ewe, there’s a tampon up there! I’m so glad we found it. I don’t think any amount of money would get me to lick that. Actually, I would do it for 5 million dollars, you’d never have to work again.”

Someone decided to put their crazy drawing on the wall.

Watch out for drunk Sam Adams drinkers in Bubblegum Alley! lol

Some people actually bring ladders to stick their gum at the top of the wall.

People will do anything to advertise their business these days.

Someone decided to put a New Zealand sticker on the wall.

I guess they old Betty Reyes is too old for cake and ice cream. All she gets is a cough drop. LOL


Gum and politics.

The end of the wall near Higuera St. has insanely thick mounds of gum on it.

The gum is at least three inches thick here!

If you're going to put trash on the wall make it artistic, like this cup.

Bubblegum Alley has a heart just like you and me.

So much gum! How many pieces do you think there are on this wall?

Some people use the walls as an ashtray.

Visit Bubblegum Alley and fall in love. Well, maybe.... lol

Los Osos Oktoberfest

Blog post highlights:

  • German beer
  • free car show
  • free  live music and entertainment
  • children’s activities
  • drunks

The Oktoberfest in Baywood Park, Los Osos is an event that brings community members together from all walks of life.  People get to show off their valuable old cars at a car show. Energetic people have the opportunity to run a four-mile race. Adults get to consume lots of German beer while socializing and listening to live music. Kids get to play on bounce houses and enjoy other fun activities in the play zone.  There is  a variety of vendors selling food,  jewelry, arts, crafts and more. If you enjoy drinking German beer and want to meet Central Coast locals, then don’t miss the next Oktoberfest.

“I’ve been out here pretty much all day,” said Los Osos local Kendal Reinhart. “The best part about the Oktoberfest is it brings out everyone that lives here. My dad won best truck in the car show. He had the model A Ford. It’s custom and totally chromed out.”

The Los Osos Oktoberfest has been in existence for 33 years. It always happens during the last weekend of October.  I’ve enjoyed attending the Los Osos event since I was a young child. In past years I enjoyed things like buying random stuff from vendors, eating delicious food, climbing the rock wall and playing in the bounce house.  This year’s Oktoberfest was different for me because I am now 21. I was able to enjoy social drinking at the beer garden for the first time.  It was a blast!

The weather was sunny and warm with clear skies when I arrived at the Oktoberfest last Sunday. All I could think about was how much I desired a cold German beer. I immediately set off toward the beer garden before paying attention to any of the other attractions. The dancing crowd was already happily intoxicated and I didn’t have a single drop of beer in my system. I sampled the hefeweisen, spaten, bitburger and pilsner before deciding to buy the bitburger. The bitburger was the darkest beer I’ve ever had. It was black and had a full flavor that appealed to my taste buds. The beer danced in my mouth while my feet danced to Zongo All-Stars  upbeat dance music.

Everyone had a smile on their face in the beer garden. All ages of people were dancing and socializing together. It was a very friendly atmosphere near the live music. Young  and old couples were dancing, an older women was flirting with a young guy and everyone was trying to have a good time. However, by the end of the day, when the music was done, one angry drunk couple made a scene that differed from the positive vibe of the festival. The man was falling over, cussing at the woman he was with. They were bickering back and forth, throwing things into their big white van. The man almost broke the back window of his van by attempting to throw heavy objects inside it and missing. He then hit his head on the back door of the van while trying to close it. While still screaming and cussing at the woman he was with, he proceeded to get into the driver’s seat. Concerned citizens approached him to try and take his keys. He said he would wait before driving off and the worried people stood in front of his van to make sure he wouldn’t leave. In all the years i’ve been to the Los Osos Oktoberfest, this was the worst thing I’ve seen yet.

Remember folks, public drunkenness at organized drinking events is fun as long as you don’t over indulge. When attending the Los Osos Oktoberfest, drink responsibly and enjoy the lively atmosphere. The event is located right next to the bay. There are two inns with scenic views of the bay that are located on the same street as the festival. Visit Los Osos and drink beer with me at the next Oktoberfest!

Word on the spot:

What do you like most about Los Osos Oktoberfest of 2011?

Julz D- "The irie vibes."

Nicholas Dison- "The people, the music, the energy, the beer. They had a good beer selection!"

Dierdre Devlin- "The food and the crazy hats."

Eric Holliday- "The sunshine."

Eric Holliday and his girlfriend Whitney Devlin expressing their love for chocolate dipped cheesecake.

This is the entrance to the beer garden.

One of the vendors at the event had a variety of unique tye dye clothes for sale.

This is a photo of a couple of the vendors at the event. The kids play zone is in the background.

These people were taking their final walk through the festival before leaving.

Los Osos local Willy Kenyon walked around the festival with his digeridoo.

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Franklin Hot Springs

Blog post highlights:

  • Franklin Hot Springs is a place to relax your mind and body
  • It ‘s only Seven dollars per person for a whole day
  • You can fish in the lake without a fishing license because it’s located on private property
  • There is mud at the bottom of the pool that you can put on your skin to tighten it
  • There are high powered faucets that you can receive a hydro massage from

Photos by Dylan Baumann, Oct 17, 2011

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Franklin’s Hot Springs, posted with vodpod

Franklin Hot Springs is one of my favorite places to relax in San Luis Obispo County. Locals commonly refer to it as Franklin’s pond instead of Franklin Hot Springs. This is because before there was pavement around the edges of the water and changes were made to make it more suitable for guests, there was just a pond. It’s a family owned and operated business and the Franklins plan to keep it that way for as long as possible.

Mineral water that is naturally heated underground is pumped into a pool that drains into a lake. The pool is always warm because the hot water is constantly pumped into it. The mineral water in the pool feels like silk rubbing against your skin when you swim in it. This hot spot is located on the outskirts of Paso Robles, a town located in northern San Luis Obispo County.

The best part about Franklin Hot Springs is that there aren’t many rules. You can swim nude, bring your dog, drink alcohol, smoke, make love and just have an all around good time. There are hours of operation posted on their website but they aren’t strictly enforced. If you decide to stay overnight, the owner probably won’t bother you as long as you pay again for being there another day. Although there aren’t many rules, it is important to be responsible while at the hot springs. A young girl once drowned in the pool when her parents were being negligent and not watching her.

The entire pool section is surrounded by giant bamboo reeds. There is a shade area with picnic tables, couches and chairs. There is a barbeque, a fire pit, and a counter that can be used as a bar. During the summer time, movies are played at night with a large projector screen. You can bring in your own movie and request that they play it. They don’t play scary movies because they’ve had complaints in the past when people were trying to relax.

You can swim in the lake but the water in the lake is much cooler than the pool. The lake is more commonly used for fishing. You can fish in the lake without a license because it is located on private property. According to Norman Franklin, the owner of the land, it is the only place in San Luis Obispo County open to the public where you don’t have to have a fishing license to fish.

If the smell of sulfur water is offensive to you, then Franklin Hot Springs will not be an enjoyable experience for you. If you’re unfamiliar with what sulfur smells like, many people say that it reminds them of what rotten eggs smell like. In addition to the pool always being warm, it ‘s always stinky!

“My favorite part about Franklin’s pond is the smell,” said Allan Eichart. “Nobody knows when you fart.”

According to Mr. Franklin, the pool doesn’t have to be chlorinated because there was a pond there before the county existed and a lot of their stuff falls under a grandfather clause.

If you can’t afford to go to a massage therapist or chiropractor, Franklin Hot Springs is the next best option because it’s only seven dollars per visit and you can stay all day. The faucets that the water comes out of have extremely strong pressure and if you sit under them, they’ll give you a hydro massage.

If you’re interested in having a facial or in tightening up wrinkles but can’t afford it, Franklin Hot Springs is the place for you. There is mud at the bottom of the pool that is full of minerals. On sunny days, you lather the mud over your face and body and layout until it dries. The mud tightens and softens skin. The mud is very popular at the hot springs. Whether you have wrinkles that you’re trying to get rid of or you just want to play in the mud, there’s plenty to be dug up from the bottom of the pool. If you spend an entire day at Franklin Hot Springs your body will surely reap the health benefits from all the minerals.

There is a separate hot tub that overlooks the lake and it is slightly warmer than the pool. This tub is sometimes occupied by people trying to have an intimate date. The tub is also a great place to meet interesting people while you relax together. Some people prefer the tub over the pool because there isn’t any mud in it.

There is a sauna that you can sit in. It gets really hot and makes you sweat out your toxins. If you don’t want to use it as a sauna, you can sit in it just long enough to dry off. At night when you get out of the pool, the contrast of the air blowing on your wet body can feel really cold. This is why the sauna is ideal for drying off in.

I’ve been going to Franklin Hot Springs since I was a little kid and it never gets old for me. Check it out for yourself and discover how relaxing of a place it is.

An in-depth interview with Norman Franklin about Franklin Hot Springs and all its healing qualities:

Word on the spot:

What do you like most about Franklin Hot Springs?

Roger Jackowitz- "The real or imagined healing qualities of the water."

Mary Lee Radka-"I am reconnected with my bliss here. I do watsu and reiki on people in the water. It's really nice because it's like being part of the mother. It's a place where people can relax and trust the process and I defintiely feel that 'we' connection. Happy, happy, joy, joy."

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Join Central Pacific Ski Club

Blog post highlights:

  • According to the Central Pacific Ski Club website, CPSC has over 1,000 members and it is currently the second largest collegiate ski club in the nation.
  • The club was founded in 1941.
  • It is $35 for new members to join the club and $30 for returning members. By joining the club you get access to awesome local parties, discounts at many local businesses, a free t-shirt and best of all you are eligible to go on ski trips with the club.
  • The club goes on 7-8 trips per season and one of the trips known as “big trip” is a week long and happens at the beginning of Cal Poly’s winter break.


If you’re a college age student that enjoys skiing/snowboarding, traveling, pub crawls, streaking, wild parties and sex, then you should join the Central Pacific Ski Club(CPSC). This club used to be called the Cal Poly Ski Club but it got banned from Cal Poly State University because members got too wild and the school didn’t like it. They changed their name to Central Pacific Ski Club so the legendary club could continue to thrive.

The highlight of CPSC is the snow season because that’s when they go on trips to awesome snow resorts. During the snow trips members have the opportunity to ride the slopes all day and party when they’re done. The club goes on seven to eight trips per season.

According to the CPSC website, they are currently the second largest ski club in the nation. This is quite surprising to me seeing as the club isn’t located anywhere near the snow. In addition, their membership continues to grow. What they do have going for them is the club is run out of “the happiest city in America!”

“My favorite part about CPSC is there’s really no limit to what we can do,” said CPSC president Max Chellemi. “There’s just such a broad culture in CPSC. We’re really passionate about snow and having fun, so we do everything we can to do it safely and be responsible.”

The first encounter I had with CPSC was in 2009 when I went to my friend’s house and he was hosting the “big trip deposit party.” He told me to come over and when I got to the front of his house, people that I had never seen before said I couldn’t come in because my name wasn’t on the list. I told them my friend that lives at the house invited me over and that I hangout there regularly. They absolutely didn’t want me to come in because I wasn’t a club member or going on the trip but my friend came to the front and told them to let me through.

The “big trip deposit party” is held for all the people who turn in their deposit for the big ski trip that the club goes on each year. The party is put on so that members can have a great time meeting each other before they all go on the big trip.

When I walked in to the 2009 “big trip deposit party,” I was in awe of how crazy the party was. There was an ice luge that kids were pouring alcohol down. They were racing to see who could drink the fastest. Between beer, wine and hard liquor, there seemed to be an endless supply of alcohol. There was even talk of a college professor coming over to drink! Everyone there was getting as inebriated as they possibly could. People were screaming, laughing, puking, you name it, and it was probably happening.

My friend told me that he wasn’t worried if the party got busted up because CPSC would cover any fines resulting from the party. When I heard this, I was like wow, this club doesn’t mess around when it comes to throwing parties. However, regardless of CPSC paying the noise violation fines, my friend eventually had to move out of his house because of having too many warnings.

The “big trip” reveal event 2011:

The “big trip” destination is kept secret from everyone until the reveal event is held. The event occured on Oct. 6 this year at Fremont Theatre. This event is free and open to the public because they use it to promote the club and to show newcomers what the club is all about. It was one of the most fun events i’ve ever attended by far the craziest thing i’ve ever see go on in a movie theater.

The event kicked off with a hysterical short film that the CPSC staff made. The film showed past years “big trips” and after everyone was exploding with curiosity, we finally found out that this years “big trip” is to Aspen, Colorado. In the video it showed the CPSC staff rushing to get ready to come to the theater. In one segment, one of the staffers is shown getting out of bed in a man thong and stumbling to make it to the reveal event on time. When the movie shows all the staff pulling up to the Fremont, they all ran into the theater and everyone in the audience cheered.

When staff members were being introduced, they would make harsh jokes about each other and some of them would chug beers while reciting introductions. People in the audience screamed “take your clothes off” and all kinds of hilarious stuff. I laughed thinking they were only kidding, however, to my surprise, people actually did get naked before the event was over.

They had games like strip musical chairs, which team could make the longest rope out of clothes in a designated amount of time, who could get on stage and pop a condom first and all kinds of shenanigans. They gave thousands of dollars of free gear out to the people competing in the hilariously entertaining games. They also threw so much free schwag out that it literally felt like there was a snow gear storm happening. There were also three dildos randomly placed under chairs and the people who found them under their chair were given free snowboards. Some of the girls in the audience screamed that they wanted the vibrators from the guys who got them. To finish the event off, they gave a free snowboard to the first girl that showed her “cones.”

This is a picture that I took on my friend's camera phone at the "big trip" reveal event. This is the winning team of the longest clothes rope competition. The young man on the left stripped down to his boxers, the young woman wearing the purple bra refused to take off her pants because she wasn't wearing underwear, the woman in the yellow bra had some loose undies on and everyone could see her muff and the guy on the right, well, he just wanted to get fully naked.

A review of the first annual SLO Town Jam:

The SLO Town Jam is the first CPSC event that I’ve been to that was appropriate for all ages and where I actually got to snowboard. The snow was more like ice and the terrain wasn’t designed to be easy to ride but I had a great time and luckily didn’t fall once.

The event took place in the Madonna plaza near Best Buy and Oneway Boardshop. At the event they had djs playing music, lots of free giveaways, a ski competition, a snowboard competition, CPSC membership signups, dance contests, local food. The announcer for the event was absolutely hilarious but he made sure to keep it G rated for all the young kids around.

It was an all around fun event for the community. I learned that CPSC isn’t just about partying like they are commonly known for. CPSC makes many people in the community happy and provides affordable and fun snow trips for college students. Many of the members say they’ve had the best times of their lives on snow trips with CPSCS.

I decided to pay $35 and join the club when I arrived at the booth shown below. To my surprise, I had to fill out an application with questions like: What is your favorite animal? What is your favorite drink? And even…What is your favorite sex position?

“I joined CPSC because I ski and i’m always down to find people who have similar interests,” said CPSC member Zack Burns.

I’m really excited to go snowboarding this season and I think any college age students in the Central Coast area that enjoy snow sports and friendly people should consider joining.

Max Chellemi, the president of CPSC, kneels down in front of the CPSC information booth. The CPSC workers stood at this booth during the entire competition to answer questions and for people to join the club. One of the workers behind the booth is wearing the popular CPSC shirt that says "sorry for partying."

This is a girl in the competition starting to drop in on the icy embankment that leads to the park terrain. The terrain was set up in the Best Buy parking lot. Out of 26 competitors, only two girls entered the competition. This girl was definitely better than some of the guys that entered.

This competitor shows off a stylish lipslide down the sketchy handrail.

A surprised audience is stoked on this young competitors unexpected front flip over the giant black pipe.

Just like the bottom of his board says, "no way!" This guy was getting the highest above the rail out of anyone in the whole competition. He went for huge 360s onto the rail and attempted elaborate trick throughout the contest. He had some gnarly injuries to show for it.

This is the guy with the "no way" on the bottom of his board. In this shot he is coming off of the rail after grinding it. You can see a gnarly hip bruise that he got from hitting the ground earlier in the competition.

During every trick attempt this guy made his helmet would fly off. He was clearly too cool to use the straps.

Here is an impressive manual down the rail.

Here are some wipe outs that I captured:

After a sketchy attempt to bust a trick on the rail, this competitior hit the icy ground like a ragdoll.

No way! It's "no way" guy showing us yet again that there is no way that his helmet is going to stay on his head. He slammed his back on the ground pretty hard on this one.

During the competition the snow at the top of the drop-in melted off. Riding down plywood and packed ice was much more challenging than riding on snow that you’d find in the mountains.

Thursday night farmers’ market in “America’s Happiest City”

There are many farmers’ markets throughout San Luis Obispo County but the most popular one is downtown on Higuera St. Unlike the other farmers’ markets in the County which are mainly based around local produce, Thursday night farmers’ market on Higuera is a place to buy produce, socialize and seek entertainment such as live music and other shows that vary by week. In addition, many local restaurants set up booths to sell a modified selection of  dishes that they usually offer.

Smells of bbq, produce and other surprises drift into your nasal passages as you walk down the five block stretch from Osos to Nipomo St. Local shops that line the sides of the street stay open so that you can shop around in addition to the street vendors. There are bars to hangout at on either side of the street. All kinds of different groups attend and have booths, from student groups to religious groups to political groups.

There are activities for kids and a diverse selection of special events that occur each week. If you are hungry for a highly social scene with good food and entertainment this is a place for you. If you’re not a fan of big crowds then you may be better off relaxing in one of many of the Central Coast’s serene and quiet locations.

Many of the farmers’ market vendors were interviewed by National Geographic after San Luis Obispo was named the happiest city in America. Thursday night farmers’ market is by far one of the most popular things to do in San Luis Obispo. If you’re in the area looking for a true taste of San Luis Obispo’s culture then this is the place for you.

“We interpret dreams along with other things,” said Ken Hoffbert, a spirit2spirit consultant. “We love coming to farmers’ market and doing it because the people are interesting and we actually get people from all over the world here. They say that farmers’ market averages about 10,000 people but I don’t know what the current number is.”

One thing that I was reminded of while interviewing people for this blog is that you can learn a lot of cool stuff from talking to the vendors and starting random conversations with strangers. Usually when I go to farmers market I just people watch and enjoy the delicious food but interacting with attendees is quite fun and can be really thought provoking. I’m not saying that you have to talk to every single person you see but just try being open to meeting new people while at farmers’ market because there are many interesting ones.

I also noticed that people would take brochures that they’d get handed and then just laugh and immediately discard them or throw them on the ground. Activists go to farmers’ market on their own time to spread messages that they are passionate about. Try reading some of the literature that is handed out rather than dismissing it’s validity before you even give it a chance. If you really don’t want to read what the people are handing you, then don’t take it. It is very wasteful and littering makes farmers’ market look trashy.

Highlights of farmers’ market:

Some people go to farmers' market just to "people watch." This is a perfect corner to watch people doing all kinds of things from dancing to live music or buying produce to watching other people that are "people watching." At farmers' market there is rarely a dull moment when simply "people watching."

One man at farmers' market was being politically active in an anonymous way because he feared that people would be very unpleasant toward him if they found out his identity. He was protesting in accordance with "Occupy Wallstreet." "Occupy Wallstreet" is an ongoing protest currently taking place in the US to instigate a massive change in our country's current political and economical state. The protester in this picture said that people were snickering at his sign about taxing the rich because they felt that it was unfair. He said that he told these people that he wasn't referencing them. He said that 1% of the country has more money than the other 99% of the country and that none of the rich people that his sign is referring to would even be at farmers' market. "We all have to participate in democracy or we most certainly will lose it," he said. "I don't even say that we have a democracy at the present. Civilization is a good bargain but it doesn't come cheap." As the only one protesting at farmers' market for "Occupy Wallstreet," he said he was paranoid. The reason he was paranoid is because many people have already been arrested for protesting peacefully just like he was. If more people do it, he said he would take off the mask and reveal himself. Since last weeks farmers market, there has been a gathering of about 40 protesters in front of the courthouse and there is a plan to have a large group of protesters at this weeks farmers' market. In one weeks time, what went from a one man show, is turning into a collective effort by local citizens.

G. Brothers Smokehouse has a popcorn stand that features an array of interesting flavors such as blueberry kettle corn and cheddar cheese corn.

Do you want to find out what your dreams mean? At farmers' market you can get your dreams interpreted for free every week. Some people are in a huge rush to get their dreams interpreted and they rush to talk about them, some are hesitant and decide to give it a chance and then there's people like me that prefer to interpret our own dreams. The dream interpretations are done by spirit2spirit spiritual consultants. Spirit2spirit also offers destiny insights, healing touch, spiritual alignment, life coaching and more. "We have a book of comments," said spiritual consultant Ken Hoffbert. "We go from absolutely life-changing to wow that really made some sense, we couldn't figure that out before."

Growing Grounds Downtown is a nonprofit group that sells gifts and locally grown plants. The company helps support people with mental health illness. Not only will you elevate your friends and family's mental health by buying them a gift but you'll also be supporting people with mental health issues.

If you like stuffed animals and need a new pillow, you might be interested in a pillow pet. When I first heard about pillow pets I laughed. I was in awe that a company that strictly sells one obscure item like this could stay in business.

You can even get advice on loans while at farmers' market!

Enzo's Eastcoast Eatery is a great place to grab a slice of pizza.

Word on the spot:

What do you like most about farmers’ market

Donna Menna- "I like that this is the one time throughout the week that everyone comes together. I love the atmosphere and it's just a lot of fun to come here. Even if i'm not going to buy anything I enjoy people watching. I think it's something that unifies people for a short time and people come because they like to be a part of something."

Rain Lewis- "Because all my friends come and hangout with buddies and burn bowls."

Mark Popkin- "Just the atmosphere, it's friendly and it feels safe and it's just a really good vibe."

Daniel Kline- "Probably getting away from the dorm food. Probably all the fresh food." His mother Joan Kline visiting from Mountain View says she took him to farmers' market to give him a break from school.

Montana de Oro State Park

Montana de Oro State Park located on the outskirts of a small town called Los Osos is one of the most beautiful places to visit on the Central Coast of California. It is one of the largest state parks in California with over 8,000 acres of land. It’s tantalizing landscape features sand dunes, coastal bluffs, forests, beaches, trails and rock formations. Montana de Oro means “mountain of gold” in Spanish. The reason it was given that name is because when Spaniards were approaching the land on ships long ago, they thought they saw a mountain of gold. What they thought was gold was actually the California state flower; the golden poppy. To this day the poppies mask the mountains of Montana de Oro with a gold hue during Spring.

The most well known beach in Montana de Oro is Spooner’s Cove. The beach has many cool rocks and shells. It also has caves that you can explore. Spooner’s is a great place to share a meal with friends because there are multiple picnic tables.

Valencia peak is over 1300 feet high and it is the highest peak that you can hike to in Montana de Oro. On a clear day there are magnificent views of the park from the top of Valencia. The trail head for Valencia is just up from the main campsites located across from Spooner’s Cove.

Camping at Montana de Oro is very fun because you can choose between the community style campgrounds or reserve an isolated campground that you choose on the map. Prices for camping vary depending on where you want to camp.

Warnings about Montana de Oro: Watch out for poison oak! I have been covered from head to toe and had to go to the emergency room multiple times because of severe cases of poison oak that I got at Montana de Oro. Watch our for Rattlesnakes, they can be very dangerous and are commonly spotted. Don’t antagonize them! If you’re going to take a full moon hike, don’t park your car on the premises after 10 p.m. unless you have a campsite. We have come back to a very expensive parking ticket after a full moon hike and it isn’t fun. Don’t bring your dogs to Montana de Oro! They are not allowed. My friends had two of their dogs out there and had to pay $600 fines for each dog! Respect the land and it will respect you!

“I like going to Montana de Oro because it’s beautiful and it’s a sacred place to be. The Indians used to live there and it’s beautiful,” Said local resident Madeleine Lefort. “The rule is, if you take a shell you take a piece of trash with you. It’s like what the fuck, don’t just take shells but not take the trash that people left, it’s fucked.”

Winter Sunset

This is one of many non-native eucalyptus trees in Montana de Oro. Many locals refer to this as "the tree" or "the spider tree" because of the unique way its branches grow. This is a popular spot that Los Osos locals like to hangout at and relax. When driving into Montana de Oro this tree is accesed by parking on a small pullout on the right and taking a short walk up to it.

This curvy hill that is surrounded by a tunnel like canopy of Eucalyptus trees is a downhill skateboarders paradise. Locals like myself skate down this hill as fast as we possibly can. I have bombed this hill at night with a friend following me in their car to provide light and have been clocked at speeds up to 30 mph. Biking down this hill is very thrilling as well and you can reach much faster speeds than on a skateboard.

This is Spooner's Cove. It is one of the most popular beaches in Montana de Oro. It's a great place to explore tidepools full of sealife, find cool shells, relax and even climb. The big rock in the middle of the beach is fun to climb up because once you get to the top there is a secluded ocean view. It is a great place to have a romantic date or picnic lunch. Make sure not to go up the rock anywhere besides the main trail in the middle. As a young child I watched my mother hit the ground and break her leg after attempting to climb up the rock face on the side because she thought it would be easier than lifting herself up onto the first ledge on the main trail. Many others have injured themselves trying to climb this rock as well. Be very cautious and only climb up the main traill!

A piece of seaweed lying on Spooners Cove beach in a perfect spiral.

If you are looking for a place to surf, Sandspit sometimes has really good waves but it's hit or miss. The best spot to go surfing in Montana de Oro is the reef break at Hazards Canyon. Unless you're a local and an avid surfer I don't recommend trying to surf Hazards. The currents are much stronger at Hazards and the waves aren't suitable for inexperienced surfers. In addition, locals are very territorial about their waves at Hazards Canyon and have been known to be violent towards non regulars. They have bashed people's cars and broken cameras because they don't want the spot to be overcrowded when there are good waves. They have even tried starting problems with other locals such as a friend of mine's dad and he was only trying to shoot photos for personal pleasure.

Some tidepools at Spooner's Cove. Watchout for ripcurrents! I have seen people get bashed up on these rocks and thrown around like a rag doll when jumping into the water in this region. I don't recommend swimming between these rocks. If you want to swim, swim to the left of the rock in the center of Spooner's cove. It's much safer because there aren't big rocks to get slammed against.

Many people ride horses in Montana de Oro and it can be lots of fun. Just make sure not to ride your horse where you're not supposed to because hikers like myself don't appreciate walking through a bunch of horse poop.

A beautiful spot with a cave and rock covered with green moss in Spooner's Cove.


What do you like about Montana de Oro?

Robin Nelson- "I've never been here before but i'm glad we came here because it's beautiful, it's very serene. It's nice because it's a different coastal look as opposed to where I live. I don't like rattle snakes. Actually, I live in San Diego and i'm not used to seeing rattlesnakes.We saw a couple snakes today. We saw one big rattlesnake and a small looking gardener snake. But I surf and I love the ocean so that's what I love about it. You can get a lot of photos."

Eddie Grace and Heather Grace- "We were visiting the area and some lady in Santa Barbara told us about it. We had the time and thought we'd come check it out. We just showed up."

DeeDee Santos- "I was taking the trail back and there was a bobcat and he never wavered, he walked right past me on the trail. And of course the ocean and the birds. It's a lovely tranquil place. I wouldn't want it closed, developed or changed in any way. I come here three to five times a week but never on weekend because it's too busy."

Nob Furukawa- "Going mountain biking man, the trails. The trails are kept up pretty nice and it's pretty challenging so it's fun. It's your tax dollars at work."

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