The River’s Journey

It’s a steep pull going up the Yucca Trail in Gaviota State Park. Today’s hike is my wife’s first time on this particular route. For many years the path was so overgrown I couldn’t even find traces of it. Thankfully the Santa Barbara Trails Council restored the trail a couple of years ago, and they …

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The Art of the Wild: Obi Kaufmann and the California Field Atlas

California is an incredible state, and the opportunities for adventure here are endless. You name it, California has it: mountains, deserts, oceans, rivers, wildlife, trees (big, tall, and old), the list goes on. And it’s beautiful. The late, great photographer, Galen Rowell, wrote in his book, The Art of Adventure “[California] has everything I ever …

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Volunteering: The Banff Mountain Film and Book Festival 2017, Part Three

Events like the Banff Mountain Film and Book Festival rely on volunteers. Sure, you could hire extra staff to perform the same functions as the volunteers, but the cost would go up, and the festival would lose part of its unique character. We decided early on in our trip planning to volunteer at the festival. …

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Section Hiking the Pacific Crest Trail with Shawnté Salabert

There was a brief window earlier this month, between where I had recovered enough to walk and drive, and getting waylaid by the flu; a period which serendipitously dovetailed with a presentation by author and backpacker Shawnté Salabert on Section Hiking the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT). Over decades of hiking and backpacking in California, I’ve …

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Burnt Out

Driving south on Hwy 101 from Santa Barbara back home on Friday morning, the air is thick with smoke and ash. Everything is a dull gray. The daylight, such that it is, provides flat, dispersed lighting. There are no shadows; everything is dark and dreary. The hillsides to my right are burnt. Only charred remains …

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A Sense of Loss: The Banff Mountain Film and Book Festival 2017, Part Two

Overcast skies greeted us as we headed up Tunnel Mountain on Tuesday morning. Rain and snow were forecast for later in the day, but we were bolstered by relatively warm temperatures in the 30s. We met Barbara and David, friends from my Sierra Club climbing days, on the trail. They had started before we did …

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