Wednesday, October 20, 2021

What we’re doing this week in parks: Gathering memories, pine cones and camping in the South

Unusual storms have turned the rugged hillsides of San Bernardino County’s Glen Helen Regional Park into mud-littered treasures. (Lynn Silverstein/WCPO) All 99 state parks in California, which cost $273 million to keep open this year, are run by the state’s California Department of Parks and Recreation. Many places are getting wiped out by land subsidence, a climate-induced erosion triggered by the melting of the

Everglades through dikes built more than 100 years ago to channel water east toward Florida. But the jewel in San Bernardino County is Lake Gregory—the only campground, hiking trail and shower in the entire state, and a place of pilgrimage for generations of Central Californians. Here’s what life was like for John Newton, Billy the Kid, Jesse James, Bonnie and Clyde and a few other famous folk. By Adam Cannan There’s

nothing like the feeling of reaching the top of the 8,280-foot Point Arena-Stornetta with your back to the rushing waters of the San Gabriel River. You can view the Camp 2 lakes (and once you’ve seen them, you know how much you need to climb to see them again). Point Arena is at the end of a hike that’s 26 miles long. The roads get muddy after a long afternoon of hard work, which is why you’re supposed to stop

halfway. Don’t—the fight is worth it. Isolated Ranch Tell it like it is: “The water is everywhere,” said Lynda Bailey, whose 23-year-old daughter, Grace, was walking the river trails with me. Grace prefers the higher limestone water that flows in Glen Helen Regional Park, where the regional parks office is, because it often dumps out heavy snowmelt into the natural pools. But the surf can be so fierce you need a life

jacket in some places. After walking 20 miles in one day the same way, she said she couldn’t wait to get back to the house. Retro Road Trip Jessie James Allstar, who made pop history when he sang “The Star-Spangled Banner” at one of the first games in the NFL, hiked up the Chantry Flat Trail to the Marin Headlands National Recreation Area last week with his wife, Karen, and a large posse of bicyclists. The Chozen

Karen’s mother and uncle enjoy red and yellow and grays, the rainbow yellows of their California farmlands. “You’re going down Raggedy Mountain and you’re going to see seven different colors,” said Sara Blackburn, Zoe Blackburn’s aunt, after arriving at the spot where the leg of the trip that’s before us starts. “The varnish on the railroad is in the dirt and so is the dirt.” The trek does indeed look gorgeous. We

might as well camp here, kiddo. As Kester Schmeichel and I put it: It’s the charming version of “Where the Wild Things Are.” Salmon River In this recreational path overlooking the Pacific, you can get a great view of the fish from the campground’s elevated vantage point. The lagoon behind the waters is like a river. The dolphins swim up and down the waters like little fish. Sometimes there’s a conversation, and

sometimes you have to watch. We had to watch over the weekend. The Mountains Climb Ojai Peak above the community of Ojai (some people love it as a place to go for people-watching); across the highway is Stanley Mountain, home to the light. It was there that I noticed that, from October to May, the high school football players are not just focused on the game. I noticed that on some Saturday nights, students will go

out to sing Broadway songs and play pool with pints. School closes for the summer. On the beach, California is joined by Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, Colorado, Nevada, Oregon, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, and Wyoming, to name a few. Each state is an exception to the trend, a patchwork of juxtapositions that are not always complimentary, but that result in a memorable ride.

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