Archive for February, 2010


February 25th, 2010 2 comments

For this trip, I just show up some place and see what I can do for lodging, food, exercise, and entertainment without prior arrangements. This has been delightful and works well here. It also introduces a nice bit of randomness since my first choice is not always available. One thing which requires advance booking is Kapiti Island permit from the Department of Conservation for each of the North and South end.


I secure permits for the North end of one day and the South end on the next. The island is beautiful, filled with exotic birds not found anywhere else on the planet or at best found in only a few places. The bulk of this post will have little to do with my travels on Kapiti and instead focus on scientifically tested and philosophically posited interactions in our brain.

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Arrival in New Zealand

February 23rd, 2010 No comments

Arriving at the SFO international terminal on Friday morning to catch my flight to LAX and connection to Aukland, I notice the SFO->LAX flight is run by American Airlines rather than Qantas which means the flight will certainly not be on time. Long and boring story short is that the flight to LAX is delayed by 3 hours which is tolerable since I have an 8 hour layover. I spend my time in Los Angeles with Steve for dinner and billiards.
On the flight from LAX to Aukland I discover that at least wine is free with dinner. I do not feel like drinking cocktails so I never found out if this policy applies past dinner or to real drinks which is a shame since I cannot seem to sleep for the entire flight. We land in Aukland, and I decide to head into town to get situated and determine my next steps. This is a mistake Aukland is like somebody who’s been married and living in the suburbs for a little too long — there are nice features and interesting things to know, though you know they’re really dead inside.


I leave Aukland as quickly as I can for Wellington since the city sounds more interesting. I am right and the city is really nice with a lot of different neighborhoods with at least some character. I secure permits to visit Kapiti Island about 45km North of Wellington and 5km out to sea and Sunday night I have my first sleep since Friday morning in San Francisco. I take the train to Paraparaumu and walk the final 3.5km from the train/bus station to Barnacles Seaside Inn arriving well after closing time. I had foreseen this possibility earlier and called ahead to ensure I could get in.

Full album.

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Yummy Mushrooms

February 15th, 2010 3 comments

Jason and I harvested some mushrooms in Mendocino. We were prepared with little more than a paper bag, a few plastic bags, and a copy of “All That the Rain Promises, and More”.
We picked up a few mushrooms we would like to eat and this is a discussion of what we found, what I think it is, and why.

Upon returning to San Francisco, I separated all of the mushrooms into 4 paper bags with one set of apparently the same species in the same bag. Because of our poor preparation for the hunt, many of the specimens are bruised.

Click on the pictures in the post to see the full resolution version.

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Jug Handle Park

February 12th, 2010 No comments

In the morning, Jason and I headed to Eggheads where I had the “Cowardly Lion.” After breakfast, Jason had to take care of some issues over the phone so I wandered around a bit. I went to a coffee shot to caffeinate myself further and a cute hippie girl with a baby in a stroller asked me, “Do you read?” I told her that I did and she reached into the stroller and pulled out a dog-eared copy of “On The Road” by Jack Kerouac.

Since I spent much of the previous night dreaming about mushrooms, I walked over to a local bookshop and picked up a copy of “All That the Rain Promises and More” by David Arora. Jason finished up, so we went back to The Outdoor Store to ask for Kate’s suggestions on destinations. After some discussion, we decided to go to Jug Handle Park and Ecological Staircase.

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Mendocino Woodlands

February 11th, 2010 No comments

After a delicious fresh crab benedict (Dorothy’s Revenge) breakfast from Eggheads in Fort Bragg, Jason and I headed to The Outdoor Store across the street to see if we could find a map for nearby Jackson State Forest. The proprietor of the shop, Kate, was extremely helpful and awesome — if you’re ever bicycling, hiking, or just in Fort Bragg and need some outdoor equipment then you should go. She sold me the last map she had for the park and made several hiking suggestions. The nicest sounding hike was the Mendocino Woodlands inside the park.

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Mendocino National Forest

February 11th, 2010 No comments

On 2010-02-08, Jason and I headed out from San Francisco to the Mendocino National Forest with a idea of a few starting points for hikes derived from Google Maps. We arrived at the ranger station in Upper Lake early in the day and picked up a 3 different maps of the area with one of the maps containing an overview and a detail view of Lake Pillsbury. In Carnonymous, we climbed to nearly the top of route 301 through the forest and began our journey along what we thought was trail 85411 just South of Penny Pines.

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Mori Ridge Ascent

February 11th, 2010 No comments

On 2010-02-07, Jason and I decided to locate a trail he found on Google Maps satellite view up to the Sweeny Ridge. I brought a fully loaded pack for exercise and practice. We meandered about in Carnonymous in the Northern outskirts of Pacifica for a while climbing the hill twice near Fairway Park on foot only to find the end of the both path before reaching the trails observed on Google Maps.

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