Newsletter, Spring 2021

Gear Gyrl with Sylvie Hessini

Accessories and Organization

Carabiners aka biners: Full sized ones are part of a climber's arsenal and can hold hundreds of pounds of weight. Many smaller and diverse models have been created for holding

one’s cap, Crocs or what have you onto a backpack. They come in various formats. Additionally, Nite Ize brand, makes gear ties that are somewhat of a robust, reusable ziptie style in various color schemes. These are super light. All these mechanisms can also hold drying laundry or small bags/items as you travel.

Ditty bags
: These come in a variety of sizes and nylon or mesh materials. They are very helpful in keeping your gear organized. They are especially useful for corralling small items. Using a color coded system with your ditty bags may prove very useful!

Portable chargers/power banks: Our tech products follow us wherever we go. Juice is a good thing and options abound. There are many portable options to choose from and solar is getting better all the time. There are many websites with useful reviews. Google what you seek and you should be able to find it.    

Sleeping bag liners: Most basic liners are made of cotton, silk or wool. They can add warmth to your sleeping bag and be useful in hotel rooms for an additional layer of comfort and cleanliness. If you really want to augment your sleeping bag’s efficiency, Thermolite is an option which can add 25 degrees to your existing bag’s warmth quotient.

Choose well and Happy Hiking!

 Rainbow Sierrans Break Ground with First Pilot Outing

Beth Bittle and Ann Lehr

On Sunday, April 18, twelve RS cyclists toured the marshland paths of the Don Edwards San Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge and Coyote Hills Regional Park. 

This ride marked an important first step in implementing the Sierra Club’s COVID-19 safety protocols in preparation for the eventual restart of local outings. The group included several long-time RS members, one first-timer, and two members of Loma Prieta GLS

Our 15-mile route wound through an open, treeless landscape of rolling grassland-covered hills and spring wildflowers. We made several stops along the water’s edge to enjoy countless species of migratory birds—and one pink flamingo.

The requirements to wear masks and maintain a 6-foot distance did not diminish our camaraderie or our elation at being able to finally explore the outdoors in a shared 

group experience. This outing took place just in advance of

John Muir’s birthday (April 21) and Earth Day (April 22).

Trails Challenge by Ann Lehr

The East Bay Regional Park District Trails Challenge is an annual program connecting people to nature through hiking and bicycling. While the Sierra Club outings program is suspended due to COVID-19, the Trails Challenge provides us a wonderful alternative for self-guided hikes on selected trails. The 20 selected trails-one per park—range from easy to challenging, and the routes are carefully planned to showcase the most interesting features of each park.

For more information, visit: EBRPD Trails Challenge  2021

The EBRPD website offers a guidebook that tells how to participate in the program and lists detailed descriptions of the hikes. It also includes a trail log for participants to record their hikes, which can be submitted for a commemorative pin. I have completed six of the hikes so far this year. This program is fun and motivates me to get out in nature and explore some new trails.

In One to Three Words 

For this segment, we asked our hikers to share the name of one of their favorite recent hikes or outings (bike rides, walks, runs, contemplatings, etc.) and to capture it with one to three words.

  Eagle Peak ~ Multitudes of wildflowers

                Rock Springs on Tam ~ 

                          Wildflowers, views, and                             hugs                                        


Moore Creek, St. Helena ~ surrounded by poppies     

Valley Vista Trail, Lafyette ~ Seeing friends, wildflowers, green hills


    Jenkinson Lake Loop

     Trail ~ Reconnection, 

      pine aroma everywhere


Concervation Corner

Five ways to take on climate change at home.  Here are some simple changes you can make, and some larger ones. This podcast is about a 20 minute listen, and it's completely worth it.

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