Tag Archives: Pinnacles

Joaquin’s Gold is now published!

Emily Schwartzman created this wonderful cover for the new book!

            Hidden gold, bloody bandits, vengeful miners, mad ghosts, shipwrecks, rattlesnakes— all these and more are to be found in my stories about Joaquin Murrieta. The individual stories have all been published separately and several have won contest awards. They are now published together for the first time as both a Kindle e-book and a paperback.

Set in Central Californian locations — what is now Pinnacles National Park, the Santa Lucia Mountains, Jolon, Old Mission San Antonio de Padua and San Francisco, among others — the stories blend 19th Century historical characters and events into the action. I’ve intentionally aligned the book’s content with California Social Studies Standards. Its readability is above 90% on the Flesch scale and varies between a 2.3 and 2.9 in grade level, so most young people should be comfortable reading the stories on their own. I also created classroom activities for all of these stories — now in use as part of the reading fluency program at Chalone Peaks Middle School — that are available on TPT.

            I’m proud to share this collection with you and hope it will open California history for you and yours.

Here’s the link to Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B09RTX6G3G/ref=tmm_pap_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=&sr=

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Pinnacles Forever!


Mike Russell, Bill Hunt and Bob Walton in the West Side parking lot, 1977

Friend, neighbor and civic leader Karen Jernigan invited me to speak at a meeting of Pinnacles Gateway Partners on March 14th. This group is devoted to sustaining, supporting and promoting Pinnacles National Park. My very pleasant task was to share some climbing stories and photos with members of the group, many of whom have no experience with rock climbing. Longtime leader of the Sierra Club and Friends of the Earth founder David Brower initiated technical climbing at Pinnacles in 1934. Tens of thousands have enjoyed the Park’s crags since then. Aside from enjoying our sport, climbers have also shouldered the burdens of protecting and enhancing Pinnacles. We work with the good people of the NPS to support their mission. Climbing culture is strong at Pinnacles and that culture is one of stewardship. I shared that with the Gateway folks. Here’s a link to an article about my presentation:  https://benitolink.com/features/pinnacles-gateway-partners-welcomes-veteran-rock-climber?fbclid=IwAR3a8ES_MGZmY78LN8b83Zb41rZF7lXYjYuTdh4UyID36Z2nWdjTDxxkYZk

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Filed under Author Visits, Front Page