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Bakersfield Fresno Merced Modesto Stockton Visalia

Throwback Thursday circa 2013

I was archiving and organizing some digital photos today and came across this one from seven years ago. I was commuting back and forth from the SF Bay Area on the Amtrak San Joaquin line because the old Queer Fresno was hosting and managing our 18+ gay dance party INTEGRATION.

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Fresno Merced Modesto Visalia

Papagni Pink Pinot Grigio

Last weekend, most wineries on the Madera Wine Trail began to open up their tasting rooms again. Mike and I took this opportunity to finally try out some of these Madera wineries. They are too close to us to not try so we made a Sunday afternoon out of it. One of the wineries we visited was the Papagni Winery. As the information on Madera Wine Trail reads, you actually can meet and have a glass of wine with the winemakers themselves. After a few samples, there was definitely one wine that stole the show! That was a 2014 Pinot Grigio with a pink hue.

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Bakersfield Fresno Merced Modesto Stockton Visalia

What a difference five years can make

Remember when the Obama administration lit up the White House in rainbow colors for Pride month in 2015? Remember when diversity and inclusion were something that we strove and worked towards? Elections matter folks. We simply must take back the White House. It’s bad enough we elected and unqualified, racist, narcissist with dictatorial tendencies to the highest office in the land. In less than 5 months we will be headed to the polls again and we must, as a nation, course correct. Our democracy is under attack and long standing, cherished institutions are being weakened at their foundation each and every week.

We are at war. We are at war with the foreign power that put their thumb on the scale in 2016 in an effort to put their preferred candidate in office. Russia has invaded our country and to think about it in any other terms is to not bring to bear the right mindset to the biggest threat our country has ever seen. We are also at war internally. Factions of white supremist organizations and racist sentiment have seemingly been boiling under the service for a while now. Perhaps it better put that old Confederacy never really went away. I think maybe they have just been shifting arenas, and strategies, and strongholds ever since the Civil War.

In the words of Barack Obama…

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Fresno Merced Visalia

Lewis Creek Trail review and photos

Since my return to the Central Valley after a 5-year job hiatus to the San Francisco Bay Area I have absolutely fallen in love with our national parks and various lakes. Can you believe that Fresno is only an hour or so away from Yosemite National Park and that I’d never visited it before 2017? I know, I know, believe me I have scolded myself plenty. I’ve really started to change all of that over the last 2-3 years and I even bought an annual National Park pass last year. Anyway, I have made a pact with myself to change all that one of the local gems I visited last week was Lewis Creek Trail.

Lewis Creek is less than an hour away from River Park and Woodward heading north on Highway 41. The southern most trail head is off Cedar Valley road. About a quarter mile down the road there is a nice clearing so you can park and the trail is clearly marked so you can’t miss it. The trail is just over 3 miles (one way) and 6 miles if you do the whole thing up and back. Ronan and I snuck away last Friday just to get out of the house, get some fresh air in our lungs, and still observe social distancing. On the scale of low, medium, and hard I would rate this trail as medium. Serious hikers won’t bat an eye at it but it’s not a walk in park so if you are beginner make sure you are wearing hiking shoes, comfortable clothing, and plenty of water. I’d highly recommend taking a day pack with a water reservoir.

The trail follows Lewis Creek most of they way up and back and you’ll get a great gander at Corlieu and Red Rock falls. With the spat of warm weather we had last week you could tell the beginning of the snow melt from the mountains was gearing up and the creek was full. There is just something special, and I daresay spiritual, about hiking in nature with the sound of rushing mountain water in the background. If you like the outdoors, want to get out of the house, and get a good workout to boot you should put Lewis Creek Trail on your radar. You will not regret it!