Lake Tahoe Rubicon Point Lighthouse

California offers a stunning diversity of gorgeous locales in which to hike, my favorites from my most recent trip being Yosemite National Park, Marin Headlands just north of San Francisco, and, in this picture, Lake Tahoe. I set out to hike the Rubicon Trail, but as I started, I noticed signs pointing to a lighthouse. Wondering what that was, I followed the signs until I found this treasure, with the sun rising over the historic Rubicon Point Lighthouse.

When going on vacation, of course people should research where they'll be visiting. But meticulously investigating every particular beforehand can dampen the thrill of discovery. I like to construct a rough mental outline of what locations seem most promising for hiking and photography, and then fill in the details from my experiences in person. That allows for spontaneous joy in coming upon tableaus like this.