Walkabout California

Hiking Inn to Inn

All Blog Posts (62)

Yellowstone in the Winter

The summer Yellowstone crowds disappear, and serenity settles on the land for both people and animals.  Bison gather in the geyser basins where food is more abundant.  Elk graze along river banks.  Wolves and coyotes come to pick off the…

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Added by Tom Courtney on February 27, 2017 at 9:17am — No Comments

Birding – Colusa National Wildlife Refuge

A red-tailed hawk swoops low, and 1,000 startled snow geese lift with a cacophony of honks and chatter.  They ascend in disarray, filling the sky.  Breathtaking chaos.  Then they gradually assemble, circle, and return to their vernal pond.

Winter is…

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Added by Tom Courtney on January 11, 2017 at 10:49am — No Comments

Kayak the Albion River

Kayaking up stream, the river stirs.  A harbor seal pokes his head above the surface and stares back at us.  Overhead, an osprey glides, searching for lunch.  Blue herons perch on limbs of firs, pines, and redwoods on the river banks.  We startle a cormorant.  Madly slapping the…

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Added by Tom Courtney on November 23, 2016 at 9:02am — No Comments

Hiking Point Reyes Tule Elk Reserve

We round a curve and halt.  A herd of 50 female tule elk crosses our trail.  There are three males.  Two are smaller, but one is massive, standing tall above his harem, with a huge candelabra rack, seven points on each antler.  He looks like he is having a very good…

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Added by Tom Courtney on November 10, 2016 at 9:00am — No Comments

La Jolla to Mexico - Hiking Inn-to-Inn

Stand on cliffs overlooking La Jolla Bay, and take in the abundance of wildlife.  Migrating whales feed close to shore.  Sea lions bark a noisy chorus from offshore outcroppings.  Harbor seals lounge on sheltered beaches.  Dolphins, leopard sharks, shovel-nose guitarfish, and…

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Added by Tom Courtney on November 2, 2016 at 10:30pm — No Comments

San Francisco to Half Moon Bay - Hiking Inn-to-Inn

From San Francisco’s Cliff House, Ocean Beach beckons.  Broad and flat, it stretches as far as you can see, disappearing into the mist.  Stride out on 9 miles of uninterrupted beach to start this 30-mile, 4-day walkabout.  Urban life fades as you hike a coast that is extraordinarily…

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Added by Tom Courtney on November 2, 2016 at 7:00pm — No Comments

Hiking Carson Pass to Winnemucca and Round Top Lakes

Driving across the Sierra Nevada Mountains and need to stretch your legs?  Take this short and beautiful High Sierra hike to two pretty alpine lakes.

We hiked this trail in late July.  It was still spring time in the high country.  The…

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Added by Tom Courtney on August 9, 2016 at 9:30am — No Comments

Hiking Cinque Terre

Cinque Terre is the jewel of the Italian Riviera.  Rugged mountains plunge to the Ligurian Sea where five medieval coastal villages, each with its own dialect and identity, enchant visitors.  Come for the swimming, the sun, the wine, and for hiking.…

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Added by Tom Courtney on July 19, 2016 at 3:00pm — No Comments

Kayaking in the Sierra’s Carson-Iceberg Wilderness

Gliding peacefully across Utica Reservoir, high in the Sierra Nevada Mountains.  Boulders, deep below the surface catch the morning sun in the clear waters.  An osprey circles overhead, intently searching for breakfast.  Our kayaks and paddles are all that disturbs the still…

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Added by Tom Courtney on July 5, 2016 at 10:00am — No Comments

A Day Hike Deep Into Desolation Wilderness

Desolation Wilderness is a land of spectacular beauty.  Soaring peaks of granite, honeycombed with scores of lakes, it towers over the southwest corner of Lake Tahoe.  This High Sierra Nevada, 7 mile round-trip hike takes you to Lake Aloha and the heart of Desolation…

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Added by Tom Courtney on June 24, 2016 at 10:59am — No Comments

Hiking el Camino de Santiago de Compostela

At a communal dinner, the night before we are to set out, our host asks us to each say why we are walking el Camino de Santiago. Everyone has a reason, usually a life change – recovering from a recent divorce, mourning the loss of a loved one, frustration with a job and the need for…

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Added by Tom Courtney on May 28, 2016 at 10:00am — No Comments

Oceanside to La Jolla, Hiking Inn-to-Inn

Take an easy three day, 28-mile hike along this beautiful stretch of Southern California Coast from Oceanside to La Jolla.  You will join scores of beach lovers on lively, popular strands, then hike long, quiet, and secluded beaches.  Along the way, you’ll visit fun seaside towns with…

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Added by Tom Courtney on April 22, 2016 at 9:49am — No Comments

Walkabout the Mendocino Coast

The Mendocino Coast is a land of extraordinary beauty.  Take a romantic two-day, 14.1 mile hike, and explore the lush forests of the coastal range and the headlands on the edge of the rugged, wild Pacific.  Along the way, you’ll visit interesting coastal villages, stay in…

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Added by Tom Courtney on April 20, 2016 at 10:00am — No Comments

A Wildflower Hike in Morgan Territory Regional Preserve

Morgan Territory Regional Preserve is a land of rolling hills, forested valleys, beautiful vistas, and in the spring, a magical wildflower wonderland.

The 5,000 acre park connects…

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Added by Tom Courtney on April 1, 2016 at 11:03am — 1 Comment

Hiking Death Valley’s Dante’s Ridge

Our trail snakes along Dante’s Ridge following the crest of the Black Mountains.  Death Valley is a land of contrast.  It is hot in the valleys below but pleasant up here in the mountains.

Many people drive to Dante’s View (5,475 ft.), and some take…

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Added by Tom Courtney on March 22, 2016 at 10:30am — No Comments

Hiking the Sonoma Coast

There are few better ways to nourish the spirit than to stroll a hidden beach while the powerful Pacific pounds offshore outcroppings, sending cascades high into the air.  And there are few better places to savor this experience than California’s spectacular Sonoma County Coast.  Take the…

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Added by Tom Courtney on March 7, 2016 at 4:14pm — No Comments

Skiing Mt. Rose's Tahoe Meadows

If you are in the Tahoe-Reno Area and looking for a great place to cross-country ski or snowshoe, it’s hard to beat Tahoe Meadows.  Park your car and head out on a long gradual descent through the wide valley.  You can follow trails made by others or blaze your own, exploring…

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Added by Tom Courtney on February 19, 2016 at 9:13am — No Comments

Año Nuevo State Park – Hiking Among the Elephant Seals

Hundreds of northern elephant seals line Año Nuevo Beach – babies crying, mothers snorting, giant males roaring and defending their territory.  Mostly they are resting between birthing, nursing, mating and fighting, densely…

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Added by Tom Courtney on February 15, 2016 at 9:30am — No Comments

Calaveras Big Trees – Winter in the Sequoias

We glide effortlessly, cross-country skiing in Calaveras Big Trees State Park.  Branches sag, heavy with snow.  The air is crisp, and woods quiet.  After leaving the visitor center parking lot, it took only ten minutes before…

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Added by Tom Courtney on January 27, 2016 at 9:30am — No Comments

Bryce Canyon – a Winter Wonderland

Add Bryce Canyon National Park to your bucket list for spectacular winter beauty, hiking, skiing, and snowshoeing. We visited in late December.  A blanket of snow brought a peacefulness that was a contrast to the busy summer…

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Added by Tom Courtney on January 12, 2016 at 10:00am — No Comments

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