The Explorers Club, Northern California Chapter

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Some of the information in the latest newsletter, regarding our September Nevada City event is incorrect. This is the latest information and corrections, as needed. This is going to be a very special weekend and we want everyone to know what's in store, along with where and when it will happen.

Nevada City: 150 years ago, Nevada County was swarming with 49ers gold miners. The Nevada City weekend will give you a chance to tour mines, visit the mining museum, discuss the ecology of this mountain area, visit local parks, and explore historic downtown Grass Valley and Nevada City. Nevada City, CA, is located on Highways 20 and 49.

Coming from San Francisco or Sacramento, take I80 to Colfax. Then take Highway 174 North for about 15 minutes, then right on Brunswick Road (at sign for airport) to the Glenbrook Shopping area where Brunswick Road connects with Highways 20 and 49. (Allow 3 hours driving time)

Coming from Reno, take I80 to the Nevada City exit and stay on California Highway 20 (allow 1.5 hours driving time).

Lamarck Peak and Lamarck Col from upper Lamarck Lake (photograph by Mike Diggles, 1998)


Julia Amaral MN '88 and her husband Mark Strate have graciously offered to host a cocktail party from 5 PM to 7 PM on Friday evening, September 10, 1999. To get to their home, take the Brunswick Road exit off of Highway 49 (between the two cities of Grass Valley and Nevada City) and go east on Brunswick Road for 1.5 miles. At the Airport sign, turn left on Loma Rica Drive, check your odometer and go another 1.5 miles to their driveway. Right before their home are two speed bumps in the road. Julia and Mark's home is 13338 Loma Rica Drive, two houses past the speed bumps, on the left. Please park on the street and walk up the driveway.

For those who would like to try a new local restaurant for dinner on Friday, we will make reservations at Villa Venezia, an Italian restaurant in the recently restored Stewart house. Dinner, with dessert and a drink will cost about $25.


The Nevada City, Grass Valley area offers a lot to explore. We have arranged to have a docent tour of the Empire Mine and Bourne Museum in Grass Valley. Everyone will have to get to the Empire Mine State Park and purchase his or her own admission ticket. The docent tour will start promptly at 10:30, and will take approximately 1 hour. At 12:00 the Living History program will start at the Bourne Cottage. You can stay for this tour, or go into Grass Valley for lunch.

Saturday afternoon, you can tour the North Star Mine Museum, walk around downtown Grass Valley and Nevada City, go for a hike, or return to the Empire Mine State Park to explore further on your own. Just be ready for the evening program.


Polemonium. This flower is also known by the common name Sky Pilot. It is found only on dry, rocky slopes at elevations commonly above 10,000 feet (photograph by Martha Gilmore, 1975).

Saturday Evening September 11, 1999
5:15 PM - No host Cocktail Hour (with hors d'oeuvres)
6:15 PM - Dinner
7:45 PM - After dinner Program

This will occur at the Stonehouse Brewery (also known as the Old Nevada Brewery) 107 Sacramento Street, Nevada City.

Alpine Ecology of the Sierra Nevada and Other Regions of the World

With Joe Medeiros, Sierra College

This talk will draw on slides taken on Joe's many travels through the Sierras and around the world. Joe Medeiros is on the faculty of the Biology Department at Sierra College in Rocklin. For many years he has also been the curator of the Natural History Museum and was a ranger and naturalist at Devils Postpile. Joe did the illustrations for the booklet on Devils Postpile that was written by King Huber. He presented on Sierran biology at the Yosemite Association Spring Forum which was attended by Bob Fabry, MN-90, Susan Taylor, Mike Diggles, MN-92, Betsy Crowder, and Martha and Katherine Gilmore so the Chapter has first-hand experience of this Sierran ecologist.

Joe Medeiros was the on-site organizer and local host of the December, 1994, workshop "Reconstructing an 1800's Sierran Landscape." This workshop was sponsored by the Sierra Nevada Ecosystem Project (SNEP) Mike Diggles attended, and Michael Barbour was the organizer. The objectives of the workshop are to provide a comparative baseline for the current health of Sierra Nevada Ecosystems.

For over 25 years Joe has studied the biota and geology of the Sierra Nevada and has traveled the mountains of Europe, Africa, Australia, New Zealand and South America to photograph and study alpine ecosystems. In addition to alpine ecology, Joe has lectured oak and oak ecology, the John Muir Trail, Alaska, and the Galapagos.

Joe and Lynnette Medeiros at Oh My Gosh Point in Yosemite Valley overlooking Middle Yosemtie Falls (photograph by Mike Diggles, 1999)

Joe was the on-site organizer and local host of the workshop, "Reconstructing an 1800's Sierran Landscape." This workshop was sponsored by the Sierra Nevada Ecosystem Project (SNEP) December, 1994. The workshop will be held on the campus of Sierra Community College in Rocklin. Joe also gave a talk at the Yosemite Association meeting last Spring called "The Land Above The Trees."


Gate-Away Planning Breakfast: Bill wants to have a Gate-Away planning meeting and what better time than during a great weekend in Nevada City. Bill Isherwood will announce the time and place for the Gate-Away Kick Off Meeting on Saturday night, but it is not to early to start thinking about themes, speakers, locations, and how you want to participate.

Trip to North Bloomfield: For those of you who still have energy, Joanne Athearn has offered to lead a driving tour to North Bloomfield and the Malakoff-Diggins State Park. If you are interested, get a breakfast on your own or go to the Gate-Away Planning Breakfast and meet at 10:30 AM at Joanne's house at 430 Uren Street, near the corner of Uren and B Streets, Nevada City.

Gold panning?

Ted Danger sent this email that you might find useful for adding to your weekend:

Thanks for the info about your chapter of the Explorers club meeting in Nevada City. I would really love to attend, as I spent two seasons mining (dredge) on the North Fork of the Yuba. I know that River from Sierra City to Kelly Bar inside and out. For over a month straight I pulled an ounce a day when gold was at $600. I reccomend you take your club panning. The ten mile marker would be an EXCELLENT place to start. That's about halfway from Indian Vally out post to Nevada City. Make sure to stop in Downyville.
I will be in the gold regions of the Honduras Mosquitia at this time...
Very Best Regards, Ted Danger

Chapter News

The June event for the Chapter was yet another successful Angel Island field trip and picnic. Folks came via ferry boat, research vessel, and sea kayak to this gathering. Elsewhere in this newsletter are some photos as reminders for those who went and news shots for those who wish they went.

Jerry Hughes made a really nice Web site devoted to the Explorers Club picnic. CLICK HERE to visit it.

Congratulations to Rosemarie Twinam, MN-90, who is the new Chapter Chair for the Southern Florida Chapter. They have a Chapter Web page at and our two Chapter pages have links to each other.

October meeting: Get ready to think about Elephant Seals. There are three dates you need to know. First will be the Explorers Club Chapter meeting on October 29, 1999 when Mike Diggles, FN-92, will give a presentation on the natural history of A-o Nuevo Elephant Seal Preserve. Mike has been visiting the Preserve each breeding season for the last 23 consecutive years and has accumulated a good collection of photographs to supplement his natural-history lectures. This lecture will be an "infomercial" for the Chapter field trip to the Preserve in January. The next date will be the opening of reservations for the San Mateo Coast Natural History Association SealAbration. This is the time in November when you can phone in your credit-card order for $75.00 to be part of the January SMCNHA fundraiser, docent tours of the seal herds, and catered lunch (with chamber music). Phone them at 1-(800) 810-7325 as the time grows near or read your October newsletter. The final date you need to know is the field trip itself. It will be held the Saturday that is the day before Super Bowl Sunday in late January, 2000. The tours will be at three times during the day: 8:00 AM, 11:00 AM, and sometime shortly after lunch. The reason I don't know the last time is that the first tour is the one we want. The earlier it is, the colder it is and the more active the seals will be. So plan your reservations around that early-morning time and we'll all gather in the parking lot, tour, and then eat together. This trip will take place rain or shine. I have seen some of the best activity ("sex and violence") on the most stormy days out there.

Labor Shortage Scheduled to Halt Newsletters

We really need a Secretary - the Diggles/Ewing team will be retiring from the newsletter business with the October letter. We have managed to put out a newsletter over the past year by a combined effort to write, print, and mail the newsletters, but will not be able to continue this for future years. If you want to volunteer to be secretary or find out more about the position, call Bill, Mike or Lesley.

News of Members

From: Morton Beebe : Greetings- Please pass the word along, Mike, that we are sorry to miss the Explorer's picnic but we just returned and are meeting deadlines on an edit. Trying to exit San Francisco before the XGAMES, The Gay Parade, The bikers, Metereon opening and the Giants games bring gridlock. Danielle and I just returned from our journey to Berlin, Prague and Moscow. We had an audience of Bay area friends who gathered for a week in a castle two hours south of Prague, where we screened the images off our Sony laptop in DVD format onto 10 x 20 feet screen with a good sound system. The quality of the image and sound left our audience thinking it was 35mm (considering it was 16mm footage shot in color in 1959). From our Betacam Sony1000, we screened to smaller groups in Moscow and edited our current video (3.5 hours) record of the journey. Note the outline of our route and 1959 photography at: With fifty three rolls of color transparencies now in edit/caption we hope to have a large selection up at and a few contrasting images up at shortly. Cordially, Mort and Danielle Beebe. -also- Mike, Travel advice: travelers checks in Russia are hard to cash. Instead use your ATM card for CASH and credit cards in hotels. Our Moscow guides could not cash the travelers checks we endorsed to them. We were advised that "Mafia runs the banks and major commerce." No rental car company has allowed you to drive to Russia for the past two years. Thus an overland journey is very hazardous. We have terrific stills and video to share from our three week journey but to fully retrace our steps of forty years ago we might have to drive to drive a Hummer to ward off the thieves. However we enjoyed every minute of the adventure. Not exactly a "honeymoon" for Danielle.

Ocean Champions from Around the World Named 1999 Pew Marine Conservation Fellows: Tracking dangerous marine pollutants across the Arctic realm, documenting degradation at the depths of the sea, and empowering poor African villagers to save their deteriorating coasts are among the initiatives of 11 ocean crusaders from around the world named as the 1999 Pew Marine Conservation Fellows, the world's largest and most prestigious award for preservation of the Sea. The recipients of the tenth annual Pew Fellowships range from an environmental journalist, to academicians and national policymakers, to an underwater photographer and an environmental lawyer. They will each receive an award of $150,000 to carry out an innovative, interdisciplinary project that addresses an urgent conservation challenge facing our seas. The total of $1.5 million awarded annually by the Pew Fellows Program in Marine Conservation makes the fellowships the world's largest award for marine conservationists. The 1999 recipients come from Australia, Mexico, the Philippines, Tanzania, and the United States. They are: Angel C. Alcala, Garry R. Russ, Peter J. Auster, Marla S. Cone, Benjamin E. Cuker, Roberto R. Enriquez Andrade, James A. Estes, Burr Heneman, Alison Rieser, and ... Norbert Wu, Norbert Wu Photography, California, USA, An underwater photographer who will document degradation of our underwater realm. "To comprehensively address the challenges facing our oceans requires the combined efforts of individuals with diverse skills and expertise," said Cynthia Robinson, Associate Director of the Pew Fellows Program in Marine Conservation. "These awards are about much more than leadership. We're not focusing on past achievement, but rather, investing in future solutions. The 1999 Pew Fellows are innovators-individuals willing to take risks and apply new approaches to improve the status and sustainability of the world's seas." The Pew Fellows Program in Marine Conservation is an initiative of The Pew Charitable Trusts in partnership with the New England Aquarium. The Pew Fellowships are highly competitive awards targeted primarily to mid-career professionals working in marine ecosystem conservation, fisheries management, marine contamination, and coastal conservation. Email:

From: Richard Bangs: Shameless Self Promotion. Well, my new book is just out, The Lost River. The publisher [ Random House for Sierra Club Books] says: "As compelling as "Into Thin Air" and "The Perfect Storm," this harrowing story recounts Bang's return to Africa to raft a wild river that claimed the life of his best friend in the early 1970s." So, if you'd like a copy, search it by ISBN 157805026X at and I'd be happy to come on over and sign it!

Dear Mr. Diggles:, My name is Rusty Johnson, MN-96 and I'm currently in the process of publishing the Ecology Channel Network via the internet at This site will become the meeting point for people to learn about our world as well as sharing their knowledge with the rest of the planet, not only in ecological exploration, but all sciences and cultures. Within the Ecology Channel Network we will be showcasing and archiving Explorer projects and adventures. If you have an interesting project, discovery, or adventure that you feel would be appropriate and would like to use the Ecology Channel as a forum, please feel free to submit your information. You may either send your submission and photographs to the address below (please send SASE if you would like the photographs returned) or E-mail your submission to (please send Email photos as JPG files). If you have any questions please feel free to contact me at the email address above or (914) 331-6750. We appreciate all submissions. Sincerely, W. Rusty Johnson MN-96, P.O. BOX 63, Ulster Park, New York 12487. PS This service is provided at absolutely no cost.

Steph Dutton & Heidi Tiura [] Howdy! This is a seat-of-the-pants announcement of our new baby: Sanctuary Cruises and Sea Dancer (soon to be SANCTUARY). The boat is ours (more like we will be in debt for the rest of our lives!) and we are running her out of Shamrock Charters in Santa Cruz. Great location (next to the Crow's Nest) and the ONLY boat there dedicated to conservation and the national marine sanctuary. She will only do whale watching, nature cruises and private charters; no fishing. Check out or for more of the story. Hang on; it's a wild ride! -Heidi.

Geographer Stephen Jett FN-80 is the founding editor of a new serial, Pre-Columbiana: A Journal of Long-Distance Contacts; the first issued appeared recently. The magazine's theme is lengthy human movements and influences before the time of Columbus, especially the controversial question of ancient sea-borne contacts between the Old and New Worlds. This should be a magazine of considerable interest to Explorers Club members. For subscription details, write Steve at the Division of Textiles and Clothing, 1 Shields Ave. University of California, Davis, CA 95616 Hotel information for Nevada City

Click here for a Click for table of the lodging choices in Nevada City

SIGN UP AND PRICES, Number attending, Cost

Friday Evening Cocktails at Julia and Mark's ($12 per person)__________

Friday Dinner at Villa Venezia (Count only for a reservation)__________, (cost from the menu)

Saturday Tour of the Empire Mine (Count only for a reservation)__________, (Pay at the entrance)

Saturday Evening Dinner

Patron's Table for 10 People ($800 per Table)__________
(Limited to 2 patron's tables. Wine and favors provided.) Benefactor's Table for 10 People ($600 per Table)__________
(Limited to 2 benefactor's tables. Wine provided.)

Individual Benefactor's Dinner ($60 per person)__________

Regular Dinner, wine not included ($40 per person)__________

Seating For Saturday's Dinner is Limited to 70 people.


Saturday dinner choices.______ Vegetarian

If you do not choose, the chef will choose for you.
______ Smoked Prime Rib
______ Stuffed Chicken Breast

Please Return This Form Before August 31st to:

Lesley Ewing
1679 Tacoma Avenue, Berkeley, CA 94707
email to Lesley

Date created: 08/18/1999
Last modified: 01/21/2002

Web page by: Mike Diggles, Webmaster, Northern California Chapter of the Explorers Club. email to Mike

c/o U.S. Geological Survey, MS-951, 345 Middlefield Road, Menlo Park, CA 94025. (650) 329-5404

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