August challenge: the trees of Irvington

We’re staying this week in Irvington, one of Portland’s inner east side neighborhoods.  It feels a bit like living in an Arboretum, with a great diversity of mature trees – there must be fifty different species here, often grouped in short rows along parking strips, each block featuring a different tree than the one before. … Continue reading "August challenge: the trees of Irvington"

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August challenge: the Kalaloch Tree of Life

The Sitka Spruce is a pretty amazing tree.  Previously we had a look at the largest known Sitka Spruce in the world, soaring nearly two hundred feet into the sky.  Today’s featured image is a much smaller example, but nearly as remarkable.  The Kalaloch Tree of Life ekes out its precarious existence on the wild … Continue reading "August challenge: the Kalaloch Tree of Life"

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Bikes on White Mountain

At 14,252 feet in elevation, White Mountain Peak in the White Mountains is the third highest summit in California. A long, rough, unpaved road (requiring four-wheel drive and high clearance) leads up from the Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest visitor center several thousand feet to the University of California’s Barcroft Research Station at 12,470 feet. Normally … Continue reading "Bikes on White Mountain"

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Tioga Pass, part 1

Tioga Road across the Sierra through Yosemite National Park is one of the most spectacular high mountain routes (up to nearly 10,000 feet) in the US. But all the usual reasons—narrow lanes, lack of shoulders, curves, climbs, heavy traffic, lumbering RVs, inattentive drivers—make it a dicey proposition under normal circumstances. Consequently, bicyclists love the opportunity … Continue reading "Tioga Pass, part 1"

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One Brick at a Time

Janet is right. Northern California suffers from a relative dearth of brick buildings. Why? Earthquakes. Brick buildings tend not to stand up to earthquakes too well. In the big 1906 quake, Santa Rosa suffered proportionally more damage than San Francisco. Practically every brick edifice in town collapsed. Nowadays, most of the brick walls around here … Continue reading "One Brick at a Time"

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CLC 2019 Ride 1: Tomales, Chileno Valley, and Petaluuuuma

Thursday, March 14, 2019 The wife and I traveled to that tourist hotspot in Sonoma County known as Petaluma when we had a few days off. Why there? I have lots of rellies that live in Sonoma County, including lots of them in Petaluma, and we hadn’t seen them in a long time. Plus my … Continue reading "CLC 2019 Ride 1: Tomales, Chileno Valley, and Petaluuuuma"

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CLC 2019, #5: Slipping off the back of the pack

With the tread of G-2’s rear wheel fading into the distance, I’m starting to lose hope of breaking the tape on this spring’s challenge.  Still, I’m in it to win it so I’ll plug away, keeping my chance alive.  Maybe Doris will flatten or get waylaid by the midwest’s floodwaters and I can zip past … Continue reading "CLC 2019, #5: Slipping off the back of the pack"

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CLC 2019, #4: Saint Johns and Cathedral Park

I really HATE IT when I’m in a race and don’t realize it until my competitor zips past with a well-timed taunt.  Typically this happens with Rachael, who likes to sneak up from behind and then whiz by gleefully proclaiming “Race, I win!” So I’m understandably none too pleased when I read the comments on my … Continue reading "CLC 2019, #4: Saint Johns and Cathedral Park"

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Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument

Sonoma County was inundated by torrential downpour for days. Santa Rosa received the most rainfall in a single day going back all the way to the earliest records kept in the 1800s. Rivers, creeks, and waterways overflowed. Streets, roads, and highways flooded. Residents along the Russian River received mandatory evacuation orders. Hundreds of miles away … Continue reading "Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument"

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