History

The Mission San Miguel Archangel

It is 104˚ in San Miguel. I have stopped at this small outpost in the Salinas Valley after picking up a load of fence panels for the ranch at the […]

Big Trees

Big Basin, Big Trees

  The big trees can be hazardous… I spent so much time looking up instead of at the trail beneath my feet that I stumbled at least 15 times on the […]

Hiking

The Pinnacles, in Full Bloom

  The big El Nino was a bit of a bust. We did get more rain than we’ve had in the previous five winters around here, but nothing like the […]

Desert

Red Rock Wonder

I was driving up off the Mojave on CA 14 on my way to Death Valley to shoot the rumored ‘Superbloom’ out there this year.  As I drove up a […]

Desert

Death Valley Comes to Life

I’ve got this thing about shooting wildflowers.  I think it’s something about filling the viewfinder with the vivid colors and symmetry that can be a little elusive, all while outside […]

Hiking

The Color Green

With no meaningful rain in the the last four years, whatever color was in the oak leaves had drained away along with the water table, leaving wooded views so muted that […]

Big Sur

Ewoldsen: A Better Way to the Top

  This state park is currently closed due to fires and winter rain damage.  Check the park website for the latest information. The last time I set out on a Big […]

Big Sur

McWaaaay (lotta people) Falls

  This state park is closed due to fire and winter rain damage.  Check the park website for the latest information. “We’ve had two people killed there this year” the ranger […]

Beaches

Third Time’s the Charm

  This park is closed due to fire and winter rain damage.  For the latest information check the park website. This is my third visit to Andrew Molera State Park. […]

Beaches

Epiphany, with a View

  The East side of the park on Highway 1 is closed due to fire and winter rain damage. Check the park website for the latest information. This is the […]

Beaches

Water, woods and wrocks

This state park is closed due to damage from fire and winter rains. Check the park website for the latest information. Limekiln State Park was one of the state parks […]

Big Trees

Wah-wahs in the Woods

Nellie and Shiloh needed a vacation. At some point last winter I went to a snowshoeing class at the REI in Marina.  I was the only person there, and Sierra, […]

Beaches

Two for One

This state park is closed due to damage from fire and winter rains. Check the park website for the latest information. We were about 6 miles south of Nepenthe on […]

Biking

Fields of Gold

    Well, actually, you have to work a bit before you get to the fields of gold. Before that, there’s a 7 mile washboard road that’s a field of […]

Biking

Best Views, No Bull

Soberness Fire Closings: Check each park website for the latest information on all county and state parks. Toro County Park, dammit. It took two, seven-mile hikes to get it right. The […]

History

Mission: The Sequel

We didn’t plan on making back-to-back mission trips, but Susie and I had to swing by LA Hearne in King City for some ranch supplies and decided to travel about […]

History

The Mission

I try and limit my posts to our trudging about in the great outdoors around Monterey and central California, but occasionally we find some great indoors to visit and write […]

Beaches

The Birds: Zmudowski State Beach

I took advantage of the late summer light last week and squeezed a little more into a day that would have normally ended when I packed up and left my […]

Hiking

Just Add Water: San Luis NWR

Our stop here was really an afterthought. Susie and I were on our way to the Hite Cove Trail in the Sierra National Forest and decided to layover in Merced […]

Hiking

Wild for Flowers, Sierra National Forest

We all know the best way to tackle a big project is to break it down into small pieces. That’s sort of how we ended up on the Hite Cove […]

Biking

Arroyo Seco Gorge(ous)

This is about the fourth trip Susie and I have made to the trail along Arroyo Seco Gorge, which is about 45 minutes southeast of the ranch by Carmel Valley […]

Biking

Garland Ranch: I Can See for Miles

  For the past few years I’ve been driving past Garland Ranch Regional Park a couple of times a week and have always wanted to hike up to the top […]

Hiking

Big Birds, Big Boulders: Pinnacles National Park

Here’s the thing.  From the parking lot it doesn’t look like much.  Yes, the rocks you see when you get out of your car are a little unusual. The smooth […]

Biking

Head for the Hills: Fort Ord National Monument

The thing is, from the road the hills don’t look all that steep.  They look like hills of the ‘gentle rolling’ genre and seem relatively tame after a trip to […]

Big Sur

Big Sur, Big Trees

Soberness Fire Closings: Check each park website for the latest information on all Big Sur parks. Pulling into Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park is actually a bit of a hazard.  You […]

Beaches

Bike Ride: Monterey to Castroville

First of all, I’m not a hard-core, 150 miles-a-week, 8% grade, off a jump, broken-collarbone bike guy. I’ll huff my heavy Trek 4300 up a rise looking for still lower […]

Beaches

Rocks and Rollers, Soberanes Point

Soberness Fire Closings: Check each park website for the latest information on all Big Sur parks. It rained this week.  The first serious rain in 10 months around Monterey.  Not […]

Beaches

Salinas River National Wildlife Refuge

Note: The dirt road leading to the refuge may be impassible because of rain. I drive across the Salinas river a few times a week on my way to work […]

Hiking

Monterey Fog from 4,800 feet

Susan and I headed out to Chews Ridge, which is in the mountains behind the ranch, about 30 minutes and 3000 feet higher and stumbled on this view of the […]

Beaches

Beach Fix: Garrapata State Park

The park on the East side of Highway 1 is closed due to damage from fire and winter rain.  For the latest information, check the park website. If you’re looking […]

Beaches

Classic Coast, Right Next Door

Point Lobos State Preserve is always our first stop when guests come into town; it’s a close-by, crash course on the coastal ecosystems that puts you face to face with […]