Ghosts of industry

The Empire Mine State Historic Park in Grass Valley, once the richest gold mining site in California (1850-1956), is also home to some very cool hiking trails. They provide a nice escape from some of the Valley heat, and along the way you may stumble across the remains of a number of smaller mines, some of which, like the Orleans […]

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Scenic history

It’s fairly common knowledge that Fort Ross in Sonoma County was founded by Russians in the 1800s, when they came to the Pacific Northwest to hunt for furs and to trade with the indigenous people. Fort Ross was actually the southernmost limit of their contact. At Gualala Point Park, just south of the town of Gualala, we came across a […]

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Colors of the coast

Lately it seems like everybody in my area is going crazy over the purple lupine at Folsom Lake, so naturally I had to go and find some alternative wildflowers. Besides the Douglas iris which I found near Gualala growing almost as thick as the lupine at Folsom, there were so many other shapes and colors. Some of them were familiar […]

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Along the cliffs

It’s been quite a long time since I visited the Sonoma coast during the springtime; we’re usually there in the autumn or mid winter. So it was great to see so many colorful wildflowers growing everywhere on this trip. I’ll share some images of the flowers in a later post. But during this visit to Gerstle Cove we found not […]

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Five days out

We just returned from five days at the coast, near Salt Point State Park. We were lucky to find a small house with a great ocean view only a few minutes away from Stillwater Cove. We were able to cook our own meals — including freshly caught fish one night — and we had tons of solitude. I tend to […]

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Trailing along

I explored the Oaks Nature Trail at Folsom Lake’s Peninsula Campground once before, last summer; even though this path is a bit more “civilized” than the dirt horse trails I usually like to wander, I still enjoyed myself a lot. And this time out was even better. Everything was much more green than during my summertime visit. I had a […]

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