Category: Travel & Adventure

Dirt- Ranger 1000 Polaris 2018 Model

By Eileen Majors We stopped by Glende Polaris in Chico to see what they might recommend to our readers for ATV family fun this holiday season. She told us that families really enjoy the fun and workability of the Polaris Ranger. When it comes to work and play, Shaylee at Glende Polaris quickly recommended the all-new 2018 Ranger XP 1000. This new, more rugged, more refined model features over one hundred owner-inspired improvements. Setting a new standard for what a utility side-by-side can do, its modern design takes you to the next level when it comes to in-cab comfort. Its...

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Gold- John Had Another Good Day Mining!

By Charles Watson John sat on his porch and packed his pipe with the last bit of tobacco. His dog came over and nuzzled his nose under his arm and John gave him a big hug. John gazed over the valley below that held his mining claim. It was a warm autumn evening and light was dimming fast. Shadows were growing longer. Morning temperatures were getting colder-the mining season was coming to a close. John nuzzled his dog back and thought about the gold he got that day. He’d hit a good pay-streak that the old guys missed. A seam, a layer, sedimentary horizon that just sparkled with gold. The...

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Tank- A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Truck!

Okay, so I guess I don’t get out much, but I’ve never seen such a thing as I saw on my way to the truck with my mom. I got so excited at first, I thought it was one of my buddies coming to play. “Whoa, wait a minute,” I thought, “That’s no dog.” But she did look kinda friendly so I ventured out to meet her. Poor thing, had a really funny looking snout and she was awfully low to the ground, I bet she’s terrible at catching the ball. “Hmmm… maybe we should  play,” I thought. I looked at my mom for an I’ll-throw-the-ball look, but she just seemed all worried about what might happen next. She...

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Schreder Planetarium Seasons of Light

By Christy Milan   Standing at the entrance to the planetarium is a crowd of various ages. The air is charged with excitement as the doors open and we enter. Everyone has come to be enchanted by the night sky courtesy of the Schreder Planetarium. The Schreder Planetarium offers educational and scientific information presented in a variety of different programs throughout the year. School field trips have taken advantage of the assorted programs and many people remember visiting the planetarium as a child. It began in 1979 when Jack Schreder followed his vision of the night sky. The...

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Road Trip- Yurt & Yaks

By Melissa Wynn It used to be that a night or two away came with just a few options, hotel, campground or the guest room of a loved one. Today lodging options are as varied as the folks in search of them and those with the imagination to create unique options. From old airplanes and garden sheds to tree houses and house boats, a place to crash for a few days is evolving into an adventurous experience. On a recent road trip with my trusty companions Molly and Lorraine, I enjoyed an overnight stay creekside near Eddy Mountain in an eclectic and cozy yurt. A yurt is a circular dwelling, made...

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Critters- The Canada Goose

By Melissa Wynn Watching a flock of Canada Geese cross the sky in their distinctive  “V” pattern is a major sign that winter is returning to Mountain Valley Living territory. Their unique honking call bids a fond farewell to our high mountain lakes, ponds and meadows as they head south to the warmer climates of their valley wintering grounds. Some populations do not migrate if they have a stable food supply and a suitable year round climate. Parks, golf courses and farm lands are often very inviting to these opportunistic and sometimes bothersome flocks of feathered friends. These beautiful...

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Bug Wild- The Song of the Cricket

By Jim Moore, Entomologist Living within the lands of Mountain Valley Living are several kinds of crickets: Field Crickets, Ground Crickets, Tree Crickets, Camel Crickets, and, oh my, the so called Potato Bug Crickets.  Of these, my favorites are the ‘chirping’ field and ground crickets. I love sitting out in the evening listening to the sounds of the crickets, whether it is just the chirping of one lone cricket under the deck, or the chorus of hundreds singing within one of our mountain meadows. I am not alone in this affection. For centuries folks in China, both emperors and commoners...

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The Dancing Sandhill Cranes

Story By Eileen Majors Photo By Jan Ramelli We turned the corner heading onto a paved road just outside Westwood when a majestic scene caught our eye in the meadow beyond us. We ended up stopping in the middle of the road to catch the view, which caused us to eventually pull off to the side of the road. Out in the distance, a pair of Sandhill Cranes performed an ancient ritual, a mating dance that was truly spectacular to see. The dance included bows followed by leaps up to about eight feet high. We watched a fascinating series of bows, hops, skips and leaps, by both birds, each standing 3...

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Shasta Dinner Cruise & Caverns

By Christy Milan The aquamarine water sparkles with the sun’s rays as you relax with family and friends. The smell of tasty food fills the air as the spectacular view of Mt.Shasta looms in the distance with hints of snow from the winter past. Take in the serenity and enjoy the ambience of Shasta Lake on the Lake Shasta Dinner Cruise. Shasta Lake is just north of Redding along interstate 5. It is part of the Shasta-Trinity National Forest and has 350 miles of shoreline and about 400,000 surface acres. The average depth is about 400 feet, making this lake a prime vacation spot in Northern...

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A Fish Tale -Coleman National Fish Hatchery

By Christy Milan Wildly beating the water, the salmon splash and whip their tails to and fro as they struggle to gain momentum on their journey upstream to spawn. This is the time of the salmon run when the fish migrate from the ocean and work their way upstream to where they were born. They will also spawn and begin a new life cycle on a gravel bed. These salmon will then mature and make their way to the Pacific Ocean only to return and spawn, thus starting over the cycle of life for salmon. Over the winter the North State was drenched with much needed rain and snow. At times this was a...

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The Eight-Spotted Skimmer Dragonfly

By Jim Moore, Entomologist Summertime is the season for tending all the vegetables and flowers in my gardens. I focus on those kind of flowers that attract flower-loving bugs; and I do get swarms of them: bees, wasps, butterflies, beetles, and other kinds of bugs. And then there are the predators: spiders, robber flies, damselflies, and dragonflies. This year the top predator was a dragonfly called the Eight-Spotted Skimmer, species Libellula forensis. Several of these dragonflies established their small territories by resting upon the tops of the rather tall stakes that I use to tie up the...

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A Trip Into The Trinity Alps

By Christy Milan There is something to be said for a day that ends with pastel pinks, purples and blues. The limbs of the trees stretch upwards toward the dim light and shadows begin to dance among the skyline. Sunset has come to the Trinity Alps Wilderness. These are California’s very own Alps, with peaks rising to 9,000 feet and over 500,000 acres; this is truly a wilderness adventure. Alpine lakes are scattered among canyons created by glaciers thousands of years ago. Sparkling clear streams meander through the lush green mountain meadows. The wilderness comes alive with blacktailed deer,...

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