DVD Review: Tell It on the Mountain, Tales from the Pacific Crest Trail

I have to admit, I don’t watch TV.  And I haven’t seen many movies in the past several years.  I do, on occasion, watch PBS specials and documentaries.  I was thrilled, however, when I was offered the opportunity to review the documentary, Tell It on the Mountain:  Tales from the Pacific Crest Trail. I received … More DVD Review: Tell It on the Mountain, Tales from the Pacific Crest Trail

Sacramento: California State Railroad Museum

The amazing California State Railroad Museum in Sacramento is a must-see for anyone with an interest in trains or American history.  About the museum, from the California State Parks website… The California State Railroad Museum (CSRM) in Old Sacramento is the world-class tribute to the role of the “iron horse” in connecting California to the … More Sacramento: California State Railroad Museum

Hike/Run/Bike: Bear Valley Trail, Point Reyes National Seashore

Earlier this week, we headed to Point Reyes National Seashore for an adventure on the Bear Valley Trail.  The trail from the Bear Valley Visitor Center to Arch Rock is just under nine miles.  Lush and green year-round, with the reward of gorgeous Pacific Ocean views at the end of the trail, this is one … More Hike/Run/Bike: Bear Valley Trail, Point Reyes National Seashore

A Masterpiece of Nature: The California Redwood

The California Redwood, 1200-1800 years old, growing taller than 300 feet, is a true masterpiece of nature. *** The tallest tree in the world, at 379 feet, is a California Redwood (Sequoia Sempervirens). *** Photo taken July 30th, 2013 San Mateo Memorial Park Where the tallest tree is 225 feet, and 1600 years old. *** … More A Masterpiece of Nature: The California Redwood

Camping: Ben Ries Campground, Butano State Park

I’m frequently asked what my favorite campground is near the Bay Area.  My answer is always, “the one at Butano State Park, just outside of Pescadero, in the Santa Cruz Mountains”  We’ve been camping at Ben Ries Campground in the park every summer for several years now, and it’s become a family tradition.  The small … More Camping: Ben Ries Campground, Butano State Park

Organic Strawberry U-Pick: Swanton Berry Farm, Davenport

Gotta love freshly picked organic strawberries!!  And it’s all the more fun when we pick the berries ourselves.  Strawberry picking at Swanton Berry Farm has become a beloved June tradition for us. Interested in going?  The actual picking season (and location) varies slightly each year, so check the Swanton Berry Farm website for current details… … More Organic Strawberry U-Pick: Swanton Berry Farm, Davenport

Seymour Marine Discovery Center, Santa Cruz

The Seymour Marine Discovery Center, located in Santa Cruz on the bluffs above the Monterey Bay, is a true gem.  Don’t expect the grandeur of the Monterey Bay Aquarium, but be prepared for a smaller, quieter, more intimate experience here.  The location is phenomenal.  On a clear day, the views can’t be beat. Inside the … More Seymour Marine Discovery Center, Santa Cruz

Explore the Tide Pools, Natural Bridges State Beach, Santa Cruz

When the tide is low, head out to the rocky, north end of Natural Bridges State Beach to explore the tide pools.  Look for sea stars, hermit crabs, sea anemones, sea urchins, and more.  So fun! For more information about Natural Bridges State Beach, visit the California State Parks website… http://www.parks.ca.gov/?page_id=541 If you’re here between … More Explore the Tide Pools, Natural Bridges State Beach, Santa Cruz

Monarch Butterfly Nature Preserve, Natural Bridges State Beach, Santa Cruz

Within Natural Bridges State Beach, in Santa Cruz, you’ll find the Monarch Butterfly Nature Preserve, a grove of eucalyptus trees where thousands of Monarch Butterflies spend the winter each year.  The butterflies may be viewed by taking a short 0.75 mile Monarch Trail loop through the Preserve, or by simply taking the short, wheel-chair accessible … More Monarch Butterfly Nature Preserve, Natural Bridges State Beach, Santa Cruz

Devils Postpile National Monument

If you’re ever in the Eastern Sierras near Mammoth Lakes, you’ve gotta check out Devils Postpile.  This place is incredible, and unlike anywhere else I’ve visited in California.  The only other place I can personally compare it to is the Giants Causeway in Northern Ireland.  Both places have these fascinating basalt hexagonal columns.  You have … More Devils Postpile National Monument

Silent Saturday: Minaret Vista

I love to watch my son enjoy a beautiful view… The Minaret Vista is a short drive from Mammoth Lakes, on the road to Devils Postpile.  From here, you have wonderful views of the Minarets (the jagged, toothy peaks in the 2nd photo), Mount Ritter (13,157 ft), and Banner Peak (12,945 ft).