READ "Field Guide to California Rivers," by Tim Palmer
$27.95, University of California Press; www.ucpress.edu
Who knew we had so many rivers? Sure, everyone knows the biggies such as the Sacramento and American rivers, but what about Pit River (207 miles long), which Palmer calls "the true source of the Sacramento (river)." Palmer is nothing if not thorough, giving details on rafting, hiking and fishing for rivers big and small.
Coachella on the High Seas?
http://ss.coachella.com; starting at $500
The hip rock festival in the desert outside Palm Springs just got a little less hip or, maybe it will introduce hipsters to the wonders of cruise vacations. Yes, now you can sail to the Bahamas or Jamaica in December and hear your favorite bands aboard a luxury liner. The cruises leave from Fort Lauderdale, Fla., and they aren't cheap. But then, neither are tickets to the festival itself.
Smart Maps for Smithsonian
The Smithsonian museums in Washington, D.C., is so huge that they really need a quick and easy way to navigate the various galleries. Last month, just such a solution was introduced, thanks to Google. Now, you can use your smartphone to traverse the halls with detailed maps, as well as the National Zoo in D.C., via Google Maps for Android.
"Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks: Your Complete Hiking Guide," by Mike White
Wilderness Press, $24.95, 504 pages
If you're wondering just where to hike in Sequoia and Kings Canyon national parks and the options are numerous this book by veteran outdoor writer Mike White is a good resource, especially if you hate getting lost.
Best Cities for Barbecue
Twenty cities made Food&Wine.com's list of best barbecue haunts, and only one was in California (Santa Maria). Here are five of the other contenders:
Kansas City, Mo.
Australian basejumper Lucky Chance (nee Toby Benham), after surviving a mountainside crash in France, tells Outside magazine: "It is commonly the case that you overestimate the difficulty of a particular jump."