Groveland: My personal retreat


by Melissa Artobello

Fun fact about me: My family owns a vacation home in Groveland, California. You’re probably wondering “where the hell is that?”. I don’t blame you. Groveland is a very small town in Tuolumne County, with an elevation of 3,000 feet, and a population of only 600. Now, you’re probably thinking “why the hell would you buy a vacation place there?”.

Well, for one, Groveland lies along the Highway 120 route, and is 25 miles from Yosemite National Park. If you’ve been to Yosemite, you’ve passed through Groveland. But since the town is only a few blocks long, you could miss it with a sneeze. The town contains a lot of history for being a gold rush town. For example, the Iron Door Saloon is the oldest continuously operating saloon in California, dating back to 1852. Groveland sure is quaint and all, but the real reason why we bought a place there is because of Pine Mountain Lake.

999914_10152287528338072_1222849009_n29958_418364983071_4902561_nPML is a private, gated, vacation and retirement community. The population here is 2,700. The community surrounds a man-made lake, and has everything from a golf-course, horseback stables, airport, pool, tennis courts, and country club.

69386_484895393071_7190242_nWe bought our cabin in 2003 and every once a month we take the 3 hour drive up there. It’s really nice having a little place in the mountains away from suburban life to just get away and relax. We always brings friends with us for the weekends and go to the lake in the summer or drive further up the mountain to play in the snow.

It only occasionally snows in Groveland if the winters are cold enough. One winter, we got to watch the snow fall and cover the ground and I went sledding down our neighbor’s driveway. Another year, we got stuck in a snow storm with no chains and it took us over an hour to drive only a few miles to our house. We even slid down a hill sideways and almost fell into a ditch. Scary stuff.

3311_82545878071_4124708_nI love our place because it’s surrounded by nature and wildlife. We always see deer roaming around and it’s so cool watching them, or feeding them, from my balcony. I hope to keep the place for years as my own personal retreat.