Goat Trails

Del Puerto Canyon: From the Earth’s Mantle to Mars in the Devil’s Range

Long referred to as “The Door,” Del Puerto Canyon winds 22 miles through the Diablo Range, connecting the San Joaquin Valley to San Antonio Valley and, eventually, the greater San Francisco Bay area.

Empty Highway in the Land of Slides

I am walking down the center of Highway 1 south of Gorda, a two-lane road carved into 1,000-plus feet of precipitous marine terrace in Big Sur.

Finding Frank Norris in the Santa Cruz Mountains

A memorial to a pioneer of American literature sits unseen 10 miles west of Gilroy.

A gargantuan spiderweb hangs across the steep dirt road. It shimmers, translucent in the sunlight, slack lines nearly imperceptible. As I duck the web and trudge further up the road's corkscrew turn, the thick brush, thistle, weeds and poison oak part, revealing an ancient looking stone bench on the shoulder above the road.

Everything A River Is Supposed to Be

Heavy machinery rearranges the confluence of the Carmel River and San Clemente Creek on Aug. 7, 2015.

The demolition of the San Clemente Dam will set the Carmel River free. But the massive project serves as a reminder that when we mess with nature, the solutions carry their own great cost.

Summer Solstice at a California Stonehenge

Jackson Masters watches the solstice sun rise through the Avenue of the Sun.

A journey to the Avenue of the Sun, and evidence that the great oak forests of California are largely the product of thousands of years of Ohlone tree husbandry.

The Many Veils of Pinto Lake

A veil of tule reeds have encircled Pinto Lake for hundreds of years.

A murder, a discovery, a holy visitation and 400 years of history.

Don’t Know Anything: Seven Days of Ventana Zen

View from the bath house at the Tassajara Zen Mountain Center.

A journey to the Tassajara Zen Mountain Monastery, the Esselen 'Hand' shelters, and the heart of the dharma in the Ventana Wilderness

No Left Turn Unstoned in La Honda

Ken Kesey's infamous house today.

The rolling grasslands of La Honda Creek Open Space Preserve are like a sublime hallucination this time of year; their contours, a sensuous geometry. A breeze sweeps through the clearing and the lush green shivers with life. The velvety slopes make me want to strip off my clothes and perform wild, flailing somersaults down the hill.

Hiking Through Quicksilver and ‘The Legend of New Almaden’

The remains of the April Tunnel Trestle.

This story begins with a mysterious mural—153 square feet of bizarre suffering and eerie salvation. From the upper left corner, a demon with legs like coiled springs descends upon men in loincloths.

Jade Cove and the Conscious Unconscious

A view of the South Cove from the top of the trail.

February 2013. I am freediving in water the color of the Ring Nebula. My body slinks through a labyrinth of boulders. My mind is lost among a mosaic of algae, sponges, limpets and barnacles. It is seeking, seeking, seeking jade’s smooth and lustrous wink.

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