Rural passengers, 1950s vibes, and Walter the failed botanist in Ukiah, CA

Nice things people on Yelp had to say about Ukiah, a rustic town in Mendocino County with a population of 16,000: “The air is always sparkling clear (unless there are forest fires). Every night we can go outside and look up and feel as though we are camping in the Sierras—billions of stars! There areContinue reading “Rural passengers, 1950s vibes, and Walter the failed botanist in Ukiah, CA”

Ride with Me: Exploring California’s Rustic, Woodsy Towns

Ride along this week as we step foot into the snow globe town of Shasta City. Later we’ll let notes from a gently strummed harp seep into our souls as we stare out at a view of the state’s largest lake (in California’s Lake County). We’ll soak in the bucolic, woodsy calm of a townContinue reading “Ride with Me: Exploring California’s Rustic, Woodsy Towns”

Ride with Me: Logger Vibes, a Curious Cat, and the Girl who Raved in Eureka and Arcata, CA

Eureka, CA  I’m on my way up to Eureka, a town of 27,000 in northern California’s Humboldt County.  Just outside Garberville off Highway 101 N, a gargantuan tree lays toppled on the side of the road. I stop the car to explore it; a closer look shows me that it has been carved out and convertedContinue reading “Ride with Me: Logger Vibes, a Curious Cat, and the Girl who Raved in Eureka and Arcata, CA”

Ride with Me: Goddess energy, natural splendor, and an anthropological look at casinos in Reno, Nevada (Part 1)

Waking up in the Goddess Room of Reno’s Burner Hostel, I feel as if a mystical presence is watching over me.  A mural of a woman surrounds me on all four walls. Her purple and teal hair gently flows down from her head, becoming waves that blanket and soften the walls while enveloping the sleeperContinue reading “Ride with Me: Goddess energy, natural splendor, and an anthropological look at casinos in Reno, Nevada (Part 1)”

Lyft Pawsenger Series Part 1: resplendent quetzal, a chill chihuahua, and the coyote face-down

Driving for Lyft put me in contact with a fair amount of furry, feathered, and scaled friends. Given how much I love animals, it was a true delight to have them as passengers. Even when no creatures were present, the excitement of fellow animal loving riders rubbed off on me. One time a woman from GuatamalaContinue reading “Lyft Pawsenger Series Part 1: resplendent quetzal, a chill chihuahua, and the coyote face-down”

Bucolic charm, swimming pigs, and a passenger’s poeticization of rivers in the California Delta

Disco music pumps from the speakers, shaking the floors of the riverside restaurant-bar. Dressed in jean shorts, a maroon tank top, and black flip-flops, the bar-tender dances along to it. A tattoo of a fish (or is it a dolphin?) on her right bicep glitters and shimmies as she stirs mojitos and hands change to theContinue reading “Bucolic charm, swimming pigs, and a passenger’s poeticization of rivers in the California Delta”

Ride with Me: Passenger Talks Pushing Past our Filter Bubbles in South Lake Tahoe, CA

~~~~~ Exploring the city  The wooden furniture outside the cafe blends seamlessly with the surrounding trees. Nearby, a Siberian husky pants while trotting next to a man on a skateboard. Pine needles speckle the black pavement beneath their feet. A stone’s throw away, the vast lake—impossibly, paradisiacally blue— shimmers beneath the sun. “Living here, youContinue reading “Ride with Me: Passenger Talks Pushing Past our Filter Bubbles in South Lake Tahoe, CA”

Hike With Me: California Nature Trails, Part 2

*A continuation of yesterday’s entry, which featured Huckleberry Regional Preserve in Oakland, South Fork American River in Coloma, Blue Rock Springs trail in Vallejo, and Bull Valley Staging Area in Port Costa. Paradise Beach, American River (Sacramento, CA) Hike up and down dusty golden rabbit hills until you reach the river. On the path over,Continue reading “Hike With Me: California Nature Trails, Part 2”

Hike With Me: California Nature Trails, Part 1

“I’ve always found the phrase ‘alone in nature’ to be a humorous oxymoron, an utter impossibility. When the garden is empty of people, I still consider it a social place where I spend time with jays, ravens, dark-eyed juncos, hawks, turkeys, dragonflies, and butterflies, not to mention the oaks, the redwoods, the buckeyes, and theContinue reading “Hike With Me: California Nature Trails, Part 1”