Happy Wanderer: Yosemite’s ‘shoulder season’ a great time to visit

Mercurynews.com: November 5, 2020

photo courtesy of Ginny Prior
A favorite Yosemite Valley fall hike is the pleasant, forested trek to Mirror Lake, which gets no water this time of year but features a vast expanse of sand and rocks and a nearby collection of Hoo Doos, above, on a hillside.

November brings good news for those of us ‘pining’ for outdoor adventures. Yosemite National Park is no longer requiring advance reservations. The 5-month policy requiring day passes during peak summer travel ended Nov. 1 as the park ushers in “shoulder season.” Continue reading

One Fine Weekend in Pacifica: Stimulate your senses in this oceanfront refuge.

Pacifica has long been a haven for hikers, surfers, paragliders, birders, and history buffs.



Wild coast, wildlife, wildflowers. Spring is seductive in Pacifica, where hawks “surf” the thermals over a riot of eye-popping blooms. With some 3,600 acres of open space and postcard views of the coast, the best way to experience Pacifica is to engage all your senses. Continue reading

Happy Wanderer: Seaside Carmel seems like a dream, but it’s real

courtesy of John Williamson — A couple stroll with a dog by moonlight on Carmel-by-the-Sea’s white sand beach.

MERCURYNEWS.COM: January 9, 2020

All the beautiful people have dogs. It’s one of the first things I notice about Carmel by-the-Sea, a village where evening lights twinkle in the aromatic mist of orange blossoms and sea salt. Where shopkeepers still sweep the sidewalks. Where Clint and Doris (God rest her soul) made their homes when they could have lived anywhere. Continue reading