Sam McManis roams the region to find where you want to go

Provisions A guide for what you need to buy, read or consume to enhance your recreation and travel experience

08/31/2014 12:00 AM

08/27/2014 5:52 PM


• Moment Smartphone Lens


It’s quite a convenience, whipping out your smartphone and snapping photographs without having all that bulk around your neck. If only the lenses could be sharper and bigger with more light to give that Nikon feel. The latest attempt to stick a bigger lens on your phone comes from Moment, which has started filling its pre-orders on its lens. The company funded the product through a kickstarted campaign. Outside magazine calls the Moment lens “the most streamlined smartphone lens we’ve seen,” and Moment says its lens has “minimal chromatic aberration.”


• “8,000 Miles Across Alaska: A Runner’s Journey on the Iditarod Trail,” by Jill Homer and Tim Hewitt


Author and endurance athlete Jill Homer’s gripping book, “8,000 Miles Across Alaska: A Runner’s Journey on the Iditarod Trail,” now is out in paperback. It’s the story of Tim Hewitt, a Pennsylvania lawyer who has completed the Iditarod Dog Sled Race course on foot three times.


• The Face-Kini

Because sun screen apparently isn’t enough, women in China are now covering their faces with a prophylactic swimsuit material that block dangerous rays. The BBC reports that the trend spawned 12 million posts on Weibo, China’s version of Twitter. Some people say the women look like bank robbers, but we think it’s more like lucha libre wrestlers.


•  America’s Best Drive-In Movie Theaters

So, TripAdvisor disses the Sacramento drive-in off Highway 50, but gives some other fine options, based on its Popularity Index. It’s top five:

1. Skyway Drive-In Theatre, Fish Creek, Wisc.

2. Swan Drive-In, Blue Ridge, Ga.

3. Stars & Stripes Drive-In Theatre, Lubbock, Texas

4. Highway 21 Drive-In Theater, Beaufort, S.C.

5. Coyote Drive-In, Fort Worth, Texas


“No one has yet written a psychological atlas of the world, outlining the so-called psychological virtues of places, but it’s a project that urgently needs to be undertaken. Such an atlas would align destinations with their inner potential. For example, we’d see that the Utah desert is both a physical destination — made up of 200 million-year-old stones that stretch out as far as the eye can see in a soothing pink hue — and a psychological one: capable of functioning as a goad to perspective, an aide to shift away from preoccupations with the petty and the small-minded towards a terrain of greater calm and resilience.”

— writer/philosopher Alain de Botton ( )

Compiled by Sam McManis,

About This Blog

Sam McManis has covered travel and recreation at The Sacramento Bee since 2011, criss-crossing California to report on interesting, humorous, unexpected and sometimes truly strange stories. When he's not driving all over the state for work, Sam likes to run on the many mountain trails California boasts. Reach him at or 916-321-1145. Twitter: @SamMcManis

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