July's question passed me by, maybe even June's. Life is still slamming me from all directions but when I opened the email from Michael @ A Life Examined and read his question of the month, I slammed on the life-brakes and decided to take a break.

This question is so good because it does not have the tiniest bit of political, religious, racial or life & death impact. I really, really, really need that.

"What's your favorite beach?" That's it! Incredibly exhilarating in it's mundane-ness! Love, love, love it. What's best, there are two beaches that are totally awesome. My heart sings when I think of them.

First beach, is at Whiskeytown Lake in Shasta County. It is a fresh-water lake, surrounded by pines, mountains and wildlife. We've seen bears, deer, fish, osprey and eagles while floating on the crystal clear water. One can easily see the bottom of the lake at least 20 feel down.

Our whole family spends whole days on the beach. My kids were basically raised on the beach. When they were young, we would pack up breakfast, lunch and dinner, and hit the beach around 9 a.m and swim, go rock hopping up the creek, and, occasionally hike. My husband would come up after work, we would bbq hot dogs, hamburgers or chicken drumsticks and stay until it got dark.

The water is always perfect because summer days in Redding tend to hang around the three digit temperatures.

Now that our kids are grown up, we continue the joy by taking the grand-kids out and our great granddaughter loves it too. We toss the kids or they dive off of our shoulders. They still love to jump rocks in the creek or hike up to the falls.

My second favorite beach (again, fresh-water....I am a mountain girl....what can I say?) is in a remote area on an arm of Shasta Lake. It is called Chirpchatter Campground. There are only 3 campsites, though, you'll have to look hard to find them.

It's a must to bring rakes with you and gloves, so you can remove all the blackberry vines that have intruded into the camp sites. A snake kit is probably a good idea too, as well as, one of those scare-a-bear air horns. Once you've cleared your campground, grab a towel and hike downstream along the creek.

The water makes a 90 degree left turn at a huge granite boulder. Over the years the granite has been ground down and has formed a little beach. Just big enough for the five of us when the kids were young but now perfect for two of us.

Do not drive or ride your bike down the road past the campsite because it the road is usually washed out.

If you swim about 30 feet down from the little beach, you'll find a good size boulder in the middle of the stream. There is a long rope tied to a tree on the bank. You can swim to the edge of the water, grab the rope and swim back and climb the rock. Swinging out over the water and dropping in is loads of fun no matter what age you are but watch out for rope burn.

Sleeping in your tent at night is an awesome experience. You can hear the babbling of the creek, wind blowing in the pines and an occasional snort from a bear rustling around in the under brush.

There you have it. Two fantastic beaches and not one seagull or crab!

p.s. July's question of the month answer: Book series: Nancy Drew and Hardy Boys! Book: Tiger Tiger. Loved them both and read them all.