The Soul of the Gold Rush

The Angels Camp Museum is no ordinary small town historical collection, a fact apparent from my first step inside. A fantastically curated exhibit on Mark Twain, the region’s most famous resident, gives way to a hall full of old cars and carriages, which in turn leads to a replica of an old medical office (complete…

Yosemite South

Yosemite, land of rock and water, of towering trees and grassy meadows, of deep valleys and their surrounding mountains. It is my happy place. Unfortunately, it is also the happy place for millions of other visitors each year, who clamor to the California icon to hike, camp, and ooh and aah at the breathtaking scenery.…

The Miwok and the Mono

Visitors to Oakhurst, California, just outside the south entrance of Yosemite, find a town of 15,000 or so ready to cater to tourists and the lovers of the outdoors. Hotels, restaurants, shops, and supply stores line the streets, all frequented by people eager to see the area. In 1849, at the start of California’s gold…

All About Mostar

Editor’s note: sometimes it is the most unexpected places that end up meaning the most. In this wonderful story, Sam shares a spontaneous visit to a destination that he truly loved. For more of Sam’s adventures, click here to visit his index. When I planned my grand backpacking trip around the Balkans, my game plan…

Muir Woods National Monument

In every walk with nature, one receives far more than one seeks.John Muir Just north of San Francisco, across the mighty Golden Gate Bridge, there exists a tiny sliver of a forgotten world. Here, primeval forest holds its claim on a small canyon. Redwoods tower, a brook babbles, ferns grow in all shades of green,…

Experiencing the Golden Gate

It is an enduring symbol of San Francisco and of California, one of the most recognizable icons in the world. The Golden Gate Bridge has captivated artists, writers; locals, and tourists for nearly a century; its orange spans have achieved an almost mythical status. And yet, for so many, experiencing the majesty of the Golden…