My essay, “The Voices We Carry”, is featured in Entropy Magazine’s Literacy Narratives series.
My essay, “The Voices We Carry”, is featured in Entropy Magazine’s Literacy Narratives series.
Even a short time in a beautiful place like Lake Tahoe can refresh the spirit–and we packed a lot into our two days there!
We arrived in Tahoe City on a Sunday and took a walk to Commons Beach, where live bands were playing at an outdoor music festival. We dipped our feet in the cool water of Lake Tahoe and listened to great blues music while watching adults, children, and dogs enjoy the beautiful weather. It was party atmosphere, with people picnicking and sampling food and drinks from the many vendors set up at the park–a perfect way to shake off the city cobwebs and relax into the Tahoe vibe.
Our base for our adventures was Basecamp Hotel, a fun place that combines the best of glamping with a convenient in-town location, making it super easy to walk to restaurants, the lake, and hiking trailheads. We especially loved the two outdoor fire pits–the perfect place to roast marshmallows for s’mores or sipping a glass of wine. The hotel even provides cute Coleman coolers to chill your champagne, which we did. Props to my honey for bringing the champagne!
It was hard to leave Basecamp, but the trails were calling to us, so we put on our sneakers (ok, I put on my sneakers, my husband wore his hiking boots) and headed to the South Rim trailhead, just down the road from our hotel. After a short incline, we reached the rim, which leveled off nicely into a lovely forest trail with, natch, amazing views. The trees kept us cool, even on a hot day, and we we brought plenty of water and snacks to keep us fueled. My husband made fun of the Roltini I brought, but hey, there’s nothing wrong with a mozzarella stick wrapped with prosciutto when you’re hungry!
But the star of the hike was the sky–the clouds were moving constantly, like a painting creating itself against the blue canvas of the sky. Like this:
We watched until the clouds dissolved and kept hiking to a dramatic outcropping of rocks where we rested and tried not to get vertigo. After our hike, we treated ourselves to a great burger and beer at the Tahoe Mountain Brewing Company. Relaxing on their patio was the perfect ending to our 8 mile trek.
The next day we made fresh waffles for breakfast at Basecamp, then hit the road, for a hike recommended by Lauren, our very friendly and knowledgeable insider at the hotel. The Shirley Lake hike starts at the base of Squaw Valley Mountain, so you get to see what is covered up by all the winter snow, and it’s gorgeous! Not for the faint of heart, the trail is pretty steep, but you are rewarded by the views of waterfalls all along Squaw Creek, affording many places to stop and refresh yourself.
About a mile or so up the trail, the trees give way to rock, making it tricky to stay on the trail. As one fellow hiker put it, “There’s no wrong way up,” which made us feel better, but the painted trail marks were very comforting to follow. There was very little shade at this elevation, so we stopped for frequent rest and water breaks.
After more rock scrambling, we made it to Shirley Lake, a lovely alpine, snowmelt filled oasis. Lots of people were taking the plunge, as well as a few intrepid dogs. 🙂
Hiking up had taken us twice as long as we had thought it would, so we were not looking forward to having to hike back down the steep slope. Luckily, we didn’t have to! During the summer, Squaw Valley opens their peak to visitors, who take a tram up to the top of the ski slope to their pool and restaurant resort. It took us another half hour to hike from Shirley Lake to the tram and pool; we must have looked like straggly hoofers to the families frolicking in the pristine mountainside water. Next time I am definitely bringing my bathing suit.
The tram saved our weary legs–and gave us a spectacular view going back down the mountain. It was worth every step and I can’t wait to do it again!
I hope you enjoyed this post–let me know where are your favorite places to hike?
Featuring: Candy Shue, Sarah Carpenter, Keeley Ann Finn, Julia Park Tracey, G. Macias Guzman, Nancy Davenport, Jeff Chon, Rajshree Lehka, Garrett Murphy, Hollie Hardy, Tomas Moniz, Fernando Meisenhalter, Kristen Caven, Norma Smith, Leora Fridman
The emcee for the night will be the wonderful Annelyse Gelman.
Music by the ever-so-talented Lake Lady!
Beer made by Ale Industries on site and coffee by our good friends next door, Red Bay Coffee.
Vouched Books will also be joining us! From their website: “Whether we’re reviewing work on our website, hosting a reading, or selling small press books at one of our guerrilla bookstores, the heart of Vouched Books is this: we love small press literature.”
I’m happy to be reading my poem series, “The Beauty of Sleeping,” at Quiet Lightning‘s next literary mixtape on Monday, November 2nd. Aurora had a 100 years to sleep, so let the dreaming begin. . .
The estimable Evan Karp and Jennifer Lewis curated the evening, which always features an eclectic and electric group of writers.
I’m honored to be among:
Bel Poblador, C.E. Shue, Ben Finateri, Ken Grobe, Margaret Spilman, and Eila Carrico!
@ Arc Studios & Gallery
Monday, Nov 2 2015
7:30 pm show | 6:30 pm doors
1246 Folsom St., San Francisco, CA
$7-10, no one turned away for lack of funds
sPARKLE & bLINK 69 ft. covers by Doug Sandelin
free for first 100
cheap draft beer courtesy Lagunitas
The drought has been long and taken its toll on our backyard, which has gone completely brown. We were longing for some respite from the recent heatwave, so we headed over to Mount Davidson Park, an oasis nestled in the middle of the Miraloma neighborhood not far from its more famous neighbor, Twin Peaks.
Here the streets are windy and narrow. We parked on Myra Way and walked to the trailhead behind the bus stop near Dalewood Ave. The mountain seemed to generate its own weather, making it feel like we were in the Santa Cruz Mountains, instead of the middle of San Francisco. Fog kissed our cheeks.
We started off walking a bit of an incline through pines and eucalyptus, then wound our way around the east side of the hill, which came out of the trees and into a rockier terrain. Soon enough we were back in the forest where the fog was so thick the condensation off the leaves was like rain dripping. A very welcome sound in the middle of the drought. The eucalyptus were lush, and there were even ferns, blackberry bushes, wild strawberry plants, and moss all along the trail.
Climbing a woodsy set of steps, we came to Mt. Davidson’s iconic cross, the place where Clint Eastwood, as Dirty Harry, tracks down his nemesis, Scorpio. Then on to the overlook, which, on a clear day offers spectacular views of the City. People were taking pictures of the Cross and one intrepid couple was doing a fashion photoshoot with a dramatically austere tree at the cliff’s edge.
After letting Lola sniff to her heart’s content, we traversed the trails on the southern side of the mountain back to our car, all of us thoroughly refreshed for our short journey back to the sunny City. But it’s nice to know where we can always find “rain”!
For more information and directions to Mount Davidson Park, click on the links in the post.
Lola wanted to check out the massive Seal Point Dog Park in San Mateo, so the hub and I headed down the Bay side of the Bay Area–and found a fantastic hike to go with it. This made us all very happy.
The walk from Seal Point Park to Coyote Park Recreation Area is easy and curves around an estuary, making for some cool changes of scenery. As we walked, we could watch planes flying in the blue skies and above and beyond that, the clouds were absolutely gorgeous.
It’s a view that we never see from our car on the 101 freeway, nor the other ways we usually travel around the Bay–either on the bridges (more cars) or BART, which goes under the Bay, or as far at the SFO airport, but not really beside the Bay.
Even more strange and delightful is the Wind Art Walk, which includes several whimsical sculptures that channel the energy of the wind. We could feel the wind of course–and now we could see it and hear it too.
We watched the planes landing at SFO, kitesurfers on the Bay, and Lola even got to go the the biggest dog park I’ve ever seen, the Seal Point Dog Park. Very dusty (almost like being Matt Damon in “The Martian”), but she liked it a lot.
Click on the links in the article for more information and directions to Seal Point Park!
Took the boo and the hub hiking last week–I always feel refreshed after a good forest bath. We found this trail that goes by the old Burleigh Ranch. You can see the barn (which looks like people have been camping in it) and a couple of outbuildings overgrown with old branches and vines. We found thistles in bloom and even better, in decay, becoming stars.
Even the name, Half Moon Bay, is magical. Lola enjoyed it too; found plenty of stinky things to sniff and a little shade to sit in on a hot day.
The end of a perfect outing? Going to Barbara’s Fishtrap and eating crab sandwiches on the beach as the sun set. Lola even got a few of my french fries. . .
I’ve always liked writing based on other art forms, whether it’s ekphrastic poetry, art reviews, or stories about stolen Picasso paintings. Lately I’ve been exploring making visual art–in particular, drawing with charcoal. Just a burnt piece of wood, yet it is all one needs to create a bond with the earth that it came from. Here is a landscape of my beloved Southwest.
From the May 25th Poet As Radio:
On Sunday we gathered an unprecedented number of poets at Lightrail Studios to celebrate an unparalleled poet and spirit, Colleen Lookingbill, who unfortunately left us on March 30th. Besides the Poet as Radio hosts, Tiff Dressen, Susanne Dyckman, Todd Melicker, Joseph Noble, Steven Seidenberg, Candy Shue along with Colleen’s husband Jordon Zorker took part in a memorial show, which included a reading of Colleen’s work and a discussion of her life. We heard work from both her books Incognita (Sink Press, 1992) and a forgetting of (Lyric & Press, 2011), as well as some other pieces published in literary journals.
After the break, the group shared anecdotes from Colleen’s life and artistic endeavors. Jordon told us that she was influenced by the L=A=N=G=U=A=G=E poets and she liked the term ‘experimental poetry.’ Colleen was also a visual artist and she created visual poetry that was included in a forgetting of. Colleen was an incredibly open and giving person. Tiff introduced Colleen’s relationship to Buddhism and Jordon expanded on this, discussing her interest in different spiritual traditions. Joseph told us about his experience of book shopping with Colleen, where she gravitated towards obscure texts. One of her last projects was an anthology of women poets she compiled with Elizabeth Robinson, As If It Fell From the Sun (Ether Dome, 2012).
Thank you to all the poets who took part in this show.
And thank you Colleen for your poetry, your presence and the beautiful mark you left on this writing community. You are surely missed.
Click Here to Listen:
Poet and Visual Artist, Colleen Lookingbill
Who could not love the premise of Evan Karp‘s reading series, Under the Influence? Each writer chooses an author that (s)he loves, introduces the audience to that author, then reads a short piece inspired by the work of that writer. I stumbled upon Italo Calvino’s novel, If On A Winter’s Night, A Traveller, when I was working at my first bookstore job in San Francisco. I fell into it completely, with its 2nd person narration and its unconventional, twisty storytelling. I went on to read Invisible Cities, Cosmicomics, Under the Jaguar Sun, Marcovaldo, Mr. Palomar, and many other Calvino titles. He had a prolific imagination that made the world seem possible.
My story, “Invisible City,” was inspired by Calvino’s stories told by Marco Polo to Kublai Khan. To me that book is several books rolled into one: fairytales, travelogue, architectural guidebook, and bromance. Still one of my favorite books to read on an airplane.
“Invisible City” at The Emerald Tablet, August 2, 2014