READ THIS! Former National Park Service Director Jon Jarvis’ message regarding Trump:

READ THIS!

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From the Association of National Park Rangers (US)
Former National Park Service Director Jon Jarvis’ message regarding Trump:
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This morning former Director Jon Jarvis made this statement about recent events involving the National Park Service:

“I have been watching the Trump administration trying unsuccessfully to suppress the National Park Service with a mix of pride and amusement. The NPS is the steward of America’s most important places and the narrator of our most powerful stories, told authentically, accurately, and built upon scientific and scholarly research. The Park Ranger is a trusted interpreter of our complex natural and cultural history and a voice that cannot not be suppressed. Edicts from on-high have directed the NPS to not talk about “national policy”, but permission is granted to use social media for visitor center hours and safety. The ridiculousness of such a directive was immediately resisted and I am not the least bit surprised. So at Martin Luther King Jr. National Historic Site in Atlanta should we not talk about his actions to secure the rights to vote for African Americans in the south, or is that too “national policy”? At Stonewall National Monument in New York City, shall we only talk about the hours you can visit the Inn or is it “national policy” to interpret the events there in 1969 that gave rise to the LGBT movement? Shall we only talk about the historic architecture of the Washington, DC home of Alice Paul and Alva Belmont or is it too “national policy” to suggest their decades of effort to secure the rights of women can be linked directly to the women’s marches in hundreds of cities last weekend? And as we scientifically monitor the rapid decline of glaciers in Glacier National Park, a clear and troubling indicator of a warming planet, shall we refrain from telling this story to the public because the administration views climate change as “national policy”? These are not “policy” issues, they are facts about our nation, it is how we learn and strive to achieve the ideals of our founding documents. To talk about these facts is core to the mission of the NPS. During the Centennial of the National Park Service, we hosted over 300 million visitors (now that is huge) to the National Parks and most came away inspired, patriotic and ready to speak on behalf of the values we hold most dear. The new Administration would be wise to figure out how to support the National Park Service, its extraordinary employees and their millions of fans.”

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hawaii 128b

Kilauea meets the sea. Volcanoes National Park – Big Island Hawaii

JOIN NOW! You don’t have to be a park ranger to “Like” what they stand for – or even to join ANPR as a full-fledged member! The have categories for park employees, students and park supporters. http://www.anpr.org (RIGHT CLICK and “OPEN IN NEW WINDOW”)

NOTE: A freeze on federal government hiring was instituted on January 24, 2017 by executive order. The memo, which does not apply to military personnel, states that “no vacant positions existing at noon on January 22, 2017, may be filled and no new positions may be created, except in limited circumstances”

Trump put a freeze on federal government hiring, and it could seriously impact the National Park Service and the need to hire thousands of seasonal rangers and other employees for the summer! Beyond seasonal positions, there are many permanent positions that parks are trying to fill and people who have already been offered permanent jobs but haven’t begun working… this will definitely affect the visitor experience and park safety!

Hawaii 28 - Hana Maui

Waimoku Falls – Haleakala National Park in Hana-Maui, Hawaii

DON’T LET THEM SELL OUR FEDERAL LANDS
TO THE LOGGING, MINING & OIL COMPANIES!

PROTECT THE ENDANGERED SPECIES ACT!
CLIMATE CHANGE IS REAL! (NOT A HOAX)

http://www.sierraclub.org
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“O beautiful for spacious skies, For amber waves of grain,
For purple mountain majesties. Above the fruited plain! 
America! America! G-d shed his grace on thee.”
– America the Beautiful
from a poem written by Katharine Lee Bates in 1893
(after a visit to Pikes Peak in Colorado)
music composed by Samuel A. Ward

Pikes Peak, named in honor of American explorer Zebulon Pike, is one of the highest summit of the Rocky Mountains in North America. The 14,115-foot mountain top is located in Pike National Forest, 12 miles southwest of downtown Colorado Springs. The summit of Pikes Peak is a high alpine environment with a polar climate due to its elevation. Snowfall is possible year round at the top and thunderstorms are common in the summertime. Pikes Peak, above 14000 feet, was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1961.

http://www.nps.gov
Yosemite 39

JoshWillTravel in the Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias – Yosemite National Park

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Yosemite, California

JoshWillTravel in Yosemite National Park (Wawona Tunnel Picture Point)

 

Travel Answers: Yosemite!

ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS ABOUT YOSEMITE!

HOW MANY DAYS IN YOSEMITE VALLEY? 

It depends on how much of the park you want to explore or if you just want to see Yosemite Valley.Allow at least three days! You should add more days if you want to really see everything! It also depends on how active a hiker you are. There are great things to do and many day trips with varying degrees of difficulty you can experience in and around the park.

WHAT ARE “MUST SEE” SIGHTS AND THINGS TO DO? 

In Yosemite Valley, ride the Shuttlebus, walk the valley paths and bridges, raft or inner tube down the river, tour the valley in an open air tram, hike to Mirror Lake, picnic at Sentinel Beach Picnic Area, hike to the top of any of the waterfalls or around the rim of the valley or to the top of Half Dome, climb El Capitan. Visit Yosemite Village and see the Visitor Center and the Ansel Adams Gallery, shop at Curry Village and be sure to check out the Ahwahnee Hotel.

REMEMBER YOU ARE IN BEAR COUNTRY!

There are other areas to see within the park or just outside: Tuolumne Meadows, Mariposa Groveand the Giant Sequoia Redwood Trees, Wawona Point (and historic hotel), skiing at Yosemite’s Badger Pass in winter), Bass Lake, Oakhurst, and many others. You should allow 1-3 days or more for each area depending on how active a hiker/camper/skier/snowboarder you are.

If you want to experience the backcountry as a backpacker/camper you should plan 3-14 day trips. there are great areas in and around the park. I’ve been to the Tiltill Valley above Hetch Hetchy Loop and down the South Fork Merced River in the Sierra National Forest, both of which were excellent backpacking trips! Be sure to learn the necessary skills and the park rules and regulations before entering the wilderness.

You are also close to Lee Vining, Mammoth Mountain and Mono Lake State Preserve which are near the east entrance to the park.

See also John Muir Trail and the Yosemite Park website for more info.

MOSQUITOES? 

Yes, there are mosquitoes in Yosemite National Park! They primarily feed at dusk and dawn, but you should be prepared and use repellent all day and night if you have reactions. From the http://www.nps.gov website:

  • Many mosquitoes are most active at dusk and dawn, mainly during the summer. Be sure to use insect repellent and wear long sleeves and pants or consider staying indoors during these hours. Ticks cling to plants, waiting for a host (you) to walk by; walk down the middle of trails and avoid areas with high grass and leaf litter.
  • Use an effective insect repellent.
    Repellents containing DEET, picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus, or IR3535 typically provide reasonably long-lasting protection against mosquitoes, but the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends repellents containing DEET or permethrin to repel ticks.

WHERE TO STAY?

Accommodations in the park range from tent and camp sites, RV sites, covered campsites, tent cabins, and hotel rooms. You need to make reservations for any of the concession vendors a long time in advance at nps.gov and there are lots of rules and regulations you need to be aware of before and during your visit.

In Yosemite Valley, the Ahwahnee Hotel is a luxury resort and the Yosemite Lodge at the Fallsis more of a family hotel/motel. Curry Village has tent cabins and some hotel/motel type rooms as well. There are a few campgrounds with covered camp sites, tent sites and rv sites if you want the full experience of “roughing it”.

The historic Wawona Hotel and Tuolumne Meadows Lodge (tent cabins and campsites only) are both inside the park concessionaires on the rim of the valley. Near Wawona there is the Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoia Redwood Trees and skiing in winter at Yosemite’s Badger Pass and Toulomne Meadows and Tenaya Lake are worth the trip when the roads are open and there is a grove of Giant Sequoias there as well.

There are a number of hotels, condos for rent, cabins and campgrounds just outside the park too.

CAMPING?

Do you have a reservation? Most of the campsites in Upper, Lower, and North Pines Campground for summer are “sold out” before May! If you don’t have reservations, you can try to get a campsite in the valley on the day you are there, or there’s “Backpacker’s Camp” (Camp 4) which is “first-come/first-served”.

From the National Park Service website:

“Yosemite National Park has 13 campgrounds, of which up to seven are on a reservation system. From April through September, reservations are essential and even the first-come first-served campgrounds often fill by noon from May through September.

CAMPGROUND RESERVATIONS?

Reservations are required from about March 15 through November for Yosemite Valley’s car campgrounds and summer through fall for Hodgdon Meadow, Crane Flat, Wawona, and half of Tuolumne Meadows. Campground reservations are available in blocks of one month at a time, up to five months in advance, on the 15th of each month at 7 am Pacific time. Be aware that nearly all reservations for the months of May through September and for some other weekends are filled the first day they become available, usually within seconds or minutes after 7 am!”

Here is the link to the nps.gov site: www.nps.gov/yose/planyourvisit/camping.htm

NOTE: Check and see if Housekeeping Camp in Yosemite Valley is still available! If you can’t get camping in the valley, there are campgrounds in the park on the rim (about an hour from the valley) and just outside the park as well. Camp Wawona is on the rim near the Wawona Hotel, Yosemite’s Badger Pass, Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias and Glacier Point. Wawona is also close to Oakhurst which is a real town with markets, laundromats, restaurants, etc. Soquel Campground and Crane Flat Campground are farther away.

COOKING IN YOSEMITE PARK?

INFO FOR WAWONA (AND OTHER) CAMPGROUNDS?

From the NPS.gov website: “Each campsite contains a fire ring, picnic table, and food locker [33″(D)x45″(W)x18″(H)], and is near a bathroom with potable water and flushing toilets. You are required to store food properly in order to protect Yosemite’s bears.

In out-of-Valley campgrounds, fires are permitted at any time. Fires must always be attended and put out completely with water when not attended (do not let them smolder). Firewood collection (including pine cones and pine needles) is not permitted in Yosemite. We discourage visitors from bringing firewood from more than 50 miles away to prevent spread of forest pests. You can purchase firewood at stores near most campgrounds.

Camp wastewater must be disposed of in designated utility drains.”

The fire rings may have a grill, but you should plan on bringing EVERYTHING you want to have for cooking. There’s lots of information online about camping and camp cooking, so spend a little time researching “camp hacks” etc. so you’ll have some ideas.

Plan your meals, bring your ingredients and spices, if you’re car camping and you have room, bring the comforts you want. Keep it simple! Things you can cook in and with boiling water, things you can grill over a fire, things you can wrap in foil/cook in the fire, and things you don’t have to cook are best.

Remember to bring bottled WATER, cooking and eating utensils, can opener, corkscrew, trash bags and cleaning stuff that isn’t harmful to the environment!

HOW TO GET THERE?

If you’re flying in, you’re going to have to land in San Francisco, San Jose, Oakland or Los Angeles. Each has it positives and negatives, so base your decision on the cost of airfare and then determine the best mode of transport from your destination city.

Rent a car (get unlimited mileage plus insurance) or take Amtrak (train and bus combo) from Los Angeles or San Francisco/Oakland. The bus will take you right into Yosemite National Park and drop you atYosemite Lodge at the Falls and it’s both less expensive and cleaner than driving! www.amtrak.com/san-joaquin-train

The drive from Los Angeles is about 6 hours, and you’ll travel the 5 freeway to interstate 99 through Bakersfield, Fresno and the Central Valley to interstate 41 into Yosemite.

The drive from the Bay Area is about 4 and 1/2 hours (could be longer with traffic) on highway 580 through San Leandro and Livermore to highway 205 through Manteca to interstate 120 into Yosemite.

NOTE: If you’re driving in the Sierra Mountains in the Fall, be prepared for rain and snow at higher elevations, some roads may require tire chains (sometimes a problem with a rental vehicle).

There are also tour companies that have chartered buses that will take you into the park, or backpack/bus adventure travel companies like Green Tortoise from San Francisco that include more than just transport: www.greentortoise.com/adventures/yosemite-national-park-tour-3d.php

NOTE: If you’re going to take a chartered bus, make sure the company is CA state licensed and check their safety and consumer record before buying a ticket!

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Phyllis Patterson RIP – She changed my life!

 

Phyllis Patterson RIP – She changed my life!

not my pic, Phyllis in the Costume trailer in Devore riding a broom

Vicky Nebeker’s pic of Phyllis riding a broom in the Costume trailer – Devore 1993

Many Tributes have been posted for a remarkable woman who passed away yesterday morning. Here is mine:

On May 11-12, 1963 schoolteacher Phyllis Patterson held a class activity in the backyard of her home in the Hollywood Hills. She and her husband, Ron Patterson presented the first Renaissance Pleasure Faire as a weekend fundraiser for radio station KPFK to 8000 people. The Faire was designed as an actual spring market fair of the Elizabethan period.

Phyllis Patterson RIP

Phyllis Patterson RIP

Phyllis Patterson RIP

Phyllis Patterson RIP

Phyllis Patterson RIP and Ivan doin' the Cocktail Walk! (another great Jenny pic)

Phyllis Patterson RIP and Ivana doin’ the Cocktail Walk! (another great Jenny pic)

 

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NOTE: Today is Monday, May 19.

Paramount Ranch Park - Agoura, California (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Paramount Ranch Park – Agoura, California (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

“Lead me not into temptation, I can find it myself.”

My life changed in Spring 1980 when a friend from high school brought me to the Renaissance Pleasure Faire workshops at the Paramount Ranch in Agoura. I worked for the Living History Centre for the next 14 years, so her influence on me, my life, my ideology, and my reality is profound (as it is for so many others).

Eryk Bacon playin' wet & dirty, ale taxing the tourists in the streets of Chipping-Under-Oakwood 1480 (Agoura 1980)

Eryk Bacon playin’ wet & dirty, ale taxing tourists in the streets of Chipping-Under-Oakwood 1580 (Agoura 1980)

“You’re not special, and neither is your problem.”

Renaissance Pleasure Faire - Paramount Ranch, Agoura, CA

Renaissance Pleasure Faire – Paramount Ranch, Agoura, CA

I came to Agoura workshops and started performing at the Faire with the Mongers (The Guild of St. Swithin’s), hung out with folks from St. Helena’s (the peasants, middle and lower class characters), St. Minerva’s (Washerwomen), St. Blaise (Cryers), St. Paul’s (the Thieves & Cutpurses) and made a lot of new friends. The thrill and memory of doing live street improv in Witches’ Wood with Greg the Obscene Juggler for hundreds of people is one I can’t forget. The memory of performing in a night show or two, I wish everyone could forget…but I know there are pictures, because I have some.

“Don’t gamble if you can’t afford to win.” 

Mongers! Agoura 1980

Mongers! (St. Swithin’s) Michael, Jim, me, Roger and Richard – Agoura 1980

St. Paul's - Agoura '81 (classic lineup, my very good friends: unknown, Woderick the Wam, Walt, Cooper, Karen, Patty, Doug & Stacey - not pictured Eric, Phredd Daniels, Lisa & Nicole

St. Paul’s – Agoura ’81 classic lineup, my very good friends: unknown holding Woderick the Wam, Walt, Cooper, Karen, Patty, Doug & Stacey – not pictured Eric, Phredd, Daniels, Lisa & Nicole

“This is a Costume.”

In 1982, I got my first Crew job with the Costume Department (Much love to Carolyn, Chriss, Deborah, Vicky, Louise RIP, Freida RIP, Mary Jo RIP, Todi, Daria, Gretchen and Leslie!) and quickly made friends with all the theme characters, stage show performers, CREW and key Staff members.

“There’s no reason for it, it’s just our policy.”

The Costume Crew - Chriss, me, Gretchen & Daria, Agoura 1984

The Costume Crew at the Costume Shed – Chriss, me, Gretchen & Daria, Agoura 1984

“All the Faire’s a Stage!” – “Eat, Drynk & Be Merry!”

My first CREW gig! Press event at the Old Globe Theatre in West Hollywood with Chriss Spring 1982 (from the L.A. Times)

My first CREW gig! Press event, Old Globe Theatre, West Hollywood with Chriss – Spring 1982 This is the first and last time I played a Puritan! (from the L.A. Times)

“Whip me, beat me, show me you care. Make me work the Renaissance Faire.”

In Agoura, I joined the original Sea Dogs at DAW-SOB in 1982 with Captain Charles Taylor RIP. (Actually I was “Shanghai-ed” by Virginia, because I was good friends with her brother)  I was in attendance at Julie & Tracy’s wedding, Cat & Charles’ wedding, the weekend long 4th of July parties in Camarillo and the Antelope Valley, Christmas at Virginia & Mario’s (and the birth of their 3 children), and many New Years Eve parties at KJ’s mom’s house.

“Oh no, not another learning experience.”

Ahhh...Youth! Shirtless Behind DAW-SOB Agoura 1984

Ah, Youth! Behind DAW-SOB Agoura 1984

“As long as you’re having a good time.”

Pretty sure that's me center of between Lance & Keith, The Enterprise 5-20-83

Pretty sure that’s me center of the bales in white behind Virginia, between Lance & Keith – from The Enterprise 5-20-83

“This is a good day to go to jail” – 

Cat Taylor Overstreet's Pic of DAW-SOB Bloke's Group Pic 1985 (I'm in a crew shirt on the end next to Dwayne)

Cat Taylor Overstreet’s Pic of DAW-SOB Bloke’s Group Pic of Capt. Charles Taylor’s Sea Dogs, Agoura 1985 (I’m in a crew shirt, front row, on the end next to Dwayne)

“Ripe” – “Saucy” – “Juicy” – “Stewed” – “Seedy is as seedy does”

"End of the World" - Blackpoint Forest, Novato

“End of the World” – Blackpoint Forest, Novato

I was a Monger and a Soldier in Worthington’s Company-of-Foote (the original St. Michael’s) up north and was a Queen’s Chair-bearer for a couple years (yes, I was the left rear wheel on the Tudor sedan!). 

Worthington's Company-of-Foote Summer 1983

Front and Center with Worthington’s Company-of-Foote Summer 1983

Worthington's Company-of-Foote Summer 1984

Worthington’s Company-of-Foote Summer 1983

“I’ll see your attitude and raise you one.” – “When I want your advice I’ll beat it out of you.”

Dickens' Christmas Fair at the Fox Theatre in Oakland 1983-84

Dickens’ Christmas Fair at the Fox Theatre in Oakland 1983-84

I worked for Costumes and worked for Security at Dickens’ Fair in 1983 at the Fox Theatre in Oakland (and again in 1984) and the Southern Faire. So, I probably approved your costume or checked your passes at one time or another in the 1980s.

“Martyrdom is not as useful as you think.” – “We don’t care, we don’t have to.”

Living History Centre CREW Badge - Devore 1989

Living History Centre CREW Badge – Devore 1989

“No Scudi, No Booty.”

Fool's Guild Coronation of Greg the Obscene Juggler as King! Agoura 1985

Fool’s Guild Coronation of Greg the Obscene Juggler as King! Agoura 1985

I was a proud member of the Fool’s Guild (and the Lord Mayor’s Fool in Agoura sometimes), I partied with Jack, Toby Jo, Jonnathon, Skip, Clay, David and Andy at the Guildhall at Fountain & Harper and the Griffith Park Boys Camp! And later was involved in the American Puppet Theatre fiasco!

“Ya-Ta-Heh” – “I don’t care how you did it last Faire.” – “I can make your night a living hell.”

Clowning as the Lord Mayor's Fool, Agoura 1986

Backstage clowning as the Lord Mayor’s Fool, Agoura 1986

“Sudden prayers make G-d jump.”

I'm Still a Prisoner of Fun!

I’m still a “Prisoner of Fun!”

“We are amused.”

All Hail Saint Stupid!

All Hail Saint Stupid!

“Only if you brush your teeth.”

Camping in Pig's Gulch - Paramount Ranch, Agoura 1980

Tent Village Camping in Pig’s Gulch – Paramount Ranch, Agoura 1980

I camped in Pig’s Gulch and on Cardiac Hill (and slept in Actor’s Camp and a few other places too). I hot tubbed in the PIG. I dated one of Billy’s daughters. Maybe we shared a hooch, tent or shower stall? I had a hooch on-site in the Crow’s Nest above Drench-A-Wench by the snow fence in Agoura for a few years. Later relocated to a hooch behind New Forest and The Maze. “Sleep is for Sissies!” So for the years I was on Night Security, I only slept a little during the day (while commuting north and south to boot).

Guardshack - Blackpoint Forest, Novato (Dario took this pic)

Guardshack – Blackpoint Forest, Novato (Dario took this pic)

“Operating outside of design limitations.”

Security CREW - Blackpoint Forest, Novato

Security CREW – Blackpoint Forest, Novato

“Instant Authority Complex, Just Add Radio….And Stir.”

Tools of the Trade - Security Lieutenant (Walking, Nights, Front Gate and Mobile)

Tools of the Trade: Living History Centre Security Lieutenant – Walking, Nights, Front Gate & Mobile Security 1983-1994 (copyright 2010 JoshWillTravel) – We kept it safe!

“What part of NO, don’t you understand?”

“Are you going to come quietly, or shall I pass out earplugs?”

I worked Living History Centre Security as a tunic and walking guard in 1983-84, and then as Walking and Front Gate Lieutenant, Night and Mobile Security in Oakland, San Francisco (Pier 45), and Novato until 1987; and in Agoura and Devore until 1994. Jim Hayes was my walking partner up north, and Michael C. taught me the art of “night walking”.  In summer 1987, I lived one mile off-site with Richard, Jason and Okai in a house in Novato while working on-site during the week as Mobile Security, as well as Days/Nights on weekends.

“Of course I remember you – we tore up your pass last week, right?”

The "EXEMPT" button. Only a few of us had them...

The “EXEMPT” button. Only a few of us had them..

“When you’re up, you’re up and when you’re down the security guard bites you.”

So, Where's Tabitha?

So, “Where’s Tabitha?”

“It’s love making fun.” – “Yes, Yes, No.” – “Forgive me Father, for I have funned.”

We all were temps…but I still prefer the term “Seasonal”. I did have the experience of going from an honorarium of a few food tickets per day (Scholarship at the College of Renaissance Delights) to being one of the highest paid regular hourly employees at LHC.

“My face is my pass.” – “Your face is not your pass.” – 

Chillin' "off the clock" in Napalm Springs, Devore 1989 (the day of Don Mills' Memorial) with Jenny, Janeen, Shannon and Shawn

Chillin’ “off the clock” in Napalm Springs, Devore 1989 (the day of Don Mills’ Memorial) with Jenny, Janeen, Shannon and Shawn

“I’m not real excited about being awake.”

Oh yeah, I still have my radio with a “Thys’ll Killya” sticker on it.

Thys'll Killya! And still set to Channel 19

Thys’ll Killya! And still set to Channel 19 (copyright 2010 JoshWillTravel)

“It all started when he hit me back.”

I also still have my John Schulp’s knife, my Suzy Cooksey Hat O’Leather, one of Robert and Frannie’s Whales, my old CREW t-shirts, framed gate and camping passes, old costume pieces, weird props, psychedelic toys, miscellaneous paraphernalia, a collection of fine jewelry, and a box of buttons with funny slogans and catch phrases.

“I don’t care if you respect me in the morning.- But you will.”

And of course, I have the memory of the unique communal experience of road tripping north and south, camping on-site, sharing everything with others, workshops, privies, hay bales, ring-out, water trucks, earwigs, Faire boogers, pre-Faire build/post-Faire teardown, and the time spent in-between waiting for workshops to start again.

“Drop back 400 years and punt.” – “Carry out your own dead.” – “Fairegate”

The Teahouse of the Mullah Nezzuradin's Donkey, Agoura 1984

The Teahouse of the Mullah Nezzuradin’s Donkey, Agoura 1984

“Eating and Drynking are the Three Best Thyngs.” – “Do the cocktail.”

I remember the smells and tastes of coffee, chai and baklava at Don Brown’s; cinnamon buns in the morning, Stan’s turkey legs and beef ribs; Manny’s artichokes, churros and Monday brunch; Steak-on-a-Steak, Fish & Chips, Scarpone, Bangers, Piroshki, Toad-in-a-Hole, French Onion Soup, Fruit Ices, Tryfle, Strawberry Crepes, Truffles, and the rest of the unique Faire food (and the pleasure of knowing the people who cooked and served it). I can say for a fact that the Faire inspired the love I have for great food today.

“I’m Mad over Madalyn’s!” – “Consuming Passions – Born to Ball, Live to Dip!” 

“No Blood, No Foul.” – “Where’s my booth?” – “Cruel & Unusual”

I also remember the taste of Faire dust, stale metallic water and fire retardant. And the smell of fresh pumped privies, bodice sweat mixed with essential oils; the Horse Tourney, wet earth, hay and burlap; melting ice, warm ale, apple cider, and watered down lemonade; dill pickles, green grass, blooming mustard and warm oak trees!

“No good deed goes unpunished.” – “As long as you’re having a good time.”

Marc Harris' pic of Dickens' Fair at the Fox Theater, Oakland 1984 The Fezziweg's Dance Party on stage taken from the first balcony.

Marc Harris’ pic of Dickens’ Fair at the Fox Theater, Oakland 1984
The Fezziweg’s Dance Party on stage taken from the first balcony.

“Is the screwin’ you’re getting’ worth the screwin’ you’re getting’?”

I’ve met and have the memory of amazing and talented artistic people who were entertainers, performers, designers, builders, artists and makers of fine clothing, arts and crafts. I worked for little pay alongside a crazy dedicated CREW of unique and eclectic characters. I enjoyed the fun of storytelling, night shows, Ale Stand parties, and “after-hours” activities! I’ve had Faire romances, and had my heart broken many times.

Ale King Parade - Agoura 1987

Ale King Parade – Agoura 1987 (copyright 2010 JoshWillTravel)

I’ve experienced a “Carbon Condition”, a radio gone “D-Watt”, and a “Safety Meeting” (all more than once, LOL). I searched for Tabitha, and celebrated at the Hedonist’s Picnic. I know what “Bubba Bud” and “The Spam Feed” are all about. I saw a ghost at the Fox Theatre, was on the lot when the Water Truck crashed down Gray Barn Hill (“Roll Over & Play Ed”) and was there when Six-Pack fell in the mud (and got a new nickname), and I’ve even seen real Orange Sunshine!

“I don’t want everything, I just want more.” – “I used to be special but then I grew up.”

Jenny's pic of the Paramount Ranch at Night

Jenny’s pic of the Paramount Ranch and Fairesite at Night from Procession Hill

“Insanely Zealous.” – “A filthy mind is a terrible thing to waste.” – “No, me first.”

The Faire also instilled in me a deep love and appreciation for Theatre (stage, street, improvisational and guerrilla), Shakespeare, free thought, questioning authority, alternative lifestyles and religions, holistic medicine and massage, ribald humor, healthy sex, strange and unusual people, historical reenactment, living history, juggling, and English history, music, and dance (although I don’t juggle, play music or dance, and I still tell people I don’t know how to sew…LMAO.)

“We’re laughing’ now, mate.” – “Don’t forget, I love ya.” – “One Boss Potato”

I’m sure there’s a lot I can’t or don’t want to remember, and there are things I’ve seen that I’ll never forget. It’s all living as history now in my head. When my family broke up in the 80s, my close friends at Faire became my surrogate family.

Paramount Ranch - Agoura, CA (copyright 201 JoshWillTravel)

Paramount Ranch – Agoura, CA (copyright 201 JoshWillTravel)

“Why yes, I am a rocket scientist.” – “The Pros of Con” – “One Boss Tomato”

I earned a B.A. in Theatre Arts in 1987 with an emphasis on Design/Tech and Film from the University of California, Santa Cruz (and I also worked for UC Performing Arts while I was a student).  My first film job in Hollywood (after working as a Production Assistant on a few PSAs, music videos and commercials) was as a Men’s Costumer and Wardrobe Assistant. After twelve years in production, and ten years as a Talent Manager, I left the entertainment business in 2007, returned for a short time in 2009, and left again in 2010.

“That’s my story, and I’m sticking to it.” – “Are we having fun yet?” (Zippy the Pinhead)

Paramount Ranch - Agoura, California (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Paramount Ranch – Agoura, California (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

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The truth is that I did not know Phyllis well. My direct contact with her was very limited. I was frequently in her proximity while backstage or in the Costume trailer. I knew her a little and knew ‘of her’ a lot, and I know she knew me. Because my circle of friends overlapped Staff, CREW, actors and Security, I heard most of the stories, gossip and speculations from different points of view, but avoided the politics and in-house drama as much as possible.

Phyllis Patterson RIP

Phyllis Patterson RIP

I knew Kevin, Leslie, Robyn and Brian, but always maintained a little distance, because they were “the Owners” and I was their employee. My deepest condolences go out to all of them and the rest of Phyllis’ family….and her friends, and her extended Faire family as well. We are all connected through our shared experience!

Red Barn & Cardiac Hill - Blackpoint Forest, Novato

Red Barn & Cardiac Hill – Blackpoint Forest, Novato

If you’ve read all the way through this blog, the impact of Phyllis Patterson and her Faire on my life and the lives of others is pretty clear. Phyllis touched many peoples’ lives, both directly through the LHC and indirectly through her little idea of a Renaissance Faire, which has spread across the country, throughout the world, and has become indelibly embedded in our history, philosophy and culture!

“Who’s Phyllis?”

Phyllis Patterson RIP (photo and costume by Vicky Nebeker)

Phyllis Patterson RIP (photo and costume by Vicky Nebeker)

Rest in Peace Phyllis Patterson and thanks for the friends, the experiences, the memories, the rewards, and the super fun party!

HUZZAH! FARE YOU WELL! MAY THE FOUR WINDS BLOW YOU SAFELY HOME!

Paramount Ranch, Agoura, CA (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

Paramount Ranch, Agoura, CA – Spring 2013 (copyright 2013 JoshWillTravel)

JoshWillTravel is a “Charter member of St. Silas’ Guild”, a alumni of “Doctor D’s Traveling Medicine Show”, and also a member of the Loyal Order of Turtles, Mr. Pickwick’s Box Seats and the Golden Grommet Guild. “There are no martyrs, only saints…”

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Travel Answers about Yosemite: Best Camping Sites in Yosemite Valley?

Yosemite National Park: Best camping sites in the Yosemite Valley area?

Sunrise on Yosemite Valley (copyright 2011 JoshWillTravel)

Sunrise on Yosemite Valley, California (copyright 2011 JoshWillTravel)

Q: Hi, I am looking for a camping site around the valley area. We are going to visit in mid June for 2 nights and are looking for a good spot to camp. Thanks!

A: Do you have a reservation? Most of the campsites in Upper, Lower, and North Pines Campground for summer are “sold out” before May! If you don’t have reservations, you can try to get a campsite in the valley on the day you are there, or there’s “Backpacker’s Camp” (Camp 4) which is “first-come/first-served”.

From the National Park Service website:

“Yosemite National Park has 13 campgrounds, of which up to seven are on a reservation system. From April through September, reservations are essential and even the first-come first-served campgrounds often fill by noon from May through September.

Campground Reservations

Reservations are required from about March 15 through November for Yosemite Valley’s car campgrounds and summer through fall for Hodgdon Meadow, Crane Flat, Wawona, and half of Tuolumne Meadows. Campground reservations are available in blocks of one month at a time, up to five months in advance, on the 15th of each month at 7 am Pacific time. Be aware that nearly all reservations for the months of May through September and for some other weekends are filled the first day they become available, usually within seconds or minutes after 7 am!”

Here is the link to the nps.gov site:

http://www.nps.gov/yose/planyourvisit/camping.htm

If you can’t get camping in the valley, there are campgrounds in the park on the rim (about an hour from the valley) and just outside the park as well.

Yosemite Valley (copyright 2011 JoshWillTravel)

Yosemite Valley, California (copyright 2011 JoshWillTravel)

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And a Follow Up Question:

Q: Hey Josh! Thanks so much for the super insightful answer. I found out that as you said, most campsites are fully booked. I found availability in the following: 1. Camp Wawona, 2. Silver Lake Campground, 3. Soquel Campground, 4. Crane Flat Campground. Do you know any of these ? Any thoughts? Thanks, Yaniv G. 

A: Check and see if Housekeeping Camp in Yosemite Valley is still available!

Camp Wawona is on the rim near the Wawona Hotel, Yosemite’s Badger Pass, Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias and Glacier Point. Wawona is also close to Oakhurst which is a real town with markets, laundromats, restaurants, etc.

Giant Sequoia Redwood Tree - Mariposa Grove, Yosemite, CA (copyright 2010 JoshWillTravel)

Giant Sequoia Redwood Tree – Yosemite, CA (copyright 2010 JoshWillTravel)

Soquel Campground and Crane Flat Campground are farther away.

See my other Yosemite post for Hotels in the Valley.

 Half Dome - Yosemite Valley, California (copyright 2010 JoshWillTravel)

Half Dome and Yosemite Valley, California – Spring 1985 (copyright 2010 JoshWillTravel)

Half Dome from across the valley - Yosemite, California (copyright 2011 Joshua Weisel)

Half Dome and Yosemite Valley, California – Fall 2011 (copyright 2011 Joshua Weisel)

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Travel Answers About Maui, Hawaii!

Q: On a Honeymoon, where are Secluded beaches on Maui?

A: If you take the Road to Hana

Road to Hana, Maui (copyright 2010 JoshWillTravel)

Road to Hana, Maui (copyright 2010 JoshWillTravel)

you’ll come to Waianapanapa State Park and it’s black sand beaches and amazing polished lava rock shore.

Wai'anapanapa State Park - Maui, Hawaii (copyright 2010 JoshWillTravel)

Wai’anapanapa State Park – Maui, Hawaii (copyright 2010 JoshWillTravel)

Wai'anapanapa State Park - Maui, Hawaii (copyright 2010 JoshWillTravel)

Wai’anapanapa State Park – Maui, Hawaii (copyright 2010 JoshWillTravel)

Wai'anapanapa State Park - Maui, Hawaii (copyright 2010 JoshWillTravel)

Wai’anapanapa State Park – Maui, Hawaii (copyright 2010 JoshWillTravel)

http://www.hawaiistateparks.org/parks/maui/waianapanapa.cfm

Have lunch at the beautiful Travaasa Hana Hotel (which once was the original Hana-Maui Hotel and Ranch)

Hana-Maui Ranch, Hana, Maui, Hawaii (copyright 2010 JoshWillTravel)

Hana-Maui Ranch, Hana, Maui, Hawaii (copyright 2010 JoshWillTravel)

Be sure to stop at Hasegawa’s General Store before you visit the Seven Sacred Pools.

Hana Bay - Hana, Maui (copyright 2010 JoshWillTravel)

Hana Bay – Hana, Maui (copyright 2010 JoshWillTravel)

If you’re feeling adventurous there’s a great day hike to Waimoku Falls across dried river beds and through tropical and bamboo forests.

Pipiwai Trail to Waimoku Falls (copyright 2010 JoshWillTravel)

Pipiwai Trail to Waimoku Falls (copyright 2010 JoshWillTravel)

Top: Pipiwai Trail to Waimoku Falls Bottom: Road to Hana (copyright 2010 JoshWillTravel)

Top: Pipiwai Trail to Waimoku Falls – Bottom: Stop on the Road to Hana (copyright 2010 JoshWillTravel)

Waimoku Falls - Hana, Maui (copyright 2010 JoshWillTravel)

Waimoku Falls – Hana, Maui (copyright 2010 JoshWillTravel)

Waimoku Falls - Hana, Maui (copyright 2010 JoshWillTravel)

Waimoku Falls – Hana, Maui (copyright 2010 JoshWillTravel)

Take the long road home on the Piilani highway around the southeast side of Maui and visit the Palapalo Ho’omau Church where Charles Lindbergh is buried before heading back to central or west Maui.

Magical Maui - Lahaina, Maui, HI

Magical Maui – Lahaina, Maui, Hawaii (copyright 2010 JoshWillTravel)

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Q: Reasonably priced, laid-back accommodations on Maui?

Lahaina Sunset - Maui, Hawaii (copyright 2010 JoshWillTravel)

Lahaina Sunset – Maui, Hawaii (copyright 2010 JoshWillTravel)

A: I recommend the Makena Beach & Golf Resort in Wailea-Makena on Maui!

*****No resort fees! Free internet and parking!*****

From their website:

The Makena Beach & Golf Resort features over 330 sunshine filled days for uninterrupted fun in the sun! From kayaking and canoe paddling to beachfront yoga and ukulele lessons, Makena offers the best of Maui activities without ever having to leave the Wailea-Makena area.

Featuring: 2 pools and hot tub, 2,500 sq. ft. Fitness Center, Maluaka Beach offering a variety of water activities, six-court Makena Tennis Club, Outdoor Play Center featuring shuffle board, ping pong, miniature golf, croquet, bocce ball, badminton and volleyball!

Daily list of complimentary and discounted resort guest activities. Convenient to Maui Golf and Shopping. Full service Concierge desk offering a variety of Maui Activities.

*****

They have nice packages available! The Full Makena includes daily breakfast for two (and it’s a great breakfast) and the fifth night FREE. Airfare and rental car add ons available too.

BOOK DIRECT ONLINE: http://www.makenaresortmaui.com

As a travel agent, I booked clients there and they only had great things to say and wonderful pictures to share.

Hana Maui Sunrise - Hana, Maui, Hawaii (copyright 2010 JoshWillTravel)

Hana Maui Sunrise – Hana, Maui, Hawaii (copyright 2010 JoshWillTravel)

(I posted this answer, all photos copyright 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013 & 2014 JoshWillTravel)

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Hawaii Visitor and Convention Bureau

Hawaii Visitor and Convention Bureau

26-JUN-13: Giant Sequoia Redwood Tree

Giant Sequoia Redwood Tree

Giant Sequoia Redwood Tree

Giant Sequoia Mariposa Grove, Yosemite, CA (copyright 2010 JoshWillTravel)

Turn on the wayback machine – Mariposa Grove, Yosemite, CA

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Field Quarter in the Sierras 1984 – Part 1 Big Sur, Big Creek and Cone Peak

I backpacked for college credit Spring Quarter of 1984, when I chose a Field Quarter in the Sierras during my Freshman year in college at the University of California, Santa Cruz (UCSC extension and the Sierra Institute).  It was a great program!

UCSC logo

After a particularly gray winter in Santa Cruz, I needed to get out of town.  So I signed up for a Field Quarter in the Sierras.  “BACKPACKING FOR COLLEGE CREDIT” for three Upper Division Course Credits: Natural History of the Sierras, Natural History Wilderness Studies, and an Environmental Studies advanced course.  The curriculum included backpacking trips of varying length in amazing natural locations: Monterey, Big Sur, Yosemite Valley, Hetch-Hetchy Resevoir, the Tiltill Valley above Yosemite, the Southfork of the Tuolumne River in the Sierra National Forest, El Dorado-Toiyabe National Forest, Desolation Wilderness in Plumas National Forest and Lake Tahoe.

Sierra-Institute-Emblem--225x300

We all met as strangers in Monterey and drove to a local campground for an overnight stay, where we were introduced to our instructors and each other and given the orientation for the next thirteen weeks (ten weeks of course work, a week of travel time plus a timeout for spring break).  There were thirteen students and two instructors on the first night as we made camp together for the first time.

UCSC Field Quarter in the Sierras - Monterey, California (copyright 2010 JoshWillTravel)

UCSC Field Quarter in the Sierras – Big Sur, California (copyright 2010 JoshWillTravel)

PLEASE NOTE: These events took place in Spring of 1984, so trying to recall all the details is a little difficult now.

THE FIRST TRIP – BIG SUR, UCSC BIG CREEK RESERVE AND CONE PEAK

Big Creek Bridge and Cove - Big Sur, California

Big Creek Bridge and Cove – Big Sur, California

At dawn the next morning we had breakfast and broke camp, packed up and drove to the UCSC Reserve in Big Sur.  Protected by the Santa Lucia Mountains and rocky cliffs, the Big Sur coast includes the largest and most pristine coastal wildlands in central and southern California. In the center of this area, the University of California Natural Reserve System and the University of California at Santa Cruz operate the Landels-Hill Big Creek Reserve.  Big Creek Reserve Homepage: http://bigcreek.ucnrs.org

Big Creek Reserve Trailmap - Big Sur, California

Big Creek Reserve Trailmap – Big Sur, California

We strapped on our backpacks and hiked 9 miles to the base camp near Cone Peak.  Cone Peak in Big Sur is the highest coastal mountain in the contiguous 48 states, ascending nearly a mile (5155 feet) above sea level, only three miles from the ocean.  The hike begins at almost sea level and takes you up through the climate zones, lush forest, oak scrub and into high chaparral.

Copy and paste the following links into a new window for some great images:

VR Panorama of Big Creek: http://bigcreek.ucnrs.org/panoramas/bigcreek.html

Photo Gallery: http://nrs.ucop.edu/reserves/big_creek/gallery/index.html

Our first trek was an uphill killer! When we finally reached the base camp we set up our tents and prepared the evening meal.  (Nevermind the part about Jen trying to set the camp and forest on fire with her propane stove and the rest of us helping to put it out before it spread…)

Boronda Base Camp - Big Sur, California

Boronda Base Camp – Big Sur, California

We camped there for a week.  The program included daily class in the wilderness, field studies, day hikes and “homework” assignments.  There was also time allotted for camping duties, cooking, and personal (free) time.  And every evening we gathered around the fire, talked about the day and got to know each other a little bit more.

Trail snack and lunch recipes for wilderness hiking: Flour tortillas, add cheddar cheese and salsa.  Flour tortillas, add peanut butter and honey.  Bread may be substituted for tortillas (but tortillas travel better in a foodsack).  Easy to prepare, no cooking required.

Cone Peak

Cone Peak (Altitude 5,155 feet) – Big Sur, California

One day we hiked to the top of Cone Peak from our base camp and were buzzed by F-14 jet fighters from Moffett Feld and then we watched from high above as Blue Whales swam by during their Spring migration!

View from Cone Peak

View from Cone Peak – Big Sur, California

View from Cone Peak

View from Cone Peak – Big Sur, California

Going downhill is a lot easier than going uphill with a backpack!  The hike out was pretty easy, again passing through the different climate zones, and returning to our cars for the drive to our next destination.

COMING SOON: Yosemite National Park, Yosemite Valley, Hetch-Hetchy and Tiltill Valley, Southfork of the Tuolumne River, Sierra National Forest, El-Dorado-Toiyabe National Forest, Desolation Wilderness, Plumas National Forest, and Lake Tahoe.

NOTE: I have to admit that this is by no means a complete blog at this point.  I started this story unprepared and the details are coming back slowly.  Except for the people, these are not my pictures.  I’m inspired to find my journal, workbook and photos from this time and may revise this blog for next week.  Thanks for reading!  Your feedback is welcome.