06 December 2011

Snowboarding 101, the intro...

First learn if you are "goofy" or regular "footed"

It is kind of like finding out if you are left handed or right handed...there

are several ways to do this. The easiest is to jump on a

skateboard and see which foot you like to have up front and which foot

you kick or "pump" with. Another good way is to put a tennis ball (or smaller size) ball

in front of you, aim for a target, and see which foot you kick it with. Write it down!

There are other ways but most require a lack of concentration. IE Have a friend note

which foot you climb steps first.. Or pretend you are boxing or surfing, because

you almost always put your stronger foot forward to catch your balance. Btw this term

came from surfing cos most riders are regular footed(right foot forward). Remember

to write it down first.

NEXT do sit-ups and some push ups. Like 20 and 10 respectively per

day...work up to it slowly if you must. Most people get up from bed once or twice a day.

Beginner snowboarders get up 50 to 100 times the first day...most beginner

snowboarders will have sore necks and shoulders from the multiple raises.

Get good equipment and padding, wear appropriate clothes

Cotton is NOT good. it stays wet and wicks heat from you. NO Cotton at altitude.

Get BOOTS that fit. Walk around in them for 20 min. If they hurt

return them. Too loose and you will get blisters or lack of turning

control. (Boots and Bindings may not be compatible)

Get Good BINDINGS...I recommend "Flow" bindings for beginners...

(google Flow bindings or ask me)

RENT a board, but usually this requires bindings. So buy a board that

fits...a board when stood up, comes up somewhere between chin and top

of forehead. You will probably out grow this board in two seasons.

Sometimes I recommend a boots/bindings/board package but a small

mistake in buying this could lead to big headaches later. Not a lot of

technology in these...so buying new but last years model will save a

buck or two. Watch for wear and tear if your buying used...if it shows

on the outside it's probably bad off in the inside.

PAD up. You'll want a helmet for day two and three. not going that fast

on day one. You'll want to pad up knees elbows. BUTT/HIP pads are

highly recommended and available at most stores as padded shorts for

inliners and snowboarders.

If you are self conscious about looking like a beginner, wear muted

colors your first three days. All black or all blue are excellent

choices. Padded, they'll never recognise you. When you get better you

start wearing the purples and greens to go with your eyes!

Padding is insulation so layer the rest. thin under garments or rash

guard. The middle layer should be thicker. And a thick outer layer that is wind

and water resistant but BREATHABLE outer shell is highly recommended.

PICK the right weather...

Not too late in the season...too icy and hard. Too "fluffy" after a

really big storm is great for the buttocks but(t) you'll never get

enough speed to learn for day two or three. And it makes it tough to get

up in because you are always sinking. Too cold and you spend all your energy

trying to get or stay warm. Too hot and it's raining or icing up for

tomorrow, or worse, you are all wet and melting icicles keep dripping on

you making your mascara run.

I am assuming you are not independently wealthy or you would get

yourself a personal trainer and personal instructor instead of reading

this: So find a deal...WWW.SLIDINGONTHECHEAP.COM Yes, sliding on the

cheap all in one spell.

I patrol at Sierra at Tahoe on a snowboard. I recommend the three day

pass. (For one person three days consecutive or not consecutive) 149

or 50 dollars per day. www.sierraattahoe.com

Paying more is ridiculous on your first days as 4/5 of the mountain will

be out of your reach of your ability.

Devote three days in a given month to get good. Consecutive days may

require IB800 but too far apart and you lose what you learned.

Remember, its mostly muscle memory. Take rest stops and enjoy the

mountains often. It will allow your muscles to rest for the next lesson.

Practice FALLING or wear wrist splints. Martial artists do this for

many years: Falling forward: bend at the knees and pelvis land on

knees first roll forward onto elbows and forearms! Falling backwards:

bend at the knees and pelvis and roll over a curved back using elbows

to soften the blow to the lower back.

My classes always start with about 1.5 hours of this in the am of day

one AND if you fall wrong, I make you fall right and get up again. If

you are a friend of mine you probably use your hands for a living and

prefer not to dangle them at the wrists helplessly, so this is really

important for me!

If you have your own gear: put them on, go to grass(lawn) or old

carpet and jump around in them. First taking small tiny jumps and then

doing "x"'s and 180's and for overachievers; 360's. This is what it

feels like to have a board strapped to your feet, and your muscles

learn pretty quickly: "oh yeah!" so it's absolutely not strange when

you put a little snow under it. Plus it's a good quad exercise. Be

careful of your equipment and knees. Fall right, if you fall at all.

If you get really good at that try it on a balance disc. Then with one

binding only and then the other binding only.

When you are learning to carve or link turns remember to be cognisant

of your instructors stance. A good instructor will be able to show you

what he or she means by demonstration. That demo should be

in the goofy or regular stance that you are in.

Current studies show that most sporting injuries occur with poor

nutritional intake and/or poor hydration. Eat well AND pee twice

before getting to the mountain, once at lunch, once at stop, once at

the bar, and once before dreamland,,,at least.

There is a reason why Scandinavians have a mistrust of

pepper and equatorial countries eat hot, juicy and spicy...so

don't go all equatorial and then head up to the summit.

Eat early to avoid crowds at noon to two pm.

Tell someone that your going AND(best) go with another person.

"Winterize" your car. The more you can not worry about the better fun

you'll have:) Tune your gear. Doing so is cheap($5-10), but poor gear

will make poor performance in this gear-condition dependent sport.

If you fall toe side when getting off the lift crawl with knuckles and

knees laterally and out of the way. If you fall heelside when getting off

the lift crawl with knuckles and butt laterally and out of the way.

Remember that EVERYBODY Falls. EVERYBODY!

Snowboarding 102

Now it's time to see if you like turning and spinning and jumping or

if you like just some damn good carving! "Freestyle" is all the

spinning and parks stuff...and in a nut shell "Slalom" is just getting

down as fast as possible. How this pertains to you is your "stance".

My free style stance is 30 degrees toe out on both feet in a "duck" stance

(yes I know I am bowlegged). My slalom stance is 20 degrees toe out on

my front foot and 15 degrees toe in on my rear foot (both feet facing

nose of board). I also have slalom (hard plastic, similar to ski,

-boots and a board that only goes forward). My freestyle board is

completely symmetrical and rounded on both ends and is long enough to

patrol in. My park board is super short and I've dulled the edges so

that it does not catch on rails, however I would sink in any condition

other than park groomies because it's so short and the dull edges will

not carve a turn well in ice. My slalom board bindings(both front and back)

are set a little back so that my body weight is centered more on the back portion.

Remember, this is the board that never goes "fakey". In skateboarding the

opposite is riding "nollie" or riding with your body weight to the nose of your board.


Since I am ambidextrous I like to go "fakey" a lot. My

goofy(right) foot is my stronger side and I "fake" my friends out by

doing a 180 and riding with my left foot forward. This is also

commonly but wrongly called switch or switch stance. It is probably now a

mute point: So I go ahead and call it "riding switch". And as of this

writing most people consider switch and fakey synonyms. The term came

from surfing (where the nose of the board stayed the same, but because you

were not bound in as in snowboarding, you were able to "switch" into fakey. The

big difference is that the surf board continued to go forward. In snowboarding, you

spin the board with your stance. Semantics fo sho!:)

Dude, if you are still reading this, then I am assuming I did you some

good, so I would appreciate you clicking on the link below as a return favor.

It is a link to a petition to make the London 2012 Olympics plastic bag free.

As of this writing, Roz and Five Gyres are helping spread the word to an international

crowd. Even if you are in the beginning of your evolution to minimize the

plastic in your life, this ban on the plastic bag on the international scene would

do wonders and make it easier for all of us to reduce consumption. 1/3 of the 500 million

tons of plastic produced every year is used for 20 seconds and then thrown in landfills or

oceans forever. Plastic does not biodegrade, it photodegrades which means we

leach the chemicals into the plants and animals eventually haunting us and our




Mahalo and much Aloha


07 October 2011

Avatar Kayaking! October 27th 2011 is the next new moon

SHE DID IT! On October fourth Roz Savage became the first woman to row a 23 foot rowboat across three oceans! She did it solo and unsupported. She slept in a bunk just big enough to sit her lying down with her ankles hanging off the edge. She grew her own bean sprouts, at Larabars and broke two of her four oars during two capsizes!

more information at www.RozSavage.com

This is about how you can go Avatar Kayaking in Tomales Bay on October 27th during a no moon night.

Watch this video first:


For fifteen years I have been taking people kayaking in these waters in Tomales Bay! Video has finally caught up with me and my ability to describe what you can expect to see.  Just pay your $5 to park at Miller's Cove boat Launch at Nick's Cove and head South  past the lights of the restaurant.

Roz is currently in Mauritius basking in her glory! But on Friday, October 14th in San Francisco, She will be at a welcome back party that I am hosting for her at Greens Restaurant in Fort Mason Center... This is your invite!

October 27th plus or minus two days is the time to be out on the water!

Cheers all!


13 September 2011

Point Montara Lighthouse

Point Montara Lighthouse is now a hostel, for 28 dollars, you can spend the night there. Take the kids tidepooling, rent the hot tub on the cliff and watch the sunset with cassiopeia smiling above! Many lighthouses and fire lookouts are now rentable in some way as we use satellites to watch for forest fires and for ship navigation. They are not only historic but offer a commanding view! see my previous blogs for more details.

Roz is trying to get her mom, Rita flown to where she will make landfall. She will become the first woman to row the big three oceans. Please share this information so that we are able to be a par of bringing the two together. They have such a rich story to offer to the rest of the world.  I know, I have seen it :)



11 September 2011

Auburn/ Foresthill Bridge/ Confluence and more

This is one of my favorite hikes of all times. I would take Kasey here when she was only a few months old and would let her walk as much as she wanted to and then picked her up and carried her the rest of the way. Boating-wise, the confluence of the two rivers has somehow always been sacred to me...

Just on the east side of Auburn spanning over the North Fork of the American River looms the Foresthill Bridge. Erected in 1973 at 731 feet tall, it was then, the second tallest bridge in the world and today, is only dwarfed by four other bridges in the US. It remains the tallest bridge in California and stars in the opening sequence with Vin Diesel in the movie XXX



http://www.maps.google.com/ and cut and paste this coordinate in the search prompt field: 38.922441,-121.038716

Hiking, biking, boating and swimming activities abound here. This is how I recommend your day.

Start your day off by heading over to Auburn and exiting Maple Street to enjoy a brunch (closed on Monday and Tuesday) at Latitudes Organic restaurant: http://latitudesrestaurant.com/ They change the menu every year to reflect a chosen latitude of a country serving organic good stuff from menus around the world. It is always a fresh idea full with flavor and never a question for your artfully colorful, discerning, taster's pallette.

Then dust off the sneakers and go for a sight seeing tour by heading over to Foresthill Road, driving across the bridge and parking on the other side. Take a brief walk over the bridge for some spectacular sight seeing. Note all of the hiking and mountain biking trails that meander through the canyon below.

Then keep going in the same direction away from Auburn toward Foresthill and make the first turn to the right. You just turned off Foresthill Road and onto Old Forest Hill Road. Had the Auburn Dam been built, much of the confluence and valley of the North and Middle forks of the American River would have been drowned, taking the older road, bridge and trails with it. Follow the Old Foresthill Road down into the canyon where you will cross the older but still commanding bridge. The easier path is to the east of the bridge following the banks of the river upstream under the Foresthill Bridge and further upstream yet to more beaches, swimming holes and eventually Lake Clementine.

Lake Clementine is accessible via road also ( 38.920288,-121.003611 ) and the springtime overflow is not to be missed! http://www.waterfallswest.com/ . Upper Lake Clementine Road ends in a very big beach along side the river. I have come here on weekends and it is packed. The gravel roads will give you an excuse to find an ecologically friendly way to wash your car ( 38.967751,-120.974536 ).

Alternatively, you can just hike on either side of the bridge to go under the bridge and relax in the cool waters as it flows between the spans. The bridge itself provides a parasol for those that seek shade. The demarcation is obvious and those that worship the sun can sit on the other side of the line. All of these trails are clearly marked and difficult to get lost. (38.916268,-121.035495)

There is plenty of parking on either side of the bridge and overflow parking all the way to the Highway 49 (the third bridge in the area). There are more easy and difficult hiking trails here. Consult google maps for other nearby trails.

I also recommend Ikeda's in Auburn. http://www.yelp.com/biz/ikedas-california-country-market-auburn They always have the right hot sauces in the summer and the most perfect pies this side of the Atlantic.

Another nearby hike is Hidden Falls http://www.placer.ca.gov/Departments/Facility/parks/hiddenfalls.aspx
it is a park near Auburn (38.956022,-121.16405)
A large Mountain Biking and Off Highway Vehicle (OHV) or all terrain, mostly dirt bikes area is very nearby, http://www.parks.ca.gov/?page_id=1343 , ( 38.920288,-121.003611 )

Hikes in and around Auburn are easy look-ups with google and maps.google.com as well as images.google.com and of coarse via emailing me...

Have a great day! Get out there. Bring the kids!


Roz is two to three weeks from finishing her Indian Ocean Row. She will be the first woman to row across the Atlantic, Pacific and Indian Oceans. She will be making a guest appearance in mid-October in San Francisco Bay Area for a welcome back home party! Go to http://www.rozsavage.com/ and stay tuned.
If you like what you see on this blog, please share it with your friends. Or better yet, call up a friend and go for a hike!

03 September 2011

How to get to my favorite hiking spots!

How to get to my favorite hiking/boating spots:

Just past Meyer's Grade, a curve going up and away from Twin Bridges and Strawberry is a little private family camp facility on the out skirts of National Forest Land.  Large road signs give you input on where you are... past the town of Apple Hill all the way to Meyers. Keep your eyes peeled!

Horsetail Falls and Pyramid Creek:
Horsetail Falls (not to be confused with the one in Yosemite is a dramatic waterfall leaving Desolation Wilderness and flowing under the freeway before it joins the South Fork of the American River. Just past the Twin Bridges Townnship sign, is a large and well kept parking lot ($5, 2011 prices) with large well maintained concrete outhouses. The upper reaches of Horsetail Falls and entering wilderness country can be exciting if you are prepared and dangerous bouldering if you are not. But you don't have to go all the way to the top to be up close and personal. Infact, only a 1/2 mile walk toward the water will allow you to visit the biggest parts of the falls as the decrease in steepness allows the water to spread out into a dramatic, wide whitewater slide. If you choose to go up, remember to leave yourself a trail, or follow someone else's, on the granite parts by leaving rock piles called cairns or duckies. Ask me if you are going in the off-season as some rules change with weather and time of year. This is a there-and-back-again hike so go as far in as you would like. It is almost impossible to get lost as the valley empties down and out across Highway 50. If you keep going down... you will eventually see the highway if not cross over it.

Pyramid Creek and Bryant Road and Mount Huckleberry
I have three secret hikes nearby here for people that would like that information, please let me know... I will tell you over the telephone or if I ever get a chance to type the specific markers for you or note the exact coordinates.

Strawberry Lodge is one of the oldest establishments in Northern California. Ask Mike or Robin for a brief tour of the historic lodge and rest stop for the Pony express. Stawberry Lodge was a trading post for hunters, trappers, and mountain men. It sits ideally under Lover's Leap and across from another beautiful hike for the agile adventurer not afraid of heights, called Sugarloaf. Kasey and I stop in Strawberry Lodge as an adventure tradition. For her and I, there is ice cream. You may be more interested in the bar!

Lover's Leap Campsite near Strawberry Lodge:
There is a campsite that climbers congregate to at the base of Lover's Leap. To find this.. go down the road on the back side of Strawberry Lodge. Just past the bridge, there is a T intersection with a white house with a steep roof line reminicscent of a church. Make that left turn and it will end in less than a mile at the campground. I have always called it Lover's Leap Climber's Campground... I don't know of the official name.

Lover's Leap Hike:
Park on the outside of Camp Sacramento. (There is also parking/camping on the north side of Highway 50) Walk into  Camp Sacramento while smiling. As you enter the front guest parking area for the Main Lodge, pass it and go toward the side and front of the Lodge. It is quite ok for you to ask directions to the trailhead. There are signs to it, but other signs and the apprehension of feeling that you are trespassing can be overwhelming. If you are well behaved, the locals will more than welcome you and set your coarse and heading. From the start, it is a moderate 45 minute hike on a gravel trail to the top to dramatic vistas. Kasey did it when she was six and enjoyed every minute of it. We did it one year with a group of people to watch the Persied Meteor Showers on a new moon night hike!

Echo Lake:
Just past my favorite place to ski and snowboard, Sierra at Tahoe(Not coincidentally, also where I ski patrol), is a road called Johnson Pass. Make a left here before passing Little Norway and Echo Summit.

After making that left turn (North of Highway 50) make another left turn onto Atwood Road which will also be Echo Lake Road. Keep driving until you see the Echo Lake Chalet and marina. Boat rides are available here for about $10 on demand of three or more. They are a very friendly lot with kind hearts and peaceful tidings. This place is boating and swimming friendly so bring your floaty toys! http://www.echochalet.com/

Lake Angora:
Possibly the coolest and most tucked in little known lake is Lake Angora. Cliff Jumping, children swimming and splashing. SUP and kayaks and row boats available for rental. And the best lemonade stand in the world!

Drive past Echo Summit into South Lake Tahoe and at the "Y" of Hwy 89 (Emerald Bay Road) and Hwy 50 (drifting rightwards towards downtown South Lake Tahoe) is a sharp left turn onto Lake Tahoe Blvd. Travel on this road for a little over one mile passing the road on the left, called Sawmill Blvd. Make a well marked right turn onto Tahoe Mountain Road. It ends in a T intersection, make a quick right onto Glenmore Way Road and then a quick left onto Dundee Circle and another left onto Tahoe Mountain Road once more... These roads are either circular or without an outlet, so getting lost may happen... for about two minutes... but you will easily find yourself again. About 500 feet into the Tahoe Mountain Road is a small hidden left turn that is easily missed. (Turn on GPS unit here!) < plug in this longitude and latitude on www.maps.google.com 38.903625,-120.038295 > or continue until you see a Y in the road which leads to Fallen Leaf Road (Left to Fallen Leaf Marina, Right to Camp Richardson/South Lake Tahoe.) This Y intersection is about 700 feet away from the turn that you missed! The road is called Angora Ridge Road. It starts as a gravel track for about 500 feet complete with pot holes and rugged turnouts. Keep going! The road soon becomes well paved and climbs out of the forest and onto a ridge that separates Tahoe Basin to the left and Fallen Leaf to the right. If it is safe, stop and have a walk for a quick peek at the vistas. You will pass the historic Angora Fire Lookout Station. We use satellites now, so see earlier post to rent similar lookouts for star studded dramatic wilderness vistas. Keep going until you get to the large parking area of Angora Lake. It is $7 to park. (2011 prices). At the far end of the second parking lot is a small (Lower Angora) Lake and the trail head to your destination (Upper) Angora Lake. It is wide, sandy and about one mile with a few easily stepped parts. Welcome! and kick your feet up and chill in the wonderful gift of the Sierra Nevada Mountain Range. Due to the sandy path, bikes and strollers are not optimal

Fallen Leaf Lake:
Just past Camp Richardson from South Lake Tahoe, is a well marked road to the left called Fallen Leaf Road. There is a large campground here as well as many trails leading onto the shores of Fallen Leaf Lake. The road is one lane. See the bottom of this posts for hints about driving on one lane roads. The road ends at a marina just after the volunteer fire station. The market and marina are perfect little places to chill and relax. I take Kasey crawdad fishing here! It is as easy as a small 1/4 slice of bacon, kite string and a rock. Google it or ask me via email. One year, a group of friends went kayaking and stand-up paddle boarding here during the Perseid Meteor Showers.

Wright's Lake
Wright's Lake is an idealic shallow and beautifully placed lake.
From Highway 50 pass Pollock Pines, Whitehall and Kyburz. The road is a well maked left turn onto Wright's Lake Road. Follow the road up to Wright's lake! Bring mosquito repellant, Kasey and I were attacked the last time! The loop trail and small waterfall should not be missed. Dark Lake and Beauty Lake are also great nearby destinations for you to walk to and enjoy.

Icehouse Reservoir and Union Valley Reservoir, Loon Lake
Past Pollack Pines is a very long and scenic road going up to Ice House and Union Valley Reservoir. Combined with Loon Lake and several smaller lakes and reservoirs, this area is home to many spring time waterfalls and wild flower hikes and meadows. Stay on paved and well maintained roads here unless you have a detailed map of the area. The ranger stations and visitors' centers offer a host of good insider information. also see http://www.waterfallswest.com/

Bassi Falls:
Warranting it's own write-up, Bassi Falls is a very easy and incredibly beautiful waterfall to hike to. The way to get there is best described by pictures on my facebook photo album of the same name... feel free to friend me or google this information. (Terrain maps and regular maps are equally suggested as well as checking in with the ranger station.) The hidden turn off is immediately on the opposite side of Big Silver Campground. The last time I was here, there were about twenty tents set up. It would have been an ideal area for a first-time and or a family backpacking trip! You will really feel that you got away from the hustle and bustle of city life. When I lead a group here several years ago, several families brought children's umbrella strollers. There is another trail here that leads you to the top of Bassi Falls.

and this is my album of beautiful pictures in and around Sacramento
"Within 150 miles from home"

OK.. that's all for now... that should get you started... remember to time your hikes with constellations, migrations and berry picking for cobler...oh, and winetasting (Placerville and Gold Country).

Tips on driving on one lane roads:
Tail-gating and multiple cars make using turn-outs difficult. You will only get there twenty seconds before or after the next car... so turnout and enjoy the journey without the destination getting in the way. Give a lot of space when following other cars. Traffic going uphill have the right of way (therefore Downhill traffic should yeild) as vehicles going downhill have better control and view when backing up (UP the hill). You are probably not one of the locals... Please be cognicent of your dust and noise as you would not want someone blazing flames in your own neighborhood. Livestock doesn't know it is Saturday.

Always bring about $20 in one dollar bills (parking fees, ice cream, lemonade). Tell someone where you are and when to expect you back. Leave a map with a general location of your whereabouts under the front seat of your car. A supply list (I use the one that I used to prepare for my trip) of what I have also allows would-be rescuers some knowledge of who and what they are looking for and how prepared I am to spend the night or weather out a storm. Rescues generally happen the day after one is billed as missing. I realize that what will probably hamper my return is getting lost or an unforseen injury. If you are that prepared, think the next step: What would you do if you ran across an injured person on your hike?

Last year's (2010) blog has info about Santa Cruz/Big Sur Butterfly migration, Thule Elk Rutting in Pt Reyes and Biolumnenescent Paddling in Tomales Bay!

Please refer to last year's blogs for that information.

Much more to come... Pacific Crest Trail, Grover Hot Springs (near Kirkwood), Jenkinson Lake (at the end of Sly Park near Pollock Pines) and Iron Mountain (closed) Ski Area...That does not include all of the coastal destinations. Oh, I could go on and on and on...

Still want more pics? Here is my other working album...
Travelscape, Amazing places in the world:




~Jay Gosuico

If you find this information useful, please click (and share!) this, and the link below...

23 August 2011

just a reminder:

I post with the changing seasons, so scroll down to last year's August 2010 posts for other ideas. Have fun. Roz is still looking for sponsors at http://www.rozsavage.com/

20 August 2011

October 6-11, 2011 Fleet week!


October and September are the best times of the year to be in San Francisco. Colombus Day is a huge celebration with an additional boost of Fleet Week and The Blue Angels Air Show overhead.

Some Ideas:

Bike alongside the Bay from Fisherman's Wharf to Sausalito and then take the Ferry to Angel Island. Spend some time in Tinburon. Head over to the Marin Headlands and Point Bonita Light house. Spend the day at Chrissy Field. There is so much to do! Let me know if you want even more ideas that are more consistent with what you are looking for... Like sea kayaking in Sausalito or taking the 49mile drive to see all of San Francisco's tourist and scenic areas. Point Reyes and Olema are beautiful and rich with migration wild-life.

Please scroll to may last year's post about fall for mor information or email me at outsidejay@gmail.com

It's a beautiful world ... get to know it.

03 August 2011

Holy Mosquito Trap, Batman! The bats of Davis August and September at sunset.

Holy mosquito trap Batman!

The Bats of Davis

Did you know you live very close to one of the biggest colonies of bats in the world. They live under the Davis-Sacramento causeway and come out every night in summer nine minutes after sunset(you are able to set your watch to it!). If you are able to, schedule a tour using the information below.



sneak peak: Bat Ribbons consist of millions of bats.


Here are some helpful hints.
It gets dusty following cars on gravel, don't wash your car prior. (see "drains to river" when washing car)
Bring a flashlight for when heading back home in the dark.
Bats LOVE mosquitoes, but bring repellant just in case. I doubt that you will need it.
It is a good bike ride.
If you are into marsh lands this place is cool.

Next up: University Falls, natural rock slides and waterfalls.

Roz is day 92 in the Indian Ocean

Petition for making the 2012 London Olympics Plastic bag free!

My friend Kyle of Surfing for Change with SurfRider Foundation, Story of Stuff and Jack Johnson... all helping me out!

You may be the leader you are waiting for!
more good stuff on my facebook under Jay Go

26 July 2011

Starfire time of year!

This weekend Friday and Saturday nights July 29 and 30th 2012 marks the beginning of the Perseid and Delta Aquarid meteor showers. Coupled with the new moon (no moon) It should be a nice little light show not to be missed.

The Earth in its orbit travels through two large asteroid belts every year. We will soon be traveling thru near center of the largest one The Persieds.

Last year I took a large group of people to the top of Lover’s Leap just above Strawberry. We used the Strawberry Lodge as a staging point for the hike. We brought wine and cheesecake to enjoy the night sky in deluxe splendor.

Better yet finding a kayak in campground like the ones in Lake Sonoma and Cherry Lake, Wright's lake, Echo Lake and Fallen Leaf Lake are best for this but any area clear of trees and lights can make this an unforgettable show. Lake Oroville has floating campgrounds that you kayak to.

Maybe a fire look out station for those who don't like water. We use satellites now so many of them have turned into remote camping destinations. http://www.buckrock.org/

I suggest using google maps to find local airstrips if you are not near a granite peak void of trees. http://www.maps.google.com/

Observatories like the one on top of Mount Livermore are also perfect places to stargaze.

Bring warm layers, flashlights, mosquito repellent, a thermos of Vietnamese or Japanese noodle soup and down load google sky map or similar star chart on your smart phone.



Squaw Valley will be hosting an annual meteor shower campout event at high camp just above the tram ride: on August 12th with the full moon.


***Bonus information: when to look for satellites (an hour after sunset)

We (the earth) is in the shadow. The Satellites are still in high orbit and reflect the suns rays down to us via their solar wings because high up, they are still in the sun's direct path.

And finding constellations (often too difficult due to the shear number of stars above) can now be done thru apps such as starwalk for iphones and google skymaps for androids. It took me twenty years to learn what Kasey downloaded in 8 seconds for free




I have now put this information as easy links on my facebook. Feel free to find me via my email address


Enjoy and thanks!

24 July 2011

Berkeley Kite Festival 2011, July 31 and August 1


I have made it super easy. Just click on the above link and put www.RozSavage.com in the comment section of the narative.

Here's what's coming up...

see http://www.highlinekites.com/ (Highline Kites)

for the Berkeley Kite Festival. a free and must see event. This year will have over 100 house size kites (as big as parade baloons and derigibles) Free shuttle and easy to take public transportation... bring windbreakers and an extra layer.

Upcoming posts will have the Bats of Davis and the beginning of migration patterns including the monarch butterflies, salmon as well as tule elk. Fleet week and how to bike around San Francisco Bay in one day.

It is time to start planning your adventures in autumn. you should know of the fire look out stations and light house hostels that you can stay at.

All free information if you would support my friend Roz.

Roz is halfway through her Indian Ocean row and can be easily found on facebook, her website or via twitter.

more fun stuff on the way!

I can be now found on facebook under

Jay Go outsidejay@gmail.com

04 July 2011

Rock Wind and Very Hot Air

Rock, wind and very hot air

“The wind in San Francisco doesn’t blow it sucks”

The coldest winter I ever spent was a summer’s day in San Francisco. (Wrongly attributed to Mark Twain)

Hot air rises. If you think about hot air balloons, and sky lanterns, this phenomenon is easily understood.

From Redding all the way to Mexico is a desert. In summer time hot air rising (over the desert) sucks in cold air from the sea. Even before the Golden Gate Bridge was built, two mountain tops created the perfect funnel for cool air mass. Mount Tamalpais to the north, in Marin County and Twin Peaks, the top of San Francisco, direct this air towards Berkeley and up the delta while simultaneously squeezing the cool air mass as it passes the narrow channel between Fort Point and East Fort Baker. Squeezing is synonymous with condensing and therefore condensation, more locally known as fog.

June, July and August are not good for being a tourist in San Francisco. September and October, due to the lack of temperature gradient are far better times to view the incredible sights in The City. However, if you are into wind sports like sailing, para gliding, kite surfing, wind surfing, kite flying, hang gliding, etc. This is the time of year to blossom.

Wind travels in circles too. Picture the arms of a hurricane with “s” shaped patterns coming out from the eye. Sometimes you are able to work yourself up(north) or down(south) the beach to catch off-shore or on-shore winds. If you are a surfer, winds can help you or make your day more challenging. An offshore wind blows out to sea from the beach and holds up a wave when it breaks forming better curlers. It may also blow your kayak out to sea so pick your toys wisely today. An onshore wind blows from sea to beach and “blows down” a wave pushing it down instead of holding it up.

Gusty winds are more difficult to learn sports like windsurfing and kite boarding. You will want consistent winds of about 10mph. You will want a beginner board that is wide and long and a beginner sail that is small and light. Pack plenty of energy and hydration. The learning curve is pretty steep.

Winds can affect your touring kayak greatly and is often more dangerous than the cold water. Most people think that wind will turn your kayak into the wind or away from it. That is, so that you are either getting a face full of wind or the opposite, you are getting slapped squarely in the back between your shoulder blades with each gust. However, wind actually turns your kayak sideways to it. Wind will then be coming from directly left or right depending on which side of the boat the wind is on. At about 15mph you will want to be thinking about another plan as you will be spending some energy paddling against the wind that wants to turn you sideways to it. At 20mph you will want a rudder. (more on this on kayaking blog) At 25mph you will be seeing whitecaps where there is no current. The wind is actually picking up water and dragging it around with her. An astute paddler can see wind gusts do this over the surface of the water. Hint: if you see the windsurfers unfurling their sails, you might want to keep your kayak close to land. I can almost always expect the wind trying to push me back up river at the take out after a day of river paddling. It usually gets stronger until the sun goes down and then disappears quite rapidly with nightfall. Again, it is the remnants of hot air rising and the Delta Breeze

My learning how to surf blog has more information about beaches and wind.

Other stuff:

Hot springs are geothermal activity that happens in volcanic areas throughout the world. They are common in the Sierra Nevadas. Links Below.




Teepees and Victorian homes:

The native American Indians knew about hot air rising and had built it into their teepees. They had very tall 18-25’ teepees. They would build a small fire in the middle, and then open up the bottom side vents causing a “venturi” effect.

If you go to the old Victorian homes in the southern states like Mississippi and Alabama you will notice the domes with the turret of windows up top. Then look lower, at the base of the dome, you will see gas jet nipples all around. If you ask a docent what they are for, they will tell you that they light them in the summer time, like the teepees, the hot air rising sucks cold air from the base level windows. The shrubbery around the base of the house is a source of cold air coupled with the morning dew that rests on the leaves, it creates a swamp cooler effect, through convection and evaporation.

Fort Funston:

Where hang gliders and para-gliders literally jump off a cliff and are swept up by the winds. It is also a very large dog park, for the large and not so large breeds and although has incredible expanses of beaches, rarely do people make the 10 minute walk down to the beach.

Head North to Novato or West to Walnut Creek:

Almost always where the fog stops and the sunshine persists. Fog is always in battle with the sun as evaporation and higher in-land temperatures will ultimately be the cloud’s demise

Delta Breeze:

The after effect of strong fog is a back lash. It is the after effect from the fog and winds caused by the hot air rising. The Delta Breeze often rolls in during early evening times here in Sacramento becoming the welcome rescue from very hot days. I always recommend spending your days in coastal or river waters or up at cooler elevations and heading back to the valley for an evening in the garden or patio.


The coldest winter I ever spent was a summer’s day in San Francisco. (Wrongly attributed to Mark Twain)


Link: Reno hot air balloon festival

September 9-11 in Reno


Link: Sky lantern festival; I don’t think they will fly in the US


Don’t miss the free Berkeley Kite Festival, it’s just one of those things that are too huge to get pictures of. It is an all day event. Bring backpacks and wagons!


Chrissy Field, in particular the warming huts that you should know about.


Fort Funston, hang gliding and dog park


Crawdad fishing; tie a piece of bacon to a rock and have a kid’s blast!


Days are starting to get shorter so you better jump on in it!

After the summer solstice sunlight begins to diminish. So plan your trips now! It is your last chance before winter time hits and you will have not ventured much.

Do your own youtube or google searches on these:

Concerts in the park, dive in movies, swimming pools and swimming holes, escape the heat. Remember these are just starters for your imaginary pleasure. There are so many things out there to do. Get out there!

Today Roz is a little over two months out at sea, alone and self supported she continues to battle rogue waves and equipment issues. I started this blog so that you may support her in her mission to spread awareness and continue to do small actions to reverse some of the ecological blights we have unleashed onto the world. Here is a quick link to help me out. All you have to do is put www.RozSavage.com in the comment section. Thanks, it is worth a go!


18 April 2011

Kayaking and Whitewater boating: Into the Flow, Immersion!

Into the flow, sometimes immersion is the only way to learn.

Precipitation is a wonderful thing and is very closely related to the amount of my salivation. When it's snowing up top it's probably raining down low. Moisture to a kayaker is like dreams to an insomniac.

Upper Elevations, Snow:

The upper Sierra Nevada begin to collect the year's worth of snow pack to supply the cities with power and fresh water. Kayakers and Whitewater rafters gather their gear to grab the most of the pristine river and creek runs. But the short daylight hours and the cooler temperatures in the upper elevations as well as labile wind and precipitation will need to be mitigated. Also, beware that the higher and/or new run-off may change river features. Most notable of changes to beware of are the river's edges may be high and therefore in the the trees or brush; erosion may change the river banks them-selves; and coupled with the erosion as well as recent weather, trees fall and become strainers (to be discussed in next blog).

Lower Elevations, Rains:

While it's snowing on the summits, it will be raining in the lower elevations. For simplicity's sake I call all of the mountains along the coast the Coastal Mountain Range(there are many, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_mountain_ranges_of_California) as opposed to the Sierra Nevada Range and who you ask... The Coastal Mountain Range(s) are lower in elevation and generally warmer. Whitewater boaters wait for hard rains to come in and get their gear (as well as proficiency) up to par. Depending on how high or how low the water shed is according to the gradient... yada yada yada... let's just say some rivers flow depending on WHEN it rains.. for instance some creeks such as Cazadero will flow during a hard rain. But some rivers will start to flow some time after a hard rain. The Smith and Eel rivers generally flow between one and three days after a hard rain. Beware, brush and fallen trees are high danger during these early season runs.

What did the fish say when he hit a wall? ... Dam!

Kayakers, Rowers and Paddle Guides have a love-hate relationship with dams. Dams are bad because they "drown" the valley that they involve, suffocating the natural resources. There are many considerations to contemplate but a good start is reading the Cadillac Desert, http://www.amazon.com/Cadillac-Desert-American-Disappearing-Revised/dp/0140178244.

You never want to build the gutter to your house at the top of the roof. It will never collect the amount of water that you want to collect. And if you build your gutter around your property, then you will need a heck of a lot of bricks and will need to check on them often. Like-wise the best place to build a dam is at the Sierra Foothills. The deep valley walls coupled with the relatively small amount of bricks make collecting in these cisterns much simpler. Building a dam in the delta would be unthinkable as current levy systems are not able to be maintained as of this writing. The good thing about dams is that there is a guy sitting in the dam that quite literally dials up the flow. This means that I know exactly what the flow is. This consistency makes it a whole lot easier, especially when I take beginners on their first rafting adventure. The South Fork of the American River is the perfect example of this as it runs both above and below dams(six of them).

I touched upon the above, regarding sunlight... The longer sunlit days as summer approaches make getting further from home easier. Often with the ability to set up camp without the use of headlights. Although I always pack my tent, sleeping bag and flashlight last, just in case. The canyon walls in a river valley often obscure sun so that the only times that direct sunlight warms you is during the noon to immediate after noon hours. Time going on side-hikes to waterfalls accordingly. Not paying attention to this means that arriving at a waterfall when the afternoon sun no longer is visible and swimming in its pool is no longer as desirable.

Natural Phenomena: Bears and Snakes and Poison Ivy

The flowers aren't the only things that bloom around here. Watch out for the waking bears, snakes warming themselves on rocks and the blossoms of poison ivy. Snakes don't like people, they can detect our hard foot steps from about a quarter of a mile away by sensing vibrations through their body and tongue. All you have to do is step harder than usual and you will almost always not see them. (consider mountain bikers and rock climbers with a much more delicate footprint here)

Go fly a kite!

Wind tends to pick up (explained at summertimes' blog) later in the afternoon. When rafting, at the reservoir at the end of most days, approaching take-out may become a challenge. Reserve some energy to argue with this wind at the end of the day. It still beats a session at 24hr fitness, so take it in stride.

Ever Hit a Bubble?

A bump or bubble is slang for the release of a dam and therefore a dramatic rise in water flow. Rafters want to be at the beginning or during this "bump or bubble" to catch the release of fun. Too late in the day and the drop in water causes the rocks to make the travel challenging at best or worse, impassable at the shallower reaches.

Unlike the ocean when there is a lul between waves and a lull between sets of waves, the river is often relentless... please manage risks well. My next blog will cover several safety issues to consider when running rivers. Please stay tuned :)

Below are some websites that I use to check on river flows and conditions as well as beta (second hand information) about current ongoings with a particular level or run. These guys have been giving free information and in my opinion have been not only saving lives and limbs but also making boating so much enjoyable for as long as I have been boating. They deserve whatever kudos you can offer.

ca creeks: http://www.cacreeks.com/

dream flows: http://www.dreamflows.com/

cfs: http://www.cfsonline.org/

peak adventures: http://peakadventuresoutdoors.blogspot.com/2010/06/rafting-opener-for-2010.html

sierra rescue: http://www.sierrarescue.com/

waterfallswest: http://www.waterfallswest.com/

california canoe and kayak: http://www.calkayak.com/

I started this Blog a year ago, please look back at the Wildflowers and Waterfalls post as this year will be even more dramatic than last year due to the snow-pack. Note that I remember being excited about the waterfalls LAST year... this year will be even better... don't miss out!

Today, Roz has been out at sea for six days near Austrailia where she launched. On Sunday April 24th 2011, (Easter Sunday) she will have spent a total of 365 days alone at sea. This information is freely given to you in hopes that you will find a way to support her valiant and honorable efforts... www.RozSavage.com

Row Roz Row!

11 February 2011

Springtime Blooms and Cascades Galore... and more!

Just a little reminder of the wonderful things mother nature has in store for us this next few months....

I write in haste as I am planning to teach some friends how to snowboard at an INDOOR snowboarding facility in Sacramento! Included is some balance and core excercises for off season or off summit training. Rush Training Center, http://www.rush-tc.com/site/

Coming soon... Kayaking!!!

Here are some pointers for wildflower hikes and waterfall hikes




the best times to be in Yosemite


may 19-22 2011 Calaveras Jumping Frog Jubilee

wild flower hikes






note some other things to do such as

wine tasting

caving and ziplining at moaning caverns


Rivers are starting to plunge (my river kayaking season is upon me) The lakes are filling up for kayak touring. Email me for push in the right direction...

Stand-up paddleboarding is now mainstream!

Mountain and Road Biking are now widespread!

My favorite little lake is Lake Amador for hiking, biking, kayaking, swimming, near Calaveras Big Trees National Park, don't forget about Sequoia National Park and Kings Canyon Nationl Park

Roz is still looking for sponsorship and is actively fundraising at ...



03 February 2011

Blubber Wars, Sausage Parties, Fishmash, Blowholes and Shark Bait...February and March

February and March on the Northern California Coast

Blubber Wars and Sausage Parties, Fishmash, Blowholes and Shark Bait…

The beaches and coves all along the Northern California coast all of a sudden come to life as the marine mammals begin their annual antics during mating and pupping season. Magnificent Gray Whales migrate north and have to circumvent the outermost point of the historic Point Reyes Light House, not coincidentally the best place to view whale migration from land.

But while you are there you may want to visit the dramatic increase of the Elephant Seal population on Limantour Beach. The old historic and by some accounts haunted (with good spirits) life boat station has now been renovated into a hostel. Ano Nuevo further south near Half Moon Bay is another wonderful destination spot. Learn about these magnificent creatures as they batter themselves in a fight for the harem. They can get to be the size of an SUV and watching two of them go chest to chest is more enticing than watching a crash derby.

Back up north at The Marine Mammal Center in the Marin Headlands just north of Sausalito, volunteers are grinding herring into fish-mash and tubing sick young elephant seals using a funnel and a silicon tube the diameter of your thumb to “milk” the fish mash into the esophagus of  these unwilling to eat creatures. But first you have to separate and tackle them into submission using only planks, towels and your body weight. The medications go in the food. Well all except for the breathing treatments. Yes, seals get athsma and pneumonia oddly enough. It may be a stress related immune response. Never the less, dividing and coaxing one into a cage, covering up the holes and nebulizing albuterol and atrovent into the enclosure is a site to see.

But if you have a few hours a week to help volunteer, the true fun is teaching a baby harbor seal how to swim!!!   First the preface. Mom harbor seal leaves baby on beach to hunt for food. Unsuspecting humans hear the quite litteral “MA, MA” guttural sounds from the baby, approach it or worse touch it, (they are not born with an immune system they get their immunity from mother’s milk) and now the mom will abandon the baby in fear for her own life. The TMMC will then watch and make sure that the baby is in fact abandoned, capture it and bring it back to a special quarantined unit. Baby harbor seals do not know how to swim. So a docent will submerge the baby in a tub, wait for a stress response and gently bring the baby to the surface. After about three to five times, the baby harbor seal quickly realizes that air is UP there! And tada, you have taught a harbor seal how to swim!

I recommend staying at one of the many hostels in the area. The Point Reyes Hostel is especially primed for groups and two hostels Point Montara near Pacifica and Pidgeon Point are renovated light houses!

Also while you are there... check out the giant redwoods in Muir Woods National Monument, Tidepools, see Drakes Bay Oyster Farm, and don't miss out on the beautiful small towns from Iverness to Fairfax, San Anselmo, Olema, Novato, Mount Tam, etc.
Bring your mountain bikes for the many trails there, or bring your road bikes for a tour in the wine country.

Elephant Seals
The Marine Mammal Center
Harbor Seals
California Sea Lion
Whale watching and whales

More to come!!!

Support my friend Roz, catch up with her on facebook (Roz Savage) or find www.RozSavage.com.