Posts Tagged ‘Hiking’

The American River

Do you like to whitewater raft?  Hike? Pan for Gold?   The Coloma-Lotus Valley north of Sacramento has some of the most diverse, iconic landscapes in California and crucial water supply for much of California’s people and agriculture .  The canyon hosts 117  bird species including bald eagle and osprey as well as black bear, deer, bobcat, river otter, rainbow trout and salmon.

The South Fork American River Trail is beautiful.  You can travel on trails near the river for over 20 miles.

Meatgrinder, Troublemaker, Satan’s Cesspool, are you ready to go rafting?  The river is one of the most commercially rafted rivers west of the Rockies, perfect for novices and experts alike.  Children as young as 8 can raft the river and there are over 30 rafting companies to choose from.

This morning, as I was enjoying wi-fi, latte and a sunrise muffin from Sierra Rizing Bakery, a group of young guys from Action Whitewater Adventures were discussing rafting.  Sticking my nose into their conversation got me a ride on the guide raft this Sunday as a start to the season.

Cathy

Favorite National Park in California

What is that smell?

I had the most wonderful morning!  I met a new friend, he was very low to the ground, black with a white stripe and he smelled wonderful!  I went over to him and he shared his smell with me.  I am such a lucky dog.   My mom thought he smelled wonderful too, she keeps saying, “oh my, Edgar, you smell”.

Mom is talking to the nice people next to us about leaving me with them while she goes to the store and they are making funny faces and laughing about my wonderful smell.  Maybe I will go and get my new friend and bring him back to the boat dock so everyone can meet him.

I am such a lucky dog.

Edgar

Hiking in Marin and Sonoma

Marin County is scenic.  You can take many hikes around the bay with views of the Pacific Ocean, San Francisco, and all the lovely hills and valleys surrounding the bay.

We started at the Marin Headlands Visitor Center and intended to walk the Miwok Trail loop.  How we ended up on the Bobcat Trail…… couldn’t guess, between me and my sister we could get lost in a round room, with a map, and a guide.

The Federal Forest Ranger pulled us over for walking our dogs on no dogs allowed paths, he gave us a map, pointed us in the right direction and sent us back down the hill.  We saw turkey vultures, red tail hawks and some wild iris.  Edgar picked up a California tick.

Today we drove to Sonoma and had lunch with Janet’s friend Pat.  Pat came to Portland last year to meet with Arnica Publishing about “Animals Everywhere”.  I took her and Janet for a hike in Forest Park and got us lost coming back from the Pittock Mansion.  Luckily, I flagged down a nice lady in a BMW who gave all three of us and Edgar a ride back to our car – we were on the wrong side of the hill.

Pat did not get us lost in Sonoma and I had the pleasure of walking in the 80 degree sunshine around some beautiful old vineyards.

We stopped on the way home at the Field of  Greens for some free range, just laid eggs, and at the Jacuzzi Winery for a few nice bottles of wine.

Cathy

Trying to unwind in Sausalito, CA

You would think of all places Sausalito would be perfect to unwind.  Especially living on a sailboat in a marina next to a beach and 10 minute walk from town.

There are Kingfishers, Forster’s Tern, American Coot, Great Blue Heron, and too many other birds to count, just outside my door.  3 parks along the waterfront in walking distance.  Still I have trouble stopping to watch the birds and smell the flowers.

The sailboat needs spring cleaning and I have been putting in a few hours everyday making it spic and span – what is the origin of that phrase?  Spic and Span.  Still not enough to do.

I walked the trail from Sausalito to Mill Valley this afternoon with my sister – about 3 miles through beautiful wetlands.  Then tonight I walked Edgar another 3 miles.  Still restless.

I have been off work for 24 days.  Stopping to appreciate life is more difficult than I had imagined.

Cathy

Hillsboro, OR to Sausalito, CA

I really wanted to take my time driving from Hillsboro to Sausalito.  The rain and cold weather pushed me, which makes having no set schedule quite nice.

I arrived in Sausalito Monday afternoon. The sun was shining!

I am lucky enough to be able to stay aboard my brother-in-law’s sloop for a couple weeks.  Edgar walked happily down the dock and I lifted him, by his convenient life vest handle, on board.

Mid April, the boat is being dry docked for a couple days and I am going camping.  Where is your favorite place to camp and hike near Sausalito/SanFrancisco?

Cathy

Hiking

 

Oregon and the Columbia River Gorge are such awesome places to hike.    Dog Mountain, Hamilton Mountain, Lookout Mountain, Multnomah to Waukeena Falls, Cape Horn, North Lake on Mt. Hood and Coyote Wall, the beautiful and amazing Falls Creek Falls.

I gave my sister Arleen, my favorite hiking partner, a book of Hikes with Dogs before I left town and hope her dog Stanley enjoys the hikes.   We logged a lot of miles in 2010 and came close to completing the entire Wildwood Trail in Forest Park.

Hiking through North America is one of the things I am looking forward to most.   Edgar, my dog, is in great shape and raring to go.  I have been logging 10-20 miles per week and am raring to go.

I am looking for feedback from my readers on hikes, things to explore, campgrounds to stay in and national treasures not to miss.  So tell me: What is your favorite National Park?  What do you think is the coolest unknown national treasure?  What is the best place to hike “Off the Grid”?

Cathy

Change of Perspective

Today is my 54th Birthday.  How did that happen so quickly?  My niece is graduating from COLLEGE in May, my baby sister is closing in on 50.  WTF!

The journey begins heading south on 101 on my way to San Francisco to spend a few weeks chilling on my sister’s boat, tough duty :)

Your input will help guide me.   I expected my first hike to be Saddle Mountain, the tallest peak in the Coast Range, but a few feet of snow make it a bit dangerous, so I am heading farther south.   Tonight camping will be at Beverly Beach just north of Newport, OR.

Camping my way through North America is the plan, destinations unknown.   Visiting National and State Parks, writing this blog, photography and hiking are the agenda, everything else is up in the air.

Come explore with me………….

Cathy

Getting ready to hit the road

I set-up the tent to let Edgar get used to his new bedroom.  He jumped right in.

We just got back from Lake Grove Vet and Dr. Wiekum gave Edgar extra meds and an ok to travel.  Edgar knows something is going on and is sticking to me like glue.

Living out of the car trunk for a year has forced me to really decide what is important.

Sleeping comfort came first, the bigger air mattress is going to be worth the extra space.

Cooking and food storage are second.  It is my intention to prepare  most meals.  I am hoping that a woman camping alone will get invited to dine with her fellow campers.  Water storage and purification take some space and is necessary – lots of remote campgrounds do not have potable water.

Hygiene rounds out the top three – no explanation necessary.

I am packing for 3 seasons since I intend to avoid winter weather at all costs.  Camping in the USA makes it easy to find laundromats and grocery stores – really, how far can you be from a store in America?

Cathy

Crispy on the Edges

Thanks for subscribing to my blog.   I named the blog “Off the Grid” because this will be the first time since I was 18 years old that I have not had an electric bill in my name.

My blog begins with quitting my job, giving up my lease, moving my life into storage and starting a journey.   I really hope you will enjoy traveling with me  as I meet each day with an open mind, open agenda and take on what is thrown at me.  I intend to car camp and backpack and hike my way through the USA.

Day to day struggles to keep up a job, home, bills and all the trappings of civilized life have left me exhausted and “crispy on the edges” or as my friend, Dr. Geri Puleo, says “burned out in America“.

I am fortunate enough to have the opportunity to take this adventure and even my 81-year-old mom says “go for it, you’re not getting any younger“, thanks, Mom.

Join me along the way if you don’t mind camping under the stars or join me virtually through reading this blog and leaving your comments and suggestions.

Cathy Herman

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