Introducing Rainbow Sierrans Govcom 2019

Congratulations to our new Govcom members Paget Valentzas, Anita Bowen, Ann Lehr, Kat Zumbach, 

and Paige Brown!  And here they are:

With a strong desire to develop and encourage leaders Paget Valentzas     


brings her passion and enthusiasm back to Govcom as our Chair.                

She is hoping to offer an even more robust outing schedule. 

   Vice Chair Anita Bowen, wants to give back for the three years the

   the Rainbow Sierrans has enriched her life.   Through this

   organization she has felt a sense of community, friendship, and service to the planet.

   "Every task is doable if you are having fun doing it".  She hopes to bring some fun to        the work of GovCom.

Ann has enjoyed camping and backpacking in the High Sierra

since childhood, and these experiences instilled in her an early  desire to protect and preserve the natural environment. She joined GLS in 1988, and the  Sierra Club the following year because she feels that going “out in nature” is one of the best ways to get some exercise in good company while recharging her physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual batteries. She now lives within view of Mt. Diablo - her favorite local place to hike and lead hikes since 2012.  As Outings Chair, she will support the outings leaders as they engage our members in a range of outdoor activities.



  We welcome back Kat Zumbach as Treasurer.  Her technical knowhow and 

 and attention to detail make her a valuable asset as we strengthen the financial   position of the club.   Plus she really enjoyed it last year!




                                     Paige Brown brings her 20 years as a professional environmentalist to GovCom, and she's an expert at meeting facilitation and networking activities.  Fittingly, Paige will be our Secretary. 


 Winter Wonderland in Yosemite, by Marian Stainbrook

Thirty-one Rainbow Sierrans went to Yosemite for a weekend snow adventure led by Jenna and Marian.

Winter Wonderland in Yosemite

We knew Yosemite was getting its good share of snow and we were prepared. Extra         

layers of clothes, water resistant garments, snow boots, and snow chains for the tires.

What   we didn’t know is how majestic Yosemite looks with all that snow everywhere.

It was indeed, a magical moment, as we drove into Yosemite. Freshly powered snow

layered tenderly on the branches of the trees.

When a quick gentle blow of the wind

scurry around the branches, a flurry of snow would fall from them and shower anyone who

was under its wing. All of the mountains were covered with snow and it was hard to make

out Half Dome through the dense fog. El Captain, with hardly any snow on its face, stood out among its peers like a giant gentle beast guarding the valley with its protective shield.

We made our way to an area behind the Yosemite Village Store where twenty-five of us geared up with     snowshoes and skis for the trek to Lower Yosemite Falls.   


   Since the snow on the ground was about 6 inches or so         deep, we followed the tracks of our leader, Jenna, to stay          on course to our destination. Soft feathery snowflakes fell   everywhere, anointing us with its wintry proclamation which   gave us a sense of playfulness. We meander our way through the valley’s meadow,   plowing through piles of snow, crossing roads and   bridges and climbing over snow banks, only to be   stopped in our tracks by the faint sound of rumpling   water.   Ah,  Lower Yosemite falls certainly knows how to   stage a   scene,  striking a pose between two tall trees. Indeed, a photo   opportunity that we could not pass up. Even in a distance, we are awe-struck by its presence. We then proceeded to the threshold of Lower Yosemite Falls only to be enamored by its magnificence. Upper Yosemite falls was hidden by a blanket of fog which made it seem surreal. We thread carefully, following a path alongside boulders to get ourselves closer to the falls, knowing we were only inches away from water hidden underneath the snow. Around the rock formations, we found a small space to settle do for lunch and had lively conversations among ourselves.    

We then followed a similar trek back to the Village Store where some of us split up to take a longer route back.    

In all, we had a wonderful outing and in the end managed to keep us all intact. Most of us met up at the Majestic Hotel and gathered around the fireplace with our beverage of choice in hand. I am always appreciative of the people in our community that come together to share the many experiences of the Sierra Rainbows outings and this was indeed, one of my favorites

 Conservation Corner - Carpooling

As stewards for outdoor conservation efforts, The Rainbow Sierrans actively encourage participants to carpool as an effective way to decrease our environmental impact and reduce the number of vehicles at trailheads. Plus it’s a great way to meet other people participating in your adventure! We do ask, however, that carpooling be self-selected and organized by the participants independently of Rainbow Sierrans. By allowing self-selection, the individual is responsible for making appropriate choices to ride with a driver they believe is safe and responsible – and drivers can have more choice about who is riding in their vehicle.  Don’t forget to consider BART or the state’s Park and Ride system as a convenient way to meet up.

Drivers and riders who choose to participate in carpools to Rainbow Sierran outings are doing so at their own risk. All trips formally begin and end at the trailhead or launch point. Thank you for being a responsible member of our community



  • Be ready.
  • Be on time (remember to exchange cell phone numbers and prearrange how long you are willing to wait if someone is late).
  • Offer to pay for the ride - don't wait for the driver to ask! This should include consideration of wear-and-tear on the car, fuel prices, the distance, and the inconvenience.  
  • Don't ask for special stops.
  • Consider bringing plastic bags or other provisions to keep mud from getting in the car.
  • Be courteous
  • Be on time (remember to exchange cellphone numbers and prearrange how long you are willing to wait if someone is late).
  • Drive safely.
  • Be clear about your reimbursement expectations.
  • Don't make unnecessary stops for yourself.
  • Carry adequate insurance.
  • If you are concerned about cleanliness, consider providing rubber mats or other provisions to protect the interior and provide a place for muddy boots.


A good rule-of thumb is 45 or 50 cents a mile plus tolls divided by passengers in car.  

Are you the owner of a roomy, all-wheel drive car who frequently finds themselves driving without receiving any reimbursement? Consider mentioning in your emails about carpooling that you are happy to drive if folks are willing to chip in some money for gas, or ask the leader sending out the trip logistics email if they can mention reimbursement for drivers.

Do you frequently find yourself without cash to pay reimbursement or to make change? Consider downloading a free app like Venmo which allows you to transfer funds electronically to your Rainbow Sierran carpool mates with a simple click. These apps also let drivers accept money from riders in their vehicle.

From our Chairs - Winter 2019


Greeting Rainbow Sierrans, 

As we begin the year, we wanted to share our hopes for the Club with you. Given the state of the planet and our own country's cruel, destructive agenda, we want Rainbow Sierrans to offer a safe harbor, provide fun and help you find ways to be of service.

Thank yous: Before looking ahead, we want to express our profound gratitude to two outgoing GovCom members Beth Bittle and Kris Anderson. As chair, Beth led the Club over the last two years with great energy and a warm spirit.  Her contributions include increased outings and the name change.  Kris Anderson spearheaded the updated website and produced an informative and beautiful newsletter for the club among other contributions.  We were the beneficiaries of her creative chops and attention to detail.

New Team:  We have a great team on GovCom this year.  Paget, with her years of experience and generous heart is Chair.  Outings Chair, Ann Lehr has already done an amazing job organizing the record-keeping for outing leaders.  Kat Zumbach, our Treasurer, will continue to keep an eye on our spending so that we stay solvent.  Paige Brown and Anita Bowen are bringing their fresh eyes, passion for the environment, activism, creativity and enthusiasm to the table.

Finances: In 2019 you'll notice a slight increase in our annual dues and camping trips.  While membership fees have remained stagnant for at least a decade, our expenses have increased considerably.  We now pay for two websites, a storage locker to house all our group campout equipment and we reimburse outings leaders for their first aid classes.

Environmental Activism:  If there was ever a time to get off the couch and take to the streets, it's now!  We hope to join forces with other local branches of the Sierra Club in order to address local, state, and national issues regarding the environment. We hope to capture the amazing strength of our community and foster environmental activism in our group.  Please stay tuned!

Outings Leaders:  100% of our club is run by volunteers.  We need you!  If leading outings is not your cup of tea we can help you find other ways to contribute.


Paget and Anita

Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software | Designed by TheARRC