The (most important part of) Sea Ranch


Chester Lee relaxing on the window seat at our rental at The Sea Ranch.

Planning has its benefits. The Sea Ranch is an early planned development where nature and design collide with the magnificent Pacific Coast of Northern California. Needless to say, with my love of landscape history, travel, and the outdoors this place checks many of the “special interest” boxes in my life. The experience did not disappoint.

The best and most important part was, of course, the friends – old and new – that gathered and celebrated. This is the second time we have spent time with friends and friend-of-friends from our days in Madison, Wisconsin.

Our days from Madison revolved around two constants: food (most of us were in the restaurant business) and late nights (most of us were in the restaurant business and/or students).

True to form, there was a ton of food – first time I have had tourtiere, which was a sort of of fancy pasty but was absolutely wonderful. It was even better when paired with a glass of jammy Petit Sarah from – you guessed it – Sonoma County.

Kent with Chester Lee – it was Chester’s first major journey and he had a great time meeting new peeps and another pup, Scout, who showed him how to play like a proper puppy.

This area of the state has unbelievable scenery – the rustic crags of the Pacific Ocean and the dense thicket of inland woods. This was highlighted in our 9 mile run through portions of Salt Point State Park on a trail run. The previous link will take you to some collected clips from my GoPro, which I am still learning how to use.

This trail is simply the most gorgeous one that I have run to date – no doubt there are many more along the coast for me to discover and enjoy in the future. The coastline near our trail run was fantastic!

This was an especially good weekend for me to get away, as I had a surgery scheduled for the next Monday. The surgery was minor – nasal polypectomy and endoscopic sinus surgery – but I really don’t like people around my head with sharp objects (I’m sure no one does)!

I was rather anxious about the surgery and the conversation, food, and fellowship really helped keep my mind off the impending procedure. All went just fine and I am now recovering on day 3. It is still uncomfortable, like having a headache between your cheekbones and a bloody nasal drip. I am glad it is over because I can breath more freely which will help me out on the trail running. I am eager to be fully recovered because Kent and I are still training for the 25 mile American River Endurance Run in April.

3 Rivers & Lemon Cove

roadside architecture

Some great roadside architecture and special places in Tulare County, California, between Sequoia National Park and Visalia.

Pumpkin Hollow Bridge an open spandrel reinforced concrete arch was built in 1922, spans the Kaweah River in Three Rivers.

Just to the north of the bridge is the Gateway Restaurant and Lodge, which displays a great sign enticing travelers to and from the park.


Further to the west stands the The Cottonwoods in Lemon Grove with great local history. The town also includes a restored and a vacant service station.


Footloose and free near Foresthill

Spontaneity has its price

Foresthill Divide Loop Trail [Near Auburn, Placer County, CA]

We started out around 11:00 today and ended at 3:00, hiking just over 12 miles.  Okay, full disclosure – we got lost and ended up trying to walk along Foresthill Road to get back to the car and in the process I considered hitchhiking or calling Uber.   But I didn’t.

So the first problem was that we did not start from either of the main trailheads indicated in the materials.  So lesson learned – next time we will get the exact location (like latitude and longitude of the trailheads) and study the map so we understand where we are going.

Nonetheless, there was no harm done and we did have a good time – although 12 miles was more than we bargained for.

So this is what happened: in true Chad and Kent style, we picked out this hike and started out on the trail with great reverie and little concern of where the trail went or where we were.  We figured that trails are usually well marked, right?  Wrong.

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After nearly 5 miles, we were ready to be done.  Alas, when we pulled up the brochure and map on Evernote, it said we were only about half way done!  At this point the trail crossed Foresthill Road – Kent thought his feet were bleeding and I thought I had pulled my groin.

We figured that if we walked back along the road, it would be quicker.  That may have been true if we were walking in the right direction.  Wrong again.  After a mile or so, we figured that out and corrected our course.  The damage was done.

Fast forward through a hefty bitch session and a cool air conditioned drive back to Sacramento, today I learned that spontaneity has its price.  This is not the first hike that we have been lost and found our way together.  Cheers!