A local rediscovers her beach

A local rediscovers her beach

It’s Wednesday afternoon. Low clouds hang over Morro Strand, a three-mile stretch of beach north of Morro Rock. No kids, kites, or coolers. I focus on a different type of beachcomber. Hundreds of sand dollars have been stranded at low tide. Little purple spheres...
Famed 1,049-mile Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race

Famed 1,049-mile Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race

The following March, I flew to Anchorage. I’d done my research about the volunteer pilots, nicknamed the Iditarod Air Force (IAF). They sometimes flew volunteers and journalists to remote checkpoints. A pilot heading to Finger Lake offered to drop me at the...
Weekend Escape: Rancho de la Osa, Part II

Weekend Escape: Rancho de la Osa, Part II

A handful of guests at the dude ranch mount their horses for an afternoon ride. We string out behind Ross Knox (head wrangler) and Colleen Crisman (his assistant), crossing dry creek beds and battling mesquite trees with their inch-long thorns. I’m on a sure-footed...
Weekend escape: Santa Barbara’s Funk Zone, Part 1

Weekend escape: Santa Barbara’s Funk Zone, Part 1

SANTA BARBARA IS MY HAPPY PLACE, A PLACE TO lose myself on the beach boardwalk, breathing briny sea air thick with the caw of gulls. This time I drove down to explore the Funk Zone: a 10-square-block area of old warehouses, manufacturing and industrial plants. The...
Travel: Mount Whitney or Die Part 1

Travel: Mount Whitney or Die Part 1

Everyone I talked to, including the guy bagging my groceries, had hiked Mount Whitney, 14,491 feet. Sure, it’s the highest peak in the lower forty-eight with well-marked routes. By some accounts, these trails are the most heavily traveled in the United States: Some...