Monday, May 18, 2015

Enjoy Wilderness Adventure Day with Sierra Club's Sierra magazine

Press release: Sierra Magazine’s Wilderness Adventure Day

Head for the Sierra in June!
 SAN FRANCISCO — Sierra magazine, the official publication of the Sierra Club, is excited to announce its annual outdoor event, Wilderness Adventure Day, in California’s Sierra Nevada mountains near Lake Tahoe. While the Sierra Club’s many programs inspire people to explore and enjoy our planet, this unique opportunity provides a fun-filled day outdoors that includes product demonstrations from Sierra magazine partners created to enhance the guest experience and inspire future purchase decisions. 

Beginning at 10:00 a.m. on Saturday, June 6, families are welcome at the Sierra Club’s flagship Clair Tappaan Lodge to enjoy guided history trail hikes, wetland science walks, kayak clinics, yoga classes, product giveaways, gift bags, food, and live entertainment....all for FREE! Throughout the day, event sponsors will be hosting product demos and participants will be able to use the products on their outdoor adventures. Sponsors and products include: LOWA boots, LEKI trekking poles, Bergans of Norway packs and tents, Sea Eagle kayaks, Farm to Feet socks, and If You Care household products. Sierra is also proud to partner with Sports Basement, Gateway Mountain Center and Summit Lotus Yoga.

“Our goal is to capture nature’s magic by letting guests explore its beauty,” says Sierra ad director Ben Warner. “We created this consumer-facing event in support of the Sierra Club’s mission to get America outdoors to explore, enjoy, and protect the planet. Hosting it at the Clair Tappaan Lodge allows us to show our readers and supporters the beauty that nature has to offer while bringing our brand mission to life.”

To register, please log on to

Weekend food & lodging packages are also available at, or by calling 530-426-3632. The Clair Tappaan Lodge is located on Donner Summit near the Pacific Crest Trail in Norden, CA. Nestled in the mountains of Tahoe National Forest, the rustic lodge has been the halcyon home of countless adventurers, offering unparalleled access to lakes, hiking, biking, and rock climbing.

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Parade -- on water?

Press release:
25 Years of Protecting San Francisco’s Bay

San Francisco, CA – San Francisco Baykeeper, known for protecting and defending the Bay from pollution since 1989, announces their 2nd Annual Bay Parade on Sunday May 31, 2015.  This celebration of the Bay is a high-energy event where participants swim, kayak, and row alongside SUPers, surfers, boaters, sailors and all Bay enthusiasts on a noisy, colorful parade from the Ferry Building to the ballpark.  The swim will be 1.5 miles, while paddlers will travel 3.5 miles.

According to Sejal Choksi-Chugh, Baykeeper’s Interim Executive Director, “Our annual parade is the Bay Area’s most unique celebration on the water.  It’s a celebration of the Bay – on the Bay – for the Bay.  People wear costumes, decorate their boats, bring noisemakers, and form team rivalries to make it a really fun event.”  In addition, Choksi-Chugh mentioned, “San Francisco Baykeeper is the sole on-the-water nonprofit dedicated to protecting San Francisco Bay from pollution. We are truly excited to bring this event to our community to help everyone be a part of the solution to keeping our treasure of the Bay safe to recreate in for generations to come.”


Date: Sunday May 31, 2015 – Parade 11:00 am – 1:00 pm  |  After Party 2:00 pm - 4:00 pm
- Parade:  San Francisco Bay.  Short 1.5-mile course from Ferry Building to McCovey Cove.  The San Francisco Giants will feature the parade finale on the AT&T Park Jumbotron at the start of the baseball game. 
- After Party:  Anchor Brewing will throw a Bay Parade after-party to continue the celebration on shore.  The Party will be held at The Yard next to the ballpark.
Details: If you can swim 1.5 miles or paddle 3.5 miles, you can join the Bay Parade!

Aquatic costumes, decorated boats, and noisemakers encouraged.- Registration is $100, plus a fundraising commitment of $200. All proceeds to benefit the Bay.
Fantastic prizes for fundraisers.

Register:  Please visit for more details.

About Baykeeper
For 25 years, San Francisco Baykeeper has defended the San Francisco Bay from thousands of pollution sources. Protecting the Bay is our mission and passion.
Baykeeper is the sole on-the-water nonprofit dedicated to protecting San Francisco Bay from pollution.  We are comprised of nine staff with scientific and legal expertise, a cadre of experienced volunteers/directors, and a 24-foot pollution patrol boat that monitors and investigates pollution in the Bay.  Baykeeper’s vision for the next 25 years is a San Francisco Bay where the water is clean, the ecosystem is healthy, recreation is safe, and wildlife can thrive. 

Note from Backpack45: It would be fun to get in on this event while it's still in its infancy. 

Monday, May 4, 2015

Great Combo -- Hiking and Yoga in Fairfield

This is a novel way to get in both your hiking and stretching -- combining hiking and yoga for HOGA. On Saturday, May 9, 2015, 7:45 a.m. to noon, Solano Land Trust will take participants on a hike of four to five miles with stops along the way for standing yoga poses. "Travel will be up and down rocky, steep, and slippery hills that may be full of sticky seeds and thorny plants. Some travel may be off trail." If you are in luck, you may see some wildlife also. 

Young buck at Rockville Trails: Doug Wirtz

The outing will take place in Fairfield, CA at the Rockville Trails Preserve. The poses will be led by a Certified Yoga Therapist/Registered Yoga Teacher and the lunging, reaching, and meditating will be at beginner level. 

Anyone 10 and over may attend. The event is free, but space is limited and pre-registration is required, click here for email address.

Directions (from the website) to the meeting place: There is no parking lot at Rockville Trails Preserve, so meet your guide promptly (and be ready to leave immediately) from the big red 'Ice House’ building on Suisun Valley Rd. intersection, behind La Barista Espress, Fairfield, CA. Park beside the red barn. Be ready to carpool to the trailhead.

Go to the calendar page, click here, or call John at 760-604-1800 to get more information on the meeting place, directions, and what to bring.

Solano Land Trust permanently protects natural areas, working farms and ranchlands in Solano County and connects the community to these lands.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

El Cerrito Trail Trekkers to celebrate with 2nd annual Hillside Festival

Press release:

El Cerrito Trail Trekkers, in association with the city of El Cerrito Environmental Quality Committee and Park and Recreation Commission and with the El Cerrito High Mountain Biking Team, is holding the second annual Hillside Festival on Sunday, May 17, 2015 from 10 a.m. to 5 pm.

Child studying nature guide/photo credit: David Weinstein  
Activities for young and old throughout the 100-plus acre wild land area will include: nature hikes, a pop-up bike park, wildflower hikes, historical tours, talks on Native Americans and early settlers,  a drop-in Broom Bash to remove invasive plants, hands-on habitat restoration education, free native garden plants, and more. 

The event celebrates the city’s recent acquisition of the Madera Open Space with a noon ceremony. Working with Trust for Public Land, and a community campaign that raised $100,000, the city added the 8-acre site to the existing open land, tying together two previously disconnected sections. Though the event is free, donations will be sought to help pay for habitat and trail improvements.

Participants include Friends of Five Creeks, the National Park Service, the California Native Plant Society, El Cerrito Historical Society, the Community Garden Network, and more.

Date and location: May 17, 2015, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Hillside Natural Area. Reception Area is the Schmidt Lane trail head, near the El Cerrito Recycling Center, 7501 Schmidt. Activities throughout the park. For schedule and map:

Contact: Dave Weinstein, President, El Cerrito Trail Trekkers, 510-524-1737,

(ed.: As Margaret Meed said, "Never underestimate the power of a small group of committed people to change the world. In fact, it is the only thing that ever has." El Cerrito Trail Trekkers is a perfect example of this ability right here in the Bay Area.)

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Mother's Day in Grass Valley

Hi all,
Just received this media release and can't resist posting it. It should be a beautiful weekend in the Gold Country, and a few hours at Empire Mine would be a fun way to celebrate Mothers' Day.

Mother's Day Springtime Event
Sunday, May 10, 2015
Park open from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Special activities from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Empire Mine State Historic Park
10791 E. Empire St.
Grass Valley
CA 95945

Celebrate Mother's Day surrounded by gold-mine history, lavish early 1900s' costumes and glorious gardens. Children can pot a plant as a gift for mom. In the busy Blacksmith Shop, handmade "prairie-diamond" rings will be given to moms, and the story behind them shared. Live music and entertainment will add to the festive feel. Bring your own lunch, chairs and blankets - and picnic on the magnificent grounds. Food and drinks from local vendors will be available for purchase - and Empire's popular Gift Shop will be full of unusual, beautiful gifts (including jewelry). A memorable day for mom - and all the family.  Everyone's invited.  All ages welcome.

Admission:  $7 for adults 17 & over
                      $3 ages 6-16
                      FREE for children under 6

Further information:     Visitors Center, (530) 273-8522

Find out what a "prairie-diamond" ring is in Empire Mine's Blacksmith Shop at the Mother's Day Springtime Event, May 10th.

Visit the Blacksmith Shop to see the "prairie-diamond ring."

Have a great time! Backpack45

Monday, March 9, 2015

Oakland's Marathon for March 22

This year marks Oakland, California's 6th annual marathon. Events will include a marathon (including four-person relay teams), a half-marathon, the Run the Town Challenge*, a 5K, and the Lucky Kids Fun Run.

Registration at is open until Monday, March 16; approximately 10,000 participants are expected. You can also find a map of the course and other important information at their website. 

The festival opens at 7:30 am. at Snow Park, 19th and Harrison Streets, in Oakland. Races will start and end at the park.

Kids ready for the fun run
Age requirements are:

Marathon: At least 16 years old
Half-Marathon: At least 14 years old
Team Relay: At least 14 years old
5K: No age restrictions
Run the Town Challenge*
Kids Fun Run: 12 and under

*There is a special category called "Run the Town Challenge." Select this category to enroll in both the half marathon and the 5K at once and receive your special "Run the Town Challenge" race bib at pickup. 

You will run the 5K at 7:45 am and then run the half-marathon at 9:15 am to earn yourself a special bib, an extra medal, and a reason to say, "We Run the Town."

Go runners and walkers!

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Celebrate Valentine's Day in your favorite national park

This fun press release from the National Park Foundation suggests that you make this Valentine’s Day the most memorable yet with help from your local national park. Given the variety of activities available at our national parks, you can surely find some "fail-safe, romantic ideas, national park style." As a bonus, "all park fees are waived that weekend, making Valentine’s Day that much sweeter."

by: Rocío Lower 

You do remember what’s right around the corner, don’t you? That day in February when we pull out all the stops and make a grand demonstration of our devotion? That’s right – Valentine’s Day is quickly approaching. And because of this year’s calendar, the romantic holiday falls during Presidents Day weekend, which happens to be the next set of fee-free days in the parks!
So what will you do? You’ve done the romantic dinner and night on the town. You’ve presented the flowers and candy before. But this year has to be different. It has to be memorable.
Here’s a little helpful hint, a reminder of sorts, from us to you: a couple that plays together, stays together. If you want to make it an unforgettable and romantic day, get out into your national parks and create some new memories with each other.
To take the guesswork out of the planning process, we’ve pulled together unique recommendations, reimagining your tried-and-true, fail-safe ideas and jazzing them up a bit, national park style. Make this year’s romantic weekend memorable by:
  • Canoeing the mangrove-fringed shorelines of Biscayne National Park (Florida).
  • Enjoying a wine-tasting and chef-prepared hors d'oeuvre aboard a train as you travel through Cuyahoga Valley National Park (Ohio).
  • Skiing or sledding the snow-covered terrain of Craters Of The Moon National Monument & Preserve (Idaho).
  • Hearing the epic love stories immortalized in constellationmythology at Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument (Colorado).
  • Relaxing beneath the stars as you hear about the natural and cultural stories of Joshua Tree National Park (California).
  • Taking an evening stroll through some of our nation’s most iconic memorials at National Mall and Memorial Parks (Washington, D.C.).
  • Exploring Padre Island National Seashore (Texas) as you watch for the park’s beautiful and enchanting bird life.
  • Listening to the calming ocean and watching it for breathtaking sites of migrating gray whales at Point Reyes National Seashore (California).
  • Snow-shoeing at Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore (Michigan).
  • Getting lost in the endless starry sky at Tumacácori National Historical Park (Arizona).
If you need a few more ideas to get your mind running wild with the endless possibilities, download our FREE “I Heart Parks” guide, filled with romantic escapes in your national parks, or the “Gimme Shelter” guide, chocked full of ideas on where to stay during your next adventure.
Whether you choose to explore a national park that’s close to home, or discover a new national park with an exciting getaway, one thing is guaranteed: time spent connecting with each other, creating unforgettable memories, is never time ill-spent. After all, in the words of English novelist and poet Mary Ann Evans, “What greater thing is there for two human souls than to feel that they are joined - to strengthen each other - to be at one with each other in silent unspeakable memories?”

--brought to you by backpack45