california, Hiking, Opinion, outdoors, writing

The Fires Around Us

It has been a sad week here in the San Gabriel Valley. Since Labor Day weekend, amidst a record-breaking, infernal heat wave, the mountains above us have been scorched by fire. A persistent brown-grey cloud has hovered over the foothills of the San Gabriel Mountains and the valley below, causing extremely poor air quality, yet… Continue reading The Fires Around Us

dinner, Food, Opinion, Shopping, wine, wine and drink, writing

Friday Fun Wine List: 2020 Edition

The Pessimist: the wine or the author? I should vinify a wine called "The Murder Hornet." I don't need to tell anyone that 2020 has been one hell of a strange year. The 'Roaring 20's' certainly came in with a snarl, albeit in totally the wrong direction, and the sense of impending doom felt by… Continue reading Friday Fun Wine List: 2020 Edition

Family, Kids, Opinion, parenting, School, traditions, writing

Back to School: Version 2020

Sami starts her first day of eighth grade. Today, August 17, 2020, marks the beginning of the new 2020-2021 school year in our school district. To say that it looks different from any of the other 152 starts in the over 150 years of the district's existence is probably an understatement. There have been crises… Continue reading Back to School: Version 2020

california, Dog, dogs, Family, health, Hiking, outdoors, Pets, safety, Travel, writing

Great Workout Hikes: Van Tassel Trail

Running the trail with the boy. Above the foothills of Duarte, California, beginning at the trailhead located at the Fish Canyon staging area, is a fantastic workout hike. The Van Tassel Trail is a perfect trek for hikers training for more challenging hikes, as well as trail runners, cyclists, and folks who just want a… Continue reading Great Workout Hikes: Van Tassel Trail

american west, california, Camping, coffee, Deserts, Dessert, dinner, Food, Hiking, Lunch, national parks, outdoors, Travel, Uncategorized, Vacation, writing

Great California Road Trips: Fun on the U.S. 395

Driving Whitney Portal Road, just off U.S. 395 The U.S. 395 is a major north-south highway that connects California, Nevada, Oregon, and Washington to the Canadian border. It has its southern terminus at Interstate 15 in the middle of nowhere, California, close to the city of Hesperia. While it has its beginning in the dullness… Continue reading Great California Road Trips: Fun on the U.S. 395