I just got back from the memorial service for Waymann Carlson, a former professor at Vanguard University and a backpacking buddy of mine. I used to organize a backpacking weekend every September, after school had started, somewhere in the local mountains or in the Sierras. Waymann and I enjoyed a few hiking experiences that will stay with me for the rest of my life. It was special to see a photo of the both of us in the great outdoors during the service. I had time to do these things when I was a managing partner of a CPA firm. But, public life is like enjoying tax season all year long, so I don’t get out on the trail as often as I used to.
I still try to get out, however, and I’m inviting you to join me.
The first invitation is to experience the Back Bay in an outrigger canoe and listen to presentations by the Newport Bay Conservancy. The second is to hike in the Santa Ana Mountains to enjoy the spring flowers. With this December’s rains, we should have a bumper crop. Put the date on your calendar.
Why do I mention all of this? In today’s OC Register Costa Mesa/Newport Beach Current, Barbara Venezia announces to the world that these two opportunities are available (in her column below). Please feel welcome to join me.
JANUARY 15, 11:30 A.M. TO 2 P.M. OUTRIGGER INVITATION
A little bit about the outing from our host, Dennis Baker:
· I normally go out even if there is a mist or light rain. Depends on the willingness of the group. We do not go out if heavy showers or possibility of thunder/lightning.
· We leave from and return to the Newport Aquatic Center (NAC) located @ 1 White Cliffs Dr., Newport Beach, CA 92660
· We will be in multi-hull outrigger canoe(s)
o I steer, you all provide the power
o Canoes can carry 6 people in each hull
§ Single hull for 6
§ Double hull for 12
§ Triple hull for 18
§ Additional canoes if needed
§ We have “squish” room on these numbers so we don’t need exact multiples of 6.
§ I will need a max number to be sure we have enough capacity available
o Paddling an outrigger is a water contact sport
§ Dress should be comfortable and could be subject to splashed water
§ Shorts preferred, but long pants that can be rolled up calf high also will work
§ Feet will absolutely get wet and muddy
§ Old sneakers, aqua socks, Teva style sandals all work well
§ Since it is winter, a light wind breaker/light rain jacket is good to have along.
§ A hat is advised even if overcast
§ Sunscreen for anybody sensitive to the sun
§ Dress in layers
§ There are locker rooms available where people can change clothes
· Binoculars and cameras add fun, but should be in water resistant or in a zip-lock bag.
· I normally make three specific stops for interpretation
o Geology – The white diatomaceous cliffs
o Flora and fauna – Big Island
o Invasives/exotics – Big Canyon
o This is all adjustable if you desire
· Additional stops and interpretation as time allows or per your request
o Restoration projects
· Time frame is usually about 2 hours on the water preceded by about 15 minutes orientation and followed by about 10 minutes of cleanup.
o The time can be lengthened or shortened if you desire.
o There is no place to exit the canoes until we return to the NAC.
§ We all leave and all return at the same time: that of the person who must be back the earliest.
§ We do have access to the NAC’s coach boats in case of an emergency. They can get to us in a short time if needed.
o The paddling is not physically demanding, but does require some effort.
· I’ll give instructions on paddling and no previous experience is necessary
· Kids are welcome, 8 or older.
SPRING FLOWER DAY HIKE INVITATION
On March 26th we’ll enjoy a morning hike on with the Irvine Ranch Conservancy to enjoy the spring flowers. More info to follow. Date subject to change in case of rain.
Venezia: Marathon hits Newport Back Bay snag with feds
FOOD FOR THOUGHT
For the past two weeks, I avoided working out and stepping on the bathroom scale. Who needs an unnecessary buzz kill during the holidays? Now, it’s January: time to relinquish the leggings and oversized sweaters in lieu of ‘real’ pants. Buttoning up the jeans this morning was challenging, but they fit. Now, if I could only sit down in them it would be great.
TV is swamped with ads for weight loss programs such as Jenny Craig and Nutrisystems, but I wonder, will eating too much of this pre-processed food make me glow in the dark one day? Is being a glow stick still sexy in 2011?
Nothing gets the extra pounds off like exercise, and my email inbox had several interesting propositions.
Supervisor John Moorlach extended an invitation to row the Upper Newport Bay with him and the Newport Bay Conservancy on Jan. 15 from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m., (see newportbay.org for more info). On March 26th, he’ll be hiking with the Irvine Ranch Conservancy to enjoy the spring flowers. Now as tempting as these both sound, I don’t swim and I am allergic to most flowers, so I’ll probably pass on these exciting exercise opportunities, though I do enjoy his company.
And then there’s the OC Marathon. I have no idea how I got on this email list because the only reason I’d ever be running was if Freddy Kruger were chasing me! If that’s not your issue, you might enjoy this.
The 2011 OC Marathon takes place on May 1-2. The driving force behind the event is OC Republican Chairman Scott Baugh. The OC Marathon is not a non-profit organization; however, it does have a non-profit foundation that donates money to the charities listed on their site. Interested charities can qualify by going to ocmarathon.com for more information.
The Foundation has an impressive board of directors who aren’t paid. They’re expected to donate themselves. Corporate sponsorship, admission fees and a trade show held at the OC Fairgrounds helps offset production costs.
Scott told me he’s concerned about physical fitness for kids, which is why the organization collaborated with schools across the county, creating marathon-training programs for children. The Kids OC Run takes place April 30.
But in its 7th year, the OC Marathon’s hit a snag. Part of the course, and what Scott says is a favorite for participants, is the run through Newport’s Back Bay. Unfortunately, US Fish & Wildlife aren’t hot on the idea. Though it’s estimated over a million visitors walk through the wildlife preserve per year, the idea of having 10,000 running through there isn’t thrilling them. Are they worried it might disturb nesting sites? Or maybe runners will make the birds nervous?
Scott says the race has made some concessions and will instruct runners to stay on paths; there won’t be portable toilettes during that stretch and deleting water stations will cut down on litter issues. No volunteers in the area, either. Is it enough to appease wildlife officials? We’ll see.
If not, the course bypassing the Back Bay means closing Newport streets, which could inconvenience entire neighborhoods. So what’ll it be? Nervous birdies or ticked-off residents? Expect both to be twittering and tweeting until there’s some resolution.
Freelance writer Barbara Venezia’s opinion column appears online each Thursday and in The Current every Friday. Email BV at email@example.com
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