The ultimate adventure sport


IMAGINE A RACE where your brain rates as high as your body. The sport of orienteering pairs speed with navigational skills, and the man who brought it to the Bay Area lives right here in Montclair.

Joe Scarborough has always been an outdoorsman. As a marathon runner, he discovered orienteering in Scandinavia, where it’s so popular today that races are often televised.

“It’s the thinking man’s sport,” he says, since it combines compass and map-reading skills with speed and agility.

Years ago, Scarborough set up a course in the redwood forest of Joaquin Miller Park. It’s got all kinds of navigational challenges, including steep grades, streams and areas so rugged, they’re impassable. Along the route, there are checkpoints (called control features) that let you know you’re on the right track, and a map of the course is available on Scarborough’s Web site, http://www.orienteer.com.

If this kind of adventure racing sounds like fun to you, check out the BAOC’s next race in Joaquin Miller Park on July 21st. You can get more information on their Web site, http://www.baoc.org.

PICKY THIEVES: With the rise in auto theft in Oakland, it seems nothing can be left in your vehicle these days. Not true. Reader Wanda Hennig says when her stolen car was recovered recently, the thieves had taken an eclectic mix of her favorite CD’s. (Macy Gray and others).

They left, untouched, her collection of Polish music CD’s.

GOOD BUZZ: I ran into a group of ranchers at the Alameda County Fair the other day. Their livestock was bees — working hard to make honey in a glass-enclosed hive. Apiarys in Oakland? Apparently so — and the buzz on their nectar is good. With a hint of eucalyptus, the honey is refreshing and sweet and the perfect compliment for your morning muffin and tea. You can find out more about Alameda beekeepers on the Web at honeybee.com/beeclubs.

ART SCENE: When it comes to painting, the Oakland hills offer plenty of inspiration. So it’s no wonder that local artist Laura Siegel loves to paint the undulating terrain around Mount Diablo.

Her work is being featured at Montclair Gallery (1986 Mountain) this month, along with colorful images of two other favorite sites — Kauai and Bellagio, Italy. Laura draws much of her inspiration from her dad, who passed away a few years back. An avid photographer, his work was once featured with Laura’s at a father/daughter show at the Metropolitan Transportation Commission Gallery. Today, Laura teaches painting at several locations, including Piedmont Adult School.

GREAT NIGHT OUT: San Francisco has Pearls, Oakland has Yoshi’s and now Orinda has its own classy jazz venue. The Orinda House (just down from the Orinda Theatre) is bringing in some great musicians — guys who’ve played with big names like Tommy Dorsey, Glenn Miller and Lou Rawls. The music director, Bob Belanski packed the house last Saturday night when he brought in London cabaret singer Holly Penfield (an Orinda native). Playful, petite and a powerful singer, Penfield lit up the restaurant and bar like a fireworks display. This place offers something we don’t have in the Montclair — a venue with live jazz and R&B bands Thursday through Sunday. It’s worth the short drive.

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