clearlakemike's wunderblog

The Amgen Tour of California

By: clearlakemike, 4:42 AM GMT on January 30, 2006

The Amgen Tour of California is bringing the drama and excitement of a professional bicycle stage race to the California coast next month, February 19 - 26, 2006. The world's top professional teams will compete over an eight-day, 700-mile race on a route that includes the California redwoods, wine country and the Pacific Coast.

The tour will also raise funds for cancer care and treatment. Amgen, the tour's title sponsor, will work with The Wellness Community®, and Team Discovery member George Hincapie through their new Breakaway from Cancer™ initiative. The initiative will raise awareness and funds for services and programs that help cancer patients and caregivers.

The following link is the tour's website:

WUG photographer, SKERT, is coming out to California from her home in Georgia and is going to be a tour marshal for the event! SKERT would love to meet us West Coast/CA WUG photogs! SKERT and I are planning some photo shoots along the exciting and dramatic California coast during the tour.

The tour will begin in San Francisco and go north to Santa Rosa and then from San Jose go to the beautiful Monterey Peninsula. From Monterey, the cyclists will ride down CA Hwy One along the spectacular Big Sur Coast to San Luis Obisbo in central California. From San Luis they will continue down the coast to the elegant coast city of Santa Barbara. Then up into the rugged canyons of Ventura County and over to the edge of Los Angeles County, in the hills above the San Fernando Valley and Malibu, to Thousand Oaks. The race will end with a 9 lap circuit race in a beautiful southern California beach town, Redondo Beach.

Updated: 4:50 AM GMT on January 30, 2006


Yosemite - Jewel in the Crown

By: clearlakemike, 2:33 PM GMT on January 24, 2006

Arguably, Yosemite National Park is the jewel in the crown of America's national parks. Yosemite embraces scenic wildlands set aside in 1890 to preserve a portion of the Sierra Nevada that stretches along California's eastern flank. Ranging from 2,000 feet above sea level to more than 13,000 feet, the park encompasses alpine wildnerness, groves of giant sequioa trees, and Yosemite Valley.

The story of Yosemite's landscape began about 500 million years ago when the Sierra Nevada Region lay beneath an ancient sea. Thick layers of seabed sediments were eventually folded and twisted and thrust above sea level. Simultaneously molten rock welled up from deep within the earth and cooled slowy beneath the sediment layers to form granite. Erosion wore away neary all of the overlying rock, exposing the granite. As uplifts continued to form the Sierra Nevada, water and then glaciers worked at carving Yosemite. This constant changing of the landscape by weather, water, fire and natural forces makes Yosemite unlike any place in the world.

Yosemite National Park is a three to four drive from San Francisco (SFO - International Airport.) The park is beautiful in any season. Snowcapped mountains and snowy meadows in the winter, beautiful full water falls cascading over the granite cliffs in the spring, meadows of wildflowers and warm sunny days during the summer, and beautiful fall foliage.

In addition to car touring, there are beautiful campgrounds along the Merced river and in the alpine meadows. Hiking, biking, and rock climbing are great ways to see Yosemite also.

Because of Yosemite's proximity to California's large urban areas of tens of millions of people, reservations are required far in advance for campgrounds and lodges during the busy summer months. If you don't like the crowds, the rest of the year is just as beautiful with less people and traffic. During the summer months shuttle buses provide public transportation in the valley. Tour bus operators also provide transportation from San Francisco to the park year round.

Updated: 10:17 PM GMT on January 26, 2006


Home Sweet Home

By: clearlakemike, 7:17 PM GMT on January 06, 2006

I had a wonderful time in Florida the last couple of weeks and it was a very special time with my family and my new Florida friend, Wanda!!!

Thank you Wanda for making those sacrifices to the Weather gods and bringing sunny, Sunshine State weather while I was there. And it was sad to see California get socked by storm after storm but I am glad I was watching it on TV from afar in the warm Florida sun.

Now it is sunny again here in California and I am continuing my sunny days again.

Updated: 7:24 PM GMT on January 06, 2006


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Member since November, 2004 I like being outside.

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