Thursday, December 26, 2013

Happy Holidays!

We hope everyone had a Merry Christmas and have a New Year full of fun and adventure ahead. Our Christmas was sunny and spring-like, but this photo of Ediza and Maggie was taken earlier this month when we got record-low temps and low-elevation snow!

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Dia de los Muertos

Here's a photo of us yesterday at the Dia de los Muertos celebration in Murphys (after some wine tasting, of course).

While Murphys is always a good weekend spot, here's another: Today's L.A. Times Travel section has a piece about our trip to Reno — Weekend Escape: Hitting Reno with a child in tow 

Friday, September 20, 2013

What are you doing this weekend?

Here are links to recent "What are you doing this weekend?" features I wrote for the L.A. Times:

Hiking Yosemite's Mt. Hoffmann

Visiting historic Mariposa

I returned to work at our local newspaper the same day the Rim Fire took off so it's been a crazy month. Here's a pic of a smoky Sonora Pass coming back from Reno (another weekend getaway).

Sunday, August 18, 2013


Here's a link to my new L.A. Times article — Inca Trail Marathon a runner's high in Peru — that was featured in today's Travel section.

Last weekend — two months after the marathon — I ran the Pinecrest Lake Run and really struggled with my lack of training, sleep, etc. Hadn't really ran much since Peru and the five-mile course had a killer hill. Thanks to Sue Kirk for sending this pic of me approaching the finish line!

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Lake Ediza (lucky #7)

Ediza's silhouette as we arrived at Lake Ediza
Our 7th annual hiking trip to Ediza's namesake started off not so lucky. When I drove to Mammoth Lakes to get our backcountry permit, the area was covered in white smoke from a fire south of town. The next day as we drove to the trailhead we experienced downpours of rain. Even as we started hiking we heard thunder and reports from other hikers of hail at Lake Ediza.

A family shot with llamas Golden and Nash on the way to Shadow Lake (below)

Somehow we managed to bypass the storms for two days, even as dark clouds and cold wind blew through. We were caught off guard a bit by the weather as our previous trips have been hot and sunny. But the weather ended up adding a whole magical element to this already magical place. We kept ourselves warm drinking tea and eating hot meals at our campsite high above the lake. Ediza, of course, kept herself busy exploring everything from wildflowers to wildlife.

The weather started to clear (although still smoky) our final morning. Here's two photos of Golden on a rock above our campsite followed by a golden sunrise over the lake.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Mt. Dana

I traded in the Andes of Peru for the Sierra of California. We went with friends to hike Mount Dana — the second highest point in Yosemite National Park. Here's a view of Mono Lake from the top.

Ediza, who needed some help up the snow, didn't make it to the top of the 13,061-foot mountain.

As we went higher, it got cold and windy. This marker at the top has certainly weathered many storms.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Peru pics

Here are some more photos from my trip to Peru.
Talk about an endless sky...

This was the courtyard at the hotel we stayed at in Cusco.
Here's the cathedral in the main square of Cusco.
The rainbow flags remind me of San Francisco.
Some alpacas at Sacsayhuaman, perched on a hillside overlooking Cusco.
We saw a traditional weaving demonstration, where the alpaca yarn is colored with a variety of natural dyes (including a bug found on a cactus and human urine).

Some more pics of a village we walked through....

These were taken in Ollantaytambo....

Inca Trail Marathon

Recently returned from running the Inca Trail Marathon. Here's a group of us the day before the run.
We hiked to our campsite — sandwiched between a river and a potato patch near the archaeological site of Llactapata.
The next morning, we woke up at 2 a.m., ate breakfast and hit the trail by 4 a.m. We had to wear headlamps for the first two hours of the run. In addition to being dark, it also rained on us.
I saw these llamas towards the top of Dead Woman's Pass, which had a fresh dusting of snow.
Here I am at the top of Dead Woman's Pass — the highest point of the trail at an elevation of 13,800 feet.
Eventually, I made it to the finish line — Machu Picchu! It took me 8 hours and 33 minutes.....good enough for second place!

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Spring forward

Looks like I took the winter off from posting anything, but now that it's spring I guess I'll share some new pics. My parents were in town (visiting from Maryland) last week and we did all the usual tourist outings. Here's a family shot at Lower Yosemite Fall.

On Easter, the bunny at Columbia State Historic Park handed out real carrots to the kids (and they hunted for real hard-boiled eggs)!

During the past few months, I've visited the four state parks in our region — Columbia, Railtown, Calaveras Big Trees and Indian Grinding Rock — for an upcoming story in Friends and Neighbors magazine due this summer (for the new spring issue I wrote an article about the benefits of tai chi). Here's a pic of Ediza and her friends inside the Pioneer Cabin Tree at Calaveras Big Trees State Park.

We had never been to Indian Grinding Rock State Historic Park in Amador County, but we really enjoyed our trip there — walking around and imagining life as a Native American. These holes in a stone slab are where Miwok women pounded acorns into meal.

Let's see, what else have we been up to? Amber is continuing her second year as team captain of the local High Country Hellcats roller derby team (their next home bout is April 27). We helped with a huge Bollywood-themed fundraiser for Ediza's school, the Sierra Waldorf School's Rites of Spring Auction. And in two months I will be running a marathon along the Inca Trail in Peru. More on that one later.