My nephew and I just returned from a mini-roadtrip to Clear Lake, California - a small, somewhat depressed resort destination we've been visiting on and off since 1998. Of the several towns surrounding the lake, Lakeport appears to be the oldest, and most prosperous, of the bunch. We were staying in Clearlake, which had more than its share of abandoned businessses and assorted storefronts. The motel (a Best Western) seemed okay - if unusually empty for the heart of the tourist season.
Normally we camp up the mountains above the lake during our visits, at a particularly remote campsite, returning to town for supplies, or if the heat is unusually oppressive. This time, we spent all of our time down on the lake. We had planned to go kayaking, but discovered our favoirtie kayak vendor was nowhere to be seen. We did, however, visit some of our "traditional" haunts: "Renee's," a local restaurant, assorted retail stores (including a K-Mart and the local variation on a 99 Cent store). We also went to Radio Shack, where I bought two radio control vehicles on close-out for $10 a piece. One vehicle lasted just about 10 minutes. There were fun for the time it lasted, though. And we started to gather a crowd of interested onlookers. Radio control tends to fascinate people. For Ten Minutes. We made our brief, ever so slight impact on Clear Lake, and hit the road.