Engaging Journeys, Engaged Journalism

Monthly Archives: September 2014

Making the Most of Mendocino

Up the Road to Mendocino The Gualala River forms the boundary between Sonoma and Mendocino Counties. Travelers heading north will find that most Bay Area weekenders have by now tailed off, leaving this stretch of coast highway for the locals and long-haul travelers. It’s a little greener (and wetter) here than in Sonoma County, but […]

What Price Water? Living with Water Scarcity

There’s a difference between water scarcity and water shortage, and economist David Zetland wants everyone to understand that distinction. Scarcity is a perception, but water shortage is a fact. Shortage is far worse than scarcity, he says, because even if you otherwise have the necessary money (or other requirement) to acquire what you want, when […]

Fall Coasting from Bodega Bay to Sea Ranch

Alfred Hitchcock considered the quaint coastal fishing village of Bodega Bay and associated inland town just perfect for filming The Birds, with its rather ominous suggestion that nature will avenge itself one day. But people come to Bodega Bay and vicinity to avoid thinking about such things. They come to explore the headlands, to whalewatch, […]

The Russians Are Coming, the Russians Are Coming*

Actually, they already came and then went back home, as any California fourth grader will tell you, after a 40-year stay. Some of these same fourth graders may even have been lucky enough to participate in living history overnights at Fort Ross, Imperial Russia’s farthest outpost. A large village of the Kashia Pomo people once […]

The Stuff of Life

During the Depression, when casinos were legal in Mexico, my grandfather worked as a bookkeeper and cashier at a club in Mexicali. My grandparents lived across the border in Calexico. They were embarrassed that Grandpa was working at a casino, but it was a job. Although recreation was limited in Calexico, they found a surprising […]

Going Coastal: Point Reyes and the Marin Coast

The coast will be even clearer in Fall if you can travel during the week, when families with kids are otherwise occupied (though you may encounter those kids on field trips). But even weekends are lighter in terms of fellow travelers, at least once you get well north of Marin. You may even find it […]

Go Coasting in Fall to Forget About Fog

Keep in mind, though, that fog created California’s north coast, and still defines it. Fog is everywhere, endless, eternal, there. Even on blazing, almost blinding days of sunshine when the veil lifts, the fog is still present somehow, because life here has been made by it. Stands of sky-scraping coast redwoods need fog to live. […]

My Little Free Library: #16,408

By Liz Stewart The Barber Neighborhood little free library stands just over five feet tall, a boxy, wooden cabinet with two plexiglass doors, supported by three posts. The bottom shelf is thirty-five inches off the ground. It sits in a shady spot right next to the sidewalk in my front yard and holds about forty […]

How do we travel wisely and well, both abroad and in our own backyard?

In the beginning the word was “ecotourism,” which quickly became a travel industry buzzword. Ecotours and associated products and services became increasingly popular tourism commodities—a trend destined to not only continue but to grow exponentially, given the degree of international interest in and concern over ecological awareness, environmental protection, and cultural sensitivity. But what is […]

Vermont’s Great California Debate

Cal-Organic. Earthbound Farms. Driscoll’s Berries. I often wonder whether the ears of folks involved in California agriculture are perpetually burning from the intensity of Vermont coffee-shop debate over the environmental, ethical, and economic value of left-coast commercial organic produce. Our sparsely-populated, Green Mountain-rippled little state has the highest density of farmers’markets and micro-brewers and the […]