Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Polar Dream

Book: Polar Dream, The First Solo Expedition by a Woman and Her Dog to the Magnetic North Pole
Author: Helen Thayer
Edition: NewSage Press, 2002
Read: Feb 2012
183 pages
Rated: 3 out of 5

This is Helen Thayer's journal of her trip to the magnetic north pole and back. She acquires a dog at the last moment before leaving Resolute Bay in northern Canada. It tells of her preparation and why she wants to do this trip. As a mountain climber, she uses her compass to figure out where she is during a white out condition, which  probably saves her life(2). She becomes very interested becoming the first women to reach the Magnetic North Pole, solo.  Not only that, she is fifty years old and will be pulling 160 pounds of sled, with only a dog to accompany her

She talks about her pre-trip and the local's thoughts on what they felt was her ill fated effort to accomplish her solo task. How one local Inuit musher provided her a dog after she thought over how was she going to protect herself from polar bears.  Which he does and becomes her friend and companion on the trip. The book tells of her adventures with polar bears, storms, ice, and helpful strangers.


Thayer was a world class athlete before this adventure, as well as an experienced mountaineer. She had been an international athlete for New Zealand—her birth country, the United States—her current country, and Guatemala. There is no mention why she competed for Guatemala. But she competed in the luge and the discus. (3) She climbed major peaks on all continents, including those above the 24,000' mark.

One of the reoccurring themes of the book is the need to set goals and plan for all contingencies. She does this over the two years prior to her adventure, with details on what to bring. She takes a two weeks tune up on location,  where she gets to know the people of the area and the environment she will be living in for a month.  But planning can does gets tough when you get conflicting advice. Such as what gun to bring along to stop a polar bear (12). It sounds like in reality, you probably will not be stopping a polar bear with a gun before it is able to hurt you bad. But it does seem like a needed weapon, if for no other reason that you do not feel defenseless.

The eating supplies were pretty basic—wondering what we should or could incorporate into our backpacking experience. Dehydrated rice, whole-milk powder, chocolate powder, oatmeal, granola, graham crackers, peanut butter cups, walnuts, and cashew nuts. Also some sort of high carb drink—maybe Cytomax? (13)  But as she admits, camp cooking is not her forte, nor her need. In her training, she would bring along a loaf of bread per day for her meals. (110)

The main character in the book, besides Thayer, is Charlie. Thayer acquired Charlie from a sympathetic Inuit who was much relieved to find that Thayer would bring a dog. She named him Charlie. This is where you wonder where she came up with the name. While vastly different from Steinbeck's book Travel's with Charlie, part way through the book, I had the feeling of the book should be called Thayer's Travel with Her Charlie. (15)  A good deal of the book is how she developed a trust for Charlie's instincts and the response which Charlie had. An example of this is found on page 96 where she says, It was a precious gift to be trusted and loved by a dog who had never learned trust and had never known human kindness. You can argue about what the Charlie was intending, but this is what Thayer felt. But I do think she goes over the top when she says that Charlie's good opinion was valuable. (127) Or again the thought of betrayal if she used some of his food in the hour of her need. (162) Both of these seem more to do with her than with Charlie's impressions.

Thayer does do a great deal of anthropomorphizing of her relationship with Charlie. Such as when Charlie takes a misstep and gets tangled up with Thayer. Thayer falls and gets made at Charlie. Charlie looks hurt. She resolves not to get upset with Charlie. (66) That in itself is a not possible reaction—if it was, wouldn't we be more patient with our spouses?

She describes her husband with the phrase he had a curiosity to see over the other side of the hill. (3) I think this is great. I like the guy.

She says that one of the reasons for her expedition was to learn to exist alone. (84) This was in context of a snowmobile expedition which was also going to the Magnetic North Pole. They turned back in a storm. She expressed relief that she would not meet up with them with the above sentiment. There is a couple of things which I find curious about her reason. First, did she exist alone? She did have radio contact and I assume the ability to call in a rescue flight, if possible. Also there was her companion, Charlie who was at her constant side. If she meant without human companionship, yes she did and you could tell the effects throughout the book. There was the part of knowing herself better and her capabilities. But there are also places where a second opinion would have served her well.

But even more so, the term, learn to exist brings in even more of a question. Do we do things which stretches our limits to exist or to learn about ourselves? To do more than just survive?

One of the interesting thing brought out by this book is her talking about what is the Magnetic North Pole. Evidently it moves around an area, sometimes a hundred miles in a day. So when scientists talk about the magnetic North Pole's location, they talk about the mean. (4)

One of the favorite items which I enjoyed is her bringing in the history of an area. Such as when the Franklin expedition got stuck in the area and perished. (25) Since this past summer I have found more and more abut Franklin and his wife. This was an interesting tie-in.

Bears, polar bears specifically, are Thayer's chief nemesis. She talks about what polar bears mean to the Inuit people (5). But also the dangers associated with them. She already knew how to use a gun from her upbringing. What she did not know was how to read the intentions of a polar bear. She got that training from the Inuits. (14). But as it turned out her best warning device was Charlie. She also realizes that the best plan for survival against the bears is to make it to the Pole and back, quick. No lagging around. (71)

Other problems she faced were:
  • Depth perception. Not only during white out conditions, but when the sun was blocked. She could not see the little shadows we all take for granted when we walk around things. At those times, she had to slow down so she would not stumble. (73)
  • Storms. To most of us, a rise in temperature brings relief from the Winter cold. To Thayer, a rise in temperature means a storm is approaching. So she prefers the cold of -45F to the warmth of -5F because of the winds and the storms which will come. This comes to a head when she nears the Magnetic North Pole. A storm slams into her when she is unprotected, tearing much of her supplies away. It also leaves her injured enough where she has blurry vision. (149)
  • Hunger. After the last storm, she needed to complete a week's worth of her journey with a water of the amount of water desired and about a day's worth of food.
  • Foastbite. This was from the first day when she had to search for her heavy gloves.
  • Thin or cracking ice. In most cases,  could use her ski's to balance out the stress over a crack in the ice (98). But in one case, where Charlie tried to warn her, the crack in the ice was more like a see-saw, where her weight sank an end of the floe. (142)

For a person who is a mountain climber, she makes a puzzling statement—she wanted to get away to a place where she was no longer dwarfed by her surroundings. This was around Sargent Point, where the cliffs loomed high over her, and to her were intimidating. Maybe because she was alone, or the particular characteristics of the cliffs, they were frightening, but it does seem like a strange reaction from a mountain climber. Or it may be because of being alone, every sense took on a stronger perspective. (98)

Part of Thayer's desire was to bring the Arctic experience to school age children. From the book, this was her first endeavor in this area. The book does not explain why she felt a strong need to do this. But since her return, she has started up a web site dedicated to bringing the Arctic to schools-see below.

She talks about lessons learned. The first was because during the plane trip, her sled got jumbled up and things were thrown around. She let some well-meaning people reload her sled. This lead to the first major crisis when she stopped on the first day and could not find her heavy gloves. Her first lesson was to learn to say No when she needed to. (20).  The payment for the lesson was frostbitten hands, which she had to deal with the entire trip. Another lesson is that fear is part of life, but you do not need to be overcome by fear. (23). This became an issue as she faced several polar bears over the course of the first several days. She learned that fear can beat you down and weaken you. But when confronted, you can stand against the fears and negate the wear and tear on you. Her mantra became Only emotional discipline is going to get me to the Pole. I have to push my fears behind me and think ahead to my final goal. (51) This, in part, is aided by routine, such as her skiing and navigational work. (79) Also another lesson for my own experience is that doing things in the cold or wind, and I will add rain, takes longer to do and your are more prone to mistakes. (66)

She also learns to face the physically tough challenges of a major expedition is one thing when you are part of a group. There is both the rigor of trying to uphold your end of the task and not let people down. But there is the comfort of having others around when you face doubts and obstacles you have a hard time overcoming when alone. But when you are alone, you have no one else to share your fears and concerns, to help with the chores, to let you take a little time off. This can be wearing on a long trip. (41) She notes that there is no way to prepare for the mindset required to be totally alone in the polar desert. (79)

One of the things she does to combat the mental exhaustion is to look back on her successes as well as the current moment of failure. She calls this her debits and credits. When she is down, she pulls from the credit stack. (70) But she also notes that a critical factor in an effort like her's is the to push on through discomfort and deprivation. It is the goal which pushes you. (134)

One of the debits is an incident of a fox which turned into a polar bear cub which turned into a full sized  polar bear. This was under a low light situation where Thayer was seeing outlines rather  images. The perspective was lost. So the size of the animal was lost until she started to approach the bear. After methodically backing away and firing her flare gun to scare away the bear, she decides that all animals are full sized polar bears until proven different. (80-81)

Religion does not seem to consume too much of Thayer. Except for a few “calling on the Lord” times of trouble, and a reference to the only reading material was a new Testament, (110) the book does not have any religious bent to it.

She concludes the book with the realization that even as she left her pickup point on the plane, looking back, her tracks were being swept away by the wind. There was little physically remaining of her trip. The only thing left was her memories, and Charlie.


This is not one of those great exploration books. The prose is written pretty singular, along the lines of this is what happened. Which in some ways is a relief to some of the self-examination books on an adventure or the why in the world did this person take off like that. This is a women of experience talking about her adventure in her own words. So in that respect it is refreshing.

Notes from my book group:

The book group thought that Thayer was a bit crazy for doing this. Also we had a discussion about was she or any other activity like this putting other people's lives in danger? There was talk about other explorers who did die—where they not just as crazy?

New Words:
  • nanuk(5): polar bear
  • kamotik(13): wooden sled
  • lenticular (108) stationary lens-shaped  clouds, that form at high altitudes, normally aligned perpendicular to the wind direction.

Good Quotes:
  • It was the learning experience and the struggle to overcome the challenges that made the journey rewarding and the prize previous. (154)


Thursday, March 15, 2012

Desert Drama: The Tragedy of the Korosko

Book:Desert Drama: The Tragedy of the Korosko
Author: Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
Edition: ePub, from
Read:  March 2012
181 pages
Rated: 3 1/2 out of 5

An assortment of nationalities are on a cruise boat going up the Nile River in Egypt while England still retains control of that country in the 1890's. There are a couple Americans women, a couple of Irish descent, some Englishmen, including a retired colonel who served in India, and a Frenchmen. There had been unrest from the Dervish population from Somalian who are a sect of Muslims. But the unrest has been put down and things appear peaceful.

This party goes out on a trip to some ruins when a band of the Dervish soldiers capture them. The story tells of trip across the desert on camel back and the agonies of having to choose between converting to Islam and subsequently being sold into slavery, or being put to death. Of course, there is a rescue attempt.

In the second chapter, Doyle has a discussion between an American and a Frenchman about why is Britain in Egypt. It is the Frenchman's opinion it is just to extract wealth from Egypt and to exert power. A few minutes later, a Brit wonders why England is still in Egypt since it is only a drain on Britain. Let the other countries defend Egypt. But then a third makes Doyle's case for keeping in Egypt:  it is because it is right to do so, even if it is unpopular or drain on a country's resources. (27). Three thoughts cross my mind:
  • First, what makes a nation great? It is not merely the accumalation of property, like a real-life Risk game. But it is what a nation does that makes it great. A great nation will stand up and defend those nations who are weak, to allow themselves to grow. It will stand up for rightness.
  • That leads to the second thought. A nation must have the moral direction to understand what is right and to want to proper gate it.
  • Lastly, do we as Americans have the moral compass to be a great nation? Do we know what is right? Or are we only millions of jabbering voices without understanding. I think at one time we knew what was right. There was a time in our nations history when we discovered the people in control had a shroud of morals, but not the flesh to go with it. Rather than repudiate them, we decided that we would not be lead astray again, so we will not be lead when a leader does come along with morals. Consequently, we wander without leading and morals.
Those are the ruins, solitary, unseen, unchanging through the centuries, which appeal to one's imagination. But when I present a check at the door, and go in as if it were Barnum's show, all the subtle feeling of romance goes right out of it. There seems to be a theme in many of my readings, which Doyle is picking up on. As we make places more accessible, we lose how to look on something. By making it easy to go to the ocean, it loses its power to heal; by making a road to the mountains, serenity disappears; by being shown art or remains, we no longer are in awe of them. I am not going Edward Abbey, but there should be a place in each of our lives where we can have a struggle to get to, making it special to us.

The Colonel is a typical very starchy Brit with much pride and even more honor. When it comes to ask an Egyptian for advice, it takes a lot to break him down to ask. I do not think Doyle meant this as a critique on the British, but it does show how our strengths can be our biggest weakness at times.

his Indian service had left him with a curried-prawn temper, which had had an extra touch of cayenne added to it by his recent experiences.”(115) nothing particular thought provoking, I just like this description of the Colonel's temper.

Doyle can create a bit of understated humor as well. The Colonel, during ordeal, aged considerably. His usual robust appearance, lagged. Overnight his hair turned from black to gray. But at the end, Doyle talks about how anymore the Colonel would now always tuck a little black bottle in his coat when they were traveling.

   Even though this is Arthur Conan Doyle, this is not Sherlock Holmes and Scotland Yard. It is an entertaining book about tourists in 1890 or so Egypt who get captured by insurgents. It is written right in the middle of the Sherlock Holmes-Doyle did write several novels and short stories other than the master crime solver ones. It is fairly short, without mystery. Probably at the time, it was of interest to those in England because of circumstances in Egypt.

Is it worth a read today? Yes, but not a must read, but an interesting one from a good writer. One warning: a lot of language acceptable in 1890's, particularly concerning races and religions may be offensive to those reading it today. On the other hand, Doyle's descriptions will be reticent of some of the events in this day and age.


New Words:
  • dragoman(14): a professional interpreter.
  • emeute(20): A seditious tumult; an outbreak.
  • Dervishes: someone treading a Sufi Muslim ascetic path or "Tariqah", known for their extreme poverty and austerity. The Dervish State was an early 20th-century Somali Sunni Islamic state that was established by Muhammad Abdullah Hassan ("Mad Mullah"), a religious leader who gathered Somali soldiers from across the Horn of Africa and united them into a loyal army known as the Dervishes.
  • reductio ad absurdum(25): "reduction to absurdity; a common form of argument which seeks to demonstrate that a statement is true by showing that a false, untenable, or absurd result follows from its denial, or in turn to demonstrate that a statement is false by showing that a false, untenable, or absurd result follows from its acceptance.
  • piastres(31): a fractional monetary unit of Egypt, Lebanon, and Syria worth one hundredth of a pound; formerly also used in the Sudan
  • hoopoes(42): a colourful bird found across Afro-Eurasia, notable for its distinctive "crown" of feathers.
  • doora(67): In Irish the word Dúr means "water", and Dúire means "of water", so the name means the parish of the water or bog.
  • jibbehs(68): 
  • cummerbund(72): a broad waist sash, usually pleated, which is often worn with single-breasted dinner jackets (or tuxedos). The cummerbund was first adopted by British military officers in colonial India as an alternative to a waistcoat, and later spread to civilian use
  • reis(74): head, chief, leader
  • tibbin(79): 
  • Baedeker(114): German publisher, notably of guidebooks for travelers; any of the series of guidebooks for travelers issued by the him or his successors; anyguidebook, pamphlet, or the like, containing information useful to travelers:
  • anodyne(165): not likely to provoke dissent or offense; inoffensive, often deliberately so. (Or a painkilling drug)
  • khor(167): watercourse, ravine
  • carmine(180): A purplish-red pigment, made from dye obtained from the cochineal beetle; carminic acid or any of its derivatives

Good Quotes:
  • First Line: The public may possibly wonder why it is that they have never heard in the papers of the fate of the passengers of the Korosko.
  • Last Line: “You have," said he, and their hands met under the shadow of the table”.
  •  There is no iconoclast in the world like an extreme Mohammedan. Pg 26
  • A man or a nation is not here upon this earth merely to do what is pleasant and profitable. It is often called upon to carry out what is unpleasant and unprofitable; but if it is obviously right, it is mere shirking not to undertake it. Pg 27
  • I prefer the ruins that I have not seen to those which I have. Pg 42
  • anything is better than stagnation. Pg 99
  • one-ideaed man is only one remove from a dead man. Pg 99
  • Misfortune brings the human spirit to a rare height, but the pendulum still swings. Pg 129


Thursday, March 8, 2012

A Walk Along Land's End

Author: John McKinney
Edition: First Edition, Hardback, HarperCollinsWest
Read: March 2012
238 pages
Rated: 3 out of 5

The book started as a walk for the California Coastal Trails Foundation—a group trying to map a plausible coastal trail for California. He gives this up to explore himself rather than write another guide book. He still has the thought in mind throughout the book.

What changed his emphasis from trail building and reporting was the destruction of the coast line. From the border with Baja California northward he founds significant places of development, and not just in the cities. This is a theme throughout the book from San Diego to Los Angeles, to Santa Barbara and northward to Santa Cruz and even on the Lost Coast. He dislikes the thought of even planned wilderness. He figures why plan the wilderness when it has been quite nicely for thousands of years?

So you get word pictures of what is so glorious about California and its coast and how we are spoiling paradise. He loosely follows the trail of his guide, the 1913 author Joseph Smeaton Chase and his book California Coastal Trails. You hear interesting stories of the area—both present and past.

McKinney says this is not a guidebook, not even a guide to trails he was on, but more a guide to the path taken by my feet and by my heart. (xiii)

On the California coast, dry equals warm. (xvi)

McKinney meets up with two German tourists in Torrey Pines State Park. They ask the question, Why do you go? He is at a lost to answer the question. He then thinks and tells them that he came to get lost, lost in the palm and pine, lost for a time from metropolitan life, lost in the challenge of a long trail, lost in what remain of the will California coast. (28) Evidently this was not satisfactory to the tourists because they scurry off. But to me, this is similar to a quote from Randy Moregenson in the Last Season by Eric Blehm(314)--Here’s your one chance to get lost, fall in the creek, find a beautiful place.  Later on McKinney says that he goes to places like Torrey Pines because they celebrate life,... because they have been made by humands to set aside a place where we can see, feel and touch the living remnants of a once wild coastline. (30)

He talks about the inner conflict he feels, between wanting to put on the miles and the traveler who wants to experience. (33)

As he goes, he ponders Dana's and Chase's works and the land they describe in 1835 and 1912. He then realizes that even his more recent 1960's memories of an area are no more relevant 30 years later. I wonder what he would think now, 15 years after that? Particularly since McKinney is only 1 year older than me and I remember some of the same things he does. (42) Or even how I remember the mountains I visited as a youth.

He mets up with the family of Carl Ghormley, who not only walked all of the California beaches in 18 years, but started a significant charity to help Mexican children (died in 2005). As they were walking, the discussion turned to how his family related to the beach. He said that it was easy to walk and not see anything. You have to keep your senses open, seek it out, try to understand. (57) They then talk about how California seems to vanquish its history by ignoring it. Also they expressed their emotions about finishing their walk—a kind of sorrow at finishing the project. (59).

There is a chapter where he passes by his childhood area of Santa Barbara. He describes his feelings of seeing the tar and oil. He helped clean up birds from the 1969 Santa Barbara oil spill and talks about how it turned him into a conservationist and distrustful of the influence money can bring to a situation. (88) In the book he talks about how he has been assured that a Santa Barbara oil spill cannot happen again since all sorts of precautions are taken. Of course, there is a tinge of doubt considering powerful men downplayed the damage inflected upon the wildlife of the area. Also this was written 14 years before the Gulf oil spill. You just wonder what McKinney thinks.

The ethics of how you live is woven in McKinney's story. Such as the Los Padres ranger who rather than give his tool to someone else to maintain, he sharpens it. The idea that specialization is not necessarily better. This ranger is a generalist in the age of specialists.

How to manage or a better phrase, let be the wild areas of our State is one of the central questions in the book. McKinney is afraid that wild areas will be managed and tamed by well meaning plans rather than setting apart wide areas and just letting it be.

Part of the trip is going through the Diablo Canyon area, where he was once arrested for trespassing and protesting. It is interesting reading his history of leading a group of fellow protesters through the wild to get arrested at a different place than the rest of the protesters. And then his take on seeing the area 15 years later. He is part of the ceremony opening the Pecho Coast Trail, paid for by PG&E.

In a way, McKinney asks a pertinent quest, Is the end of the big cone spruce the end of southern California?  (158) He had just commented on the the Big Cone Spruce is only found as far north as Santa Barbara County. But through out the book he broods on how we are doing away with what made California a paradise while putting up condo's, shopping centers and the like in our bid to develop everything.. He is very much of an advocate of creating a vision of the coastal use—not as a place to play, but as a living thing in which we are trusted with. (180)

I do love his description of the Russian Orthodox patriarch coming to Fort Ross. He gives a service there, commemorating 200 years of presence. Then at the close, he lights a cannon, with a boyish grin and is excited by the roar and flame.

Later on he talks about his relationship with religion. When he visits the redwoods of Northern California, he seeks out a place called the Redwood Monastery. They have tried to find a place in their lives by setting right relationships with God, man and the natural world around them. In the process, they have been able to purchase a sizable area of old growth redwoods for a place called Sanctuary Grove. He talks about how the Catholic church has been a sanctuary for refugees. This monastery looks at this mission as being a sanctuary for wildlife and nature. (224)

He also talks about a picture he saw there, Christ by Jamini Roy. It shows a transparent cross. McKinney's comment is that it is Christ which transforms us, not the cross. But it is his guide, Sister Diane who talks about neither the lumber company nor them, nor conservations who own the forest. Their goal is to ask, with Christ's blessing, mercy on for the earth. (226)

On McKinney's personal belief, he states that he is both a Christian and a conservationist, but one who does not believe in an Old Testament God.  He specifically signals out where God has intervened in the natural order of things—parting of the Red Sea and stopping of the sun for Joshua. He is a man who believes that God is out there and does not participate in this world. And yet we do see McKinney seeing Christ transforming us, not through the cross but through Christ. He does sound like someone whose belief system is not very well formed. (233)

But the part which attracts me is the tension he feels between his Christianity and his conservationism. He says that he can believe in a God which has ordered and given meaning to natural history. He also goes on and states that we cannot avoid our stewardship of the earth by either ignoring it or leaving it to God to handle. McKinney calls us to be part of the human drama of conservation and before calling on God. Where I part with McKinney is in a couple of places, not with the goals, but with what he sees as the relationship with God. I view this as a partnership with God, where we are stewards for him. So I do not see a tension here. I see the tension more with a fallen world of humanity and the mess we are in is because we do not have our purposes aligned with God's.

His conclusion is the that he has gone from exaltation—gladness of experiencing the beauty, and grandeur of what he has experienced. Then to the despair of where man has replaced nature with its shopping centers and parking lots—he uses the word desecration. Then to where he leaves us. The coast is a place in itself, not as a relationship with him.

 McKinney succeeded in not making this a guide book as it is more of his thoughts as he travels the coast. So in that way, he is like John Muir and other people who tell of their travels and advocate the need for wilderness. Did it change my views? No since I am in the same camp. Will it move me to advocacy? Maybe. He is more heavy handed and his thoughts are too impressionistic for my tastes. But it has not been a waste of time of time to read. It gives me a better understanding of coastal issues, but maybe not how to advocate for them.

New Words:
  • paseo (34):  1. A leisurely stroll. 2. A place or path designed for walking. 3. A street or boulevard.
  • Pulaski (124): a single-bit ax with an adze-shaped hoe extending from the back
  • aeolian (135):  wind

Good Quotes:
  • Going to the mountains is going home. John Muir, San Francisco Bulletin, August 3, 1875
  • It seems to me we already spend too much time quantifying California and not enough time knowing it. (xv)
  • Old maps are best; they have more of the places I like to visit. Newer maps tell of bigger places, crowds and asphalt, geography I prefer to avoid. (xvii)
  • Why should sixteen be the only society-sanctioned age for rebellion? Like wine, rebellion tastes better with age. (37)
  • Improvise a trail at the right time in history and you're honored as a hero and get a plaque. Improvise a trail at the wrong time in history and you are threatened with arrest. (97)
  • Beauty itself is not heartbreaking. Beauty that's unobtainable, beauty that's defaces, will break your heart every time. (147)
  • I've always been more than a little uncomfortable with contemplating inner nature when there's so much outer nature around me. My ways have never been as interesting a study to me as nature's. (162)
  • We sly hikes know that just because a trail vanishes from the map doesn't mean it vanishes from the face of the earth. (163)
  • One meets out-of-the-way characters, naturally, in out-of-the-way places. (168)
  • roads now make the coast easier to reach, but harder to know. (169)
  • Prayer may be a far better defense against evil than cannon, but it's not nearly as much fun. (198)
  • We all need one place on the map, one place in our hearts that is lost. In a wild place, lost from the mean streets, we can find ourselves, our best selves. (219)
  • The growth of redwoods can be measured by counting their rings. By what measure can we determine the growth of human consciousness? (232)

  • McKinney's website, The TrailMaster
  • Chase, Joseph Smeaton, California Coast Trails, Written in 1913
  • Dana, Richard Henry, Two Years Before the Mast, written 1835
  • Backbone Trail
  • California Coastal Trail
  1. Web Site
  2. Wikipedia
  3. California Coastal Commission