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Northern California-based kayak angler explores Florida offshore for first time

Old Town, ME (March 31, 2017): There’s a chaos that comes with kayak fishing, especially in saltwater. But it’s a chaos that’s pursued by thousands of anglers on top of Ocean Kayak ‘craft each year, many pushing the future of the sport into new, unimagined territories.

Along those lines, Ocean Kayak is proud to introduce a series of saltwater fishing videos for 2017, which will cast a spotlight on the pros, guides, and passionate everyday anglers who rely on Ocean Kayak boats day in, day out.

Sonoma County, California-based Annie Nagel is one of those anglers, a West Coast fish-head who pursues lingcod, cabezon, rock fish, halibut, steelhead and salmon… pretty much everything that swims around the San Francisco Bay area.

Annie’s versatile, and her main boat is equally adept in varying conditions: from the open Pacific to behemoth bass-filled California lakes. Her vessel of choice? Ocean Kayak Trident 11, Trident 13 and Trident 15 models, stalwart boats recently revamped for 2017 with the same legendary hull but improved ACS2 seating, center pod redesign, and a whole lot more.

With the goal of challenging her angling skills, Annie recently flip-flopped coasts, traveling with her Trident 13 Angler to the Ft. Lauderdale area for some multi-species spring break fun. Call it fishing “cold” or “blind,” Annie had no idea to expect other than shattered expectations. As anyone familiar with the Atlantic Florida coast knows, it can be a real mixed bag of species, as the video reveals.

5K, 10K and Half Marathon expected to sell out during month of May

Runs and 2.5-mile community hike take place Sat. June 3 at 8 a.m.

Suisun City, Calif. – The 10th Annual Lynch Canyon Trail Run has earned a reputation as the perfect combination of challenge and fun, and the toughest trail run in Solano County. The 5K, 10K, and half marathon races all start at 8 a.m. on Sat. June 3. Over 300 runners have already signed up at www.lynchcanyontrailrun.org. These runners are coming from six different states and internationally, and they range in age from 8 to 80. Whether they are racing to win, running for fun, or both, they will be challenged on the steep hills and treated to frequent aid stations with cheerful volunteers. All routes are 100 percent trail, with about 85 percent wide track and 15 percent single track, and spectacular views.

The 5K, 10K, and half marathon runs are expected to sell out during the month of May, so pre-registration is encouraged now at www.lynchcanyontrailrun.org for $40, $60, or $70, respectively. All proceeds support public access and improvements at Lynch Canyon. Pre-registrants receive a custom-designed event t-shirt on race day. Half marathon finishers also receive a one-of-a-kind finisher’s medal.

The Community Hike also starts at 8 a.m. It is completely free and there is no pre-registration. Over fifty people hike the 2.5-mile loop as slow or fast as they like. They walk a wide dirt trail alongside a creek toward a reservoir, then go 400 feet uphill to reach the highest point of the hike. At the top, volunteers cheer them on and give them a certificate recognizing their achievement.

The runs and hike are a great way to celebrate National Trails Day and to start National Great Outdoors Month!

Participants arrive between 6:30 a.m. and 7:45 a.m. for check-in and are encouraged to carpool; parking is limited.

Bring family and friends, but no pets. For the protection of Lynch Canyon’s wildlife and free-range cattle, dogs and other pets are not allowed.

For more information about the Lynch Canyon Trail Run and Community Hike, visit www.solanolandtrust.org, www.lynchcanyontrailrun.org, or call 707-709-9023.

Lynch Canyon is at 3100 Lynch Road, near McGary Road, between the cities of Vallejo and Fairfield. From Interstate-80, exit American Canyon/Hiddenbrooke or Red Top Road, and follow signs to Lynch Canyon.  

Lynch Canyon is owned by Solano Land Trust and is part of the Solano County Parks system. Solano Land Trust protects land to ensure a healthy environment, keep ranching and farming families on their properties, and inspire a love of the land. For more information about Solano Land Trust, its upcoming events and to make a donation, visit www.solanolandtrust.org. Solano County Parks are natural recreational sites where you can pursue healthy and fun outdoor activities. For more information about the Solano County Parks system and upcoming events, visit www.solanocounty.com/parks.

Could that be you?    

We're currently inviting media to visit Redding, the hub city for adventures in Shasta Cascade. It's absolutely beautiful there now, with too many waterfalls to count!

All you need to do is get a story assignment, grab a friend, select the dates you want to visit (2 nights 3 days) and contact me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. I'll do the rest! We host journalists separately and create personalized itineraries so you can experience the activities you want to write about!

To discover all the adventures and attractions Redding and Shasta Cascade offer, and for additional information about the many amenities available, visit www.visitredding.com.

Looking forward to discussing the area with you. Thanks in advance.


Susan Hartzler

Five High-Tech Hunting

Gadgets You May Not Know You Need

Minneapolis, MN (May 5, 2017) - Today’s hunters can choose from a dizzying array of high-tech gadgets, but how many of these devices actually improve our experiences afield? Items that work as advertised and solve common problems in many different hunting applications are well worth the investment. Here are five no-brainers.

Smartphone Mapping App

Next to a good pair of binoculars, maps and geographic reference materials are a hunter’s most valuable scouting tools. And if you haven’t checked what’s available in the way of mapping for your smartphone, tablet or computer these days, boy are you going to be surprised. Apps such as HUNT by onXmaps include detailed satellite images with landowner overlays. While these apps aren’t free, they’re worth every penny in areas fragmented with a mosaic of different landowners. Obtaining permission to hunt private ground just got a whole lot easier. Learn more at HuntingGPSMaps.com.

Thermal Monocular

Once reserved for military and law enforcement use, thermal-imaging technology is becoming better, increasingly affordable, and is now widely available to civilians. FLIR’s Scout TK pocket-sized thermal vision monocular retails for under $600 and is a powerful tool for hunters. The Scout TK works in all lighting conditions, making it the ideal optic for scouting game in full sun, fog or total darkness. In addition to aiding in game recovery, the FLIR Scout TK also helps hunters detect and elude large predators and avoid bumping game animals while traveling to and from hunting stands in the dark. Did I mention it records still images and videos? Learn more at FLIR.com.

Robert Desmarais is no ordinary caretaker, living as he does in a ghost town 8200 feet above sea level. He is also an historian, story teller, geologist, chemist and licensed blaster. He speaks of the people who inhabited this place as if he’d known them all personally, which due to the eerie nature of this town, he might well have. Robert is in the process of putting together a book on the history of the town. Hopefully it will be available before long, as just the few stories he told us made me want to learn more.

On a late April day, snow still thick on the high peaks, I joined the Eastern Sierra 4X4 Club for a trip up the rugged, steep dirt road to Cerro Gordo. We drove south out of Bishop, known as the “Little Town with a Big Back Yard,” and headed south to Lone Pine, where we picked up the 136, the road over to Death Valley. Just past the fading town of Keeler, we turned left and abandoned the highway for a dirt road that wound up eight miles to this historic mining town. Bishop indeed has a very big back yard.

It was clear, long before reaching our destination, that my two wheel drive car wouldn’t have made it, particularly on a steep section with loose rock. A good SUV with fairly high clearance would do just fine in dry weather. A four wheel vehicle could continue on the White Mountain Talc Road, which runs along the ridge and is supposed to return to the 395 at some distance north, but don’t take my word on that before heading out.

Cerro Gordo was considered the Comstock” to Los Angeles, with tons of silver bullion taken from the rich ore in these mountains. The Union, the main mine, drops about 1100 feet straight down, the ore car, still supposedly operational, reaches down 900 feet, and was last used years ago for an Annenberg Foundation video documentary. The foundation paid for the use by restoring the boiler room and pully in the huge building that sits just above the town and can be visited if escorted by Robert.         Over 32 miles of shafts connect to this vertical hole, and there are over 50 total miles of mines at Cerro Gordo. During the mining years, miners got 30 ounces of silver from every ton of ore, which was considered rich ore. While coal miners suffered from Black Lung Disease, silver miners got silicosis from the silica dust. We were shown an underground rebreather that was used by the miners, as sulfur dioxide was a mining hazard.

Complete article to appear in California Explorer.

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