Newtified
By Chuck Graham   |   June 18, 2020

The creeks were flowing, spilling over a configuration of cobble that snaked their way to the Santa Clara River. As water pooled up and calmed California newts (Taricha torosa) gathered, the only endemic salamander species in the Golden State. As I rock-hopped upstream, I found one of the orange-bellied newts out of the water, out […]

How to Be a Montanan: A Sojourn at the Ranch at Rock Creek
By Jerry Dunn   |   November 21, 2019

“If you ride a horse, shoot a gun, and go fishing,” locals told me, “you’re a Montanan!” Over the next few days, I hoped to earn my membership badge. My wife, Merry, and I had just arrived at the Ranch at Rock Creek in southwest Montana. Set along a mountain-fed stream amidst cottonwoods and evergreen […]

 

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Booby Bound on Santa Barbara Island
By Chuck Graham   |   October 3, 2019

I love surprises when Mother Earth serves them up. A few years ago when I kayaked from Santa Cruz Island to tiny Santa Barbara Island, at the end I just wanted the 42-mile slog to be finished. In 2015, at 8 pm on a crisp, cool October evening, all I wanted was to see the […]

The Sistine Chapel
By Lynda Millner   |   September 5, 2019

Part two of Lynda’s journey to Orange County with MClub.  Right now, there is even more to see at the Christ Cathedral campus –Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel exhibit. This traveling exhibition is on display at the Christ Cathedral Cultural Center. When I was in Rome in the 1960s the ceiling was 47 feet above my head […]

Sanded Down
By Chuck Graham   |   July 25, 2019

For an hour straight I’d been up to my knees in wind-groomed sand dunes, but finally my barefoot trek had reached an apex. To the north was the breathtakingly artistic Guadalupe – Nipomo Sand Dunes National Wildlife Refuge and to the south were the wave-battered cliffs at Point Sal, where currents never rest, swirling and […]

Gaviota Coast Conservancy
By Lynda Millner   |   July 11, 2019

Right in our own backyard sits one of the most beautiful and threatened biodiversity hotspots in the world, the Gaviota Coast. “We should never take this 72-mile long stretch of coast for granted,” said Gaviota Coast Conservancy (GCC) board member Phil McKenna. We were gathered at the Santa Barbara Club for another Lunch & Learn […]

Half Moon Bay: A “Country Mouse” Getaway
By Jerry Dunn   |   May 9, 2019

To get to Half Moon Bay, we had driven up U.S. 101 through crawling traffic in San Jose, dodged the pushy Porsches and Tesla jockeys of Silicon Valley, and finally twisted and turned our way over a busy road through the Santa Cruz Mountains. At the end, though, waited a quiet little farm town called […]

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Not Just the Valley Floor
By Chuck Graham   |   May 2, 2019

I think after midnight I gave up on those stiff, piercing, westerly winds lying down. It was blowing 50 mph and the temps were in the mid-20s on Wildrose Peak, but the views were easily worth every frigid gust the Mojave Desert had to offer. I decided not to bring a tent to Death Valley […]

Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks
By Lynda Millner   |   January 11, 2018

Advice from a tree: Stand tall and proud, remember you roots, reflect the light of your true nature, drink plenty of water, enjoy the view! My son Dane and daughter-in-law Alli live in Three Rivers, California. Where is that, you ask? Head for Bakersfield and Visalia, turning toward the right following the signs to get […]