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Travel

Travel (5)

Morning light bathes the room. Through an open window, pounding surf and barking sea lions tap me awake as memory rewinds on four days of bliss by the sea.

Day one: Morro Bay, a classic California beach town, is charming and welcoming with a small-town allure that can’t be ignored. Winding along Highway 41, the road bends and delivers views of iconic Morro Rock. I sip a breath of ocean air and smile. Over the next four days this landmark will never be out of sight.

Protected as Morro Rock State Preserve, the 581-foot monolith can’t be hiked or climbed. Disturbing the bird life is prohibited. The “Gibraltar of the Pacific,” Morro Rock is one of nine volcanic-plug “sisters” stretching inland to San Luis Obispo. The 2,300-acre Morro Bay National Estuary and protected bay is a marine and wildlife sanctuary. Two dozen threatened and endangered species live in the bay’s watershed, including the peregrine falcon, brown pelican, sea otter, Morro Bay kangaroo rat, black rail, snowy plover, steelhead trout and Morro Manzanita. Annually, outdoor devotees are drawn to this natural wonderland and the Morro Bay Winter Bird Festival, which offers numerous field trips and presentations.

Read the full story here.

By Gus Thomson of the Auburn Journal

They came. They saw. They were conquered – by Placer County’s outdoor attractions.

That was the consensus of local tourism industry spokespeople after 58 writers and photographers with the Outdoor Writers Association of California were treated to a variety of opportunities to explore and learn about Placer County’s outdoor amenities as part of the group’s conference Sunday and Monday in Auburn.

Bob Semerau, association president emeritus, had praise Tuesday for organizers and Auburn attractions.

“Experiencing the broad spectrum of outdoor adventure opportunities to be found in Placer County has given the membership a real appreciation for this lovely part of California,” Semerau said. “Fly fishing the middle fork of the American River with Grady Garlough of Rise Up River Trips highlighted the pristine and wild natural beauty to be found throughout the region. And the fishing was awesome.”

Read the full story here.

Well, the trees and so much more! Writing about California is what I do; I’ve been doing it a long time – 26 years. Something of an expert, so they say, but for all I have seen and done it’s a drop in the bucket. Along with writing, most of my professional career has been about tourism, hotels, restaurants, and hospitality.

I am not new to the Foresthill Divide or Placer County, but each visit is an adventure. This latest visit netted more than one surprise. The Outdoor Writers Association of California (OWAC) was hosted by the Placer County Visitors Bureau at our spring conference. I happily spent an extra day and night in “downtown” Foresthill at the newly opened Miner’s Camp. What an experience. "Don't judge a book by its cover" very much applies. While rough and tumble on the outside, the cabins are definitely 5-star inside. The inspired use of salvaged and vintage decor is over the top! Wendy and Leif Lowery and Brian Clausman, partners on the project, really looked outside the box on this lodging venture. And no disrespect to the men, but Wendy is an interior design creative genius!

My friend, Karen, and I enjoyed the comfort of the Bogus Thunder Mine cabin which includes the most fabulous corrugated-metal clad shower with dueling showerheads. Comfy beds and bedding a real bonus – not bogus! We got all the meals covered: Dinner at Dragon In, breakfast at the newly revised Mega’s Café and lunch at Sugar Pine Pizza – all thumbs up. Definitely didn’t leave town hungry.

Read the full story here.

California Ambition, Luck and Savagery: Old Town Auburn

The transformation of the Mexican territory of Alta California began on January 24, 1848, when James W. Marshall discovered a gold nugget in the American River while constructing a sawmill for John Sutter, a Sacramento land baron and unscrupulous agriculturalist. News of Marshall’s discovery inspired the Gold Rush of 1849, where thousands of haggard dreamers, scheming industrialists, and their hangers-on, from all over the US and beyond, risked it all to make their fortune in what would become the “Golden State” of California.

In the spring of 1848, a group of French gold miners arrived in the Sierra Nevada mountains and camped in what would later be known as the Auburn Ravine. Human presence of the Martis People in the Auburn area dates back to 1400 B.C., yet the Nisenan, an offshoot of the Maidu Tribe, inhabited the area more recently.

Read the full story here.

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Featured Member

 Lara Kaylor

My name is Lara Kaylor and I have worked as a journalist for more than a decade covering everything from the outdoors to small town politics. I joined OWAC in 2007.