Black Mountain Hiking (CA)

Black Mountain Hiking (CA)

Click a pic!   Distance: ~4.1 miles Elevation Gain: ~700 ft Difficulty: Easy to Moderate, suitable for anyone of reasonable fitness Dog Friendly? Yes. Costs? Free. You can park at the Hilltop Community Park directly across from the trailhead. Wildlife: We were gently pelted by a good number of flies and gnats on the way up. And we encountered a bundle of bees (if they were bunnies, they would have been a

Cuyamaca Peak Hiking (CA)

Cuyamaca Peak Hiking (CA)

Click a pic! Elevation Gain: ~1700 ft Distance: 5.6 miles Difficulty: Moderate Dog Friendly? Yes! This is actually the only dog-friendly hike in the Cuyamaca Rancho State Park. Costs? It’s an $8 parking fee to park within the Paso Picacho campground. There is no parking anywhere else near the trailhead, so this is your jam. Bring: Sunscreen, water, snacks, comfortable sneakers, a camera, and a hat (the t

Potato Chip Rock Hiking (CA)

Potato Chip Rock Hiking (CA)

Distance: ~11 miles Elevation Gain: ~2000 ft Difficulty: Pretty hard. Like, not harder than teaching your cat to walk on a leash, but it’s up there. Dog Friendly? Yes! But make sure your pooch is up for the steep climb. Horses are allowed on the Blue Sky trail only. Costs? Parking is free if you start at Blue Sky Ecological Reserve.  If you start at Poway Lake (making this hike ~6.7 miles vs 11), you&#8

Alpine Brewery Food & Drinks (CA)

Alpine Brewery Food & Drinks (CA)

For the love of all things holy, get the fried pickles.  Menu Beer: Alpine Beer Company prides itself on being, “The Home of Hoppiness”. Their primary focus is on well-hopped IPAs and Ales. Hours: Thurs-Sun 11am-9pm, Tues-Wed 4-9pm, closed Monday Location:  1747, 1773 Alpine Blvd, Alpine, CA 91901 Veg-friendly Options: fries, portabella burger, some vegan beers (here’s the list) Ambiance: Th

Stonewall Peak Hiking (CA)

Stonewall Peak Hiking (CA)

Distance: ~3.8 miles Elevation Gain: ~900 ft Difficulty: Moderate, suitable for anyone of reasonable fitness Dog Friendly? No. No horses or bicycles allowed either. But, we saw many kids along the way, as well as distinguished folks with more proven lifetime longevity. Costs? It’s an $8 parking fee across the way within the Paso Picacho campground. There is no parking on the shoulder of the road anywhe

Yosemite – The Camping Edition

Yosemite – The Camping Edition

Campgrounds Lower Pines $26/night reserve here best sites: 71, 72 Upper Pines $26/night reserve here Amenities include: Bear lockers, paved roads, flush toilets, trash/recycle cans More Campgrounds Hotels The Ahwahnee (now the Majestic Yosemite) Campgrounds Campgrounds are in high demand in Yosemite National Park, so plan your trip early and snag a spot before they’re snatched up. These sites f

The Salton Sea, Salvation Mountain, and Slab City (CA)

The Salton Sea, Salvation Mountain, and Slab City (CA)

Click a pic!   If you decide to go gallivanting in southeast California, for the love of puppies get gas before you get all the way out here. Trust me. There’s a lot of long, open, non-gas-giving road in between civilization and these crazy curiosities. Salton Sea The Salton Sea is an interesting place. According to their video (that they will play for you in a tiny theater in the back of the visit