Oak Glen

My favorite time of year is autumn.  Southern California may still feel like summer  but you can start to sense a bit of crispness in the air. The mornings are a bit cool and you may even be able to don a sweater before the sun fully comes out! To celebrate the fall equinox we…

Santa Rosa Plateau

Have you ever wondered what Southern California looked like before the freeways, houses, and Starbucks showed up. How about what it looked like before Europeans came on the scene with cattle, plows, and agriculture? One of the best examples of native California landscape can be found at the Santa Rosa Plateau Ecological Reserve. The Reserve…

Super Bloom Fever

Thanks to a particularly wet winter, Southern California is experiencing a super bloom. There are many areas that are covered in wildflowers, and everyone and their aunt Mildred wants in on the action. However the quest to experience this natural phenomenon can bring out the worst in humanity. Many people are respectful, but there are…

A Vacation on the Salton Sea

  I wanted to take a mini vacation. Hawaii would have been ideal but time and money would not allow it. I needed a place within driving distance that I had never explored before. I had two days. After living in Southern California for almost a decade this was a tall order and with my…

Hiking: Chaparrosa Peak

Miles-8 Elevation-5500 ft. Getting there- From I-10 take route 62 north towards Yucca Valley. In 19  miles turn left on Pioneer town road. In 7.5 miles turn left onto Pipes Canyon Road. In .9 miles the road ends at the Pioneertown Mountain Preserve. High above the city of Yucca Valley, up a twisting road past…

Hiking : Middle Palisade

Elevation- 14,019 Distance- 12 miles round trip ( An estimate – the last part of the hike is off trail) Oh Eastern Sierra, how I love thee. The only part I do not love is having to wait till 8am at the Ranger Station surrounded by pushy Mt. Whitney hikers just so I can get…

Why I Hike Solo

  I begin to ascend out of the dirt parking lot. It is early and I do not pass anyone on the trail. All I can hear is the shrill call of a Steller’s Jay in an otherwise quite forest. The early morning dew helps to keep the dust down, but later, when the sun…

To The Sierra Nevada With Love

Over the past few years I have fallen in love with the California’s Sierra Nevada mountain range. Since moving to California I have become a self proclaimed desert rat, odd for a girl from Maine. But something about the high alpine lakes and the lichen covered granite of the Sierras remind me of home. Since…