Day trip: Chico [PHOTOS]

To follow up on my post about locations to watch the annular eclipse, we decided on a trip up to Chico since we had never been. The destination was the Chico Community Observatory, an outdoor observation deck in the city’s Bidwell Park. While we didn’t make it to the observatory, we did have great fun in Chico and primarily at the amazing Bidwell Park.

Last weekend happened to be Commencement weekend at CSU Chico, but Sunday late morning when we arrived there were no large crowds, much to our relief. There were small family groups out celebrating their grads which made it a really pleasant atmosphere, though I get the feeling Chico is a pretty friendly place for the most part. We had a picnic lunch at the Children’s Playground near Bidwell Mansion after an aborted attempt to picnic at the City Plaza splashground, which had a “creepy homeless dude” vibe as a result of being populated by creepy homeless dudes sitting and watching children frolic in the fountain. No judging.

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What The French?

Bee careful!
cc, By jurvetson

The Bee has an interesting report today, “Yosemite deaths: Americans may have lost respect for nature’s risks” about recent deaths at Yosemite as evidence of a growing trend in deaths caused by Americans being too stupid/ignorant/tech-obsessed to know when nature is dangerous.

On Wednesday, children waded in a small eddy just 50 yards from the edge. Some playfully teetered on a log that separated the eddy from the river’s torrent. Upstream, a man swam across Emerald Pool and back, crossing the Merced River current and ignoring warnings and prohibitions posted nearby.

Horrifying, right? Read on…

The children playing so close to the edge of Vernal Fall were among a group of 15 Parisians visiting the park.

What. The. French?

But it’s actually a great read with some interesting discussion of a very plausible trend that seems to be affecting people everywhere. Maybe the Bee can research whether Americans are more likely to be literally eating a Big Mac while falling over Vernal Fall.

Cosumnes River Preserve

Weekend outdoorsy fun was had by the whole family yesterday as we finally checked out the Cosumnes River Preserve down in the Galt/Walnut Grove area. The preserve is a 46,000-acre wildlife refuge along the Cosumnes River (the last undammed river in the Central Valley), winding from Sacramento County all the way down to the delta. With a paved wetlands pathway and a rougher river walk trail, there are a few miles of walking to do, as well as boating, cycling and hunting. The weather was perfect yesterday, so we enjoyed a beautiful walk along the sunny wetlands pathway and a shorter jaunt on the river walk. The wide trails make it easy for walking with kids (since there is doubtless plenty of poison oak along the way).

We followed this up with a drive over to Walnut Grove and back home along the 160, stopping for cool treats in downtown Clarksburg. I don’t know what it is but I love the Delta area! A couple of photos after the jump…

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Dirty Talk

Fancy-dancy 3-bin compost bin

You know you want to. Don’t hesitate any longer! Start making that dirty, dirty dirt! You know what I’m talking about. That’s right, baby. That thing that makes every girl smile: COMPOSTING!

Making dirt ain’t easy. You can’t just throw your scraps in a pile out your back door (unless you love rats). Indeed, there’s a science to the madness. It’s not rocket science, but an art nonetheless. 

Never fear! Help is near. Attend one of the following seminars, brought to you by the sexy City of Sacramento Department of Utilities Solid Waste Services, and you, too, will be making sweet dirt in no time.

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Skeptical about the water bottling ordinance

What, me controvershulz?
Creative Commons License photo credit: Qiao-Da-Ye賽門譙大爺

I’m skeptical about Kevin McCarty’s plan to draft an emergency ordinance to require special permits for water bottlers. My views pretty much jive with what the Sac Bee editorialized today. I think most people should be wary of government being able to change the rules and apply them retroactively. And I am wary of government changing the rules every time somebody follows the rules and it leads to an outcome they don’t like. When you do that, it should come with an acknowledgment of failure on the part of the government. Instead, this Nestle deal is spun by folks opposing it, including McCarty, as an attack on our resources by the evil Swiss. (I always knew that neutrality thing was a smokescreen.)

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McCarty ridicules City watering restrictions he voted for

In an article posted earlier on Sacramento Press, City Council member Kevin McCarty (rightly) ridicules the City’s watering restrictions. One problem: McCarty voted Aye on the ordinance that created the restrictions.

I appreciate the point he is trying to make in his editorial: the proposed Nestle plant will be overcharging people for billions of gallons of our water, and the City will still be “busting people for flooding sidewalks,” yadda yadda. But if McCarty is successful in fighting the Nestle plant, will he repeal the residential watering ordinance and no longer bust people for flooding the sidewalk?

P.S. Any suggestion to revise the title of this post would be exactly the kind of non-commenty comment up with which I will not put.

Where was I? Rainbow

October 13, 2009 - Sacramento, CA
October 13, 2009 - Sacramento, CA

Due to the overwhelmingly lukewarm response to my new “Cap’n Obvious” category last week, I would like to add another one labeled “Where was I?” We will snap random photos about town and we’ll test your knowledge of the 916 by asking that you tell us where we took the photo. Some will be easier than others. I rate this one a 5 out of 10.

With yesterday’s storm we were treated to a lovely rainbow.

Why do I love a blustery day?

Outside Sac Rag World Headquarters

I suppose it’s possible that I don’t want to know the answer to this question, but why is it that a blustery Northern California day like today fills me with happiness? I don’t think I’d want a steady diet of it, e.g. the Pacific Northwest, but something about a windy rainy day in these parts makes me incredibly joyful inside.

I’m sure I’m not the only one. Is it only because that means there is turkey and presents in my near future?