Diving Catalina Midnight Hour Wreck, Blue Caverns & Big Geiger With The Magician Dive Boat

September 28th, 2019
[Matt's Scuba Map]

This weekend was supposed to be the last of the 10 or so Sierra backpacks I led over the summer for the Sierra Club Wilderness Travel Course. But a few days before we were set to leave a flurry of participant cancellations and a incoming bad weather ended up scuttling the trip.

So what to do with a free weekend? I mean I could sit around the house, catch up on sleep, and get to all those tasks that have been piling up during my summer spent mostly on the road. But why do that when you can dive!

Jen and I found a three tank deep dive trip off Catalina on the Magician dive boat which is one of the last few I haven't been able to get out on yet. The trip was already full but when we called to put our names down for the wait list in case of any cancellations they called back in about 10 minutes letting us know we were good to go.

Newport Harbor Pizza Paddle - September 2019 We're Back -ish Edition

September 25th, 2019
[Pics] [Map]

Once a month -ish a group of us get together and paddle around Newport Harbor after work. We launch from the public beach next to the Newport Aquatic Center in a combination of kayaks and SUPs and paddle out into the main harbor where we find a restaurant that either has its own dock or is within easy walking distance of a public one.  Others sometimes meet us there and we enjoy food, beer, and socializing before paddling back to the cars in the dark. We've been doing this for years all times of the year and in pretty much any conditions. Light, dark, rain, and the dead of SoCal winter where you're tempted to put a sweater on with your flip flops.

You can find write-ups of select pizza paddles here. If you're interested in joining us send me and email and we can let you know when the next one is happening.

We suspended the regular monthly paddles in May due to the whole me not working and spending the entire summer running amok in the outdoors thing. Since then we'd only been out a single time in July and both Jen and I were missing the feeling of paddles cutting through water.

So with me officially (-ish) back in town at the end of September we jumped at the chance to fit one or two more paddles in before we would once again be launching after dark. And as an added bonus this was my first chance to try out the camera on / risk dropping my unreasonably expensive new iPhone.

Matt's Guide To The Theodore Solomons Trail

Theodore Solomons Trail

Have you done the JMT and are now looking for a bigger challenge? Or are you just tired of the crowds that seem to define the JMT / PCT these days? Want a chance to see seldom visited areas of the western Sierra? Then let me tell you about a largely unknown thru hiking trail called the Theodore Solomons Trail.

This post covers all the details I learned while hiking the trail. For my experience hiking the trail in in 2019 see Hiking The Theodore Solomons Trail South: Horseshoe Meadow To Roads End and Hiking The Theodore Solomons Trail North: Roads End to Yosemite.

Hiking The Theodore Solomons Trail North: Roads End to Yosemite

September 9th to 19th, 2019
182 miles, 40,200' gain
Day 1: Roads End to Dougherty 13.1 miles, 6,600'
Day 2: The Bitch, Simpson Meadow,  17.4 miles, 1,500'
Day 3: Tehipite Valley 12.8 miles, 4,700'
Day 4: Rancheria 19.6 miles, 3,800'
Day 5: Courtright 21 miles, 2,600'
Day 6: 23 miles, 2,800'
Day 7: VVR 9.1 miles, 1,300'
Day 8: Cassidy 17 miles, 2,200'
Day 9: Clover 14 miles, 4,600'
Day 10: Fernandez & Merced Passes 19 miles, 3,500'
Day 11: Glacier Point & Yosemite Valley 13 miles, 1700'
[Pics] [Caltopo]

This is the second of two posts about my experiences hiking the relatively unknown long distance Sierra trail called the Theodore Solomons Trail. For the story of how the southern section went see Hiking The Theodore Solomons Trail South: Horseshoe Meadow To Roads End. For general details about the trail, resupply options, ect see Matt's Guide to The Theodore Solomons Trail.

My initial aggressive plan to try and do the whole trail in 12 days just hadn't been viable. I'd based my plans off a gps route that turned out to be rather seriously underestimating the mileage so after arriving at Roads End for a resupply I'd come off the trail, correct the map issues, and than made plans to head back out for an additional 11 days.

Of course since this was my grand summer of non employment I had to wait around a few days in civilization to lead another previously scheduled backpack in the Western Sierra after which I found myself driving back to Roads End ready to finish this thing!