Issue 72

River People Share the Stoke

River People Share the Stoke

Arcata paddlers on the Eel River. Photo: Wes Schrekengost How to Get Started in the Wild World of Whitewater By Haven Livingston Every outdoor activity has its own personality. From cycling to surfing, climbing to skiing, all can be intimidating to beginners. While I’ve sampled just about every outdoor sport, when I encountered river people, I knew I’d found a home. In contrast to the less-than-embracing surf scene in my hometown of Santa Cruz, the vast majority of boaters are more than eager to help beginners. While I admit to loving a head-high day at Santa Cruz’s Middle Peak as much as anyone, I have to say the localism attitude and egos in the water can be a stoke stopper. A waterwoman at heart, I have spent the last couple years exploring California and southern Oregon rivers and creeks to get my liquid fix. The ocean will always be my...
Bikes and Brews

Bikes and Brews

Photo courtesy of The Grand Cru California Cyclists Give New Meaning to the Phrase “Biker Bar” By Derrick Peterman & Photos courtesy of The Grand Cru Beer has long been recognized as a reward for hard work and/or any kind of adventurous activity, and that seems especially true for cyclists of every stripe, from hardcore roadies to fat tire aficionados. While this list is far from exhaustive, the following is a regional breakdown of some watering holes that shouldn’t be missed. Santa Cruz “Our weekly rides from Wilder Ranch usually end at Santa Cruz Mountain Brewing or burger. Restaurant on Mission St.,” responded Mark Davidson, President of Mountain Bikers of Santa Cruz when asked where riders go for a beer in Santa Cruz. Indeed, all the cyclists we spoke to mentioned these places for a good post-ride brew in Santa Cruz. This might have something to do with the...
Women on Waves is Returning to Capitola

Women on Waves is Returning to Capitola

Photo courtesy of WOW/www.philmattewsphotography.com After a three year hiatus, women will be coming back to surf and benefit the community Started in 1996 by guys from the West Wind Surf Club, Women on Waves (WOW) was a unique event that gave the women of Santa Cruz County a chance to surf and benefit the local community. WOW passed through the hands of various producers. Through it all WOW continued as an amateur event that showcased the talent and athleticism of women surfers from all walks of life and all ages from nine to seventy! After a three year hiatus, Women on Waves is coming back to Capitola on April 13. This year’s proceeds will go to WomenCARE, Women’s Crisis Support – Defensa de Mujeres, and the Barry Hamby Cabrillo College Scholarship. Go to www.wowsurffest.com to learn more and register....
World’s Toughest Half Triathlon

World’s Toughest Half Triathlon

Photo by Michael Kirby New Owners Take the Helm at Auburn’s Iconic Event By Tim Hauserman & Photos by Michael Kirby It makes sense that in Auburn, CA, the place that proclaims itself as the Endurance Capital of the World, there is a triathlon called The World’s Toughest Half. At least that is what Brad Kearns thought when he started the Auburn Triathlon eleven years ago in the town that is famous for being the finish of the Tevis Cup endurance horse race and one of the toughest long distance running races in America, the Western States 100, both of which travel from Squaw Valley to Auburn. Kearns founded the Auburn Triathlon after spending nine years as a pro triathlete. Upon moving to Auburn it didn’t take him long to decide that it was the best place in the world to train for endurance events. What Kearns found in Auburn...
The Dawn of a Golden Age for California Singletrack?

The Dawn of a Golden Age for California Singletrack?

Mountain Bike Trail Groups Gain Access for Riders Throughout the State By Matthew De Young I grew up mountain biking in the San Francisco Bay Area, a place that has been simultaneously a mountain biker’s promised land and a kind of purgatory. While there is a huge amount of public land and miles of trails easily accessible from most points in the Bay Area, many parks and trails are closed to mountain bikers. As a teenager I became acutely aware that as mountain bikers my friends and I were the “black sheep” of the trail user community. The singletrack we rode was often built illegally and we were never certain how long any given trail would last before it was “erased” by land managers. Even trails officially open to mountain bikers could be an unpleasant experience. Rangers hiding in the bushes with radar guns ready to issue speeding tickets were...
Adventurous Women

Adventurous Women

Three Noted Authors Face their Fears and Overcome Personal Challenges By Tim Hauserman Looking for a good read about adventurous women overcoming their fears and striking out into the wilderness? You can’t go wrong with one of these books: Wild by Cheryl Strayed; Almost Somewhere by Suzanne Roberts; and Learning to Fly by Steph Davis. They all focus on how the physical challenge of doing something exciting helped them work through the personal issues they were facing in their lives. And more importantly, they are all entertaining reads. Wild, by Cheryl Strayed I’ve read memoirs about hiking the Pacific Crest Trail before. They talk about the hardship of hiking the trail and how overcoming that hardship brought them peace and a powerful feeling of accomplishment. Wild does all that, but it’s really more of a story about how a woman attempts to use the rigors of a PCT...
Death Valley Canyoneering

Death Valley Canyoneering

Photos by Marty Hornick A Journey Down the Styx Canyon of Death Valley Words by Leonie Sherman • Photos by Marty Hornick The willingness to jump off a cliff backwards in the dark is not an evolutionarily desirable trait. But if Bob, Greg and I ever wanted to see our car or eat a hot meal again, we’d have to do just that. Five times. At least the darkness obscured our sketchy anchor. Moonlight illuminated our perch and gleamed on the distant valley floor, about 1,500 feet below us and a mile away. But the cliff we needed to rappel over was dark as a cave. Bob doubled the rope through a carabiner attached to a sling and chucked it into the inky blackness. None of us were sure we heard it hit the ground. We crept to the edge and peered over. Our LED headlamps revealed polished dolomite...
Danger Pay

Danger Pay

Top Surf Photographer Dave “Nelly” Nelson has Spent his Career in the Impact Zone. By Neil Pearlberg Nelly reaches high to get the shot. Dylan Graves goes big near Panama. Photo by: Seth Stafford A Pacific swell was firing on all cylinders in late April 2011 along Tahiti’s south west shore. For forty-five year old Santa Cruz surf photographer Dave “Nelly” Nelson it was to be another day at the office, or so he thought, when he paddled out with his gear, to capture surfing’s elite, riding one of the world’s most powerful ocean waves. The wave at Teahupoo, whose English translation reads, “to sever the head,” is itself responsible for five surfing deaths since 2000. This fact alone serves notice to those who surf there, that there cannot be any lack of judgment, nor any mistake made, once they paddle into one of the 12-15 foot vertical slabs that...
Bike Touring Steinbeck Country

Bike Touring Steinbeck Country

Gary, left, and Eric on a quiet backroad near San Juan Bautista. Photo: Rick Gunn Tahoe local sees Steinbeck Country through the author’s eyes on a 250-mile bicycle journey around the Big Sur mountains Words and photos by Rick Gunn “When I was very young and the urge to be someplace else was on me, I was assured by mature people that maturity would cure this itch. When years described me as mature, the remedy prescribed was middle age. In middle age I was assured greater age would calm my fever and now that I am fifty-eight perhaps senility will do the job.” ~John Steinbeck, Travels with Charley: In Search of America I’d like to say it was the weather that sent me cycling south. But truth be told, it was a lack of self-confidence. I was nearing the end of my twenty-third winter in Lake Tahoe. By most...
>> Xtreme Hike to top of El Cap

>> Xtreme Hike to top of El Cap

Photo courtesy of Cystic Fibrosis Foundation (CCF). The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation’s (CFF) Xtreme Hike will take participants to the top of El Capitan in Yosemite National Park this September 27-29. The hike helps raise funds and awareness for cystic fibrosis. Last year there were 15 hikers, and this year CCF is hoping to have 35 take the journey to the largest unbroken cliff in the world. This year’s hike will be unique in that one of the participants, Stephen Zimmerman, has cycstic firbrosis. Zimmerman, age 25, is from Alameda, and has already climbed Mt. Shasta. He plans to climb Mt. Rainier and Mt. Hood this year before hiking the 22 miles on September 27th. Join him and others on this year’s journey. After finishing, your success will be toasted at the post hike BBQ along the Merced River and at the victory brunch on Sunday at the Ahwahnee Restaurant. The...
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