Monday, April 22, 2013

T is for TERRA FIRMA!


TERRA FIRMA – Solid Earth

Today is Earth Day. I actually remembered to use my cloth shopping bags when I went to the grocery store today. I hate to admit I'm not the best at recycling, or conserving energy, although I take VERY short showers and I am always turning off lights, so there's that. I also abhor littering, and my girls have seen me pick up other people's trash and walk over to the ridiculously close trash can muttering about "lazy idiots" and "some people's kids"....and I have participated in a couple Project AWARE Southern California beach cleanups in the past, including an underwater clean up (we found nothing, which is actually good). Oh, and I do recycle at work and add to my friend's compost stuff. So...I may not be  anywhere near winning a prize for conservation efforts on a grand scale, but I try to help in my own small ways. (We will not discuss my use of printed paper vs. pdfs which I loathe trying to decipher edits from so I print them out anyway...but wait. We are not discussing that...)

In regards to our beautiful Earth, here are a handful of links about some of the places in a small corner of the globe called California that I care about as well as to Project AWARE and the United State's recycling program:

Project AWARE a non-profit organization whose aim is to teach the world about conserving our aquatic realm.

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle the Environmental Protection Agency's website about recycling.

My Own 100 Hikes A blog by a regular joe who loves hiking and photographing his treks in and around California and other parts of the world. I just like his stuff. Hiking and photography. What's not to love?

Peters Canyon Regional Park – More hiking, this time very close to home. I love to go out around 7:30 in the morning when it's quiet and cool. If you take the perimeter trail and add in the lake loop, it's a gnarly and rigorous 7 mile workout. Watch for horses and mountain bikers. And strollers, later in the day. Oh, and REALLY fit people that you just want to trip the third time they run by you as you die from a heart attack going up ANOTHER hill...(by the way, the people in the photograph on the page...not human. No human can run up that hill and still smile. THEY'RE DROIDS...hisssssssssssss).

Joshua Tree – Well, this is a magical place for me...hiking in the canyons, hunting for crystals (shhhhh, don't tell the park rangers...I know, I know, that's not very conservationyish), or simply sitting out under the stars and listening to the quiet of the desert...this is a beautiful place. U2 thought so, and so do I. :)

Big Sur – My heart lives here. One of the most incredible places to spend time. I love camping in the redwoods at Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park. There is also a Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park which is hike-in environmental camping.

Laguna Beach, CA And more hiking still. Laguna Beach boasts an incredible network of trails along Laguna Canyon Road. Then, of course, there's the actual beach city that is a destination for many folks from all over the world. It is difficult to remember that sometimes since I have always lived so close to it and grew up going there with my folks to the Festival of the Arts, including the Pageant of the Masters. There's lots of arty shops, there's Wyland's gallery, art galleries and fancy schmancy dining (can you say Las Brisas?) all over the place. Of course, it's free to lay on the beach and soak up the sun and sights. Oh, and how can I forget??? I did my PADI Open Water Scuba Diver course at Diver's Cove and Shaw's Cove (oi, the stairs)!

Catalina Underwater Park and speaking of scuba and Terra not so Firma: This underwater park is the nicest way to get a dive in. Take the flyer over to Avalon, trek down a teensy flight of stairs into the rocky water and swim out a few yards...drop down the line and you're in heaven underwater. I love diving here.

Monterey Bay Aquarium  Let me just say: OTTERS!!!! Ohmigosh, they have some beautiful otters there. This is one of my favorite places to visit in California. Central California with its Redwoods and beautiful coastline, and this aquarium is there to showcase the environment. Plus it's smack-dab in Cannery Row and there's lots of good eating around, including a Bubba Gump restaurant (you remember Bubba Gump from the movie Forrest Gump?? Cmon...) where you can sit on a bench with a fake suitcase and try to replicate Forrest and his "Momma says life is like a box of chocolates..." monologue.There's a lot more, but it's late and I need to go to bed!

Goodnight, talk to you tomorrow...

– Kris

P.S. Thank you Earth for taking care of us. I hope we learn how to take better care of you sooner than later...

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