I live in Carmichael California with my wife Kristen and three cats. I have two adult children – Haley and Jordan who will always be the best part of me. I have worked for the California Environmental Protection Agency since 1990 – first for the California Integrated Waste Management Board and then for the Air Resources Board. I hope to retire soon to tend to my yard, garden, and house remodeling project.
I was born and raised in San Francisco, attending St. Cecilia’s and St. Ignatius before heading up to the north coast to Humboldt State in 1979. After just a quarter at HSU, I returned to the Bay Area to play baseball at Canada Jr. College in Redwood City. I returned to the City for a year at City College, went up to Santa Rosa JC for a year, then returned to HSU in 1982. I attended University of Montana in Missoula for a year on a student exchange program and the Wildland Fire Fighting Program at Lassen CC, before graduating with a Forestry degree from HSU in 1986. I married Ingrid and started a family in Eureka with the birth of Haley Lynne da Silva Hart who remains, to this day, my favorite daughter.
I worked numerous jobs in Eureka and as a seasonal employee on the timber crew with the US Forest Service in the Mendocino and Modoc National Forests. I returned to HSU to get a Master’s degree in Environmental Education at HSU in 1990. I almost missed the boat when I was offered a job with the California Integrated Waste Management Board but was “out in the woods” and could not be reached after the interview. Fortunately, I was able to get into town to a pay phone in the back of a bar to call in and accept the offer.
Moving to Sacramento in September of 1990was quite a shock and the birth of my favorite son Jordan Gabriel (no Gabe, he is not named after you – nor is he yours!) just about fried the entire system. However, great friends and family and many years of success and accomplishment (measured by beers, BBQ’s, parties, and camping trips) helped the early rough patches evolve into a 17 year career at the “Waste Board”. In 2007, I transferred to the California Air Resources Board to work on the Climate Change Program. In 2010, Kristen and I moved to Carmichael and our house of many projects. We have a beautiful yard and deck and look forward to kicking back and enjoying it.
About Camping and Exploring
I am the youngest of six kids and our parents loved to travel and camp with the family. Just about every summer was a trip – Tahoe, Yosemite, Big Basin, Santa Cruz Mountains, Sonoma Coast, Pt. Reyes, the Redwoods, and the Grand Canyon. My mom spent many summers as a child in the 1930’s camping all summer long in Big Basin State Park with her mom and her 8 siblings. Her dad would drive down from the City and bring supplies on the weekends, but my grandma would cook, wash clothes, tend to bumps and bruises – do everything for the brood for months while camping out in the Redwoods. My dad’s mom spent many summers in a fire lookout in Colorado in the 1920’s, so camping out in the woods with very little support, services, or others to rely on is in our DNA.
Being a fairly large family, we didn’t go to Europe or travel abroad, although I did spend my 9th birthday in Hawaii. We went on road trips and camped. My dad was an accomplished camper and outdoor bar tender. Often these family trips included cousins, aunts and uncles and other friends and families. I know the cars were big back then, but I have no idea how all the kids, all the gear, and all the food, drink, supplies, wood, etc. made it inside or otherwise was strapped to the roof or back of the car. I am pretty sure as the youngest, I was often strapped to the roof rack with the dog, while the bar supplies rested safely and comfortably on a plush pillow on my mom’s lap. In any event, I loved every minute of it and was going on my own trips as soon as I could convince someone to drive me.
I believe my first trip pretty much on my own was backpacking in Pt. Reyes with my high school sweetheart. Before she realized I was “not the one”, we travelled throughout the Russian River, North Coast, Yosemite, and Sequoia-Kings Canyon. Just about the same time, I did a month of volunteer trail building in Bryce Canyon National Park through r the [Student Conservation Association (SCA)]. We camped in a beautiful spot in the Aspen/Lodgepole Pine forest just outside the park boundary and would hike in to our work site every day and then back. We made quite a camping are for the 20 or so people on the crew – tents, kitchen, eating areas, tools and equipment areas, latrine, bathing, the works. It made quite an impression on me to be able to keep 20 15 year olds content out in the woods.
Ever since I got my driver’s license (but after it was suspended after the first day for an accident and running a red light), I have explored northern California extensively – the Sierra’s and southern Cascades. Going to HSU exposed me to the northwest, the “Emerald Triangle” and behind the “Redwood Curtain”. Working for the forest service in both western and eastern California has given me the chance to make many trips on the back roads and byways throughout the north State. I have backpacked in Yosemite, Bryce, and Sequoia-Kings Canyon National Parks, in the Trinity Alps and Marble Mountains, in the Stanislaus National Forest, Pt. Reyes National Seashore, and along The Lost Coast in Humboldt County.
Going to the University of Montana in Missoula in 1984, resulted in driving back and forth 3 times, camping at various spots along the way. Depending on the route we took, we crossed the Cascades in Oregon and Washington, the Uintas and Wasatch Range in Utah; the Jarbidge, Humboldt, and basin-range country of northern Nevada; the Bitterroot, Lemhi, Sawtooth, and Salmon River Ranges in Idaho and Montana. We camped all along the way including Yellowstone and the Grand Tetons – 2 of our most spectacular National Parks.
I drove the length of the Baja peninsula – all the way to the tip of Cabo San Lucas and back once with my high school buddy Bob in about 1986. I know we stayed in a motel one night after we hit a cow, but otherwise we camped for the other three weeks or so. Somewhere around 2000, my friend Gabe and I rode our motorcycles from San Bernardino to Bahia de Los Angeles – about half way down the Baja peninsula, crossing over the Sierra Madre from the Pacific Ocean side to the Sea of Cortez camping from the bikes every night.
My wife at the time Ingrid, our dog Heidi and I took a cross-country trip in 1987 exploring the outer circumference of the country throughout the southwest and southeast, up through the Smoky Mountains; to Maine and the Cadillac Mountains; further north to New Brunswick and across the bay to Nova Scotia; back across northeastern Canada and down through Michigan and the Great Lakes; across the Badlands of the Dakotas; across the Rockies and the Continental Divide; across the Great Basin and home. Of the 63 nights we were gone, we camped 60 of them.
Starting in about 1995, a group of guys – mostly friends from the Waste Board – have taken well over 100 camping trips throughout northern California and the basin and range lands of Nevada. These trips are often “one-nighters”, but some have been two and three night trips. They rarely include staying in campgrounds, except for the winter month’s trips when we stay in the lower elevations where there isn’t much BLM land and virtually no USFS land. We continue to go on these trips just about one a month with some new guys joining us and some new locals calling us. I have seen some sights, experienced some stuff, and heard some tall tales being out with these guys and they have been the experiences of my life.
All of these trips – with my family as a child, with my wife and children and extended family, and with my friends have filled my tiny brain with incredible memories; fun, adventure, laughs, food and drink, tests of nerve, courage, and righteousness, and many many stories. I hope you enjoy some of those I share with you on this site.