The Most Read Active NorCal Articles of 2020

2020 is in the books… Thank goodness!

We can all admit that this year has been rough for everyone. With a historic fire season in Northern California stacked with a global pandemic, there’s nowhere to go but up in 2021.

Although 2020 was difficult for everyone at Active NorCal, we still managed to have a monumental year. We had the most traffic on our website ever as people desperately searched for places to go outdoors during the quarantine. We also had a blast launching our new podcast – Talking NorCal.

While we weren’t able to get out into the wild as much as we wanted to, we were glad we could provide a resource for the locals and visitors of the region looking to safely escape their homes during quarantine. As we move forward into 2021, we have big growth plans that we can’t wait to share with our audience.

It was fun to go back through to see our most-read articles of 2020, some of which have made this list for two years straight. Without further ado – here are Active NorCal’s most read articles of 2020:

10. 15 Insane Photos from Northern California’s 2-Day Lightning Storm

It is estimated that there were nearly 8,000 lightning strikes across California, dominating the sky with booming thunder and bright lights. The mid-August storm became national news as hundreds of wildfires were started by the strikes, putting thousands of residents in danger of the flames.

While the long-term damage of the lightning storm is yet to be determined, the 2-day storm gave photographers throughout Northern California the opportunity capture some eye-catching shots of the lightning bolts. From the Bay Area to Sacramento and all the way up to Redding, the storm was bright throughout the area. 

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9. Bear Casually Opens Door and Strolls into Tahoe CHP Facility

Tahoe bears are becoming much more brash in their actions in search of human food, and on top of that, they seem like they are beginning to mimic the humans they steal the food from.

Another bear video was shared by Tahoe law enforcement and this one is as interesting as it is frightening. The CHP – Donner Pass unit posted a video on social media showing a bear casually standing up, opening their front door and strolling into their Commercial Vehicle Enforcement Facility. 

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8. Experience the Magical Sunflower Fields of Northern California

During the summertime in Northern California, you may have found yourself lucky to drive through Woodland, Davis or Dixon, where you can see the magical sunflower blooms that line Interstate 5 and Highway 80.

When the air is hot and the sun is shining, that’s the best time to see the sunflowers of NorCal. In June, they’re a little small. By August, they’re a little dried out. In July, they’re perfectly big and bright.

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7. Viral Video Shows Beachgoers Swept Off Their Feet by King Tide Wave at Moonstone Beach

The king tide has been wreaking havoc along the North Coast recently, swallowing up beaches and surprising unexpected beachgoers with sneaker waves. In a video posted to Facebook, Marcella Ogata-Day showed the power of the tide when a few people and washing them ashore in what could have been a much more dangerous situation.

The viral video shows three people being hit by the sneaker wave, a scary scene in the moment, and everyone ended up unharmed.

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6. 13 Waterfalls in One Weekend: Northern California’s World-Famous Waterfall Loop

Photo by Jonathan Nguyen.

There is a legendary loop sitting in the Shasta-Cascade of Northern California that includes 13 incredible waterfalls to visit. Realistically, you could accomplish this entire loop in just two to three days, and see some of the world’s finest waterfalls right here in NorCal.

The loop starts on Shasta Lake, goes up through Castle Crags State Park and Dunsmuir, and on up through Mount Shasta and McCloud. Eventually you’ll make your way over to Burney Falls and the waterfalls south of Big Bend. 

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5. What’s a Lemurian and Why Do People Believe They Live in Mount Shasta?

We like to hypothesize about the paranormal activity surrounding Mt. Shasta. From Bigfoot sightings to alien activity, there is no doubt that the mysteries surrounding the beautiful Shasta are intriguing.

The most popular of these theories surrounding Shasta are regarding Lemurians living in the mountain. I’ve heard of these stories most of my life but mostly thrown them to the side as hogwash. But as I grow older, my curiosity lies within the spirit of the theory – why do many people believe this far fetched tale? I decided to dive deep into a full investigation – Are Lemurians living in Mt. Shasta?

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4. ‘400 to 500 Pounds!’ MONSTER Sturgeon Caught on Shasta Lake

Photo via Larry Teague

Fisherman Larry Teague set out on a normal day of catfish fishing on Shasta Lake recently, but he ended up with another fish on the line that would dwarf any other in the lake.

Teague, who is from Oroville, was using a bass rod and reel with 25-pound braid when he got a bite from a big fish on the Pit River arm of the lake. It took him around three hours to land the beast, and it would turn out to probably be the biggest catch of his life – a monster sturgeon!

A video was taken of the end of the three-hour battle with the fish, showing the insane size that sturgeon can grow at the bottom of Shasta Lake. While they weren’t able to weigh or measure the beast, you can hear the man in the video claiming it seemed to be between 400 and 500 pounds. At the end of the video, the fish is released and it looks to be around 15 feet long.

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3. Man Has Lived Off-the-Grid in the NorCal Redwoods for 50 Years. Now the Compound is Worth $6 Million.

In 1968, Charles Bello and his wife Vanna Rae bought 400 acres of redwood forested land in Mendocino County and have spent the last 50 years creating a self-sustaining utopia. Working diligently year-after-year, the couple created the infrastructure for a completely off-the-grid compound that is both comfortable and beautiful. They bought the land for $2,800. Now, the house and accompanying acreage is worth $6 million.

That being said, the Charles (a widower) isn’t looking to bank off his NorCal creation. Instead, he’s looking for people to keep the self-sustaining compound alive and working going into the future.

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2. Fisherman Nearly Breaks California Record with 25-Pound Rainbow Trout on Feather River

A fisherman had one heck of a day in the Thermalito Diversion Pool on the Feather River on Friday, May 22. He scored a fish so big that it fell just short of the California record.

Joshua Giordano landed a 25.5-pound rainbow trout just below the Oroville Dam, which taped in at 35 inches in length and 25 inches in girth. Although he usually releases his fish back into the water, he kept this particular fish in order to submit its official weight on the certified scale at the Feather River Fish Hatchery, thinking it was near a record.

It turns out the fish was just a pound and a half short of the California record, which currently sits at 27 pounds for a inland rainbow trout.

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1. Trail Cam Video Shows Mountain Lion Walking Right Next to Unaware People in NorCal

A trail cam near Susanville captured a couple magnificent videos of a mountain lion recently, showing the big cat walking close to people in broad daylight seemingly without a care in the world.

The video was shared by wildlife photographer Randy Robbins, who is known for capturing wildlife photography and creating fantastic trail cam composites. According to Robbins, the perfect video of the mountain lion was many years in the making.

“It only took 7 or 8 years of playing with trail cameras to get this image,” Robbins wrote in a social media post. “I get this guy on my cameras on my property somewhat regularly, but it’s almost always at night and it’s almost never sitting still.”

According to Robbins, the mountain lion walked right past his neighbors house in broad daylight while people were loading up into their truck. It makes you pose the question – how often does this happen?

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