The Stuff I Carry in My Day Hiking Pack!

Even if I’m doing an easy 5 miler in the high country, I always carry the 10 essentials and MORE! After having to almost spend the night in the high country completely unprepared after a short little hike to a lookout tower, I learned a hard lesson! I know carry items to sustain me in the wilderness for a couple of nights until help arrives.
Disclaimer: This is what I carry. You may have different ideas! I’d love to hear them!

Here is the link to the fiasco I was involved in a couple of years ago where I almost had to spend the night in the freezing cold!

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Mount Harkness Story

Compass: https://amzn.to/2t2yoQ4

Emergency Bivvy Bag: https://amzn.to/2ykuwyS

Sawyer Squeeze Water Filter: https://amzn.to/2tbtCyV

Small Gerber Knife: https://amzn.to/2t0wTlz

Light folding Saw: https://amzn.to/2HSFVWj

Tyvek Sheet: https://amzn.to/2HSVIo6

Personal Locator Beacon: https://amzn.to/2HRqIos

Bug Head Net: https://amzn.to/2lbOtyv

Anker Charging Station (20,000 mil Amp) https://amzn.to/2l9Nwa5

Butt pad: https://amzn.to/2t1aS5Y

Cooling towel: https://amzn.to/2LPw2Lt

GPS Navigation that I use with my phone:

Gaia:https: https//www.gaia.com
Guthook for PCT: http://www.guthookhikes.com/apps
Halfmile for PCT: https://www.pctmap.net/
Wikiloc: https://www.wikiloc.com
Peak Finder: https://www.peakfinder.org

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Day Trippin’ at Loney Meadows

Loney Meadow and Bowman Mountain are located in the Northern Sierra in Nevada County California. This 8 mile look is abundant with spectacular views, wildflowers, old growth pine forests and is probably in my top 3 favorite places to hike!

Here is the link to where we hiked.
https://www.wikiloc.com/hiking-trails/rock-lake-via-loney-meadow-and-bowman-mountain-lake-25410670

A Historical Gem Just up the Road a Bit!

Bridgeport in Nevada County California is a hidden gem of Northern California!  If you are into gold rush history, you are gonna LOVE this place! Just up Hwy 20 near Penn Valley, you can make a day of meandering the hills on the various hiking trails, looking at the cool historical exhibits, swim in the river and have a nice family outing!

It just costs $5.00 to park! What a deal!

And the best part is the awesome covered bridge that is the largest standing covered bridge in the world!

FIRE on the Ranch!

Spring is my favorite time! The wild flowers are abundant and so colorful! I don’t have to feed our horses any hay, which saves us a ton of dollars! However, the season is so short and we have to get onto the mowing before the grass dies in just a few short weeks! We have wildfires all around our neighborhood every single summer! These fires are most always caused by a stupid careless human! We are getting ready!!

As a former wildland firefighter, I know how quickly a grass fire can take out an entire ranch, home barns, animals and people. Now if we can only get HUMANS to STOP throwing lit cigarettes out of their car windows, STOP mowing dry grass in 100 degree weather, and be mindful of where they park a hot vehicles on the side of the road where there IS dry grass! These are the typical fire starters!

 

Our Neighbors are Freakin’ COOL & Weird!

We live right next to Beale Air Force Base! Our property is just outside the back gate!  Living next to an Air Force base can be weird at times. We hear all types of strange announcements over the loud speaker, weird sirens, and see odd planes coming and going.  There is also a gigantic over-the-horizon radar structure that we immediately get asked about by friends who come over for the first time. The radar was built in the Cold War to give early warning of a nuclear attack.  I guess that’s a good thing? When we first moved in 18 years ago, we couldn’t use our VCR or analog answer machine without hearing pops and static over our movies and messages because of this radar!! Thank goodness we are all digital now! However, it still interferes with some of my recording equipment and camera microphone on certain days.

The military has its secret,s and when they are your immediate neighbor, it spurs your imagination and sometimes paranoia. I can’t just go walking up to their door and say “howdy neighbor what’s going on here” without a large – fully automatic rifle pointed at me!  I better have good reason to be there!

A few years back, there were 5 large planes from the base that circled our neighborhood at about 2000 feet for several hours every night!  These planes carried a crew of six and were outfitted with equipment to listen in on phone conversations.  We were told they were just training and not really listening to us..  hmmm…….

Our neighbor also has the U2 Spy plane that takes off like a rocket daily, flying to foreign lands to see what’s going on.  The U2 can go check out the happenings in the middle east and be home by dinner!  When it takes off, we can hear it climbing to its 70 thousand foot cruising altitude for a good 15 minutes!  The pilot has to wear a space suit! Oh and our neighbors have a really REALLY cool drone called the Global Hawk!

Today our mysterious neighbors invited the public to enter this secret-mysterious land and treated us to an airshow free of charge!

With the Sutter Buttes as a backdrop, the show was pretty spectacular! If you are into airplanes, you are gonna LOVE this video!

 

 

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Every Ranch Needs a Crew! Come and Meet em!

Hi All!  I live on a small ranch in Northern California. It gets extremely hot in the summer, it stops raining for 6 straight months and the land becomes dry and dusty. But for now, spring is here. The wild flowers are blooming, the pond is full and we are enjoying this very short season of GREEN!

I would like to take you on a little tour to meet the crew of our little ranch!

 

Hunting for Wildflowers from an Airplane!

Spring is HERE and the wildflowers are off the charts! One of the best shows for wildflowers in Northern California is Table Mountain just outside of Oroville CA. It’s amazing and a must see! The hike is very easy. The window of opportunity to see the flowers and waterfalls is pretty short. As soon as it stops raining and the temps rise, the flowers die and the streams dry up.

We also take a look at the NEW spillway of Oroville Dam

Here is the link to Table Mountain: https://www.wildlife.ca.gov/lands/pla…

Ditching Facebook! Yes it’s True!

zuckerberg meme

FRIENDS – a Happy Beginning

I’ve had my facebook profile since 2009.  I think I’ve reconnected with every single living soul that I’ve EVER known through this platform. For that, I’m grateful.  It was fun seeing these long lost (to me) people again. Catching up, meeting their kids, spouses, dogs, cats and sharing in their good news and sometimes very sad news.  I was able to be part of their lives and they were able to be part of mine. Some of my friends live across the Atlantic in far away lands. This platform was AWESOME!

CREATIVITY

That was one piece of the puzzle.  I’m also a musician and an artist.    I would post an art piece on FB and BAM one of my friends would want to buy it!  I didn’t intend to make money from Facebook, but dang, it sure is nice once in a while. I LOVE to create YouTube videos. Filming and editing is a passion that I’ve been doing since the early 90s.  I’ve had my YouTube channel three years longer than I had my FB account. And, what better way to share my YouTube creations than to my my Facebook friends!

When FB came out with “pages”, where you could have a business page of sorts, that was pretty cool. I could sell my art there!  Keep my personal profile separate from my business page.  My friends would “like” my page and whenever I posted to that page, it would show up on their newsfeed!  Winner Winner Chicken Dinner!

THINGS GET WEIRD

I had about 400 likes on my page and things were great!  Until one day I noticed that Facebook would tell me how many people saw the post of my FABULOUS painting.  You can only imagine the look of shock on my face….FIVE!  What?  Facebook saw fit to share my post with only FIVE people out of the 200 that liked my page.  WTF?!?!?!    They wanted me to PAY to have more people see my post.  The more money I paid the more random people they would share it with (not my friends, just random strangers) Well, you know us starving artists.. that wasn’t going to fly! Nope! I had to spend hundreds of $ to make it worth my while!

Then another weird thing started to happen.  My YouTube videos were getting censored on my personal FB page.  Only a fraction of my 700+ FB friends were getting my YouTube video on their news feed.

I frantically Googled that nonsence to see what was happening. Well, it seemed that since YouTube PAYS their creators through ad revenue sharing, and those ads are being shown on the video and Markie Z wasn’t getting a cut, he decided to NOT populate (very often) newsfeeds with YouTube vids.

Facebook does not like YouTube (owned by Google).  Therefore anything that you post to Facebook that takes its audience away from its platform will not be seen in a good light.  The Facebook algorithm (known as Edgerank) will simply give any YouTube link less reach.

That made me crazy!  FB wanted me to upload all of my video content directly to FB where I don’t get to share in any ad revenue.  At least YouTube shares the pie!  Mark Z wants it ALL for himself.  Stingy bastard!

So, I started to get creative.  I’d post a pic instead of a link then direct people to my blog where my video lies.  It’s way too much work for my viewers and they get confused as to where they are supposed to subscribe!  To my blog? To YouTube?

FREEBOOTING

Then there is this pirate thing going on called Freebooting.  This is where someone rips off a video directly from YouTube and posts it onto their FB page as if they created it themselves. they do this by downloading the video using a software or an online service. These videos get millions of views on Facebook, completely ripping off the original creator, and Markie Z gets a shit ton of $$$ from ad revenue!  These videos were posted onto user FB business pages to drive traffic to them.  Completely unethical and FB is letting it happen!   In the mean time, the original creator of of the AWESOME VIRAL YouTube video is missing out on a boat load of ad revenue because all of their views were stolen on FB!  Google that shit!  It’s true!  I see it time and time again and it infuriates me!  About 90 percent of the viral vids you see on Facebook are freebooted. Go to the page who originally posted it and you will see right away it’s NOT THEIR CONTENT!

FAKE NEWS, POLITICS, Agendas and Cat fights

OK.. this was an annoyance for me,  but not a deal breaker that would make me quit Facebook.  If my news feed got too annoying I would simply un-follow or unfriend the offenders. Done.   However, I was un-following a lot of people- about 70% of my FB “friends” (I use this term loosely)!  What is the point of having it?  Social media should be a two way conversation, right?  And then there were the cat fights under MY POSTS, between MY FRIENDS (who don’t really know each other)  DELETE POST!  Done.  This made me sad.

TIME SUCKER

This one is a big issue with me personally.  Social Media is like crack!  I find myself picking up the pipe (my phone) ever 5 freaking minutes to see who’s commented on my post, what everyone is talking about, scrolling scrolling scrolling.  IT’S NOISE!  LOTS AND LOTS OF NOISE!  I feel like I keep getting sucked into a vortex of shit and I can’t get out!

Related image

And then there is this:

               Cambridge Analytica 

If you’re not a news watcher… Google it.

The Big Question… will I keep Instagram? Probably (yeah I know. Markie Z owns that too)  I like following Katy Perry and a few other celebs and there are some cool hikers and people that are sailing the world that I follow.

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And that my friends is the reason I quit The FACE BOOK and will NOT be back.

 

Subscribe to my YouTube Channel HERE! Unicorns will come to your door (maybe)

A Couple of FLAKES in Yosemite!

Alex and I have been going to Yosemite for many years during the fall. The crowds are gone, the colors are amazing and we can camp right in the Valley  with pretty much last minute reservations!   We have NEVER been there in the Winter.

So this time, Alex (my hard working husband) treated us to a room at the Yosemite Falls Hotel for two nights in the Valley… a little pricey, but way worth it in the Winter.

Chains were required unless you have 4 wheel drive with snow tires.

And Yosemite didn’t disappoint!  We got a show of epic proportions!   I wish we could have stayed longer, but at 288.00 a night, well, yeah… you get the picture.

 

OH And make this video FULL SCREEN!  You need to see this BIG!