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That sweet spot in between the holidays has come and gone far too quickly; you have eaten gluttonous amounts of carbs, torn through piles of gifts, held the annual burning of the tree, and maintained a shred of sanity as the last of the in-laws file out the door. Post holiday blues will soon set in, and fortunately there is a charming river town tucked away with everything you need for a weekend to lift your spirit.

There is something simply divine about the sound of water rushing over smooth river rocks and a popped bottle of bubbles shared with good company. It is enough to reach altered states. Remembering there is a star filled sky just 3 hours away by car from Los Angeles is just another layer of bliss.

The River Jewel BackyardThe place is Three Rivers, an idyllic country town that offers a great weekend escape from the hurried city life. Situated at the base of the Sequoia National Park, with meandering rivers and roaming views of hills and canyons. The word on this retreat town is out, Angelica Houston and William Shatner being among a few celebrities that own properties near the river. The small town fills up with lake enthusiasts during the summer but keeps a steady stream of international visitors coming to visit the Sequoia National Park year round.

Accomodations

Rio Sierra Riverhouse

Four custom lodges nestled right up to the bank of the river with beachside campfires.

We suggest the panorama room- a split level space with an angled wood beam ceiling and large glass windows looking out onto the river and to the grand hills beyond. There is a kitchen on the first level to prepare morning coffee, a built in bookcase to curl up with a classic, or warm up by one of the beachside campfires. The space is adorned with the owners personal collection of photographs and trinkets, just the right amount of character to feel at home. Sleeps 4 comfortably with ample space for a single couple.

IMG_20141123_090412Not to miss

Dine at the Ol’ Buckaroo

It is this roadside attraction that reveals a hip undercurrent slowly (very slowly) starting to emerge in the Three Rivers area. Thankful for the Ol’ Buckaroo, a roadside restaurant started up by some good hearted Berkley transplants that are sparking new creative culture in this quiet community.

A simple operation out of a black food truck, handwritten type painted on the side, with big glass bulbs hanging in perfect disarray from the roof. The grounds are leveled with a permanent rain shelter overhead and a freestanding fireplace that looks like it fell off a coal train. Sway to the sounds of Jimmy Cliff while eating a black bean quinoa slider and sipping a good brew and share stories with others at the communal picnic tables. It takes a lot of hard work to make an operation seem so lowkey and deliver such tasty bites, a mark that there is a lot of love doing what they do.

Be Prepared

Internet access is limited, but living the life unplugged is all in the experience. Take time for reflection, enjoy some solitude and set your new years vision into focus.

Journey OnIMG_20141123_145701178_HDR

If the tranquil setting of a river amongst grand hills was not enough to shake the stress from a fast paced city life, there is another fantasy world nearby in the Sequoia National Park, known for its grand 2,000 year old trees. Hairpin curved roads, winding canyons, and fresh air with a flavorful Earthy scent are all of the ingredients for an excellent sunday drive.

Sherman Tree Trail is a 0.8-mile round trip paved trail that descends from the parking lot to the  base of the General Sherman tree and meanders through a grove of giant sequoia trees.

Moro Rock is a granite dome located in the center of the park, at the head of Moro Creek, between Giant Forest and Crescent Meadow. A 400-step stairway, built in the 1930s by the Civilian Conservation Corps, is cut into and poured onto the rock, so that visitors can hike to the top. The stairway is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Feel high above the clouds, on a clear day you can see across much of the park including the Great Western Divide.

Keep in mind that if you have more time to journey, San Francisco is just 3 hours away with a number of seaside destinations along the way. Load up a new playlist, stash a bag of snacks and get on the open road for a weekend in the wild.