Geology

Little Lakes, Big Views

  I’ve wanted to see some alpine lakes in the California Sierra for quite some time but always assumed that would require some serious backpacking and probably a sobering elevation […]

Hiking

Twice in a Lifetime

As I’ve confessed before, I’m a bit of a wildflower junkie.  Last year (March 2016) I read an article about the once in a generation ‘superbloom’ in Death Valley. So […]

Geology

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 ‘biggest […]

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 […]

Beaches

Third Time’s the Charm

  Note: (January 11, 2018) ANDREW MOLERA State Park is open. The seasonal footbridge crossing the Big Sur River has been removed. Hikers must wade across the river to access these open trails: […]

Beaches

Epiphany, with a View

  Note: This trail on the east side of Hwy 1 in currently closed due to the 2016 Soberanes fire.  The trails and the beach on the west side of […]

Hiking

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 […]

Hiking

Best Views, No Bull

Toro County Park, dammit. It took two, seven-mile hikes to get it right. The first time I set out on foot at Toro County Park I parked right there at […]

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

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 […]

Geology

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 […]

Hiking

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 […]

Hiking

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 […]

Beaches

Rocks and Rollers, Soberanes Point

Note: (January 2018) This part of Garrapata State Park (west of Hwy 1) is open, but because of the 2016 Soberanes fire, the park remains closed on the east side […]

Beaches

Salinas River National Wildlife Refuge

Note: In the winter months the access road to the refuge may be impassible. There is also a hunting season for the refuge, usually October through January.   I drive across […]

Beaches

Beach Fix: Garrapata State Park

Note: (January 2017) The ocean side of Garrapata State Park is open, the park on the east side of Hwy 1 remains closed due to the 2016 Soberanes fire and […]

Beaches

Classic California 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 […]