Tag Archives: campfire

Gold Rush Days at San Lorenzo Park

MCARLM’s great history event for 4th graders took place again last Tuesday and Wednesday. Though I didn’t have my tent for day #1, I still told 49er stories and sang “My Darling Clementine” with the kids. They got to pan for gold, eat hardtack and visit the blacksmith’s shop, as well!

P.S. Mothers and aides were thrilled to visit with their old school teachers, too. Many of us can still do a fine job – at least for a day or two!



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A Bear for Lunch

Editor Richard Loller generously added this Yosemite reminiscence to his Preservation Foundation site. When you take teenagers to mountains where bears reside, they will inevitably meet. Here’s the link:


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A Bear Story for the Ages at Gold Rush Days

The bear comes out of the tent. He’s looking for Bill!

I told “THE BEAR” story and sang campfire songs with 4th grade students at MCARLM’s 2017 Gold Rush Days at San Lorenzo Park. I saw fifteen groups of kids over the two days of the May 24th-25th event. Among other things, they also visited a blacksmith shop, a one-room schoolhouse, a general store and a chuck wagon. Best of all, they panned for gold! My many colleagues did a great job and California history came to life!

Bill scared that old bear!

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Tailey-po, Tailey po – give me back my Tailey-po!


Photo by Sharon Turner

San Lorenzo County Park near King City is a true treasure and the Monterey County Agricultural & Rural Life Museum is its crown jewel. The folks at MCARLM host a yearly gathering for young people around Halloween. The focus is on local history, legends and – yes! – ghosts. I was invited to the campfire and added a few local ghostly tales to the mix. We had a great time! If you’re in the area, please join us next year.


Dark is the ghost of Molly Means!


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High Camp – First Snow


Michael and I squeezed in an October trip to the Sierras this year. We pulled in to the Caples Lake campground on the heels of the season’s first storm – not much below, but wild enough up high. I wrote the poem below while a muscular wind played patty-cake with Michael’s best tent. It’s the worse for wear, believe me. We walked a section of the PCT the next day  in perfect weather.


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Yosemite – Unnamed Falls


You all know by now of my long enchantment with Yosemite. It’s ongoing and continues to spark my writing. Here’s a just published Yosemite poem I’d like to share:


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Big Stump Ghost on KBR


Photo by Ed Haskell

Not so many years ago, my kids sat around campfires listening to ghost stories told by Ed McKean, among others.  Ed’s “The Big Stump Ghost” was pretty silly, but it was one of their favorites and got retold unnumbered times.  If he ever changed a detail, they called him on it!  My version is not much like Ed’s, but it captures his story-telling style pretty well.  Take a peek at it on Kids’ Book Review:


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