▪ “An American River Almanac: Reflections on Nature Throughout the Year”
This lovely coffee-table book, published by the American River Natural History Association, should be a must for anyone who truly appreciates the American River. The 82 glossy photos and 72 essays (reprinted from the old Sacramento Union newspaper) paint a bucolic portrait of the river that runs through our area. It details the history, from the Southern Maidu Indians who first located on its shores, to the multifarious flora and fauna that still call it home. The narrative follows the calendar. For late November, there’s text about the dark-eyed birds, juncos, that head down from the foothills to the river valley.
▪ Chaheati Heated Slip-On Chair Cover
The same company that brought the world the first heated fold-out lawn chair now is offering a heated slip-on cover for your lawn chair. Literally, you’ll be on the hot seat around the campfire or at your kid’s soccer game, while others freeze their buns off. It works with a rechargeable lithium battery and has no coils; the heating element is woven into the fabric.
▪ “Best of the California Coast,” by Ken McKowen and Dahlynn McKowen
From the northern-most section of Del Norte County to Border Lands State Park at the Mexican border, the authors (Sacramento County locals who also run a publishing house) have chronicled an exhaustive look at the beaches, trails and sights along the California coast. They divide the reference book into six sections, detailing the state parks and museums as well as trails. They also give a lesson about the state’s climate and ocean currents, even throwing in some El Niño facts.
▪ “Top 10 Underappreciated National Parks”
National Geographic pays some well-deserved respect to these underrated gems of National Parks, including one in our great state:
1. Great Basin National Park, Nev. (Alpine lakes, a glacier, and Lehman Caves)
2. Buffalo National River, Ark. (America’s first national river)
3. Big Cypress National Preserve, Fla. (wetlands and swamps)
4. Colorado National Monument, Colo. (Southwest red-rock country)
5. Wrangell – St. Elias National Park and Preserve, Alaska (glaciers and boreal forests)
6. Wind Cave National Park, S.D. (cave and grasslands)
7. Mojave National Preserve (desert)
8. Jean Lafitte National Historical Park and Preserve, La. (Cajun history)
9. Chaco Culture National Historical Park, N.M. (Center of the Ancient Pueblo People)
10. Sunset Crater Volcano National Monument, Ariz.
Ultra-runner Carilyn Johnson (@CarilynJohnson): “I am lame. Just ran 15 miles, then drove around the block 3 times to find the closest spot to the place I was going for lunch.”
Compiled by Sam McManis, email@example.com