Pinecrest is based on Oakhurst in California, a place where my father and brother still live. I have spent many summers and vacations in Yosemite, and over the years I fall a little farther in love with it. It's beautiful.
Grey Lake is based on Bass Lake. One of the best lakes to swim in because of its cool-warm water. It can get up to 80 degree's in the summer. But no matter what, its a great lake for water play, floating and the like.
And because of my love of places and using real life as inspiration, I also used one of my favorite haunts at Bass Lake as a loosely based model for Lyle's Bar/Restaurant/Store.
The Forks, is kind of a landmark up there. The locals love it, and so do the tourists. The opposite sides of the lake is pretty accurate too, but again I took poetic license with everything. The North is rich and resorty, while the south is old cabins and campgrounds. If you ever make it up to Yosemite, stop by The Forks in Bass Lake, have a Forks burger and eat on the outside porch or the dock, its awesome. I'm too mean to share my favorite beach to swin at, but I will say this, it's southside.
All the pictures can be found on The Forks Resort website. The dock is a great place to rent a boat. My younger brother and step siblings all actually worked at Forks. I never had the honor, but I do eat their burgers whenever I'm up there. Gotta love Bass Lake. Other nods to the area are Half-Dome, a real and very scary hike. Yosemite Valley, the creek, and Sugar Pine Railroad.
Concord is a complete figment of my imagination. No such place exists, sadly. And that about sums of my real-life inspiration.