Ansel Adams Wilderness

I won’t be back for Chris Stevens’ memorial dinner at our law school. My thoughts however, are with my law school mates, especially three members of my class and 2 friends who entered this wilderness area in September 1993 for a 5 day backback trip. We hiked up the PCT from Agnew Meadows to Thousand Continue Reading »

In Memoriam: Chris Stevens

U.C., Hastings College of the Law, Class of 1989 Sharing all of our first year classes together, it was clear he was a really great guy: calm, sweet and smart. Who knew then that he would become a highly esteemed peacemaker and supporter of Democracy, notably in tense areas like Afghanistan and Libya? He loved Continue Reading »

Granite, Glaciers and Lakes: Tioga Pass

At the Eastern Boundary of Yosemite National Park, lies the Mt. Conness Mt. Conness and North Peak Glaciers sit at 12,500 feet, but are accessible from Saddlebag Lake, our camp at 10,500 feet. The 15 mile loop trail took us through the “20 Lakes Basin”, past a tungsten mine, up ankle-breaking scree to Secret Lake, Continue Reading »

Mono Lake, CA

Enjoying the abundant stream-side camping on the Eastern side of the Sierras between Yosemite and Lee Vining, we have been exploring and paddling local lakes.                     Mono Lake has a fascinating history. The streams feeding the lake were diverted by the LA Water Dept. causing the Continue Reading »

Virginia City, Nevada

Camel Races, created as a hoax, are very goofy. Whereas racehorses are schooled to enter gates without a fuss, and get sent back to “gate school” before they can race again if they are naughty, camels wander a bit, unclear on the concept of getting to the finish line with alacrity. Funny. In fact, Virginia Continue Reading »

Reno, Nevada

After two weeks of outdoor living, we were looking forward to movies, live music, and someone else’s cooking. We had a killer pastrami sandwich at a hoot of a place called, “Coney Island”. Very busy bar and grill at lunch: guys in the trades, cops, old guys taking up all the bar seats…and no suits Continue Reading »

Sierra Buttes, Gold Lakes Highway, CA

Tom Stienstra, Outdoors Writer Extraordinaire, (SF GATE 8/2/12) inspired us to check out this area with 20 lakes sitting at the base of the spires launching upwards from the lakes, stunning. Many are accessible by car, and some, like Upper Sardine and Tamarack Lakes, require a hike, but so worth it! We also visited Blairsden Continue Reading »

After a great evening with Steven’s family (so many nieces and their children!), we left their warm embrace with a plan to go to the Sierra Buttes. Sierra City was so smoky due to the Chips fire in Plumas County, we dropped down to North Lake Tahoe to wait for the fires to clear.  “Stealth Camping” (hoping no one objects to overnight camping in the Lake Forest neighborhood) either by, overlooking or a block from the Lake, we are able to paddle daily with the dog for breakfast in Tahoe City. We were adopted by neighbors and had a great potluck in “The Pocket”, their wonderful patio. Everyone at the local dog park assured us that the Lake Tahoe basin has no fleas or ticks…we will be back!












After a hike at Emerald Bay, we happened onto the Camp Shelly (empty!) campground; our dog got to run free for five days as the Ranger was the only other occupant. Due to the great bike trails in South Tahoe, we used only bikes to get to our activities: stand up paddling, cocktails on the lake, visiting Sally’s old stomping grounds since age 5, (Stanford Sierra Camp), and hiking the Desolation Wilderness. The hike in the Granite Chief Wilderness up to Five Lakes, dramatic views but was akin to rush hour in a metropolis. However, hiking past the lakes to the Pacific Crest Trail provided the solitude, only disturbed by one couple hiking the entire California part of the Trail. Having just finished “Wild”, an autobiographical novel, of a young woman who hikes 1100 miles of the PCT alone to banish her demons, it felt wonderful to tread in her footsteps if only for 6 miles.

Needing to hide out during the Labor Day weekend,we stayed at Hostel Tahoe, a new, clean, friendly hostel in Kings Beach, a block from the Lake. Burning Man has just finished and the hostel and town have filled with vehicles completely whitened with flourly dust. As the FLOW Festival (Fire Arts) begins, we finally head up to the Sierra Buttes.


Having helped my son move into his freshman dorm in NY, having enjoyed lots of farewell get-togethers with friends, and having Steven’s wisdom teeth pulled at the last minute, all we wanted to do was drive to a nice, close water hazard, I mean water feature, and sit still for a bit. Breathe. Rest. Read. Continue Reading »

One Week to go…!

We plan to start off visiting as many gorgeous/weird/yummy places in North America that we have time to explore in the next year or two, before we zippity go global. There will be a strong emphasis on the great outdoors as we are heavily invested in portable kayaks, bikes, rackets, clubs, fly rods…. and easels. Continue Reading »

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