Happy Wanderer: Child of Alcatraz describes spectacular trail on ‘The Rock’

HILLS NEWSPAPERS: December 19, 2017

One of the Bay Area’s most spectacular trails is open to hikers, but just till the seagulls return to their rookery. It’s the little known Agave Trail along the backside of Alcatraz island, and it’s open during a time when Alcatraz Cruises is offering two-for-one tickets to locals. (More on that later.) Continue reading


Happy Wanderer: Yosemite’s ‘fire falls’ are a sight to behold


EASTBAYTIMES: February 16, 2017

Fire and water. Man has been captivated by these two basic elements since the beginning of time. It’s no wonder, then, that one of Yosemite National Park’s great illusions draws thousands to Horsetail Fall each February. Continue reading

Happy Wanderer: Winter in Napa Valley full of things to do


St. Helena’s Harvest Inn by Charlie Palmer was named No. 47 on the Condé Nast Traveler list of the world’s top 50 hotels in 2016. (Courtesy of Paige Green)

EASTBAYTIMES: January 17, 2017

Winter in the Napa Valley: Locals call this Cabernet season — when new vintages age gracefully in their barrels and vines await the first buds of spring. There’s nothing to see here — or is there? My husband and I booked a night in St. Helena recently to find out. Continue reading

Happy Wanderer: Emotional exploration triggers ‘dream trip’

pie-artstravel-1209-022EASTBAYTIMES.COM: December 9, 2016

Who says you can’t go home? That adage (more recently, the refrain to a Bon Jovi duet) is just wrong. There’s no place like home when it comes to emotional exploration. With the benefit of hindsight and a dusting of memories, “home” can be a dream vacation, as I recently discovered on a weekend getaway to the Conejo Valley. Continue reading

Happy Wanderer: Lake Shasta houseboating is fall fun aplenty


Ginny Prior/for Bay Area News Group A houseboat, seen from the upscale Tsasdi Resort, glides through the placid waters of Lake Shasta in late summer 2016.

EASTBAYTIMES.COM: October 6, 2016

If you like sleeping under the stars but aren’t keen on camping — think about giving the H-word a try. Houseboating is the perfect fall activity, when summer lake traffic has slowed to a trickle and offseason prices kick in. Continue reading