To the lighthouse

Just a short way farther north from the Point Arena Pier is the turnoff, Lighthouse Road, that leads to the Point Arena Lighthouse. There were plenty of tempting sights urging us to pause along this narrow 2-mile road, but we carried on to the end of the cul-de-sac and parked. The first thing I noticed was not the lighthouse itself […]

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Point Arena

While staying a few nights at the Fort Ross Lodge, we decided to take a drive up the coast beyond Gualala, farther than we usually go on our escapes to the ocean. Since I failed to consult a map, I had the mistaken impression that Fort Bragg was just a short trip up the coast, and I expected we would […]

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Big sky

The day after the rainstorm, the ocean off the Mendocino County coast looked calm and the sky was a serene blue, but the waves still pounded the shoreline, throwing foam high up onto the cliffs. We stood back and admired the sea from a safe distance!

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Sweetwater diversion

With the Folsom Lake water levels so low at this time of year, it’s not uncommon to see more old structures appearing along the shore. At Sweetwater Creek the difference between now and my previous visit last spring is pretty dramatic. I was pleased to find evidence of historic water diversion during my hike, but it was also fun comparing […]

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Trail signs

Most of the signs I see along the trail when hiking are ordinary things, offering information or giving directions. I usually appreciate seeing them because they reassure me I’m headed in the right direction — even if the signs themselves seem a little confused. Other signs leave me scratching my head; surely they have a meaning, even if I can’t […]

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Rock garden

I always find a strange beauty in the enormous granite outcroppings arising out of the earth around the area of Folsom Lake. According to one source (PDF link), the Folsom granite is about 128 million years old; I grew up seeing large granite rocks like these all over the Sierra foothills, so they are both familiar and mysterious to me. […]

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Miners Ravine Nature Reserve

I like to visit this hidden treasure along Folsom-Auburn Road in Granite Bay on cool autumn mornings. The trail is a relatively short loop (0.9 miles), but thanks to the terrain, it doesn’t feel especially crowded. I think those who come here are looking for a bit of peace and quiet and are happy to allow fellow visitors a bit […]

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Granite maze

Indian summer at Folsom Lake. Hiking from the Doton’s Point parking lot at Granite Bay, you can literally get lost in the tangle of intersecting trails climbing over and between huge granite outcrops to the top of the ridge. Once you arrive at the highest point, enjoy the view! Because you’re definitely going to get confused again, trying to find […]

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