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: Endless Vineyards, the Joys of Reading, and Goat Alarm Clocks in Santa Rosa, CA

I’d set out to Santa Rosa–a city that Sonoma Magazine described as “the kind of place where natural bounty serves as a muse for utopian dreams, sleepy residential streets hide ambitious farm-to-table kitchens, abandoned buildings are resurrected as art galleries, and the corner coffeeshop turns nightlife hot spot with craft-beers on tap, all to theContinue reading “Ride with Me: Endless Vineyards, the Joys of Reading, and Goat Alarm Clocks in Santa Rosa, CA”

Ride with Me: California Desert Towns

The Desert Life for Me “You’re going where?” friends ask me when they find out where I’m headed. “Mojave,” I reply.  “Like the Mojave Desert?” “The town of Mojave,” I clarify. “It’s not too far from the desert though.” Some people respond with “Oh–cool;” others with, “Oh– why?” My answer: I’m headed to this townContinue reading “Ride with Me: California Desert Towns”

Ride with Me: California Gold Rush Towns

Towns in the Sierra Nevada foothills, or “the Gold Rush towns,” were among my favorite getaways in the state. Many of them conjure the feeling of having been transported back in time. What they may lack in cultural variety, they more than make up for in their almost complete serenity, opportunities to connect with nature,Continue reading “Ride with Me: California Gold Rush Towns”

The poke bowl couple, Salvadoran beaches, and car crash meet cutes

I’m walking past a small group of cows on a bucolic hike, and my heart rate is elevated. I’m irrationally afraid that one of them will charge me. Luckily, I’m able to calmly remind myself that there have been close to zero reported cases of a feral cow attacking a human (as far as IContinue reading “The poke bowl couple, Salvadoran beaches, and car crash meet cutes”

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”

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”