Friday, April 20, 2012


Point Reyes National Seashore Association Announces 2012 Trails Challenge - Marin County, California

Fundraiser in support of the Point Reyes Trails Trust. Celebrating Point Reyes National Seashore's 50th Anniversary.

Join in via free registration to explore trails in the park through one of five challenge tracks. Help raise funds to support the park. Invite your family, friends and colleagues to pledge donations to the park upon completion of your hiking challenge.
2012 Point Reyes Trails Challenge logo

Point Reyes National Seashore, California--April 18, 2012.

Point Reyes National Seashore Association (PRNSA) in partnership with the National Park Service announced the 2012 Point Reyes Trails Challenge today. The program is a fun and exciting way to inspire novice and experienced hikers to explore the Point Reyes National Seashore while raising funds to support critical trails and wildlife projects. This self-paced challenge is a rewarding way to both celebrate and support the park during the Seashore's 50th anniversary.

"This is a wonderful opportunity for people to get up close and personal with Point Reyes National Seashore," said Superintendent Cicely Muldoon. "The Trails Challenge will restore habitat, improve the trail system, and introduce a whole new generation to this amazing national park."

2012 Point Reyes Trails Challenge graphic

The Trails Challenge will run from June 2nd through November 1st and support the Point Reyes Trails Trust, a long term effort to restore and enhance the park's trail network. The Trails Challenge will officially begin on June 2nd, when PRNSA and its sponsors will host a celebration at the Point Reyes National Seashore Headquarters at Bear Valley. Activities will begin at 9 am, with Challenge participants and guests invited to hike, or volunteer to join trail stewardship work with National Park Service trails staff. From 2 - 4 pm all are invited to enjoy music, refreshments, and celebrate the Point Reyes National Seashore's 50th anniversary.

Registration is free and participants begin earning a Trails Challenge T-shirt and other premiums with a minimum of $50 in pledges. Individuals and teams can register at Point Reyes National Seashore Association ( or call 415.663.1200 x 310 or e-mail for information about the program and help registering.
hikers at Point Reyes National Seashore

The Trails Challenge will encourage participants to register for one of five challenge tracks and raise money from their families, friends and colleagues, much like a "walkathon," or in this case a "hike-a-thon." Over five months, registered Challengers will raise money online as they participate in one of the following challenge tracks:
• All Park 150-Mile Challenge
• 50 Miles for the 50th Challenge
• Family Challenge
• Five Habitats Challenge
• Equestrian Challenge

Trails are the way most visitors connect with the park's unique landscapes, wildlife, and vistas. Point Reyes National Seashore Association, in partnership with the National Park Service, is establishing the Point Reyes Trails Trust with an initial five-year plan for raising $2 million. The 2012 Point Reyes Trails Challenge is the inaugural event raising funds for the Trails Trust. By improving the park's trails and protecting wildlife habitat, we will enhance how people experience and explore this wondrous place and preserve it for generations. PRNSA has received $50,000 in sponsorship that will serve as matching funds for money raised through the Trails Challenge. Our goal is to raise over $100,000 through the Trails Challenge.

equestrian and horses at Point Reyes National Seashore
PRNSA Executive Director Deb Callahan said, "We're thrilled to offer this new program giving people of all ages the opportunity to have fun, get active and help support Point Reyes National Seashore - one of the Bay Area's natural wonders."

She also stated, "We're proud to have sponsors like REI, National Parks Conservation Association, California State Coastal Conservancy and the National Park Service...our sponsors include businesses, foundations, government agencies and individuals, it really is fantastic to see so many people and organizations coming together to support the trails in Point Reyes."

Point Reyes National Seashore was incorporated into the national park system in 1962 as a symbol of our coastal heritage. Today, the Seashore needs continued support to help care for the unique natural, cultural, and recreational resources found here. This coastal gem is made up of over 80 miles of undeveloped shoreline, extensive historic pastoral lands, magnificent wildlife, and the greatest avian diversity of any National Park. It is an unparalleled outdoor classroom and playground for visitors of all ages.

Point Reyes National Seashore Association (PRNSA) was created in 1964 as a nonprofit partner to support the park. Our ongoing activities include operating three bookstores in the park and conducting environmental education programs that reach nearly 4,000 participants a year. PRNSA also raises funds for numerous restoration and enhancement projects like the Giacomini Wetland Restoration Project. With the support of friends, members, and donors, PRNSA continues the legacy of good stewardship so that future generations will enjoy the legacy we were fortunate enough to receive.
hikers at Point Reyes National Seashore

Point Reyes National Seashore Association, 1 Bear Valley Road, Bldg 70, Point Reyes Station, CA 94956
Tel: 415.663.1200 x 310
Fax: (415) 663.8174

Point Reyes National Seashore Maps.

• PDF maps: Point Reyes National Seashore maps pdf.
• Map book: California Maps - Atlas & Gazetteer by Delorme, 2008.

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

Additional information:
Point Reyes National Seashore - Marin Wiki.
Alamere Falls hiking trail, Point Reyes National Seashore - BRT Insights 14may2011.
Point Reyes National Seashore webcam - BRT Insights.

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Tuesday, April 17, 2012


Low-Fat Chocolate Milk as a Post-Workout Recovery Drink

After prolonged and intense activity athletes and workers benefit from carbohydrate/protein recovery drinks.

During long hiking or biking trips I use my homemade sports drinks or my homemade energy drinks to maintain good hydration. These drinks contain mostly water and carbohydrates from fruit juice.

Recent studies say that after any long, high intensity workout muscle recovery is improved by immediately consuming low-fat chocolate milk, a rapidly absorbed recovery drink that contains both carbohydrate and protein. This is much better than continuing to consume a sports drink after the workout is over. These recovery drinks also help to ensure that full rehydration is achieved after the workout.
chocolate milk bottles

Some people recommend various wonderful blender drinks made with milk and fruit after a workout. These are great to have a while after a workout, but I'm not going to be making any blender drinks immediately after a hard workout while I'm still all dirty and sweaty.

Some adults immediately switch to their favorite alcohol drink after a workout. The dehydrating effects of alcohol will seriously worsen any dehydration that may remain after an intense workout, so this provides additional stress on the body and also delays muscle recovery.

Chocolate Milk Gives Athletes a Leg-up After Exercise - University of Texas - News 22june2011 "Not only does chocolate milk taste good, but two recent studies from The University of Texas at Austin show that it’s also the ideal post-workout recovery drink. 'Serious and amateur athletes alike enjoyed physical recovery benefits when they drank low-fat chocolate milk after a vigorous workout,' said Dr. John Ivy, lead researcher on the studies and chair of The University of Texas at Austin College of Education’s Department of Kinesiology and Health Education."

Milk joins the roster of sports drinks - MayoClinic 27feb2010 "Protein is needed to build muscles and repair them after use. Milk offers both carbohydrate (lactose) and protein (whey and casein). When compared to sports drinks, low-fat milk, plain or chocolate, was equivalent or better for fueling, repairing and building muscle. The results were especially impressive when milk was used as a recovery or post-exercise beverage."

Chocolate Milk: The New Sports Drink? - WebMD 24feb2006 "A new study shows that plain old chocolate milk may be as good -- or better -- than sports drinks like Gatorade at helping athletes recover from strenuous exercise." "The findings suggest that chocolate milk has an optimal ratio of carbohydrates to protein to help refuel tired muscles, researcher Joel M. Stager, PhD, Indiana University kinesiology professor, tells WebMD." "While rapid nutrient replacement may not be important for casual exercisers, it can make a big difference in performance for competitive athletes who work out vigorously once or twice a day, says Roberta Anding, a sports dietitian and spokeswoman for the American Dietetic Association."

Chocolate milk gives athletes leg-up after exercise: study - medicalxpress 23june2011 "Serious and amateur athletes alike enjoyed physical recovery benefits when they drank low-fat chocolate milk after a vigorous workout," said Dr. John Ivy, lead researcher on the studies and chair of The University of Texas at Austin College of Education’s Department of Kinesiology and Health Education. "The advantages for the study participants were better body composition in the form of more muscle and less fat, improved times while working out and overall better physical shape than peers who consumed sports beverages that just contained carbohydrates."

Chocolate Milk May Boost Post-Workout Recovery - Fitness Magazine "Downing chocolate milk after a tough workout can help replenish exhausted muscles and significantly aid exercise recovery, new research shows." "Physiologist Joel Stager, director of the Human Performance laboratory at Indiana University, has even one more potential workout recovery drink to add to the list: chocolate milk. His latest study, published in this month's International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism, names this kids' favorite an optimal post-exercise recovery aid."

Health Benefits of Chocolate in Moderation

Heart-Health Benefits of Chocolate Unveiled - Cleveland Clinic "Heart-Health Benefits of Chocolate Unveiled. Is Chocolate Good for Your Heart? Why a little, in moderation, may be beneficial. Chocolate has gotten a lot of media coverage in recent years because it's believed that it may help protect your cardiovascular system. The reasoning being that the cocoa bean is rich in a class of plant nutrients called flavonoids."

Health Benefits of Chocolate Growing - WebMD 29mar2012 "Health Benefits of Chocolate Growing. Moderate Amounts May Help Heart Health and More, Researchers Find." "Chocolate is increasingly shedding its reputation as a sweet treat only. More research is uncovering health benefits when the dark stuff is eaten in moderation."

Healthy Chocolate: 9 Health Benefits of Chocolate | Women's Health Magazine "9 Health Benefits of Chocolate. Chocolate isn't junk food anymore! Here, the health perks of your new favorite superfood" "The secret behind its powerful punch is cacao, also the source of the sweet's distinct taste. Packed with healthy chemicals like flavonoids and theobromine, this little bean is a disease-killing bullet."

Who Does NOT Need Chocolate Milk Drinks ?

I agree with Marion Nestle, nutrition professor at New York University. "As the pressure on schools has grown to get chocolate milk out, they're looking for any new marketing," she says. "I'd never recommend drinking a sweetened drink." School kids who are mostly inactive in the classroom don't need any extra calories from any kind of sugar sweetened drink. Children or adults who are working out to lose weight also do not need the extra calories from sugar. A plain, old glass of lowfat or nonfat milk provides the protein and some other nutrition that these people need after an intense, prolonged workout.

Chocolate Milk Drinks in my Local Grocery Stores

The sugar concentration in milk is similar to that found in many commercial sports drinks. Chocolate milk has twice as much sugar as plain milk, but drinking some of this seems within reason for refueling of a person recovering from a long and intense workout. Deluxe chocolate milk has 4 times as much sugar as plain milk, so I'm pretty sure this is not what the nutrition experts are recommending for recovery after a workout. This excess level of sugar will seriously delay absorption of the fluid into your body, but it does taste great whenever you decide to pamper your sweet-tooth! Making chocolate milk from powdered ingredients or syrup concentrates requires careful measurement because we will all end up with deluxe chocolate milk if we just keep adding more chocolate until it tastes great.

Milk _________________ 12 g sugar per cup
Chocolate Milk ________ 25 g sugar per cup
Deluxe Chocolate Milk __ 51 g sugar per cup

Vote for Your Favorite Post-Workout Recovery Drink

Please click on the comment link below to vote on your favorite post-workout recovery drink !!!

More about:
After Sports Drinks Provide Carbohydrate & Protein for Recovery After Prolonged Workouts - BRT Insights 24sept2009.

Stretching is also important during post-workout recovery - BRT Insights 27aug2007.
Food & Drink for Outdoor Activities - BRT Insights.

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Wednesday, April 04, 2012


Mount Diablo State Park, Donner Canyon Waterfalls, Contra Costa County, California

Hiking the trails to see wildflowers and waterfalls !!

JimH & I drove to Clayton, CA and entered Mount Diablo State Park at the Regency Gate trailhead.

Donner Canyon Waterfalls Trail Maps.

• PDF map: Mount Diablo State Park map pdf.
• Map book: California Maps - Atlas & Gazetteer by Delorme, 2008.

Online map user instructions. Click and drag to reposition this interactive map.
• The tool on the left zooms in and out. Point on the red markers to see the names.
• Map=roads. Satellite=satellite map. Terrain=3D shaded topo map. Topo=topographic map.
Full-Screen online map - Donner Canyon Waterfalls Trail.

Coordinates - landmark (marker).
N 37.92199 W 121.92696 - Regency Gate Trailhead elevation 520 ft (A)
N 37.90276 W 121.91872 - Cardinet Oaks Rd. elevation 1080 ft (B)
N 37.89951 W 121.91528 - Wild Oat Canyon. elevation 1240 ft (C)

See full-screen: JimH trip report - Donner Canyon Waterfall Trail gps track & photos.

Donner Canyon Waterfalls Loop

Mount Diablo State Park has a web of well marked trails, but none of the signs point to the waterfalls. Jim had the EveryTrail app on his iPhone and had downloaded a gps track from a previous hiker to guide our trip. Without some kind of electronic or paper map it would be easy to hike around and miss the trail that goes to the waterfalls.

Doubleclick on the photos to see the large size image - use the back button to return.

Mount Diablo State Park, Donner Canyon Waterfalls

Mount Diablo State Park, Donner Canyon Waterfalls

Wildflowers and Scenic Views

We saw lots of different types of wildflowers throughout the hike. Hiking the waterfall loop in a clockwise direction we were on sunny slopes on the way out and shady north-facing slopes on the way back. This took us through a variety of different vegetation zones. I used my homemade sports drink recipe made from diluted fruit juice to stay hydrated while hiking.

More photos: 2012-04-01 Donner Canyon Waterfalls, Mount Diablo State Park.

Going There and Coming Home

Betty Lou's Bar & Grill in Vacaville, CA was again open for both breakfast and dinner. The breakfast special of fried eggs, chili beans and coffee filled us up for the long, hard hike. After hiking we got the soft taco and dark beer meal deal #1.

Additional information:
Waterfall Hiking in California - websites - BRT Insights.
Hiking Trails in California - Davis Wiki.
Hiking, Biking & Camping Trip Reports & Photos - BRT Insights.
• Digital Camera: Canon PowerShot A490. Photos edited with IrfanView and GIMP software. Video edited with Windows Movie Maker and YouTube tools.

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