Sunday, May 29, 2011


Muir Woods National Monument - Walk in the Redwood Forest Cathedral - Marin County California USA.

Steve Eulberg produced this fabulous music video slideshow with powerful quotes from the writings of John Muir. The elegant mountain dulcimer music soundtrack (Owl Mountain Music) sets the mood for a virtual walk through one of nature's greatest cathedrals.

"In wilderness lies the hope of the world." John Muir.

For more information:
Muir Woods National Monument - hiking to see the redwood trees - BRT Insights 24dec2010.
Trailheads and map for Muir Woods National Monument - BRT Insights 26april2011.
Hiking trails in Marin County - Marin Wiki.
Hiking, Camping and Biking Trip Reports - BRT Insights.
California Hiking Trails - Statewide Information.
California Maps - Atlas & Gazetteer by Delorme, 2008.

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Saturday, May 28, 2011


Summer Salmon Institute 2011 - Environmental Education Training Workshop - Marin County, California USA.


SPAWN's Second Annual Summer Salmon Institute for K-12 Teachers - July 18 - 22, 2011

• For more information see: Summer Salmon Institute 2011 - organized by SPAWN.

• SPAWN's FREE Summer Salmon Institute Highlights the Connection of Local Watersheds to Ocean Health.

• A continuing professional development program in environmental education for K-12 teachers.

Contact: Carrie Sendak
Watershed Biologist
Salmon Institute Coordinator
(415) 663-8590 ext 109
Salmon Protection And Watershed Network
PO Box 400 . Forest Knolls, CA 94933
Ph. 415.488.0370 . Fax 415.488.0372
Salmon Protection and Watershed Network SPAWN logo

For Immediate Release: May 25, 2011

Marin County, CA- The Salmon Protection and Watershed Network (SPAWN) is offering a unique professional development training in partnership with NOAA's Bay-Watershed Education and Training (B-WET) program to teachers throughout the San Francisco Bay area for a second year. Focused on salmon as the connection between oceans and inland watersheds, the Summer Salmon Institute combines expert instructors with standards-based curriculum to provide teachers the skills and tools to connect students to their watersheds year-round.

Steelhead smolt
A large, threatened Steelhead smolt getting measured before it heads out from Lagunitas Creek to the ocean.

The Summer Salmon Institute consists of a FREE, five-day workshop from July 18-22, 2011. Teachers can also choose to earn up to 3.5 Continuing Education Units (CEU) from an accredited university (Dominican University of California) and stipends are available for educators working in Title One schools.

Classroom and field training are located in beautiful West Marin and include exploring creeks, redwoods, and other wild places within the Lagunitas Creek Watershed. This year the Institute welcomes back several participants from last year to have in-depth discussions about how they implemented watershed experiences for their students. Presentations with natural resource professionals from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, National Park Service, Marin County Open Space, and Tomales Bay Watershed Council will share expertise in marine and fisheries biology, watershed restoration, and water quality and conservation. Field training in restoration techniques, native plant identification, rainwater harvesting and constructing rain gardens, aquatic invertebrate monitoring, and performing salmon audits at your school will be administered each afternoon. In-depth, standards-based curriculum materials will be distributed daily with a focus on ocean ecology, the natural history of coho salmon, and how water and land-use practices affect the health of inland watershed and coastal marine ecosystems. Last year's Institute was a huge success and brought over 30 teachers and environmental educators from the Klamath to the San Lorenzo Rivers together to learn about salmon conservation. "I was so inspired by the institute leaders and their dedication to such a cause, it's motivating for me to bring the ideas back to my school and community" said John Sierra, high school teacher and one of last year's Institute participants.

2010 Salmon Institute participants learning about water quality on San Geronimo Creek, the only undammed headwaters of Lagunitas creek and home of up to 50% of the Coho spawners found in the watershed.
Salmon Institute lesson on water quality in San Geronimo Creek

"The Salmon Institute supports teachers in drawing the connections for students between our watersheds and ocean ecosystems and trains teachers in effective salmon and watershed restoration and monitoring techniques" said Carrie Sendak, SPAWN's Watershed Biologist and Institute coordinator. "It will focus on salmon as the headwaters to sea connection but will also provide educators with the tools to develop their own "Meaningful Watershed Experience" to students in their own watersheds. Between the field training and classroom lectures, the Institute will provide an in-depth experience of the issues and actions needed to improve watersheds, oceans, and salmon."

Salmon populations are in peril throughout the Pacific Coast. Coho salmon along the Central Coast of California are listed as federally endangered under the Endangered Species Act and have become extinct throughout the majority of coastal streams. The Institute will take place in the Lagunitas Creek Watershed in Marin County, just 25 miles from San Francisco, which supports the largest remaining population of the endangered Coho. "Teachers will have an opportunity to view first-hand healthy habitat the salmon need, and also the real threats that are threatening their survival, while learning ways to create experiential learning opportunities for their students in their own watersheds, said Sendak.

The Lagunitas Creek watershed in Marin County contains some of the best remaining spawning and rearing habitat for coho salmon and is just 20 miles north of San Francisco. SPAWN has led habitat restoration, watershed monitoring, environmental education, and grassroots action in this watershed for over ten years.

To receive registration information for the Summer Salmon Institute or get involved with any of the many volunteer activities, contact Carrie Sendak at (415) 663-8590 x109 during weekday business hours or visit Salmon Institute 2011.

* There is a fee for continuing education credits and is paid directly to Dominican University.

"I am an anadromous fish, I only have the wish, To swim with the whales,
Come back with my scales, And still have a tail to swish!"
- By Brandon, Quail Hollow Elementary

Carrie Sendak
Watershed Biologist
Salmon Protection and Watershed Network, SPAWN
9255 Sir Frances Drake Blvd.
Olema, CA 94950
phone: 415-663-8590, ext.109

More about:
Salmon Spawning in Lagunitas Creek, Marin County CA - BRT Insights.
Coho Salmon at Samuel P. Taylor State Park - SF Wiki.

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Monday, May 23, 2011


Hot Therapy vs. Cold Therapy for Treating Minor Injuries from Kayaking, Hiking and Other Sports Activities.

Effective treatment of the minor injuries that occur occasionally in any sport is critical to allow us to continue enjoying our favorite activities.

"In general, a new injury will cause inflammation and possibly swelling. Ice will decrease the blood flow to the injury, thereby decreasing inflammation and swelling. Pain that recurs can be treated with heat, which will bring blood to the area and promote healing." When to Use Hot and Cold Therapy - CNN Health 04mar2011.

It is also important to listen to your body and make good decisions about when to rest, when to resume fitness training after an injury, when to use anti-inflammatory drugs to relieve pain, and when to seek advanced help from a doctor or a physical therapist.

For more information:
Fitness for kayaking, hiking and outdoor sports activities - BRT Insights.

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Saturday, May 14, 2011


Alamere Falls, Point Reyes National Seashore, Marin County, California USA

Driving to Palomarin Trailhead at Point Reyes National Seashore.

Point Reyes National Seashore is a great place to hike for coastal scenery and brisk coastal fresh air. (Map, driving directions, driving time.) (Hiking map.) Bolinas, CA is hiding in plain sight in a vortex of the time-space continuum. Its a hard place to find unless you know exactly where to look. The nice lady's voice in the dashboard gps directed us unerringly through Bolinas, CA and on to the trailhead. Driving along Mesa Road we passed the trailhead for the Ridge Trail and the Point Reyes Bird Observatory on our way to the Palomarin Trailhead. Considering it was a Friday, I was quite surprised to see about a dozen cars parked at the trailhead when we got there.

Hiking & Driving Map - Point Reyes National Seashore.

• Click and drag to reposition this interactive map. Map user instructions.
• The tool on the left zooms in and out. Point on the red markers to see their names.
• Map=roads. Satellite=satellite map. Terrain=3D shaded topo map. Topo=topographic map.
Full-Screen Road and Hiking Map: Palomarin Trailhead, Point Reyes National Seashore.

Geographic coordinates - landmark name.
N 37.93416 W 122.74727 - Palomarin Trailhead (A)
N 37.95259 W 122.76441 - Bass Lake (B)
N 37.95435 W 122.78372 - Alamere Falls (C)

N 37.92942 W 122.73330 - Ridge Trailhead
N 37.92998 W 122.73548 - Point Reyes Bird Observatory

Hiking the Coast Trail from the Palomarin Trailhead to see wildflowers and waterfalls.

Palomarin Trailhead is the starting point for hiking an excellent section of the Coast Trail at Point Reyes National Seashore. The trail starts along the coast, cuts inland and passes through the Lake Ranch area and beautiful Bass Lake. This trail goes through a delightful variety of terrain. There are sunny sections and long distant views of the scenery interspersed with many sections in deep dark forests of eucalyptus, conifers, etc. Along the trail we passed various people including some horseback riders and a nudist, possibly hiking out to skinny dip at Bass Lake. The trail is wide enough for 2 or 3 people to walk side-by-side most of the way. Beware of poison oak which is common all along the trail.

view of Bolinas Point
• Southerly view to Bolinas Point.

• More BRT photos from Point Reyes National Seashore, Coast Trail & Alamere Falls.

Point Reyes Coast Trail to Alamere Falls - map, photos & trip report by ElRemaro.

Click on Statistics Mode to see our hiking speed, elevation and distance traveled.

We had ideal hiking weather that was brisk and breezy with temperatures in the 50s. See below for the current weather and forecast:

Alamere Falls is a beauty spot !!

Then we turned off the Coast Trail and followed the official sign pointing us to an "unmaintained trail" down to the coast at Alamere Falls. The final rocky scramble to get down to the beach has a couple of tricky spots. Good shoes and careful climbing technique will be sufficient to enable most people to reach the beach to get the best views of the waterfall. At high tide there will be little or no beach for walking below the falls. If possible plan your hike to arrive at Alamere Falls at or near a period of low tide. (Tides at Bolinas Lagoon.)

Alamere Creek upper cascades, Point Reyes National Seashore
• Upper cascades on Alamere Creek.

Alamere Falls, Point Reyes National Seashore
• Alamere Falls.

Food & Drink.

To stay hydrated while hiking I drank my homemade sports drink recipe made with Northlands Superfruits juice. We tested competing brands of granola bars (FiberPlus vs. Fiber One) and found them both quite good.

On the way home we had some lowfat chocolate milk muscle recovery drink. What a fine excuse to drink something that tastes pretty great! We stopped at Betty Lou's, our favorite sports bar in Vacaville, CA. We got the daily special which was an excellent baked chicken with rosemary garlic potatoes. We also sampled some handcrafted microbrews and watched the basketball playoffs on the big screen HDTV.

For more information:
Hiking trails in Marin County - Marin Wiki
Waterfall Hiking Trails in California - websites.
Hiking Trails in California - Statewide Information.
Hiking Trails Trip Reports - BRT Insights.
California Maps - Atlas & Gazetteer by Delorme, 2008.
Join the Point Reyes 2012 Trails Challenge.

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