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I'm a self-professed adventure writer and former exercise junkie seeking a long-term relationship with my higher self, healthy workout habits, and a balanced, adventurous lifestyle in San Luis Obispo. Join me as I discover the healthy activities of SLO County, from land to sea.

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Merry Christmas from San Luis Obispo County

My family's Christmas ta-da takes place on the eve of the 24th. We tend to celebrate with an abundance of special food and drink and our menu is never quite the same. This year we settled on crepes, with a variety of scrumptious fillings that left me with a food hangover the next morning. But I wouldn't change a thing, as each of us brought our own flavor component to the holiday meal, making the feast extra special. 

Although I logged in some exercise both days by taking walks on Pismo Beach to soak up the fresh salty air, the blue skies and warm temperatures, I definitely need to hit the gym during the upcoming winter months to work off my past and future indulgences. 

The colors at Pismo Beach during the early morning hours of Christmas Eve were cool, calm and collected.
The sun rose quickly, as did the roar of the high surf.
These critters pranced about on the shore.
This surfer headed straight for the crashing swell.
After the beach, I headed to the northern part of San Luis Obispo County to spend time with family for Christmas Eve dinner. We had a blast. For our menu, first a cheese and charcuterie plate with tasty bites from The Cultured & The Cured; then a crepe station accompanied with crab legs, shrimp, smoked salmon, roasted veggies, and grilled sausages and peppers. I even opened a special bottle of wine from Switzerland: petite arvine from the Valais region.
Even after all of this indulgence we found room for a flaming dessert: Crêpe Suzette. My brother is a professional chef in San Luis Obispo County and he knows how to work magic in the kitchen.
On Christmas Day, I headed back to Pismo Beach to soak up more of the beautiful weather. I hope you found some brilliance and sparkle in your holiday, just as these wave mongers did.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

SLO Progression

Fortunately for me, my work schedule allows me to snap photos of both the early morning horizon and the evening setting sun. Yesterday's sunrise was streakin' beautiful and the sunset was out of this world. I got my exercise in the evening by balancing myself on the slippery rocks at Shell Beach while snapping as many pictures as I could during the fiery sunset. What a fantastic day for the sky.

Streakin' sunrise over downtown San Luis Obispo.
Flamin' sunset at Shell Beach.

Monday, December 16, 2013

SLO Enchantment

I might never live in a big castle on an enchanted hill, but whenever I chase sunsets I find plenty of riches everywhere I lookgold, silver and bright. 

Pismo Beach Sunset, December 2013
Pismo Beach Sunset, December 2013
Hearst Castle, December 2013

Saturday, December 7, 2013

SLO Chill

The weather turned increasingly cold this week. It's hard to believe that last Sunday was sunny and warm. But in San Luis Obispo County, the sudden variance in temperatures is hardly anything new. And since our highs this week have been in the 50s, I can't complain; especially when compared to other parts of the country that are experiencing minus degrees. Brrrrr.

Last night it poured down rain—thank goodness since this county has been experiencing drought conditions for quite some time—and today the lingering storm clouds left plenty of photo opps. 

This evening I ended up running on Pismo Beach. I can't say that was really my intention; I just wanted to walk along the sand and snap photos of the reflective sunset. But when faced with gusty winds and a high chill factor, I ran back to the pier as fast as I could. 

Here are a few glimpses from my sojourn this evening. Cold might be relative, but so is art. It's in the eye of the beholder. As always, I hope you enjoy my view.

Pismo Beach Pier

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

SLO Universe

I haven't logged much exercise this week, but I did catch last night's sunset. Way to work your magic in San Luis Obispo County, Universe.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

SLO Awesome Skies

During the past week storm clouds moved in, allowing San Luis Obispo County to benefit from some much-needed rain. Those of us who love cloud chasing reaped the rewards of following the awesome skylines. I got plenty of exercise running up and downs stairs and hillsides, as well as walking on sand to capture these beauties.

Shell Beach sunset.
Pismo Beach sunrise.
Bishop's Peak sunrise.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

SLO Mornings

I typically carry my camera with me. Lately, on the short drive to work, I've felt compelled to stop and capture the morning brood in downtown San Luis Obispo. By running up and down stairs in local parking garages to get the best view, I've been able to catch glimpses of lingering clouds clashing with the early morning sun. I wish every morning could be like this.

Monday, November 11, 2013

SLO November

It's a peculiar time of year in San Luis Obispo County. The evenings and mornings remain cool, but the days are still warm in spite of autumn knocking on our door. 
This remarkable season also brings veiled skies at dusk; here are a few glimpses from this past week.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Yosemite Valley Colors

It's definitely autumn in Yosemite Valley. Kaleidoscopic colors decorate many of the park's thousands of trees, dusting the valley's hiking trails with crunchy, fallen leaves. On Halloween Day, a relative and I trekked seven slow miles, wending around the Merced River and through tall forested groves. When the sun hit the leaves just right—fall colors lit the way. 

Sunday, October 27, 2013

SLO Creatures

You never know what you're going to find when out for a long walk along the Bluffs Trail on a cool, foggy morning at Montana de Oro.

Just a few of the many sea creatures that inhabit San Luis Obispo County.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

SLO Celestial

Now that the year is winding down, the days are growing shorter but the clouds have returned.  Nothing like a few of these bad boys to help put a little fire in the sky when the sun goes down.

San Luis Obispo County Sunset, October 2013

Sunday, October 13, 2013


Today was a beautiful day for a walk on Pismo Beach...as well as reflection...

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Exhausting Possibilities

“When you have exhausted all possibilities, remember this: you haven’t.”
~Thomas Edison
Shell Beach, October 2013


Saturday, October 5, 2013

In the Pink

Sometimes you just have to get up at the crack of light to see what the day's got in store for you. This morning's sunrise at Pismo Beach was...pink. Just plain, simple pink.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Thursday, September 19, 2013

SLO Discipline

"Affirmation without discipline is the beginning of delusion." ~Jim Rohn
Bishop's Peak, San Luis Obispo

Saturday, September 14, 2013

SLO Progress

"Strive for progress, not perfection." ~Author Unknown

Avila Beach

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Stepping Down

Today I changed my upcoming race category from Full Stack 10K to Short Stack 5K.

What does that mean? On September 29, I will head to Mission Plaza in downtown San Luis Obispo and participate in Sunset Savor the Central Coast's SAVOR Run as a 5K participant instead of as a 10 K runner. Just a measly 3.1 miles instead of 6.2.

But in reality, there's no such thing as "measly" when it comes to setting goals. Nor is there anything wrong with stepping back a little and giving yourself some room to breathe. Sometimes you just have to accept your current limitations and circumstances, recognize that setbacks are a normal part of life, and maybe in the long run you'll look back and realize what held you back in one moment might actually help catapult you into the next realm and keep you moving forward.

I look onward and upward to the SAVOR Run as well as to the carb loading that will take place afterwards on the steps of the mission at the pancake breakfast. And to boot, this race has a bigger cause: a portion of ticket sales will directly benefit the Cancer Well Fit Program.

So, whatever your cause or goal may be, don't be afraid to step down once in a while.

Pismo  Beach Sunrise. Labor Day 2013.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Make the Most of It!

"What you do today is important because you are exchanging a day of your life for it."

~Author Unknown

Pismo Beach Sunrise. Labor Day 2013.

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Run On!

I've had my share of setbacks during the past month, including a computer crash. But, the beat goes on. Today I dragged myself out for a run on the beach at Pismo and I'm so glad I did. What a sight to behold with a sky full of puffed clouds. Keep on goin'!

Monday, August 26, 2013

Competing Against Yourself

Today I read some good advice on a social networking site written by a runner whom I greatly admire. I hope he doesn't mind me re-posting his words here, because they ring true for me...

"Never compare your race times. You can't run the same race twice. You can't possibly recreate the exact circumstances on race day. You can't have the same weather, the same people around you, the same amount of sleep, food, or sports drink. You just can't."

~John "The Penguin"  Bingham

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Bishop's Peak

The wise contend that the journey is the reward. But I find the opposite is true for me whenever I hike Bishop's Peak in San Luis Obispo City. Don't get me wrong—I get the Chinese proverb for what it's worth—but honestly, whenever I hike the tallest of SLO County's "Nine Sisters,"  I find my reward waiting for me at the top. 

The stunning views of the city, the surrounding agricultural land and the mountains, coupled with a nice breeze after the slow, steady, winding path ends at the top, is the ultimate payoff for me. Sitting on one of the benches at the crown of this volcanic plug while sipping water and relishing the quiet that one finds at an elevation of 1,559 feet...brings a little Zen to my day. 

Some might argue that the elation I feel at the top of this 4-mile round-trip hike is all part of the journey, and depending on perspective, maybe it is. But regardless of how we label our experiences, I can't argue with the benefits of a good hike. Fresh air. Great exercise. Sound mind.

The journey.
The reward.

Monday, July 15, 2013


Sometimes we need to give ourselves a kick in the pants to get moving again. Signing up for Sunset Savor the Central Coast's inaugural race was just what I needed to goose my lazy legs into action. 

Whether or not you're familiar with Sunset's indulgent September eventwhere locals and tourists spoil themselves wicked with sips of Central Coast wines and tastes of culinary delights at the historic Santa Margarita Ranch, as well as splurge on special events and dinner tours around San Luis Obispo Countynew this year is the opportunity for runners and walkers to triumph in a 10K, 5K or fastest mile competition.

So in case you want to attend the festival and then burn off all that indulgent food and alcohol, as well as support the Cancer Well Fit Program, now you can! On Sunday, September 29, the race starts and ends at the Mission in downtown SLO. Afterward, participants can carbo-load by satiating their after-race appetite with a gourmet pancake breakfast. You can even purchase breakfast-only tickets for your friends and family who want to stand by and cheer you on. 

There's nothing like great wine, food, adventure and exercise....all rolled up into one!

Merlot grapes at St. Hilaire Vineyards in Templeton.

Sunday, June 30, 2013

Beat the Heat

When you're in the middle of a heat wave and need an escape? Morro Bay. With average June temperatures in the high 60's, I don't know where I'd rather be when the majority of San Luis Obispo County—or possibly the rest of the worldis experiencing record-high temps.

On today's cool morning coastal walk, I encountered many familiar feathered creatures common to the Central Coast: Great Blue Herons, Great Egretes and Curlews.

What a sight to behold.