i love you california

Episode 22 – The Carrizo Plain


If you have grown up in California there is a spectre that has haunted out collective unconscious for many years – and that spectre is the San Andreas Fault line.  Many people know it is a thing, know it affects people and public policy here in California, but not as many can tell you exactly where or how it runs. There are signals of the fault line all over California if you know where to look – but there is a great valley in the southern half of the state where the fault line is most prominent.  The best part about this valley is that no matter what time of year you visit there is something to experience.


i love you california

Episode 21 – Harold Richardson Redwood Reserve


There is a group called the “Save the Redwoods” league that has been active for a hundred years and works for the preservation of coastal sequoia groves up and down the state.  Earlier this year they gave us a gift by announcing the purchase of a large chunk of land in Sonoma County. This land has been privately owned by a family for a century who have kept in in pristine and almost completely untouched state.  With this purchase the league is working to open up a new park and hopes to have it ready by 2021.


i love you california

Episode 20 – The Mother Orange Tree


Butte county has a lot of interesting features and sites – as the county covers an area of the north valley as well as the foothills and mountains north of the Sierras.  There is a lot of California history in this part of the state but one item is a living relic from a past time that had huge effects on the California economy. We are talking about tree that started in Mexico, purchased in Sacramento, and planted finally in Butte County – in 1856.


i love you california

Episode 19 – Moaning Caverns


In 1851 when gold miners were working all over the Sierra foothills they heard a sound in the distance – it was described as a “moaning,” which lured people towards the entrance to a cave.  While this cave had been known for thousands of years to the indigenous people in the area which they referred to as “Samwel Cave,” the modern explorers referred to it by the sound that they heard.  It was rather forgotten about until 1919 when it was re-rediscovered – the people who found it decided to file a mining claim over the land, which was granted, and the new owner immediately started working on the cave for exploration and public access.  This site that once struck fear in the heart of indigenous people is now one of the top attractions in Calaveras County.



Episode 18 – Point Sur


There is a lot of beauty along the Central Coast as you head down the Pacific Coast Highway – leave from the Carmel area south you will pass Point Lobos and head to the undefined area known as “Big Sur.”  After you pass over the most photogenic Bixby Creek Bridge you start to see a huge rock off the distance by itself. As you get closer you notice buildings on that rock surrounded by beaches and a large open field – and unfortunately you aren’t allowed to drive in – the area is blocked by fences…unless you plan a trip around a certain time  on a certain days where you get to do one of the great walking tours on the central coast.



Episode 17 – Pulgas Water Temple


In 1934, after years of fighting and arguing, San Francisco completed a dam in the Hetch Hetchy Valley – which would feed water through a series of rivers, pumps, and pipelines across the state to the bay area peninsula which would feed water to the city and county of San Francisco.  To honor this achievement for the people of the bay the San Francisco Water Department commissioned a structure be built at the end of the line where the water enters the Upper Crystal Springs Reservoir – the location, already a historical landmark for being one of the camping sites of the Portola Expedition, became what we now know as the Pulgas Water Temple.


Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons


Episode 16 – John Muir


In 1838, many years before California would become a state, a boy was born in Scotland – the 3rd of 8 kids – it was a rough childhood for someone like him, a restless spirit that would get harsh beatings from his father for spending more time looking at landscapes than reading the bible.  When he was 11 his family immigrated from Scotland to a farm in Wisconsin where he grew up, went to school, and eventually college for Chemistry. After traveling to avoid the Civil War and taking any job that let him move around the country he eventually settled in San Francisco which is what brought him to his eventual legacy – the father of our National Parks.