When dinosaurs roamed the earth during the Jurassic Period 150 million years ago, a group of conifers thrived in forests covering what is today Europe, Asia and North America. As the climate became cooler and drier, these conifers were restricted to just three geographic regions and the three redwood species we know today evolved from Read More →

Our “short” detour off Highway 101 to California’s Lost Coast turned into a full week of exploring the Lost Coast and King’s Range, staying for free in primitive campsites and at trailheads. After this week of privative accommodations we were low on food and water and had been out of contact with the outside world Read More →

After inspecting the seashore from the town nestled in the middle of California’s Lost Coast, it was time to explore the mountains that rise up from the coast. These mountains are the reason that this stretch of prime waterfront land is “lost” (to development). From Shelter Cove we drove up the winding mountain road that I Read More →

San Francisco was on the short list of places to settle at the end of our trip, and I had expected to spend some time there visiting friends and getting to know the city before continuing north. We did visit a couple friends, having dinner at my grad school friend Mary’s apartment in Menlo Park Read More →

After our tasty post-hike dinner, we drove out of the beautiful, forested Sierras into the hot desert lowlands below, and stayed the night in the Modesto Walmart parking lot. The cars, concrete, noise and street lights were harsh after nearly two full weeks in the quiet serenity of Yosemite National Park. The following morning I Read More →

Last year’s Rim Fire, named for the “Rim of the World” vista point in Stanislaus National Forest was the largest recorded wildfire in the Sierra Nevada. An illegal campfire set by a hunter started the blaze that burned for over two months and consumed over 400 square miles of forest in the Stanislaus National Forest Read More →

“From the margin of these glorious forests the first general view of the Valley used to be gained – a revelation in landscape affairs that enriches one’s life forever.” – John Muir During the gold rush of 1849 miners invaded the acorn orchards and game lands of the native tribes living in the Sierra Nevada. Read More →

Trails through the Sierras connect Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Parks to Yosemite National Park, but to drive there one must go through Fresno. We drove into Fresno planning to spend the night in a Walmart parking lot and head into Yosemite in the morning. From what I had heard, every campsite in Yosemite is reserved months Read More →