S E C T I O N
Stories and photos of travel and adventure by local people ■ July 14, 2010 A
A LE N DA R
SSI F I E D S
TI P S O N
TR AV E L
Beyond Yosemite Ashley Holt, who grew up in Atherton, on the trail below Selden Pass on Day 7 of the trek.
By Frances Freyberg About the author: Frances Freyberg of Menlo Park is a photographer specializing in vibrant color portraits of people, wildlife, nature and architecture from her travels to more than 50 countries. Her photographs can be found in the Portola Art Gallery at the historic Allied Arts Guild in Menlo Park, in private collections, and online at francesfreyberg.com.
On the cover Ashley Holt descends Koip Peak Pass on Day Two of a longdistance hike through the High Sierras. In the distance are Alger Lakes. Photo by Frances Freyberg of Menlo Park.
Photo by Frances Freyberg of Menlo Park
Amazing vistas await those who explore the High Sierras on foot
osemite National Park is a hiker’s paradise, with countless trails crisscrossing the stunning granite landscape from the top of Mt. Lyell to the foothills near El Portal. But while Yosemite’s day hikes are worldclass, the truly stunning vistas and solitude of California’s high country wilderness await those who strap on a backpack and set out on a multi-day expedition. What lies beyond the borders of California’s most visited national park? Stretching along the High Sierras, from Yosemite Valley to Mt. Whitney, the 212-mile John Muir Trail (JMT) is one of the country’s most famous long-distance hikes. It passes through beautiful and diverse scenery: sun-dappled lodgepole pine and aspen forests, stark granite peaks, secluded alpine lakes, and
John Muir Trail by the numbers
peaceful meadows with meandering streams. The grandeur of the landscape is matched only by the challenge of traversing it. Backpackers ascend and descend more than 10 passes through the Sierra Nevada range, hiking at altitudes of 9,000 to 12,000 feet for most of the trip. The high point of the trail, literally and metaphorically, is 14,497-foot Mt. Whitney — the highest peak in the continental United States. Ups and downs on the trail
I hiked a slightly shortened version of the JMT with my friends Ashley Holt (who grew up in Atherton) and Erin Conlisk, traveling from north to south in the late summer of 2008. We started just east of Tuolumne Meadows in Yosemite at the Mono/Parker Pass trailhead
and joined the JMT (which actually starts in Yosemite Valley) at Garnet Lake on the second day of our 16-day journey. We calculated our total distance at just on 200 miles. The JMT is certainly not for the faint of heart or weak of sole. Blisters are just the beginning of a hiker’s woes on the trail. Sore muscles, bruised hips, bloody noses and altitude headaches are part of the daily JMT experience. Fitfully sleeping on a 1-inch pad, eating powdered soups and power bars every meal, washing yourself and your few dirty clothes in cold mountain streams, and digging a hole for your toilet each morning probably won’t appeal to the 5-star hotel crowd. And that’s See BEYOND YOSEMITE, page 22
■ 212 miles (200 for our modified route) ■ 16 days on the trail ■ 10 mountain passes ■ 3 good friends ■ Countless memories
July 14, 2010 N The Almanac N 21
D E S T I N A T I O N S BEYOND YOSEMITE continued from page 21
ignoring the daily 12.5-mile hike, carrying a 40-50 pound pack. On Day One, the novelty of the experience made it fun, and, of course, I still had clean clothes. On Day Two, I wondered why we hadn’t chosen a nice beach holiday instead. On Day Three, having lost the trail several times and exposed my embarrassingly inadequate training, I was just about ready to call it quits. But by Day Four, I finally started to understand why people hike the JMT over and over again. It’s not until you get far enough from paved access roads that you really get to experience the vast beauty and solitude of the High Sierras. Once we passed Devil’s Postpile National Monument (the last easy car access to the northern part of the trail), we usually met only 10 to 20 hikers each day. Most of the time, it felt as if we had the entire mountain range to ourselves. Sleeping on a bed of granite admittedly isn’t comfortable, but it’s the thick blanket of stars overhead that makes it worthwhile. Few experiences compare to watching the sun rise over a glassy alpine lake, the surround-
ing mountains touched by the morning light, and the air so still that you can hear the fish jumping. More than just a pretty view
While the scenery alone is easily worth the trip, it’s the friendships, the self-confidence and the funny stories that remain long after the hike is over. Hikers will cheer one another up grueling mountain climbs, swap route and campsite recommendations, and even share their equipment and coveted snacks when needed. On the trail, acquaintances quickly become friends, and friends become family. Finally, there’s something about pushing your body and mind to the limit — relying only on your strength and your friends to see you over the next mountain pass — that’s uniquely humbling and confidencebuilding at the same time. For most people, hiking the JMT is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. But whether you hike it once or every summer, in full or in part, take the time to explore the Sierras on foot. It’s the best way to experience California’s beautiful high country wilderness.
Photo by Frances Freyberg of Menlo Park
Peaceful Grouse Meadows in the early morning light of Day 10 of the trek.
More information ■ http://johnmuirtrail.org ■ “John Muir Trail: The essential guide to hiking America’s most famous trail” by Elizabeth Wenk and Kathy Morey ■ Go to is.gd/cZTpP (case-sensitive) for a day-by-day account of our hike, with photos.
Not much time to sign literacy ‘declaration’ at library By Renee Batti Almanac News Editor
www.mominabox.net The “I Care” package you’ll want to send off with your new or returning college student
TOWN OF WOODSIDE INVITES APPLICATIONS FOR ARCHITECTURAL AND SITE REVIEW BOARD The Architectural and Site Review Board reviews and makes recommendations to the Director of Planning and Building on residential, site design and commercial applications. Meetings are held on the ﬁrst and third Monday of each month, 4:30 p.m. Appointment is for an unexpired term through January 2011 Interested residents may request information and applications Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m.-12 noon and 1-5:00 p.m. at the Town Clerk’s Ofﬁce, 2955 Woodside Road, by telephone at (650) 851-6790, or through the Town’s web site at www.woodsidetown. org. Deadline for applications is Tuesday, July 20, 2010, 5:00 p.m. 22 N The Almanac N July 14, 2010
enlo Park Library patrons have until Wednesday, July 14, to put their John Hancock on a document passing through town on its way to Washington, D.C., after traveling thousands of miles across the country: the Declaration of the Right to Literacy. The declaration, in the form of a scroll, was scheduled to arrive at the library on July 9, although it was delayed in transit from Sacramento. But a copy of the declaration was put on display that day, and parchment paper was available to sign by all who support the declaration’s assertion that all U.S. residents, “regardless of age or status, (should) be able to read and write in order to participate fully and equitably in our democracy,” and that the country’s educational system needs to be transformed to achieve that end. The scroll has already been signed by thousands of people,
according to organizers of the project, who aim to present the scroll to President Obama in September. Menlo Park Mayor Rich Cline said he intends to add his signature to the scroll, joining mayors and other elected officials from around the country. Others signing the scroll include business and church leaders, service providers, adult literacy students, volunteers, educational organizations, and community residents from all over the country, according to a press release. The Declaration of the Right to Literacy was conceived at a 2009 convention of the Literacy Powerline, a national group working to increase literacy. The project has been endorsed by the U.S. Conference of Mayors, according to the press release. The declaration states, in part, that “the global competitiveness and economic security of our nation and well-being of our citizens are seriously held back by widespread low literacy in
the United States.” Therefore, it continues, “literacy must be a national priority and an integral part of our country’s public policies, supported by an educational system that equips all learners to make informed decisions, manage their lives effectively, and achieve their fullest potential and contribution.” Locally, the scroll project is sponsored by Project Read-Menlo Park and the Menlo Park Library. It has been placed on a table in the library’s main hall, according to Outreach Librarian Roberta Roth, who is also on the Project Read staff. The Menlo Park Library is at 800 Alma St. Project Read has offered free English-language tutoring to adults in the community since 1985. The program currently has more than 100 adult learners and 90 volunteer tutors, according to Ms. Roth. Go to literacypowerline.com for more information about the declaration project. A
County to receive funds for energy retrofit job training, placement San Mateo County will receive $2.5 million from the U.S. Department of Labor for the Human Services Agencyís Home Energy Retrofit Occupationsí (HERO) project, Rep. Anna G. Eshoo,
D-Menlo Park, has announced. The grant is part of $13.7 million allocated by the Department of Labor for job training programs at community colleges and organizations in California, according to
a press release from Rep. Eshooís office. HERO provides unemployed workers — often veterans — with training, and assists with job placement.
C O M M U N I T Y
Debs bow at Peninsula Ball Fifteen young women made their debut before 250 friends and family members at the 50th Peninsula Ball, held June 19 at the Crowne Plaza Cabana Hotel in Palo Alto. The debs wore traditional white gowns, long white gloves, and carried bouquets of white roses. The hotel ballroom was transformed into an all-white garden setting. Tables were decorated with gold cloths and white flowers in silver vases. Valerie Soltau and Jayne
Mordell were co-chairs of the anniversary event, with Bridget Madigan as honorary chair. The evening, which benefited the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Peninsula, was a time for memories for those who had made their own debuts at past Peninsula Balls. Elizabeth Ross, a founding member of the ball, was greeted with a standing ovation. The evening was concluded with dancing to the Robert Vickers Orchestra.
Debutantes who bowed at the recent Peninsula Ball are, from left, front row, Kristina Morris, Samantha Hiller, Gabriella Currier, Ann Madding, Megan Brown and Ashley Roberts; back row, Meaghan Gerhart, Christina Ring, Sanam Amid-Hozour, Katherine Kerwin, Elizabeth Moore, Elsie Kruberg, Anne Robson, Toni-Marie Moore and Ryanne Haught.
Hidden Villa hosts summer concerts Hidden Villa, an organic farm and nonprofit educational organization in Los Altos Hills, will hold two concerts this summer. The first, set for 5:30 p.m. Sunday, July 18, features Livewire Cover Band, a
six-piece dance music band based in San Francisco. The second, set for 5:30 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 29, will have music from New Orleans by CHELLE & Friends and Latin music by Orquesta dĂSoul.
Hidden Villa is located at 26870 Moody Road in Los Altos Hills. Attendees must register for the concerts in advance. Go to hiddenvilla.org for more information.
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The Menlo Park Chamber of Commerce would like to express its sincere thanks to the hundreds of volunteers who have given so generously of their time and service, and to the following sponsors whose participation has helped make the festival possible.
24th 2010 www.menloparkchamber.com
San Mateo Credit Union, Wells Fargo, Larabar, Cascadian Farm, Farm Fresh to You, Menlo Medical Clinic, Provident Credit Union, Solar City, Lucile Packard Children's Hospital, University Chiropractic, Armstrong Painting, Renewal by Andersen, Bay Home & Window, Cobalt Power Systems, The New York Times, Heavenly Greens, Maita Distributing, Sam Adams Summer Ale, Boston Lager, Blue Moon Belgian White, Coors Light, Cutco Cutlery, California State Automobile Association, Danmer Custom Shutters, Gutter Helmet, BathFitter, R-Mac Properties, The Craftsmens' Guild, KC Custom Homes, AT&T Real Yellow Pages, Kitchen Experts, AutoVino, American Laser Centers, Sauza Premium Original Margarita, Cruzan Rum Mojito, The San Jose Mercury News, CBS 5 TV, The CW, Channel 44, Comcast, Alice 97.3 FM, KBAY 94.5 FM, KEZR 106.5 FM, KFOX 98.5 FM, The Almanac, Palo Alto Weekly, The Wave Magazine, Allied Waste Services, Recology, The City of Menlo Park, Tyco Electronics, and Friends of the Chamber. July 14, 2010 N The Almanac N 23
C O M M U N I T Y
Retiring from the Portola Valley School District are, from left, Barbara Gardyn, Norma Remke and Jean Turri.
School district recognizes 101 years of teaching By Anne Campbell Superintendent, Portola Valley School District
he Portola Valley School District recently honored a distinguished group of retirees: Barbara Gardyn, Ormondale kindergarten teacher; Norma Remke, Corte Madera resource specialist; and Jean Turri, Ormondale third-grade teacher. Together, these ladies have amassed over 101 years of teaching. That’s a lot of Back-toSchool Nights, parent conferences, report cards, and lesson planning. Barbara Gardyn began her teaching career in Rochester, New York, where she taught second grade. After moving to California, teaching in South San Francisco, and raising a family (including Ormondale teacher Deena Bertolina), Ms. Gardyn joined the Portola Valley School District in 1996, where she has happily taught kindergarten ever since. An ardent advocate for developmentally appropriate school curriculum, especially for our youngest students, Ms. Gardyn has served in a leadership role in the California Kindergarten Association. She has been a vital link to the world of school for students and parents alike, as they have transitioned from home and preschool to the world of Ormondale and elementary school. Room 8 will certainly miss Ms. Gardyn’s buoyant personality and knowledge of kindergarten when school opens in August, but three adorable grandchildren await! Norma Remke actually began her career in the Portola Valley district as a parent, being an active member of the PTA while her own children attended district schools. She enjoyed the district experience so much, that she joined the staff in 1985. Anyone who wanders around
the Corte Madera campus after school will often find Ms. Remke working late into the evening, making sure that when her students arrive at school the next day they have lessons that are well-prepared and educational experiences that are relevant to their specific learning needs. A Michigan native, Ms. Remke is a loyal fan of all the Detroit teams. As she retires to pursue exciting new life adventures, she gives up the No. 1 spot on the district Teacher Seniority List to someone else. When Ormondale clappedout its third-graders on June 11, Jean Turri ran through the halls one last time with her graduating class. This year, though, she ran not only into the bliss of summer, but also into the joys of retirement. Ms. Turri has been a teacher for 41 consecutive years, and has served students in the Laguna Salada, Burlingame, Hillsborough, and Portola Valley school districts. She is known throughout the Peninsula as an accomplished mathematics instructor, mentor, and presenter, so we count ourselves very lucky to have had her services as a teacher in Portola Valley for the past 11 years. As an individual who loves to stay busy and try new things, in her retirement Jean will undoubtedly continue her Zumba studies, make many trips to Apple’s Genius Bar, and discover new worlds to conquer. The Portola Valley School District wishes this fine trio of retirees well as they head off to the adventures that retirement holds in store for them. A most happy and well-deserved retirement to Barbara Gardyn, Norma Remke and Jean Turri. Anne Campbell is superintendent of the Portola Valley School District.
24 N The Almanac N July 14, 2010
Photo by Marjorie Mader
La Entrada eighth-graders who spoke at graduation are, front row from left, Kaela Han, Thomas Suesser and Zoe Pacalin; back row, Jill Galbraith, Chandler Wickers and Spencer Murphy.
La Entrada graduates 99 eighth-graders La Entrada’s Class of 2010 received diplomas June 10 during a festive ceremony in the middle school’s gym that featured class speakers, music, awards, and short recorded student reflections on their times in the Las Lomitas School District. The 99 eighth-graders entered the gym to “Yellow” by Cold Play and exited to “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough” by Marvin Gaye. Eric Hartwig, superintendent of the Las Lomitas School District, welcomed the students, their families and guests. Jill Galbraith, student body president, served as master of ceremonies. Chandler Wickers, Spencer Murphy, Zoe Pacalin and Kaela Han were selected as the featured student speakers. All eighthgraders wrote an essay in their English classes. The speeches were narrowed to finalists who gave their speeches to teachers serving as judges. Thomas Suesser led the flag salute.