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Tom Stienstra Outdoor Report Links

Listen To Outdoors Reporter Tom Stienstra on KCBS All News 740AM | 106.9FM
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(credit: Tom Stienstra)

(credit: Tom Stienstra)

This Week:

04/12/’14 – Favorite Cabins For Rent

  • Hiking/Redwoods: Big Basin Tent Cabins, Santa Cruz Mountains. Reserve at (800) 444-7275, www.ReserveAmerican.com; info at www.bigbasintentcabins.com.
  • Family Recreation: Costanoa, off Highway 1 near Ano Nuevo. Reserve at (877) 262-7848; www.costanoa.com.
  • Mountain Biking: Yuba River Inn, Sierra City: Reserve at (530) 862-1122, www.YubaRiverInn.com.
  • Fishing: Convict Lake, Eastern Sierra. Season opens April 26. Reserve at (800) 992-2260, www.ConvictLake.com.
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    What sets you free? Hike. Bike. Camp. Fish. Boat. Wildlife watch. Explore. www.TomStienstra.com

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    03/29/’14 – Salmon Season

    Open Day Saturday, April 5

    • All Boats: goldengatefishermensassociation.com.
    • Charters:Emeryville Sportfishing Center, (510) 654-6040, emeryvillesportfishing.com.
    • Tackle:Hi’s Tackle Box, (650) 588-1375, histacklebox.com.
    • Weather: Marine forecast, Pillar Point Harbor, (650) 726-6070, extension 2.
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      What sets you free? Hike. Bike. Camp. Fish. Boat. Wildlife watch. Explore. www.TomStienstra.com

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      03/22/’14 – What If Everybody Ran?

      • Contact: Mizuno USA, www.mizunousa.com/running/what-if-everybody-ran.
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        What sets you free? Hike. Bike. Camp. Fish. Boat. Wildlife watch. Explore. www.TomStienstra.com

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        03/15/’14 – Windy Hill Open Space Preserve

        • Location: 2.3 miles south of Sky Londa on Highway 35/Skyline.
        • Cost: Parking, access free.
        • Nearby Preserves: Located south on Skyline: Russian Ridge, Skyline ridge, Long Ridge, Saratoga Gap.
        • Contacts: Windy Hill Open Space Preserve, Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District, (650) 691-1200, www.openspace.org.
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          What sets you free? Hike. Bike. Camp. Fish. Boat. Wildlife watch. Explore. www.TomStienstra.com

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          03/08/’14 – Wilder Ranch State Park

          My favorite mountain bike ride

          • Cost: $10 per vehicle.
          • Map: Map/brochure available at park entrance; PDF at www.parks.ca.gov.
          • Location: 1.8 miles north of Western Drive in northern Santa Cruz.
          • Contacts: Wilder Ranch State Park, (831) 423-9703; www.parks.ca.gov.
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            What sets you free? Hike. Bike. Camp. Fish. Boat. Wildlife watch. Explore. www.TomStienstra.com

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            03/01/’14 – Sunol Regional Wilderness

            • Cost: $5 when kiosk attended (usually weekends only).
            • Dogs: $2 per dog, permitted off leash if under voice command.
            • Contacts: unol Regional Wilderness, (510) 544-3249; East Bay Regional Park District, map/brochures, info, (888) 327-2757, www.ebparks.org.
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              What sets you free? Hike. Bike. Camp. Fish. Boat. Wildlife watch. Explore. www.TomStienstra.com

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              02/22/’14 – Trout Bite At San Pablo Reservoir

              • Survey of 14 Anglers: 53 trout, 3.8-per-rod average. Location in El Sobrante in East Bayfoothills. (510) 223-1661, rockymountainrec.com.
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                What sets you free? Hike. Bike. Camp. Fish. Boat. Wildlife watch. Explore. www.TomStienstra.com

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                02/15/’14 – Grizzly Island Wildlife Area

                • Open: Reopened to public last week. Open to public now through July (rabbit hunting permitted in July). Closed in August and early September; foot traffic prohibited during waterfowl season from late October to late January.
                • Check-in Station: Wildlife information, latest sightings; restrooms.
                • Maps: Available at entrance station; PDF at www.dfg.ca.gov/lands.
                • Contacts: Grizzly Island Wildlife Area (707) 425-3828; California Department of Fish and Wildlife, dfg.ca.gov – under conservation, click on “public lands.”
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                  What sets you free? Hike. Bike. Camp. Fish. Boat. Wildlife watch. Explore. www.TomStienstra.com

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                  02/08/’14 – Selection Of Tahoe Ski Areas

                   
                  What sets you free? Hike. Bike. Camp. Fish. Boat. Wildlife watch. Explore. www.TomStienstra.com

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                  02/01/’14 – Take Care of Your Bird Friends

                  • Bird Feeding Stations: Use blends that have black oil sunflower seeds and tiny piece of peanuts. Avoid blends that have only red or white seeds.
                  • Ground Feeding: Milo, a reddish-brown seed, and millet, a small white seed, should be spread on the ground.
                  • Use Nyger: Place in feeders and socks designed for it.
                  • Location: Make sure feeding station is located where birds are safe from attack from cats and other predators.
                  • Simulate Habitat: Provide food, water, protection, plus a birdhouse.

                   
                  What sets you free? Hike. Bike. Camp. Fish. Boat. Wildlife watch. Explore. www.TomStienstra.com

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                  01/25/’14 – Waterbird Festival

                    The 1st Annual Waterbird Festival, Saturday at the Richardson Bay Audubon Center, with guided field trips to see migratory and resident shorebirds. (415) 388-2524, richardsonbay.audubon.org.
                     
                    What sets you free? Hike. Bike. Camp. Fish. Boat. Wildlife watch. Explore. www.TomStienstra.com

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                    01/18/’14 – Whale Watch

                    • From Shore: Point Reyes Lighthouse, Chimney Rock Headlands, Lands End (San Francisco), Pillar Point Headlands, Pigeon Point Lighthouse.
                    • Half Moon Bay: Reserve at (415) 256-9941.
                    • Monterey: Reserve at (831) 375-4658.
                    • San Francisco: Reserve at (415) 256-9941.
                    • Info: Oceanic Society, (415) 256-9604, oceanicsociety.org; Monterey Bay Whale Center, (831) 375-4658, montereybaywhalewatch.com

                     
                    What sets you free? Hike. Bike. Camp. Fish. Boat. Wildlife watch. Explore. www.TomStienstra.com

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                    01/11/’14 – Yosemite Opening Up For Spring

                    • Cost: $20 per vehicle, good for a week.
                    • Camping: Reserve at www.recreation.gov (recommended) or (877) 444-6777. Camps now open: Upper Pines, Camp 4 in Yosemite Valley.
                    • Lodging In The Park: Visit www.yosemitepark.com or (801) 559-4884.
                    • Lodging Outside The Park: Visit www.yosemitepark.com.
                    • Info: Yosemite National Park, nps.gov/yose, (209) 372-0200.

                     
                    What sets you free? Hike. Bike. Camp. Fish. Boat. Wildlife watch. Explore. www.TomStienstra.com

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                    01/04/’14 – Family Bike: Feel Like A Kid Again

                    • San Francisco: Golden Gate Promenade, from Marina Green; (415) 561-4700, http://www.nps.gov/goga
                    • Marin: Coast Trail at Point Reyes, from Hostel to Coast Camp; Point Reyes National Seashore, (415) 464-5100, ext. 2; http://www.nps.gov/pore
                    • San Mateo County: Bicycle Sundays, Canada Road, Woodside; San Mateo County Parks, http://www.eparks.net
                    • East Bay Hills: Nimitz Way, from Inspiration Point; Tilden Regional Park; (888) 327-2757, http://www.ebparks.org
                    • Santa Cruz Mountains: Pump Trail, Portola Redwoods to Memorial; Portola Redwoods State Park, (650) 948-9098, http://www.parks.ca.gov

                     
                    What sets you free? Hike. Bike. Camp. Fish. Boat. Wildlife watch. Explore. www.TomStienstra.com

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                    12/28/13 – Drought Means Coastal Views

                    • San Francisco Headlands: Land’s End, Golden Gate National Recreation Area, (415) 561-4700, nps.gov/goga
                    • Marin Headlands: (415) 331-1540; visitor information, (415) 561-4700, nps.gov/goga
                    • Point Reyes National Seashore: Sky Trail, Chimney Rock Headlands, Point Reyes Lighthouse; (415) 464-5100, nps.gov/pore
                    • San Pedro Valley County Park: (650) 355-8289, www.eparks.net
                    • McNee Ranch: (650) 726-8820, parks.ca.gov
                    • Wilder Ranch State Park: (831) 423-9703, parks.ca.gov

                    What sets you free? Hike. Bike. Camp. Fish. Boat. Wildlife watch. Explore. www.TomStienstra.com

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                    12/21/13 – $15 Federal Duck Stamp

                    • Christmas gift for yourself, your friends and wildlife
                      98 cents of every dollar goes to the purchase of wetlands. You get free access to all National Wildlife Refuges in America. Available at U.S. Post Office and at www.duckstamp.com

                    What sets you free? Hike. Bike. Camp. Fish. Boat. Wildlife watch. Explore. www.TomStienstra.com

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                    12/14/’13 – SPOT GPS Tracker

                    • SPOT GPS tracker solves outdoor gift enigma. SPOT Trace and SPOT Messenger, www.FindMeSPOT.com

                    What sets you free? Hike. Bike. Camp. Fish. Boat. Wildlife watch. Explore. www.TomStienstra.com

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                    12/07/13 – Winter Driving In Mountains

                    • Car Survival Kit: Keep a box in your vehicle with bag of dry clothes and ski cap, sleeping bag, snacks (jerky, energy bar, candy bar) and bottled water, flashlight, emergency flasher, lighter, candle, can, knife, duct tape.
                    • If You Get Stuck: Do not leave vehicle, call tow truck. At night, light candle and place in small can (provides small heat and comforting light for youngsters). Share sleeping bag.
                    • Road Conditions: (800) 427-7623, dot.ca.gov
                    • Caltrans Live Highway Cams: video.dot.ca.gov

                    What sets you free? Hike. Bike. Camp. Fish. Boat. Wildlife watch. Explore. www.TomStienstra.com

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                    11/30/13 – Snow Sports Bests

                    • Best Intermediate Runs: Heavenly, South Lake Tahoe, (800) 432-8365, skiheavenly.com
                    • Best Cross-Country Skiing & Snowshoeing: Badger Pass, Yosemite National Park, (209) 372-1000, yosemitepark.com
                    • Best Snow Play: Leland Snow Play, near Highway 108 at Pinecrest, (209) 965-4719, snowplay.com
                    • Best All-Around Mountain, Skiing & Boarding: Mammoth Mountain, (800) 626-6684, MammothMountain.com

                    What sets you free? Hike. Bike. Camp. Fish. Boat. Wildlife watch. Explore. www.TomStienstra.com

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                    11/23/13 – Big Sur’s Andrew Molera

                    • Cost: $10 parking, access
                    • Camping: 24 walk-in sites (about a 500-yard walk required) provides one of the only first-come, first-serve. No dogs
                    • Contacts: Andrew Molera State Park, (831) 667-2315, www.parks.ca.gov; Molera Horseback Tours, (831) 625-5486; molerahorsebacktours.com; Big Sur Discovery Center, Ventana Wildlife Society, (831) 455-9514, ventanaws.org, click on “Discovery Center”

                    What sets you free? Hike. Bike. Camp. Fish. Boat. Wildlife watch. Explore. www.TomStienstra.com

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                    11/16/13 – Top 10 Favorites Places

                    Tom Stienstra’s 10 Favorites Places Along The Coast and Bay shoreline to walk and explore during minus low tides:

                    • 1. Fitzgerald Marine Reserve, Moss Beach
                    • 2. McClure’s Beach, Point Reyes National Seashore
                    • 3. Fort Funston, San Francisco
                    • 4. Cogswell Marsh Loop, Hayward Regional Shoreline
                    • 5. Point Pinole Regional Shoreline
                    • 6. Owl Trail (from Muir Beach Overlook)
                    • 7. Heart’s Desire Beach, Tomales Bay State Park
                    • 8. Bicentennial Bike Path, Sausalito
                    • 9. Arrowhead Marsh, San Leandro Bay
                    • 10. Tidelands Trail, S.F. Bay Wildlife Refuge:

                    What sets you free? Hike. Bike. Camp. Fish. Boat. Wildlife watch. Explore. www.TomStienstra.com

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                    11/09/13 – Sport Crab Season

                    What sets you free? Hike. Bike. Camp. Fish. Boat. Wildlife watch. Explore. www.TomStienstra.com

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                    11/02/13 – Winter Bests Contacts

                    • Best All-around Mountain, Skiing & Boarding: Mammoth Mountain, (800) 626-6684, Mammothmountain.com – opens Thursday, Nov. 7.
                    • Best Intermediate Runs: Heavenly, South Lake Tahoe, (800) 432-8365, skiheavenly.com
                    • Best Cross-Country Skiing: Badger Pass, Yosemite National Park, (209) 372-1000, yosemitepark.com/badgerpass.aspx
                    • Best Snow Play: Leland Snow Play, near Highway 108 at Pinecrest, (209) 965-4719, snowplay.com

                    What sets you free? Hike. Bike. Camp. Fish. Boat. Wildlife watch. Explore. www.TomStienstra.com

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                    10/26/13 – Bothin Marsh Open Space Preserve

                    What sets you free? Hike. Bike. Camp. Fish. Boat. Wildlife watch. Explore. www.TomStienstra.com

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                    10/19/13 – SF’s Embarcadero

                    What sets you free? Hike. Bike. Camp. Fish. Boat. Wildlife watch. Explore. www.TomStienstra.com

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                    10/12/13 – Marin Beaches

                    • Open: Upton Beach, Agate Beach at Marin County Parks, (415) 499-6387, marincountyparks.org.
                    • Closed: Kirby Cove, Rodeo Beach at Marin Headlands, (415) 331-1540, nps.gov/goga; Muir Beach, Stinson Beach, Visitor Center, Golden Gate National Recreation Area, (415) 388-2596, www.nps.gov/goga/stbe.htm.

                    What sets you free? Hike. Bike. Camp. Fish. Boat. Wildlife watch. Explore. www.TomStienstra.com

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                    10/05/13 – Federal Shutdown?

                    Open for your visit:

                    • California State Parks: Marin District, (707) 769-5665; Diablo Vista District, (707) 769-5652; Santa Cruz District, (831) 335-6318; www.parks.ca.gov.
                    • East Bay Regional Park District: (888) 327-2757, www.ebparks.org.
                    • Midpeninsula Open Space District: (650) 691-1200, www.openspace.org.

                    What sets you free? Hike. Bike. Camp. Fish. Boat. Wildlife watch. Explore. www.TomStienstra.com

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                    09/28/13 – Bay Area’s Top 5 Mountain Tops

                    • Mount Tamalpais: Mount Tamalpais State Park, 801 Panoramic Highway, Mill Valley, CA 94941, (415) 388-2070; www.parks.ca.gov
                    • Montara Mountain: San Pedro Valley County Park, 600 Oddstad Boulevard, Pacifica, CA 94044, (650) 355-8289, www.eparks.net
                    • Goat Rock: Castle Rock State Park, 15000 Skyline Boulevard, Los Gatos, CA 95020, (408) 867-2952; www.parks.ca.gov
                    • Mount Hamilton: Lick Observatory Tours and Gift Shop, (408) 274-5061; www.ucolick.org
                    • Mount Diablo: Mount Diablo State Park, 96 Mitchell Canyon Road, Clayton, CA 94517, (925) 837-2525 (recorded info) or (925) 837-0904 (ranger at kiosk); weather conditions at summit, (925) 838-9225; www.parks.ca.gov

                    [ Read more: Tom Stienstra's Top 5 Bay Area Mountain Tops ]

                    What sets you free? Hike. Bike. Camp. Fish. Boat. Wildlife watch. Explore. www.TomStienstra.com

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                    09/21/13 – Yosemite’s Operation Facelift

                    Tuesday, Sept. 24 through Sunday, Sept. 29
                    Goal to pick up more than 20,000 pounds of trash at Yosemite National Park.

                    • Volunteer: Sign up in front of Yosemite Valley Visitor Center, Wednesday, Sept. 25th through Sunday, Sept. 29th; at the Tuolumne Meadows Wilderness Center on Friday, Sept. 27 through Sunday, Sept. 29; on Saturday, Sept, 28, at Wawona at the Mariposa Lower Grove parking lot.
                    • Info: yageryca@gmail.com, or on Facebook

                    What sets you free? Hike. Bike. Camp. Fish. Boat. Wildlife watch. Explore. www.TomStienstra.com

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                    09/14/13 – Outdoors Connects For Life

                    What sets you free? Hike. Bike. Camp. Fish. Boat. Wildlife watch. Explore. www.TomStienstra.com

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                    09/07/13 – Lower Delta’s Big Break

                    • Kayak:Big Break Kayak City, Big Break Marina, 98 Big Break Road, Oakley, (925) 625-5601, www.kayakcity.com
                    • Hike, Bike, Nature Watch: Big Break Regional Shoreline and Visitor Center, (510) 544-3050; East Bay Regional Park District, (888) 327-2757, www.ebparks.org

                    What sets you free? Hike. Bike. Camp. Fish. Boat. Wildlife watch. Explore. www.TomStienstra.com

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                    08/31/13 – Labor Day Weekend Get-Outs

                    What sets you free? Hike. Bike. Camp. Fish. Boat. Wildlife watch. Explore. www.TomStienstra.com

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                    08/24/13 – Educational Boat Tour of SF Bay

                    A new “bay bridge” has opened to the public. Except this bridge does not span over the bay. This bridge runs from your mind and into the bay. For this “bay bridge,” you get on a boat.

                    This bridge is a new educational boat tour on San Francisco Bay. It’s sponsored by the Oceanic Society. And it’s a lot of fun.

                    You tour amid the bay’s landmarks. You see and identify marine mammals and shorebirds. Scientists aboard can answer any question you may have about the bay.

                    San Francisco Bay is actually the largest estuary west of the Mississippi River. It includes wetlands and salt marshes. It supports hundreds of species of fish and wildlife. It provides habitat for birds and marine mammals.

                    The Bay is what makes our region special.

                    The boat trips are three hours long. The routes may include cruising by Alcatraz, Angel Island and Treasure Island. You can venture past Fort Point, the Golden Gate Bridge and out to Point Bonita Lighthouse.

                    Trips depart out of San Francisco, at 5:00pm Saturdays on the “Salty Lady.” Then at 9:30am Sundays on the “Capt. Joey.” The cost is $54 for adults and $45 for children with adults.

                    This is a great new trip few know about. You could go this weekend.

                    What sets you free? Hike. Bike. Camp. Fish. Boat. Wildlife watch. Explore. www.TomStienstra.com

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                    08/17/13 – Calveras County Caverns

                    What sets you free? Hike. Bike. Camp. Fish. Boat. Wildlife watch. Explore. www.TomStienstra.com

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                    08/10/13 – Cabins & Cottages

                    What sets you free? Hike. Bike. Camp. Fish. Boat. Wildlife watch. Explore. www.TomStienstra.com

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                    08/03/13 – Green Light For Salmon Highway

                    What sets you free? Hike. Bike. Camp. Fish. Boat. Wildlife watch. Explore. www.TomStienstra.com

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                    07/27/13 – Stay Fire Safe

                    What sets you free? Hike. Bike. Camp. Fish. Boat. Wildlife watch. Explore. www.TomStienstra.com

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                    07/20/13 – Raft Tuolumne River

                    • Sierra Mac River Rafting Trips. Trip can include legendary Clavey Falls. (800) 457-2580, www.sierramac.com
                    • Rafting Info: California Whitewater Rafting at www.c-w-r.com provides links to river descriptions, outfitters, lodging directions and other resources

                    What sets you free? Hike. Bike. Camp. Fish. Boat. Wildlife watch. Explore. www.TomStienstra.com

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                    7/13/13 – The Stienstra Rules

                    “Have the best time of your life”

                    • Dad Stienstra: Every day alive is a gift
                    • Brother Stienstra: Every day in the outdoors can be a treasure
                    • Mom Stienstra: Don’t put your life on hold for some magic day in the future when you’ll finally go. Go right now and make it good yourself
                    • All In Agreement: Have great friends and family. Join up and do something every day possible. Always have something to look forward to. Learn something new every day

                  What sets you free? Hike. Bike. Camp. Fish. Boat. Wildlife watch. Explore. www.TomStienstra.com

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                  7/6/13 – Thunder & Lightning

                  • Locations Last Week: Yosemite, Tahoe, Mount Shasta, Lassen, Kings Canyon and Mount Whitney
                  • Determine Distance: Every five seconds from lightning flash to thunder roll is equal to 1 mile away in distance

                  What sets you free? Hike. Bike. Camp. Fish. Boat. Wildlife watch. Explore. www.TomStienstra.com

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                  06/29/13 – Best Spots For Wildlife Photography

                  • Elk: Pierce Ranch, Point Reyes National Seashore, 415) 464-5100, nps.gov/pore
                  • Elk: Grizzly Island Wildlife Area; Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park
                  • Bear: Dorst Creek Campground, Sequoia National Park; Tuolumne Meadows, Yosemite National Park; Lava Beds National Park
                  • Deer: Foothills Park, Palo Alto; Timber Mountain, Modoc County
                  • Sea Otters: Elkhorn Slough, Moss Landing; Point Lobos State Natural Reserve
                  • Golden Eagles: Sunol Regional Wilderness; Los Vaqueros Watershed

                  What sets you free? Hike. Bike. Camp. Fish. Boat. Wildlife watch. Explore. www.TomStienstra.com

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                  06/22/13 – Lake Tahoe’s Grand Loop

                  • Distance: 72 miles around Lake Tahoe
                  • Rec Options: Emerald Bay State Park, D.L. Bliss State Park, Sugar Pine Point State Park, Tahoe State Recreation Area, Kings Beach State Recreation Area, Lake Tahoe-Nevada State Park, Sand Harbor State Park, Zephyr Cove/MS Dixie II Paddlewheeler
                  • Contacts: Forest Service Visitor’s Center, (530) 543-2674, www.fs.usda.gov/ltbmu
                  • Bike Rentals: tahoesbest.com – click on “Biking” and “bike rentals”
                  • South Lake Tahoe Lodging: (800) 821-9888, tahoe.com
                  • North Lake Tahoe lodging: (888) 434-1262, gotahoenorth.com

                  What sets you free? Hike. Bike. Camp. Fish. Boat. Wildlife watch. Explore. www.TomStienstra.com

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                  06/15/13 -
                  Yosemite Creek Campground Opens Tuesday

                  • Cost: $20 per vehicle, good for a week
                  • Camping, Part 1: First-come, first-served at Yosemite Creek. 75 sites. Access road is rough
                  • Camping, Part 2: 13 camps available in park, plus 15 others outside of park boundary; see details in Moon California Camping, at TomStienstra.com
                  • Lodging In Park: yosemitepark.com or (801) 559-4884
                  • Lodging Outside Park: yosemite.com
                  • Info: Yosemite National Park, nps.gov/yose, (209) 372-0200
                  • What sets you free? Hike. Bike. Camp. Fish. Boat. Wildlife watch. Explore.www.TomStienstra.com

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                  06/08/13 – Best Bay Area Lakes For Swimming

                  All In East Bay Counties:

                  • Cull Canyon, Don Castro, Shadow Cliffs, Pleasanton
                  • Temescal, Berkeley hills, Anza, Del Valle, Castle Rock, Contra Loma, Crown Memorial, Miller-Knox, Quarry Lakes, Roberts Wildcat Canyon Regional Park, (888) 327-2757, option 3, ext. 4567; East Bay Regional Park District, www.ebparks.org
                  • What sets you free? Hike. Bike. Camp. Fish. Boat. Wildlife watch. Explore.www.TomStienstra.com

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                  05/25/13 – Salvage Memorial Day With Kayak Rental

                  Rentals, Guided Trips

                  • San Francisco: City Kayak, South Beach Harbor (Pier 40), (415) 357-1010, citykayak.com
                  • San Mateo Coast: Half Moon Bay Kayak Company, Pillar Point Harbor, (650) 773-6101, www.hmbkayak.com
                  • North Bay: Sea Trek, Sausalito, weekends at (415) 332-4465 (on the beach), weekdays at (415) 332-8494 (at the shop), www.seatrekkayak.com
                  • Point Reyes/Tomales Bay: Blue Waters Kayaking (415) 669-2600, www.bwkayak.com
                  • Bodega Bay: Bodega Bay Surf/Kayak, (707) 875-3944, bodegabaysurf.com
                  • Petaluma River: Clavey River Paddle Sports, Petaluma, (707) 766-8070, clavey.com
                  • Napa River/Sonoma Marsh: Kayak Napa Valley, Napa, (707) 501-8585, kayaknv.com
                  • Oakland Estuary: California Canoe & Kayak, (510) 893-7833, calkayak.com
                  • Carquinez Strait/Suisun Bay: Westwind Adventures, Martinez, (925) 229-5292, westwindadventures.com
                  • Lower Delta/Suisun Marsh: Sunset Bay Kayaks, Suisun City, (707) 365-2436, sunsetbaykayaks.com
                  • Elkhorn Slough: Kayak Connection, Moss Landing; trips also available out of Santa Cruz and Monterey; (831) 724-5692, kayakconnection.com

                  Kayak Rentals At Lakes

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                  05/18/13 – D.L. Bliss State Park

                  • Tahoe’s D.L. Bliss opens Friday for Memorial Day Weekend
                  • D.L. Bliss State Park, (530) 525-7277, parks.ca.gov
                  • What sets you free? Hike. Bike. Camp. Fish. Boat. Wildlife watch. Explore.www.TomStienstra.com

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                  05/11/13 – Crystal Springs Watershed

                  10-year Anniversary

                  • Trailhead Reservations: (650) 652-3203 or www.sfwater.org
                  • Fifield-Cahill Trail: Most trips are 8, 10 or 13 miles
                  • Cost: Access is free
                  • Days Open: Wednesdays & weekends
                  • Trailhead Rules: Reservations required; volunteer trail leader required with all parties; hiking, biking and horseback riding permitted (but not at same time); organized groups no larger than 20
                  • What sets you free? Hike. Bike. Camp. Fish. Boat. Wildlife watch. Explore.www.TomStienstra.com

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                  05/04/13 – Boat Season Launch

                  • Major Recreation Lakes: Shasta (85 percent full), Trinity (88), Bullards Bar (87), Oroville (88), Camanche (81), Tulloch (85), Don Pedro (72), New Melones (62); all roughly 100 percent of normal for start of May
                  • Smaller Lakes: Antelope Lake (100 percent), Whiskeytown (95), Lewiston (95), Pardee (93), Englebright (89), Davis (82); most roughly 90 to 100 percent of normal
                  • Best Lakes For Boat-in Camping: Shasta Lake, Trinity Lake, Lake Sonoma, Bullards Bar Reservoir, Union Valley Reservoir
                  • Info: See 2013 Moon California Camping at www.TomStienstra.com
                  • What sets you free? Hike. Bike. Camp. Fish. Boat. Wildlife watch. Explore.

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                  04/27/13 – Little Basin Contacts

                  • Saturday, April 27: Little Basin Festival, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., live music, food, vendors activities. (831) 338-8018
                  • Reserve access/camping/cabins: (800) 678-5102, or ReserveAmerica.com
                  • Location/Protocols: Little Basin adjoins Big Basin Redwoods, but is separate from state park day-use protocols. No come-and-go day-use like a typical park.
                  • Facilities: 12 cabins with bunk beds (some with double beds), 38 tent sites, several RV sites, large area for group camping; pay telephone, group dining area, amphitheater with stage, recreation hall, playground, sports field, meadow; site director on site at all times.
                  • Contact: (800) 678-5102, littlebasin.org
                  • What sets you free? Hike. Bike. Camp. Fish. Boat. Wildlife watch. Explore. www.TomStienstra.com

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                  04/20/13 – Yosemite Opening Up For Spring

                  • Cost: Access free for National Parks Week, April 20-28; rest of the year, $20 per vehicle, good for a week.
                  • Camping: Reserve at recreation.gov (recommended) or (877) 444-6777. 13 camps available in park, plus 15 others outside of park boundary; see details in Moon California Camping, 2013 edition released this week, at www.TomStienstra.com
                  • Camps now open: Upper Pines, Lower Pines, North Pines, Camp 4 in Yosemite Valley; Wawona near southern entrance station; Hogdon Meadow near Big Oak Flat entrance station
                  • Lodging In The Park: yosemite.com or (801) 559-4884
                  • Lodging Outside the Park: yosemite.com
                  • Info: Yosemite National Park, nps.gov/yose, (209) 372-0200
                  • What sets you free? Hike. Bike. Camp. Fish. Boat. Wildlife watch. Explore. www.TomStienstra.com

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                  04/13/13 – Use Concrete From Demolition of
                  Old Bay Bridge & Candlestick Park

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                  04/06/13 – Whale Watching From Shore

                  Current Best Spots:

                  • Point Reyes National Seashore: Point Reyes Lighthouse. Point Reyes National Seashore, Visitor Center, (415) 464-5100, nps.gov/pore
                  • San Francisco: Golden Gate Bridge; Sutro Ruins at Lands End near the Cliff House; Ocean Beach. Golden Gate National Recreation Area, (415) 561-4700; www.nps.gov/goga.
                  • Pacifica: Southern Linda Mar State Beach. www.parks.ca.gov
                  • Half Moon Bay: Pillar Point Head; marine forecast, Pillar Point Harbor, (650) 726-6070, extension 2.
                  • Pigeon Point Lighthouse: Pigeon Point Light Station State Historic Park, (650) 879-2120, parks.ca.gov
                  • What sets you free? Hike. Bike. Camp. Fish. Boat. Wildlife watch. Explore. www.TomStienstra.com

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                  03/30/13 – Salmon Season Opens April 6

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                  03/23/13 – Mavericks

                  Located at south end at Pillar Point Head near Half Moon Bay.

                  • Weather: Marine forecast, Pillar Point Harbor, (650) 726-6070, extension 2.
                  • Kayak: Half Moon Bay Kayak ($20 kayak rental), all gear provided, (650) 773-6101, hmbkayak.com
                  • What sets you free? Hike. Bike. Camp. Fish. Boat. Wildlife watch. Explore. www.TomStienstra.com

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                  03/16/13 – Options To Umunhum

                  • 3,486-foot Mount Umunhum is off limits to public until 2016. Adjacent is Mount El Sombroso and Bald Mountain with public access.
                  • Public Access: On Mount Umunhum Road: Woods Trail located at Jaques Ridge parking area; Bald Mountain Trail, continue up Mt. Umunhum Road another 1.6 miles to closed gate; trailhead is just across road (on left side of road).
                  • Contacts: Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District, (650) 691-1200, openspace.org
                  • What sets you free? Hike. Bike. Camp. Fish. Boat. Wildlife watch. Explore. www.TomStienstra.com

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                  03/09/13 – Battery Godfrey

                  At the Presidio, San Francisco Headlands

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                  03/02/13 – Request From Our Wildlife Friends

                  Do not use poison to kill unwanted rodents. Use a trap or a cat. Poisoned rodents can be perilous for raptors, your cats and dogs. The poison can kills squirrels, birds, and who knows what else.

                  • Contact: California Department of Fish and Wildlife, (916) 445-0411, www.dfg.ca.gov.

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                  02/23/13 – Weekend Full of Activity / Contacts

                  • All Weekend: Pleasanton Flyfishing Show, Alameda Fairgrounds; $15 for one day, $25 for two days. flyfishingshow.com/Pleasanton.html
                  • 10 a.m. Saturday (or do it yourself any day): Monte Bello Open Space Preserve in the Palo Alto foothills, seven-mile hike. Openspace.org
                  • 10 a.m. Sunday: Black Diamond Mines Regional Preserve. Wildflower hike on parts of the Chaparral Loop and Manhattan Canyon trails.
                  • 10 a.m. Sunday: Nature walk. Meet at the Indian Valley Campus in Novato, parking lot 6. marincountyparks.org
                  • What sets you free? Hike. Bike. Camp. Fish. Boat. Wildlife watch. Explore. www.TomStienstra.com

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                  02/16/13 – Point Reyes Lighthouse

                  Point Reyes National Seashore

                  • Bear Valley Visitor Center: From San Francisco, take U.S. 101 north over Golden Gate Bridge into Marin and continue to Sir Francis Drake Boulevard. Take that exit west and drive 20 miles to Highway 1. Turn right and go 100 yards to Bear Valley Road. Turn left and go 0.7 miles to signed left turn for visitor center. Turn left and drive short distance to parking. Get map/brochure and latest info
                  • Shuttle Bus: On good weather weekends and holidays. $5. Tickets at Drakes Beach Visitor Center, 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Park and take shuttle bus at South Beach Junction
                  • Weekdays, Bad Weather Weekends: Drive yourself: From from Bear Valley Visitor Center, exit to Bear Valley Road. Turn left and go 1.7 miles to Sir Francis Drake Boulevard. Turn left and drive 18.7 miles to lighthouse parking lot and staging area
                  • Lodging: ptreyes.com
                  • Contacts: Visitor Center, (415) 464-5100, nps.gov/pore; lighthouse – (weekends), (415) 669-1534

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                  02/9/13 – Invasive Mussels

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                  02/02/13 – Horseback Riding The Right Way

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                  01/26/13 – Cross-Country Ski Contacts

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                  01/19/13 – 12 Coastal Getaways

                  Santa Cruz to San Francisco to Point Reyes

                  • Wilder Ranch State Park, (831) 423-9703; thatsmypark.org or parks.ca.gov; Wilder Ranch Interpretive Center, (831) 426-0505.
                  • Pigeon Point Lighthouse, (650) 879-2120, parks.ca.gov
                  • San Pedro Valley County Park, (650) 355-8289, eparks.net
                  • McNee Ranch: (650) 726-8820, parks.ca.gov
                  • San Francisco Headlands: Land’s End, The Coastal Trail
                  • Fort Funston; Golden Gate National Recreation Area, (415) 561-4700, nps.gov/goga
                  • Marin Headlands. 415/331-1540; visitor information, (415) 561-4700, nps.gov/goga
                  • Point Reyes National Seashore: The Coastal Trail out of Palomarin, Sky Trail, Chimney Rock Headlands, The Point Reyes Lighthouse; (415) 464-5100, nps.gov/pore
                  • What sets you free? Hike. Bike. Camp. Fish. Boat. Wildlife watch. Explore. – TomStienstra.com

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                  1/12/13 – Sportsmen’s Expo

                  The Sportsmen’s Expo runs through Sunday, Northern California’s only major fishing, hunting and boating show.

                  • When: 10 a.m.-7 p.m. Saturday; 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. Sunday.
                  • Where: Sacramento Cal Expo (for GPS use 1600 Exposition Boulevard, Sacramento, 95815). $10 parking
                  • Cost: $15 admission, youth under 16 free, active military with ID card free; $10 parking
                  • Contact: www.sportexpos.com – Click on “Sacramento”

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                  01/03/13 – Tennessee Valley Hike Or Bike

                  • Cost: Parking, access free.
                  • How to get there: From San Francisco, take U.S. 101 over the Golden Gate Bridge and go 4 miles (through the Waldo Tunnel and into Marin City) to the exit for Highway 1/Stinson Beach. Take that exit and drive 0.6 miles to Tennessee Valley Road on left. Turn left and go two miles to the road’s end, parking and trailheads.
                  • Contacts: Marin Headlands Visitors Center, (415) 331-1540, nps.gov/goga.

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