Weekend Wilderness: Escape to Horseshoe Meadow

Sometimes the inertia of getting out of the city is too much to overcome – especially when we’re talking about a long holiday weekend like the Fourth of July.  My three main barriers to outdoor enjoyment seem to be logistics, the heat, and the crowds that commute en masse from the Los Angeles area to [...]

Packing in the Fun: Bishop Mule Days in the Eastern Sierras

Every year, on Memorial Day weekend, a great mob of mules and their packers, riders and trainers converge on the small town of Bishop, California, in the Eastern Sierras for an event called Mule Days.  For us, the Mule Days celebration and Memorial Weekend marks the end of our bouldering season – it’s time to [...]

The Dinosaur Hunters: Grand Junction, Colorado to Moab, Utah

My brother Andrew insisted that he had discovered a dinosaur bone, and I wasn’t buying it.  Granted, we were standing on the crumbly slope of Dinosaur Hill, where an almost-complete skeleton of Apatosaurus (colloquially but incorrectly known by the name Brontosaurus) was discovered in 1901.  But Dinosaur Hill was a well frequented stop on the “Dinosaur Diamond“, a [...]

That Choked Up Feeling

It’s not that I’ve been in a slump, but it’s good to get a little inspirational jolt from time to time.  Last night, I attended a screening at Adventure 16 of 180° South, a film about Jeff Johnson’s Patagonian journey, inspired by the 1968 epic adventure of Patagonia and North Face founders, Yvon Choinard and Doug Tompkins. [...]

Happiness Found at 8,000 Feet: a Birthday Party on Mount San Antonio

By now, you may have already heard about the research that shows that spending money on experiences is more conducive to happiness than spending money on “stuff”.  My friend Pietro understands this concept well.  Last year, he organized a birthday party for a group of family and friends at the San Antonio Ski Hut on [...]

The Great Sierra Circuit Part III: Shooting it up (with camera) in the Alabama Hills

This is part three of my description of the ultimate Sierra road trip, which originated in Los Angeles, visited the giant Sequoias, traversed the breadth of Yosemite National Park, and ended with a tour of the east side of the Sierra Mountains.  (See my posts covering Day 1 and Day 2 of the road trip.) Day [...]

The Great Sierra Circuit Part II: Yosemite Valley to Mono Lake

First Glimpse In my previous post, I described the itinerary for day 1 of the Great Sierra Circuit.  In a nutshell, we grabbed snacks for the road from our local Los Angeles farmer’s market and hiked at the uncrowded Sequoia gem called Nelder Grove. On the second day of our Sierra road trip, we headed [...]

The Great Sierra Circuit Part I: the ultimate SoCal road trip

Shadow of the Giants, Nelder Grove.  Photo by T. Kornylak Lately, I’ve been obsessed with planning the perfect road trip from Los Angeles.  I’m talking about a road trip for every occasion – for when your parents come out to see what living in California is all about; for when your old college roommate decides [...]

Top Secret: The enigmatic Coso Petroglyphs at China Lake

A herd of bighorn sheep still roam in China Lake Near the end of our 45 mile drive, on the top of Wild Horse Mesa, I spotted a gray mustang resting in the shade of a large Joshua tree.  Our route had taken us to 5,000 feet, through a forest of some of the most [...]

Fire Tower Lookout: A day and night above the clouds at the Morton Peak Fire Tower

If you have ever wondered about the life of a fire lookout, or contemplated a career as a lighthouse keeper, you should spend  a day at the Morton Peak Lookout, a 30-foot working fire tower perched on the bald top of a mountain in the San Bernardino National Forest.  The Morton Peak Lookout is one [...]

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