Summer 2015 Newsletter

Summer 2015 Newsletter

reflection North Fork of Middle Fork
reflection North Fork of Middle Fork

I got in two good backpacks this summer, walking the American Discovery Trail from the Truckee River nearly to Auburn. The trail, largely but not entirely coincident with the Western States / Tevis Cup trail, climbs through Squaw Valley to the Sierra crest near Granite Chief, then descends along ridges and through canyons of the Middle Fork of the American River. Though some of the trail is along roads, some is also in remarkably rugged and remote backcountry.

The second backpack was in the Granite Chief Wilderness, mostly to do trail maintenance along the Pacific Crest Trail. The ridge route has become brushed in again in several places, and I was able to clear about 150 feet of the worst, though that leaves quite a bit left to do. Several days into the trip I was going down to the springs in the North Fork Blackwood Creek to resupply with water, when I stepped on a sharp rock on the outside edge of my right foot, and experienced a great deal of pain. I walked out, slowly, and headed home, and when it did not feel OK after two days of rest, went in to get it x-rayed. My fifth metatarsal was fractured, and that ended my backpacking for a while. I have been trying a lighter weight hiking shoe, and mostly enjoyed the efficiency, but have to now admit to myself that they are too lightweight for the type of backpacking I do. So I’ll get a moderate weight pair and retire the lightweight ones to hiking.

Continue reading “Summer 2015 Newsletter”

Spring 2015 Newsletter

The first step of my seasonal newsletter is to look at my photos, and realize that I’m months behind on labeling and uploading photos to Flickr, and spending the time doing that. The seasonal collection is at I’ve made slide shows for my last two seasonal newsletters, but don’t have time to do that today.


On the summer solstice, I was on a backpack trip along the American Discovery Trail (ADT), starting the morning in Reno and camping that night alongside Whiskey Creek in the Granite Chief Wilderness. My only other backpack this spring was also on the ADT, this time going from Foresthill to Folsom.

I spent spring break week in southern Utah with my friend Jeff, and a trip we’ve been talking about for probably 30 years. We day hiked Cedar Mesa, and then spent time exploring side canyons with ruins along UT Hwy 95 and Butler Wash. This is an area I definitely want to spend more time in. After spending so much of my growing up time in southern Utah, there was a long period of years in which I did not go, and missed it, so it is great to be getting back there more often.

My winter newsletter reported on my tidying adventure. I’ve mostly completed that, but the trailing ends have proved difficult to finish off because I lost the thread of energy. I will get it all done, but a lesson learned (as the book pointed out) is to not pause until it is finished. I decided to screen slides and then get them scanned at Costco, but that has gone slowly, mostly for lack of time to screen.

Danita & MatthewOf course I’ve been dancing. I attend my local contra dances when I’m in town, though with so much travel I miss probably half. I’m now serving on the board of the dance organization, Sacramento Country Dance Society, and am the communications coordinator. I attended Northwest Folklife in Seattle over Labor Day weekend, going with dance friend Melissa, and spent time with Danita, who I’d not seen in over a year. Unfortunately Temma was out of town, but we still stayed at her house. I’ve been going to the sacred circle dances in El Cerrito any time the dance matches the Sunday Streets weekends. I also made one historical dance, the BAERS Congress of Vienna Ball in Alameda.

After months of delays, the state finally authorized San Juan USD’s Safe Routes to School grant, so in August we will be starting up with a new two-year program. That means I know what I am doing with the next two years of my life, and I’m looking forward to it.

squirrels 3I always enjoy time spent in the bay area, kind of my second home. This spring I participated in the Bay to Breakers “race” for the first time, thanks to the many year’s encouragement of Vicki and other friend. I thought it was a hoot. My early part was mostly spent enjoying the costumes, but as the younger and costumed people started dropping out about half way (too much alcohol), I started walking in earnest and ending up with a decent time of 2:03. Of course the runners do it in about a quarter of the time, but I’m a walker and not a runner. The event is not something I’ll feel compelled to do every year, but I did enjoy it and will do it again.

This year I’m again volunteering for Sunday Streets SF, as a captain. The hours are longer but I so much enjoy working with the staff that I don’t mind. I’ve been doing less of Freedom from Training Wheels since the schedule conflicts. Embarcadero, Bayview/Dogpatch, Mission and Sunset so far, with several yet to go.

light displayThe Market Street Prototyping Festival was a lot of interesting, with livability enhancing designs ranging from silly to profound. My favorite was ChimeSF, a huge musical instrument that could be played by multiple,people. It was not only fun, it was a beautiful piece of design and woodworking. 

With my membership, I saw the major exhibits High Style at The Legion of Honor and Botticelli to Brecht at the de Young.

May Is Bike Month, and my mileage for the month was 836, mostly commuting miles, and all trip-replacement miles. I don’t use public transportation much during the month, except for six Amtrak trips, so that increases my pedaling. Given that I didn’t ride for six days while on my trip to Seattle, I’m fairly impressed with my miles.

I assisted Jim with the LCI Seminar in Davis in April.

Theatre continues to be a joyful part of my life, and the plays I’ve seen this season are at Theatre: Spring 2015

After years of struggling to find the right application and mechanism for posted my calendar events on the Internet, and having every one of them break after a time, I think I have finally found the solution. iosxpert’s CalendarPublisher copies events from Daylite (where I keep nearly everything) to Google Calendars, which I can embed in my blog Calendar. You may be amused at how busy I am, except life slows a bit in summer.

Winter 2014-2015 Update

Wouldn’t it be easier to date things, and follow the seasons rather than arbitrary calendars, if the year changed on the Winter Solstice? Then I’d only have to write Winter 2015, rather than trying to distinguish between last year and next year by writing 2014-2015. Yes, it is something I think about only once a year, but I’ve been thinking about it my entire life.

Life is busy as ever:

  • Sunday Streets San Francisco has started up again, and this year I’m volunteering as a captain for several of the events. It makes for longer days, but more service. March 8 was Embarcadero.
  • I have started spending time with my friend Lea again. Though we’ve kept in touch over the years since about 1984, we haven’t spent much time together since. Fun!
  • On winter break in southern Nevada, I rode with Joe Herbst to an area he calls Valley of the Kings, off North Shore Rd in Lake Mead NRA, visited friends Pitchfords, Donna, Howard, Jeff, Lance & Lorelle (and Vicki and Gus), and of course spent time with my family for the holidays.
  • For circle dancing, I attended the Gwyn Peterdi circle dance event in Oakland, Big Heart Tribal Gathering with teachers from all over northern California, two regular dances in El Cerrito, and an afternoon dance in Davis. For contra dancing, I attended the Contra Carnivale weekend in San Luis Obispo, and five regular dances in Sacramento. And one historical dance, the PEERS Victorian 12th Night Ball.
  • I did only one backpack trip, from Foresthill to Auburn on the American Discovery Trail.
  • I’ve been participating in the Food Literacy Center book club, which makes sure I devote at least some time to book reading instead of just keeping up with professional reading.
  • I saw nine plays, most in Sacramento but two in San Francisco.
  • As stated in my Fall 2014 post, I’ve been tidying my possessions, freeing myself of things that no longer bring me joy. Unfortunately I slowed down before I was finished and have stalled, but I will get back to it. The items I have left are those which didn’t easily fit into a category. I just gave away my old backpack to a friend, and that felt good.
  • I attended the Davis-Boulder Active Transportation Mini-conference in Davis, and helped Elle with a Traffic Skills 101 course.
  • For Sacramento Beer Week, I visited two breweries that were new to me, Yolo Brewing in West Sacramento (not far from Bike Dog Brewing) and Oak Park Brewing in Oak Park. Unfortunately the “week” was busy with other activities and I only made my favorite Track 7 Brewing twice, and next favorite New Helvetia Brewing once.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Fall 2014 Update

Keith Haring art at FAMSF de Young
Keith Haring art at FAMSF de Young

Note: slideshow at bottom of post

My life is so busy that two things are true: 1) I can’t remember what I’ve done the previous season, except for a few highlights, without consulting my calendar, and 2) I’ve fallen way, way behind on my ideal of posting a seasonal update four times per year. My last time was Summer 2013.

  • I’m back at work as Safe Routes to School Coordinator at San Juan Unified, as of August. Funding is still flakey, but I’m still getting work done, and still enjoying it, particularly the bicyclist lessons.
  • I attended the Harvest Moon contra dance weekend in Santa Barbara, which is a weekend full of dancing and seeing friends from all over who come for the same reason I do, high level, high energy dancing and good friends, including Teralyn. This is my favorite contra dance weekend, though others come close. I also attended the 12-hour TDOGS Twirl contra dance in Hayward. Unfortunately, my energy didn’t quite hold out the entire 12 hours.
  • A lot weekends were spent in San Francisco and the bay area, five just this quarter. I go for dancing (sacred circle dancing, historical dancing, and contra dancing, mostly), museums, theatre, bicycling, hiking visiting friends, eating good food, conferences, etc.
  • I attended two Sunday Streets events in San Francisco, volunteering with both Sunday Streets and the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition’s Freedom from Training Wheels program, which is probably the most fun I have, seeing kids make that first successful balance, and then pedal, without training wheels.
  • I was lucky to find out at the last moment about the San Francisco Tweed Ride, and join them. A great group of people to hang out with, and ride, and drink beer at the end. They take costuming much more seriously than I do. I then finished the day off with SFBC’s Winterfest, a huge gathering of bicycle advocates. Some of the same people, and more beer.
  • This year I have a membership in the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco (FAMSF), which are the Legion of Honor in Lincoln Park and the de Young in Golden Gate Park. I saw the Houghton Hall exhibit at the Legion, art and objects from an English country manor, with a tie-in to Downton Abbey, and the exhibit of Keith Haring at the de Young, a remarkable collection of advocacy art.
  • I assisted two League Cycling Instructor (LCI) Seminars, in Rancho Cordova and San Francisco, and helped Elle instruct a Traffic Skills 101 in Sacramento.
  • I repeated my backpack of the American Discovery Trail section 8, from Walnut Creek to San Francisco, this time keeping an accurate GPS track.
  • Some Wednesdays I’ve been joining Claire Bromund and her compadres for wine at various Sacramento wine bars and restaurants. I’ve also been frequenting my favorite breweries, first Track 7, followed by New Helvetia and Bike Dog.
  • I attended Walk California’s Best Foot Forward Summit, helping develop a strategic vision for the organization and all its partners. Intense, but worthwhile.

Continue reading “Fall 2014 Update”

Fall 2013

At the end of every season I try to put up a post on the preceding. Yesterday, the Winter Solstice, I was in San Francisco, and attended the Dickens Fair with my friend Barbara. We wandered the streets of London, had high tea, and danced a bit at Fezziwigs. Nothing else special in celebration of the day, but that is as good as any. Theatre for the fall season is in a separate post.


I continue my position as Safe Routes to School Coordinator with San Juan USD. Much of my time this fall was devoted to on-bike education with students in five schools. This is the most fun I have of all the things I do, and I feel so fortunate to have this as a central part of my job.


I attended the Harvest Moon Contra Dance Weekend in Santa Barbara, October 11-13, and had a wonderful time, one of the better weekends I’ve been to. A lot of good friends there, some of whom I see fairly often, and others I rarely see. The other big contra event was the 12-hour Fall Has Sprung in Grass Valley. Sadly, the last one, but I enjoyed it enough to tide me over for a while. I attended one contra dance in Las Vegas, which I get to only once or twice a year, one in Palo Alto, and got to about half of the local contra dances in Sacramento. I attended one sacred circle dance in El Cerrito and two in Davis. I also danced at the Jane Austen Birthday Tea in Sacramento, the Holiday Ball in Old Sacramento, and the Dickens Fair in Daly City.


I ride my bike nearly every day, and went on two moonlight rides. I attended and volunteered at Sunday Streets SF in the Excelsior, which brings the number I attended this year to seven out of the nine. My backpacking was limited to one trip, but it was a great one, previously posted at ADT: San Francisco to Point Reyes. Sadly, I didn’t do any day hikes at all. I can tell, because I’m carrying more weight than I want to be.


Michael Franti in October at Sac State. Voices of Innocence choral performance led by my friend Tracia, November in Davis. Alasdair Fraser and Natalie Haas at Harlow’s in Sacramento in December, one of the best concerts I have ever been to.

Another summer slips by

Well, another summer gone, and now into fall. This is my intended quarterly report to friends and family.

mosaic design on Moraga Steps, San Francisco
mosaic design on Moraga Steps, San Francisco

This chance to think back over the season leaves me wondering what the best event was. That’s fortunately a touch decision to make, with so many fun and important events, but I’m going to say the Peak2Peak walk with  Walk San Francisco on September 7. I saw places I’d never seen before, including the mosaic on Moraga Steps, and the view from Grandview Park. It was fun walking with people I didn’t know and listening to their perspectives on San Francisco neighborhoods and livability.


I had planned on a big backpack into the Granite Chief over Labor Day weekend, but the Rim Fire was dumping smoke directly over that area, so I decided to continue my American Discovery Trail project from Antioch westward, but then I just ran out of energy and spent the weekend catching up on sleep and work and life. Well, at least there are two more trip times scheduled for this fall.

  • Peak2Peak walk in San Francisco, hosted by Walk San Francisco
  • Sunday Streets SF: Tenderloin, Western Addition, The Mission, Great Highway
  • social bike rides including Tour de Brews, sponsored by SABA to New Helvetia & Track 7, and West Sacramento Farmers Market; Tour de Vino, Moonlight Ride, Perseid Meteor Shower ride
  • backpack in the Granite Chief Wilderness – PCT
  • co-led two Tahoe Rim Trail Assocation segment hikes, Spooner to Kingsbury North, and Barker Pass to Tahoe City; also attended the TRTA Guide Training
  • backpack in the Granite Chief Wilderness – Picayune Valley
  • backpacked the entire Tahoe Rim Trail in two trips, Tahoe City to Big Meadows, and Big Meadows to Tahoe City


  • several contra dances in Sacramento
  • sacred circle dancing in El Cerrito
  • August Gaskell Ball, Oakland
  • circle dance at the Amphitheatre, Ben Lomond, hosted by Barbara Thomas
  • special fifth Saturday dance in Truckee, Joyce Miller and Hot Cider
  • contra dance in San Francisco with The Avant Gardners (Laura Light)
  • West Coast Circle Dance Camp, Aptos CA: five days of sacred circle dancing in the redwoods; good friends to talk with and dance with, centering dances


  • Draw the Line bicycle rally in Davis (
  • Summer Heat climate change/climate justice rally in Richmond (
  • The Exploratorium and other time with my friend Barbara
  • Celtic music at De Vere’s on Sunday afternoons, when in town
  • Plough and Stars, San Francisco, for the Irish session that people have been telling me about for years, and I finally made it, great music

Spring 2013 Update

20130622-205048.jpgAt summer solstice, I think back over the preceding season. A lot of interesting things (to me, at least) happen that don’t make it in to posts. A few are on Facebook, or tweeted, but most are only on my calendar or in my head. Probably the thing that best captures the season for me is the new Midtown Farmers Market, and the produce of the season.

Continue reading “Spring 2013 Update”


Nothing terribly eventful has happened since my last post, but I know if I fall far behind, it seems too hard to decide what to post and catch up.

Sacramento trees have been spectacular with fall color. As my first fall here, I’m not sure if it brighter, but it is certainly bright, and is probably later than usual, with a few trees now bare but many in their full glory.

I’ve been going to Davis to see movies at the Varsity Theatre this fall. I like old theatres, and in fact try to avoid modern multiplexes, so my theatres are the Tower and Crest in Sacramento, the Varsity in Davis, and others when I travel. Recently I’ve seen The Way and Martha Marcy May Marlene. I’m exploring the bike facilities of Davis and also using up left over Amtrak tickets.

I spent Wednesday with Steffani, and Thanksgiving day with Lea and her friends, as well as her household of dogs and cats. Quite enjoyable!

Of course I’m dancing, last night I Sacramento, last Saturday in Auburn where I’ve not danced in years, and last Friday in Davis where I’ve never danced before. In Auburn a few of us went for yogurt at break, and last night four of us went to Desert Diner after. I really enjoy this and have been disappointed that this social practice that was so common when I started dancing has faded away in most places.

– Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone


Spring Equinox

I’ve fallen a month behind on posts, so I’ll catch up here today.

Peony Peak
Peony Peak

Spring Equinox

Yesterday, March 20, was the spring equinox. It is hard to believe, as it was a grey cold day, and today is snowy and colder. Despite that, I walked up Peony Peak, my favorite local walk, and often though not always destination on the equinoxes and solstices. Being Sunday, there was much less noise from the freeway, so it was a quiet day of watching. The clouds were down over the Carson Range, and around the valley’s edge, making the valley seem even more of an enclosed bowl than it already does. I’ve been in California several times over this last month, and there it has been spring for a while, though a rainy spring, and it is sometimes hard to come back to winter in Nevada.

Continue reading “Spring Equinox”

Looking Back on 2010

Winter Solstice again, and not many posts this past year. I celebrated the solstice with David Buesch and friends at his house in the evening.

The big themes of the year have been transportation, hiking and dancing, not to anyone’s surprise. I said last year one of my long-term goals was to live without a car. I drove my car 5000 miles this year, and I’m glad to be down to such low numbers, but I feel as though that last little bit is going to be quite difficult to eliminate so long as I’m living in Carson City. I use my car (or go with friends) to get to Reno to connect to Amtrak or plane travel, to get to Incline Village and Lake Tahoe for hiking and meetings, and to get to dances. If I give up that last bit of flexibility, I’ll feel stuck in Carson City, and I don’t want that. So I’ll keep my car for as long as I’m in Carson, and continue to keep the driving down as much as I can. On the plus side, I did ride my bike more than I drove, and that feels good. I don’t have an odometer on my bicycles, but figuring a common daily mileage plus other trips works out to about 6000 miles a year.

Continue reading “Looking Back on 2010”