Riding the Rails

Today was spent riding the rails.  Why?  Well.. Years ago the National Park Service partnered with AMTRAK and formed the Trails & Rails program to give passengers an opportunity to learn more about a region’s natural and cultural heritage from NPS volunteers who ride the train on certain segments of very popular and scenic routes.  Earlier this year, AMTRAK and the NPS agreed to add … Continue reading Riding the Rails

Exploring Northern California

Dude!  California is f—ing awesome! Oops.  Inner voice escaping.  Let’s try something more appropriate… California’s natural beauty will make even the most calloused urbanite “ooh” and “ahh” at its diversity and splendor. Better? Okay.  I just returned from another road trip, this time to the opposite end of the state.  (This is one big-assed state, let me tell you.) It had been eons since I was … Continue reading Exploring Northern California

Dessert and Desert Delights

It was time to bust out of the city.  An afternoon drive into the mountains and desert was just what the doctor ordered.  So was a slice of Julian Pie Company Dutch apple pie (déjà vu).

It had been a tiresome week filled with mundane things like completing my tax returns and scribbling out checks for silly amounts to both the state and the Feds; scribbling out two more checks for my vehicle registration renewals; and battling a stubborn external computer hard drive that was acting up.  I needed to step away from the bureaucracy for a few hours. Continue reading “Dessert and Desert Delights”

Autumn & Apple Pie

One of the best things about living in San Diego County is its bio- and eco-diversity.

Of course, there’s the coast with its beaches and amazing rocky intertidal zones and tide pools.  Inside the harbor, there’s the marshlands and Tijuana River estuary, a haven for shore birds of all types.  Head north along the coast to the rare coastal sage scrub plant community at Cabrillo National Monument and the Torrey pines near the famous golf course of the same name.  Move inland and you’re in the foothills on your way to the Cuyamaca and Laguna mountains, all part of the Peninsular ranges.  Another hour to the east and you’re in the Anza-Borrego Desert.  Go a little farther out of the county and spend some time below sea level on the shores of the Salton Sea. Continue reading “Autumn & Apple Pie”