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SF Travel Profile: The Adventurer

Harlow Salvador Newton, 38
Noe Valley; Owner, Tico Guide Travel and Buenaventura Eco-Lodge and Retreat;
Co Founder,


Obsessed with: Petzl headlamps, Leatherman multiuse tools, my little traveling Buddha
lucky charm.

SF Travel Profile: The Spiritual Seeker

Ami Mehta, 39
South Beach; Director of Innovation, Hinduja Group

Obsessed with: Yoga, surfing, meditation, Vedic astrology.

In the past five years: Been to India, Thailand, Hawaii, Costa Rica.

Best tip for surviving a retreat: Pack light, open your heart and go with the flow.

SF Travel Profile: The Road Tripper

TaggyLee Mermis Bowers, 34
Elementary special-education teacher


Obsessed with: It’s-Its, cheap rhinestone sunglasses, mechanical penny squishers.

In the last five years: Been to the World’s Biggest Box of Raisins in Kingsburg, California; Devil’s Backbone in Crater Lake, Oregon; Ostrichland in Buelton, California.

Plan B: Pomponio Trail, Memorial County Park

My boyfriend and I have definitely worn down many a tire tread driving to the perfect little redwood pocket known as Butano State Park, just off Highway 1 at Pescadero Beach. So, imagine our surprise when, after an hour-long drive from the city on Saturday, we roll up to the park entrance and instead of the usual newts and banana slugs and towering redwoods hailing our return, we find bright orange barricades and a sign that says, "Closed for the season." What happened next launched the flying pigs from their pen in a frozen circle of hell: I did not panic. I did not curse my luck. I simply—and calmly—stated the obvious, "It's time for Plan B."

$415 Million Needed to Keep Tahoe Blue

A recent SFGate article announces that the efforts to preserve California's most beloved alpine lake will soon receive—barring any hicups as the bill passes through the senate—$415 million to, among other worthwhile pursuits, eliminate a dangerous infestation of Asian clams, quagga and zebra mussels and remove erosion-and-sediment-and-fire-causing deadwood from 33,000 acres of surrounding forests. As always, the snarky commentors on SFGate bring up good points, especially @shutterbuggery who says, "The problem is too much development, too many casinos, too much of just about everything human. You can't turn back the hands of time—especially with introduced species.

Show Your Love for a Separated Bike Lane on Market St.

Market Street and I have something of a love/hate relationship. I love how the city’s main artery cuts straight through all the neighborhoods that matter, from the peaks of Portola to Castro to Duboce Triangle—skimming the sides of the Mission, Hayes Valley and SoMa—and continuing right on downtown to the Bay. I love that it gets my bike and I from home to work in just under seven minutes flat. And then there’s the hate part. Despite my ride being only seven minutes long, I seem to have at least one near-death experience every day. Clueless drivers, massive potholes, insane cabbies, wheel-swallowing train tracks—did I mention clueless drivers?

When Home Competes for an Ardent Traveler's Affections - and Wins

When I stepped off a ship last October after a month at sea and saw the Golden Gate Bridge in the distance, gleaming in the morning light, my heart fluttered. It was the same giddy feeling I’d had the first time I saw the bridge, 25 years ago, when I drove someone else’s Buick Riviera all the way from Denver to California and finally through the tunnel that frames the bridge’s magnificent towers, the bay and the city beyond: I’m home.

Get on the Bus: TransportedSF Plays Designated Driver for PacificSound's Sunset Party on Sunday

If you're thinking about shaking your tail feathers to the electronic dance music at PacificSound's Sunset Party opener this Sunday, April 25, at Stafford Lake Park in Marin, consider putting safety and the environment first by taking the bus there. Not just any bus, mind you. I wouldn't suggest you jump on Golden Gate Transit in scant party attire and a few open bottles of booze. TransportedSF's tricked-out biodiesel buses, which seat 40 adults each, come complete with dancefloor, state-of-the-art sound system and film projector.

The Backdoor Route: Hike Bootjack Trail in Muir Woods

John Muir is one of California's most celebrated outdoor enthusiasts and environmental activists, and his 170th birthday (April 21) falls appropriately in line with Earth Day (April 22). Celebrate by heading out to his namesake park in Marin. Muir Woods is home to some of the most beautiful old-growth coastal redwood groves in the state, and a popular destination for locals and tourists. But take its path less traveled and enjoy the area's natural treasures without the crowds. Bootjack Trail is a backdoor route that starts from the Pantoll parking lot and lets hikers warm up with ease.

Public Bikes Aims to Get San Franciscans Out of Their Cars

Ten years ago, Rob Forbes, the founder of Design Within Reach, visited Amsterdam. After days spent wandering the cobblestone streets, he was left with one prevailing observation: The city was dominated by bicycles. A vast majority of Amsterdammers—55 percent according to the Earth Policy Institute—peddle to and from work. A trend of that scale doesn’t go unnoticed—not by Forbes, at least. “I like going to a new environment and looking at what humans have created,” he says. “Amsterdam just isn’t a car culture.”

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