Are you a dreamcatcher?

A short road trip out to the Jackson Rancheria Casino & Hotel will, once again, giving us the opportunity to try out for a nationally syndicated game show.

Three weeks ago, a few of us tried out for Who Wants to be a Millionaire, and I received my postcard yesterday saying that I’m officially in the contestant pool.

Next Friday, the Jeopardy! Brain Bus will be pulling into town (at least this one won’t require a 4am wake up time!)

Who wants to go?

RunnerGirl’s Quick Tips for Outdoor Adventures, Summer ’08 Edition

With the heat wave ushering in the summer ’08 season, Sam McManis has a timely article on staying hydrated.*

Being an avid ultramarathoner on the trails, I have a lot of experience with two issues that can easily ruin a perfectly awesome day: blisters and poison oak. Here are some of my tips for making your outdoor adventures more comfortable, whether you’re a trail veteran or considering making your debut out on one of our region’s many recreational treasures.

Continue reading “RunnerGirl’s Quick Tips for Outdoor Adventures, Summer ’08 Edition”

PHOTOS: Ken Fox’s Great Statues of Auburn

I stumbled upon a wonderful roadside attraction in Auburn yesterday: Ken Fox’s Great Statues. Ken is the creator of the gold miner statue in downtown Auburn, but he also has several other massive concrete figures to his name. Specifically several (mostly) naked collossi just off 49 near In-n-Out.

The statues are unadvertised, which only adds to your initial shock when they loom into view. A few stand in a parking lot of an otherwise ordinary street. The parking lot belongs to the office of the dentist who built the statues, Ken Fox.

Continue reading “PHOTOS: Ken Fox’s Great Statues of Auburn”

Road Eats

With the sun up and a three day weekend only hours away, the open road may be calling you like that creepy disembodied voice in Field of Dreams. Sacramento being that great metropolis lauded for its proximity to prime destinations, it’s inevitable. The decision to hit the road usually involves two decisions–where to go, and when to leave. The one decision we leave to the traveling gods is what we’ll eat on the way there, so here are a few suggestions organized by driving routes:

80-East: If you’re heading up to Truckee, Tahoe, or points beyond, don’t forget to stop at Ikeda’s in Auburn. A great place to stop for fresh fruit, killer pies, and gourmet groceries, Ikeda’s (pronounced ee-kay-das) also has a mean grill that turns out some ridiculously good burgers and perhaps the finest BLT west of the International Date Line.

80-West: I know, I know, you miss the Nut Tree too. Well, trust me, it’s universal. Not one person who drives by the sorry excuse calling itself the Nut Tree is happy to see a bunch of big box retailers taking the place of their beloved memories. The ‘Tree was by far the best roadside attraction in recent memory after Texaco stopped their “Gas, Food, BJ” campaign. And while there’s not nearly as much fun to be had in the faceless shoppers’ paradise that Vacaville has become, you can still find some decent grub in the surrounding communities. If you’re heading west on I-80, pull off at t Travis Blvd in Fairfield and grab a sandwich at Kinder’s fine meats. The barbecue ball-tip sandwich is happy-dance inducing. Try it with he solid potato salad and you’ll be a happy traveler. Continue reading “Road Eats”

Daytrip #2: South Shore

Visit Beautiful Lake Tahoe!Eventually it will snow.  I know right now it doesn’t seem like it, but someday the clouds will loose their flaky bounty on the nearby peaks, and you’ll be able to dust off your old tobaggan and hit the slopes.   Now here’s the thing: skiing, snowboarding, or just sliding down the mountain on your ass tends to build up one’s appetite.  So, here’s a quick trio of eateries guaranteed to make your day worth it, even if you flame out on the kick rail and wind up with a split camber (or whatever it is the kids do these days):

#1- The Brewery at Tahoe: When you’re freezing and wind-chapped, there’s nothing you want more than an ice cold beer.  So belly up to the bar at the Brewery and order one of the many craft brews on tap.  While you’re at it, order a pizza from the extensive menu.  You won’t be disappointed.  The pizzas are magical, infinitely customizable, and without peer in the Lake Tahoe surroundings.  The beers are pretty outstanding too.  I can’t recommend this place highly enough.  3542 Lake Tahoe Blvd, 96150 Continue reading “Daytrip #2: South Shore”

Daytrip #1: Amador County-Wine, Women, Ravioli

In the first of a new series of daytrip recommendations, I offer a few nuggets (no pun intended) of goodness tucked away in the golden hills of Amador county.  And, since good things come in threes–Beastie Boys, incarnations of the Catholic God, Stooges–here are three stops guaranteed to make your Amador daytrip memorable.

Stop #1:  Dry Town Cellars– Perhaps the most casual winery outside of a penitentiary, Dry Town Cellars prides itself on great wines and groovy vibes.  Trust me this place is laid back.  Don’t believe me?  Just check out what the guy running the tasting room is drinking–that’s right, Miller Light.  Winemaker and owner Allen Kreutzer, originally a Santa Cruz dude, has a deft touch with the wine and a heavy (and sometimes dirty) hand when reaching for the tasting room crackers.   Nevertheless, he’ll do right by you with great wines at a fair price.  Try the Barbera, play fetch with the dogs, and don’t forget your antibacterial wipes. Continue reading “Daytrip #1: Amador County-Wine, Women, Ravioli”