The Emperor of the United States

  California is known for some pretty odd characters. It started in the early days; the crazy time of the 49’ers brought out some outrageous personalities. One of the biggest was Joshua Abraham Norton - The Emperor of the United States. Norton was an Englishman that grew up in South Africa. He was a successful …

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The Heritage of our National Parks

  On August 25, 2016, the National Park Service turned 100. We have many people to thank for the preservation of Yellowstone, Yosemite, the Grand Canyon, and nearly 400 other sites that tell the story of North America.  The roots of the National Park system are deep - all the way back to 1832, when …

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Stolen Water, Stolen Dreams

I have a love-hate relationship with the eastern slope of California's Sierra Nevada. I love the country, the sheer majesty of the land; but I hate what people have done here. Following US Highway 395 along the eastern side of the Sierra Nevada ia a magical trip with amazing vistas to see, natural mysteries to …

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Seniors support Marijuana?

The CBS News show Sunday Morning reports that the movement to fully legalize marijuana is being fueled in part by our senior citizen community.  Grandma and Grandpa are not just reliving the 60’s; they are finding out that cannabis is good for arthritis pain or diabetic nerve pain, and to sleep, with very little risk …

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What’s in a name, anyway?

In Yosemite, the company that ran the concessions lost its contract - but kept the rights to the names of some of the park’s landmarks, even though those places were named long before the concessionaire ever came on the scene.  It was a legal decision that stung and the Park Service is fighting to get …

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Central California’s Blossom Trail

For Valley people, February and early March is a special time of year, that time between the cold fog and the amazing heat of summer. it’s suddenly spring with blue skies and wild floral displays.  It’s amazing how fast blossom time sneaks up on us; but careful observers could see bud swell beginning a month ago, …

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E. Clampus Vitus: Historians who like to drink, or drinkers who like history?

Just who are the Clampers? Well, they are a good argument for something I’ve been told all my life: that men will be boys.  They are historians who like to drink, or drinkers who like history; no one is sure which, not even the members of this offbeat group of oddballs.   For all their …

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