Paul McHugh, San Francisco Chronicle Outdoors Writer ### ###
August 8, 2002
Meteor Viewing: Astronomers will be on hand Monday night to interpret meteor displays to visitors, at Fremont Peak Observatory in Fremont Peak State Park (between Hollister and Salinas, in San Benito County). The site's 30-inch reflector telescope will be open for viewing other celestial bodies until midnight. It will not be used for meteor viewing; for that, it's best to lay back in a lawn chair and watch the whole sky. The best displays will likely be 2-5 a.m. on Tuesday morning. The site Web site, has a cam to help check sky clarity before going to the park, as well as a map and directions. (831) 623-2465, or http://www.fpoa.net. At Sugarloaf Ridge State Park near Kenwood in Sonoma County, Robert Ferguson Observatory will be open for special telescope viewing through the 24-inch and 16-inch telescopes, 9 p.m. - midnight, Monday. Afterwards, the observatory will close, but visitors can view the Perseids from the adjacent grounds. Ferguson Observatory is located in Sugarloaf Ridge State Park near Kenwood in Sonoma county. Call observatory at (707) 833-6979 for atmospheric conditions. Information: http://www.rfo.org/events.htm. Park entrance fee of $2/car applies. Pakr information: (707) 833-5712.
Other local and State Parks may NOT be open for Perseid viewing. Many will observe regular summer hours, closing at sunset. If you think a site might have a meteor viewing event, call first to avoid a disappointing trip to a locked gate.
Current Adventures Kayak School and Trips is offering a discount deal for 12 days on the Colorado River, through several hundred miles of the Grand Canyon. This fully catered and guided float trip has whitewater raft berths for passengers, and is also open to kayakers with solid eskimo roll maneuvers and Class III whitewater skills. Cost: $2250. The company also offers a trip to the warm rivers and coastal waters of Costa Rica, Nov. 23- Dec. 1, for $1525. (530) 642-9755, or http://www.kayaking.com
The 4th Annual Riverfilm Festival takes place 7-9 p.m., August 17, at Sierra Nevada House in Coloma. The event features international travel and whitewater documentaries, including: ""Into the Tsanpo Gorge,'' by Scott Lindgren; ""On the White Nile,'' by Gordon Brown and Allison Chase; and ""Classic Shorts'' by Don Briggs and Joe De Francesco. Tickets: $15. Prior to the showing, a barbecue dinner will be served, 5:30-7 p.m. at the River Cafe. Cost: $15 (includes on complimentary drink). (530) 626-8096, or e- mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Author and guide Michael Jenneid presents a free talk, Bird Watching by Kayak and Canoe, 7:30 p.m., Aug. 22, at the public library, 375 Throckmorton, in Mill Valley. (415) 389-4292.
The Tahoe Rim Trail Association will hold a Labor Day Backcountry Camp, Aug. 31-Sept. 2, on Echo Summit, near Highway 50. Experienced crew leaders will guide construction of a switchback, two stream crossings and erosion bars. Participants will learn trail building techniques, camp outdoors and be provided with all meals. Cost: $55 (general) or $30 (children age 12 and under). Registration requested by Aug. 28. (775) 588-0686 (until Aug. 20) or (775-298-0012 (after). Or, e- mail: email@example.com
The biggest fleet of tall ships to sail into San Francisco Bay in decades is scheduled to cruise under the Golden Gate Bridge at noon on August 28. Nearly three dozen local and international tall ships and historic vessels shall participate. Subsequently, the ships will dock and be open for tours from Hyde Street Harbor to Pier 40 ... including piers 45, 35, 27 and Scoma's dock. Related educational and cultural events, incluing music and dance, will occur at sites along the Embarcadero and Fisherman's Wharf to help celebrate these visitors from the classic era of sail. Already berthed in San Francisco is an early example, the 257-foot Buque Escuela Guayas, from Ecuador. The Guayas and its crew of 181 will be moored at pier 35 on the Embarcadero until Saturday morning. The ship is open for free tours and viewing, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. today and tomorrow ... and "compatriotas" of the crew (other Ecuadorians in the Bay Area) are particularly encouraged to visit. On Saturday, at 10 a.m. the Guayas will sail away again. For information about the tall ships visit, see http://www.sailsanfrancisco.org
A series of free, hands-on bike repair clinics will be presented, 11 a.m.-noon, Aug. 11 and 18 at the REI store in Berkeley. Bring your bike, learn to adjust derailleurs and fix flats. (510) 527-4140. A comprehensive, five-hour seminar starts at 10:30 a.m. Saturday at the Concord REI, but this one costs $90 (includes cost of manual). Reservations required, (925) 825-9400. A free workshop on bicycle commuting takes place at 11 a.m., Aug. 10, at the Corte Madera REI; presenters are staffer Jeff Conley and Heidi Adler of the Marin County Bicycle Coalition. (415) 927-1938.
Mariah Wilderness Expeditions presents a midsummer whitewater treat, Family Gold Rush Rafting Vacations, taking place August 15-16. These tours include two days of rafting on the South Fork American river, and comfortable overnight stays in a private camp with storytellers and outdoor games. Cost: $235 (adults), $167 (youth ages 7-16). (800) 462-7424, or http://www.mariahwe.com
The Devil's Outlook Wilderness Runs take place at 9 a.m., August 11, starting from the Donner Summit Lodge in the Sierra. Courses: Half marathon, 10K, on rolling fire trails and single track. Entry: $20 (advance) or $25 (on-site). (510) 223-5778, or http://www.active.com
The Gift of Life charity runs will take place on August 11 in Golden Gate Park. Courses: 1 mile (starts at 8 a.m. on Middle Drive), and 5K (starts at 8:30 a.m. at Conservatory of Flowers). Entry: $20 (either event, until August 4), or $25 (after); for an extra $5, a runner may enter both events. A portion of each fee goes to the Gift of Life Transplant House. (650)635- 457 2or http://www.PeopleEvents.org
California Department of Fish and Game's "Becoming an Outdoor Woman" series offers a Lassen Backpacking Trip, August 24-25, $80; Fly Fishing, at Bidwell Ranch Near Burney, September 20-22, $120; three-day BOW seminar, at Wonder Valley Ranch near Sanger, October 27-29, $195; Birdwatching Trip, at Pt. Reyes Youth Hostel, November 15-17, $85. For information, registration: (916) 653-7748, or http://www.dfg.ca.gov/bow/owoman.html
The Arts and Ecology Center offers a Sustainable Forestry Class, 9 a.m.-5 p.m., August 11, at its campus in Occidental. The seminar includes: fuel load management and thinning, forest health, and watershed and wildlife habitat enhancement. Cost: $110 (includes lunch). (707) 874-1557, or http://www.oaec.org
The Sierra Club Car Camping Section presents a schedule of new outings. These include: Houseboating on Lake Oroville, September 9-13, $250, (209) 832-7954; Wawona Yosemite, September 19-22, $70, (925) 676-3939; Camp Concord at Tahoe, October 3-7, $80, (925) 676-3939. Costs include all meals.
The Greenbelt Alliance offers a series of summer hikes. The calendar: Purisima's Pure Beauty in San Mateo County, 11:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m., August 25; Guadalupe River Gardens in Santa Clara County, 10 a.m.-3 p.m., September 7; Marin's Blue Water in Marin County, 10:30 a.m.-5 p.m., September 14; Historic Mare Island in Solano County, 8 a.m.-1 p.m., September 21. All these guided walks are free, unless otherwise noted. Reservations are required; except for the first hike, call (415) 255-3233, or check http://www.greenbelt.org.
A female-led group offers outdoor adventures for female clients. The schedule for Wild Women Workshops includes: backpacking in Yosemite's Sawtooth Mountains, August 26-September 5, $1,080. Cost includes meals, lodging, instruction and yoga. (209) 379-2064, or http://www.wildwomenworkshops.org.