Friday, November 6, 2009

Water Line: Across California on the 38th Parallel

A year ago we traveled from our home at Mono Lake, near the eastern edge of California, across the state to Point Reyes, where a lighthouse sits at 38°00' (it is intriguing that lighthouses mark the 38th parallel line at each edge of the continent). The 17-day trek was done on foot, bicycles, and by boat. Starting from Mono Lake, where a battle over stream diversions by the City of Los Angeles was won by citizen activists (the Mono Lake Committee, National Audobon Society, and CalTrout), our route intersected with the Sierra crest snowpack/glacial melting/climate change story; with Hetch Hetchy reservoir inside Yosemite National Park; with the New Melones Reservoir on the Stanislaus River; with the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta; with San Francisco Bay; and with Point Reyes at the Pacific coast. At each location we met with persons involved with those water topics--researchers, environmental activists, park rangers, and local residents--and were delighted that so many people took time to educate us. The full story will be told in our book and a shorter version was published by Coast & Ocean magazine (online, with 15 photographs, at