Tag Archives: food

Bear in California

black bear

California Black Bears

califrepublicAlthough the grizzly bear image graces the state flag, grizzlies were killed off during the gold rush days. Black bears are found in California mountains and foothills, down to lowest elevations in NorCal. California black bears come in more than one color –  light brown, cinnamon, dark brown, and of course, black. For the most part, bears usually stay away from people.

Some areas are more prone to bear problems due in large part to the overpopulation of tourists and abundance of food Bear Habitatprovided by them. Certain California National Parks are particularly notorious for their brazen bear populations. Concentrated bear problems are sometimes posted so be very aware and read signs. If you see steel bear boxes, leave no food or drink in your vehicle. Use the boxes to keep bears from breaking into your car!

California Black Bears

Follow some simple rules:

  • Keep a very clean campsite
  • Clean up all dirty dishes & beverage containers (especially before bedtime)
  • Keep clothing & sleeping bags free from food odors or heavy scents
  • Never leave any type of food garbage ‘bagged up’, sitting outside of a cabin rental, motorhome, trailer, or mountain home
  • Store garbage properly inside a locked, sturdy container inside garage or a shed
  • Stay away from bear cubs, there is sure to be a protective (aggressive) mother in close proximity
  • Try not to hike alone. Make noise & sing on trails to scare away any unwanted animals.
  • Bear storage canisters are available at sporting good stores & at stores in most National Parks.

Proper Food Storage Outdoors:

Bear Boxes @ Campground

Store food in closed up automobile, not visible. Store food correctly: in trunk of your car, or hidden from sight; in campground food lockers when available.

Lock all food, beverages and coolers in the provided metal bear boxes or bear lockers where available.

Toothpaste, deodorant & anything that has a scent should be thought of as food and stored accordingly.

Bears are so strong they can rip your car door open (in places like Yosemite, where bears are problem and you can get cited for not storing food items properly)

Bears are so strong they can break open a garage door to get to the smelly trash inside, so make sure you utilize the curbside pickup service available in some mountain communities or take a trip to the dump once per week.

carcampers

DO NOT LEAVE FOOD OUT, UNATTENDED, outdoors…
during a picnic lunch, a quick snack, maybe a barbeque, or dinner around the campfire.

Birds, dogs, squirrels and wild animals can move in quickly.

hiker

Backpackers should hang food in nylon bag & drape over weak branch in high in tree: hang your food using the counterbalance method. Ranger who issues your wilderness permit can explain the hanging procedure;

2 stuff sacks (with drawstrings) for your food items, and 60 feet of medium weight cord. 2 carabiners make hanging much easier.

Bear Canisters

Bear Canisters

for your food when exploring the wilderness

hikers tent campers mountains rivers picnic lakes

Bear Repellent / Bear Mace
Bear Pepper Spray

 

camp  4x4 campfire fish

Additional Storage Tip

As for storing food inside cars:

When primitive car camping on a dirt road, which does not have campgrounds, nor bear lockers, it is possible to store food in the vehicle. BEST location is on the front floorboards with towel over it. With the car alarm set at bedtime, any ruckus should trigger a decent alarm. Any large animal trying to break in will get blasted with alarm siren & most likely will run away. The noise will wake you up as well, to deal with the intruder, if need be.

If a bear does get into your camp area:

  • At night, bring bear repellent can into tent, storing it close to the door. Bring a weapon for added protection.
  • Make as much noise as possible: yell, bang pots/pans, whistle, air horn and get your bear mace or pepper spray ready in hand
  • Raise your hands up to appear larger; lift clothing, increase appearance of size and yell aggressively toward bear.
  • Get your entire camp group together, join hands and spread out; Everyone at the camp should be outside the tents in order to be as effective as possible
  • Throw rocks & small objects; pots, pans, chairs
  • If possible, try to get to your car for protection
  • Sound the alarm on a vehicle &/or honk the horn

If you encounter a bear on a hiking trail:

  • Make as much noise as possible while walking solo. Hum, sing, talk to the birds. Sing or talk to yourself – out loud. Bear bells can be worn on hiking boots. Do not hike w/ headphones on listening to music/radio.
  • Carry bear spray (mace or pepper) in a belt holster, or easy to reach pack.
  • If a bear approaches: stand still, slowly retreat, say a few calming words in a friendly voice and calmly retreat, keep eyes on the bear

encountering a bear  – see more on this topic 

bearcreek

camptruck pinetree  ranger

Bear Meadow
Camp Site at Bear Meadow, Sequoia NF

dirtbikes

Bear Box in Mineral King

driftwood

Avocado Festival in Carpinteria

The Avo Fest, Carpinteria

Take a scenic drive and see the back roads near Lake Casitas, where numerous avocado orchards grace the hillsides. This coastal Avocado Festival has evolved into one of the largest festivals within California; Three full days of fabulous food, terrific music, & family fun. Held in Carpinteria, just south of Santa Barbara, CA

Annual event; October

CARPINTERIA CA

avofest.com

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Our Food

local farming

According to a new report by the National Center For Health Statistics, nearly 40 percent of all U.S. adults are now officially obese. An all-time record high. More than 70 percent of us are now officially overweight.

GIVE THANKS, we live in the “illusion of prosperity”

Now, it’s time to get serious and educated on the matters at hand.

The majority of the population does not even understand what is being done to them. Major food corporations know that eating heavily processed foods is addictive and an edible path to heart disease, cancer, diabetes and other deadly diseases, but they keep pushing those foods on us anyway. Junk food is making them rich and making us sick!

  • energy drinks
  • soda pop
  • candy
  • fast food

The average American diet is extremely self-destructive, and it is well time for a change. Which is why we at Total Escape decided to focus on the topic of FOOD for this autumn month of Thanksgiving.

On the towns pages we link to local farmers markets, health food stores, community co-ops, family farms, organic farms, farm stays and vineyards.

our food

OMG, GMO – soy, corn, sugar
* May contain ingredients partially produced with genetic engineering.

High fructose corn syrup, soy lecithin, natural flavors….
you may not realize how much GMO is in your food.

Why Care about Food

If you are concerned with your physical health & well-being, you already know that nutritious, real food is the best for your daily diet. You are what you eat!

Almost half of California voters voted to label genetically engineered foods, way back in 2012. So if you didn’t understand about healthy food choices 5 years ago, you might be willing to look at the food issue more closely these days.

mission corn chips

Although the labeling law did not pass, many companies begin putting GMO-free or NON-GMO labels on the front of the food packages anyway. Health food manufacturers, major national brands, and especially food produced inside California – can be found with the non-gmo verified label.

FOOD as medicine, in light of recent news:
Americans are the fattest culture ever; Declining bee population, continued environmental pollution, and the link to our epic diseases. Gut disorders, allergies, autism, cancer, diabetes, the list goes on and on.

Most Prevalent Pesticides

Glyphosate is a potent and dangerous chemical found in Monsanto’s Roundup weed killer, the most commonly used herbicide in history.  Glyphosate has contaminated the planet, and is now found in mother’s milk, our bloodstreams, and in our food and water supply. The World Health Organization announced in 2015 that glyphosate ‘probably’ causes cancer.

Levels of the herbicide Roundup in human urine have increased dramatically among California residents in the past two decades, a new study reports. Roundup is used to protect genetically modified corn and soy crops from weeds; Also sprayed on wheat and oats, during harvest; And blindly used by public and private land owners to control weeds on their property, which ends up in run-off water, as poison to lakes and rivers.

This chemical corporate push in agriculture is a decades-long experiment with our very own ecosystem: Our health and the health of our planet.

____________________________________________

Watch Food Documentary Films to find out more on this topic.

Organic is Non GMO & More

Granges are now Guild Halls?

Follow the Food Babe blog online

Favorite West Coast Pioneers:

Amy’s Kitchen
Bragg’s Apple Cider Vinegar
Bob’s Red Mill
Cal-Organic
Cliff Bar
Dr. Bronner’s Soap
Full Belly Farm
Lundberg Family Farms
Masumoto Family Farm
Organic Valley Coop

califricebag

Camp Clean

Minimal Impact Camping

Camping Tread Lightly

Leave No Trace Camping

Camp Cleaning

  • No Soap in Streams, Creeks or Lakes: Even Biodegradable Soap is not good for the poor fish downstream.
  • Bring a bucket or wash tub – Wash dishes, clothes & yourself 100′ from streams & lakes
  • Food put away & dishes washed up before bed time. Keeping a clean camp will lessen the chances of wildlife or a bear visit
  • Use existing campsite or rock campfire ring to prevent impacting new areas
  • Pitch tent in cleared camp spots only (when primitive camping). No need to trample new spots.
  • Do not set a tent up in a meadow, next to a creek or on a lake shore. It’s too fragile an environment.
  • Bring extra trash bags (heavy duty lawn type is best) for cleaning any litter you might find at your selected camp site.
  • Sometimes you’ll need to shovel out the whole fire pit (full of glass and trash)  to start a fresh new campfire. Building your fire on top of somebody else’s mess means you’ll be inhaling all their left-over garbage.
Always leave a clean camp
always leave a clean camp

leave no trace

Camp Kitchen Outdoors

Try to keep all food, drinks and cooking to one area of the camp. If you plan to cook over the campfire, this choice will make much more sense. Setting up kitchen area in between the tent and the campfire is usually an excellent spot. Having the vehicle close by for proper food storage is also advised, or use bear boxes if available. If you choose to hang your food in the tree, bring adequate ropes and bags.

The last person still up around the campfire at night should double check the cleanlness camp before retiring for bed. Chances are there is a half-eaten snack or left over beverage that could attract the animals. Oh no, the GARBAGE!! Don’t forgot to put your garbage bag away at night, or dispose of it in a proper trash container. Double bag your garbage if you are concerned with it leaking or smelling up the vehicle.

Food Preparation

Potty Breaks in the Outdoors

shovel

  • Bathroom break in the bushes? Don’t leave your toilet paper trash. Dispose of in your vehicle with a plastic bag or back at camp.
  • For human waste – Bring a shovel, dig holes 8″ deep & pack out all toilet paper. Do not bury paper as animals will just dig it up.
  • Certain areas are so sensitive or overused that all solid waste must be packed out, check for the local regulations.

Camp Hygiene in the Outdoors

Lobster Festival Redondo

Redondo Pier

Redondo Beach Lobster Festival

20 years running, this Redondo Beach event is a hot hit, especially for beach-goers (near LA)

3 day event held at the Seaside Lagoon next to King Harbor, just north of the Redondo Beach Pier. Live music, entertainment, lobster recipes, celebrity chefs, craft beer, kids activities and vendor booths.

“Rat Ride” – annual beach bike ride sponsored by the Rotary Club; starts in Redondo and runs on the same weekend.

Annual event; September
310-376-6911

REDONDO BEACH California

lobsterfestival.com

Cracking lobster

Sonoma Valley Olive Festival

California90 Olives - another month it will be ripe

Sonoma Valley Olive Festival

Celebrating the Season of the Olive

Less than an hours drive north of San Francisco, Sonoma is the most-down-to-earth slice of heaven around, its lush farmlands, rolling vineyards and historic towns lost in a time all their own. Given our Mediterranean climate and rich agricultural roots, our culinary and wine-making legacy, our bohemian artists and small artisan food producers, we can’t think of a better place to “all hail the olive.”

The vibrant heart of old Sonoma–the historic Mission, the Sonoma Barracks and tree-lined Plaza–provides a central backdrop for key Olive Season events. For more than a century, local olive and grape harvests have been blessed and celebrated in this location, and we’re happy to carry on the tradition.

Annual event; two months long, January & February

Sonoma, CA

olivefestival.com/OliveFestival

DSC24903, Viansa Vineyards & Winery, Sonoma Valley, California, USA

December Nights, Balboa Park

December Nights-Balboa Park, San Diego

Balboa Park Christmas Lights
December Nights in Balboa Park, San Diego

Balboa Park December Nights
Southern California’s premier holiday festival.

37 years running; Friday and Saturday night in early December

The event brings families and friends together to spread holiday joy, learn more about the cultural value of Balboa Park and kick-off the “most wonderful time of the year.”

Participating Balboa Park museums open their doors free of charge from 5-9 pm both evenings and more than 350,000 visitors are expected to experience the joy of San Diego’s largest free community festival. Those who attend will participate in a truly multicultural experience, enjoying food, music and entertainment from around the world.

Revelers can watch top-notch musical and dance performances, enjoy delicious and diverse food choices and help spread a heavy dose of holiday cheer. Some of the more well-known traditions include food from around the globe at the International Christmas Festival at the House of Pacific Relations Cottages; the annual Santa Lucia Procession at the Plaza de California; unique gift shopping at the museum stores and with the artisans of Spanish Village; and musical and dance presentations from the San Diego Junior Theatre, San Diego Civic Youth Ballet, Del Cerro Baptist’s Christmas Story Tree, and more.

Annual event; multiple nights
San Diego, CA
619-239-0512

balboapark.org/decembernights/

 

December Nights at Balboa Park

Little Italy Festa

festa!

Little Italy, San Diego
Italian Street Festival

San Diego’s Little Italy neighborhood holds a street fair or festa. One of the largest 1-day Italian American festivals in the West.

The event welcomes over 100,000+ w/ wonderful foods, culture, music & art. Street paintings with chalk pastels. Stickball Exhibition Game. Cooking demonstrations and contests.

Annual event; October

San Diego California

littleitalysd.com/events/little-italy-festa/

Little Italy Festa

Little Italy Festa

Corso degli Artisti

Agua Dulce Country Fair

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Agua Dulce Country Fair
Small Town Country Fair near LA

Located on the back roads of Los Angeles county. North, in the high desert mountain region in between Santa Clarita and Palmdale sits Agua Dulce, a small town back behind Vasquez Rocks Park, off Hwy 14.

The Agua Dulce Country Fair is a family-friendly community fund raising event that has been going on for over 50 years. Wow, that is a mighty long run. Chili cook-off, cake walk, photo contest, arts and crafts, raffles and a silent auction. Events kick off w/ parade followed by the fair with vendors, food booths, carnival games, beer garden, live bands and dancing until midnight. Local bands, cover bands, indy rock, classic rock, blues, soul, plus country & western. Fiddles and all.

Annual event; September
(one day event)

Santa Clarita, CA
North Los Angeles

aguadulce-countryfair.com

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LA Greek Festival

Greek Fest in LA

St. Sophia's Greek Festival

Los Angeles Greek Festival

Saint Sophia Cathedral @ Pico & Normandie

The largest, most celebrated, and iconic representation of Greek food and culture in Los Angeles. Voted as the must-attend event of September by Los Angeles Magazine, the LA Greek Fest is your passport to Greece right here in your own backyard. LA Greek Fest attracts thousands of guests for each day of festivities for an unforgettable celebration of food, wine, dance, games and performances and one-of-a-kind cultural experience. Authentic Greek Food and Pastries. Greek Wines and Beers. Live Greek Music and Folk Dancing. Arts and Crafts. Raffle.

Annual event: September
323-737-2424

Los Angeles, CA

lagreekfest2014.com

2008 LA Greek Fest

Los Angeles Greek Festival

Saint Sophia Cathedral

Farm-to-Fork Festival

Farm to Fork Festival California

Farm to Fork Festival

Designed to demonstrate where our food and drinks come from, the Farm-to-Fork Festival has proven to be one of the Sacramento region’s most popular events. The free event, hosted on the city’s iconic Capitol Mall boasts an exciting selection of farm-to-fork offerings that are produced and available in the Sacramento region. Attendees will find food, wine and beer from regional eateries and purveyors, as well as farmers markets, live music, cooking demonstrations, local grocers, farms and ranches, vendor booths and much more.

Annual event: September
916-808-7777

Sacramento, CA

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Gold Rush Days

Streets were covered with dirt to re-create the Gold Rush Days

Gold Rush Days
Old Town Sacramento

2014: due to drought conditions, traditional Gold Rush Days activities cancelled for 2014

The Old Sacramento historic district covers the streets with dirt, hides all things modern and transforms into a legitimate Old West town every Labor Day weekend. Costumed actors, gunfights, musicians, buffalo soldiers and Pony Express riders highlight this popular festival.

Annual event; Labor Day Weekend

Sacramento, CA


sacramentogoldrushdays.com

JB Ranch Water Wagon 1

Gold Rush Daze 6

Covered Wagon with 2 Horses 1

Lodi Street Faire

Sliver Budda

Lodi Street Fair, Central Valley California

This event is held twice a year & sponsored by the local Chamber of Commerce. Held in Downtown Lodi, this is a one-day event focusing on food and vendors. The Street Faire takes up a 14-square block area of Lodi. Over 500 vendors participate in this biannual event, selling antiques, arts & crafts and commercial items. While shopping, visitors can satisfy their appetite with their choice from 25 food vendors offering everything from hamburgers, to hot dogs, sausages, to pizza. Mexican, Chinese and Filipino dishes are also available for those craving a more international fare. And, no faire is complete without sweet treats and cold drinks.

Bi-annual event; May & October
209-367-7840

LODI CA

lodichamber.com/events/street-faire/

Adam Messinger & Ramon Villalobos @ The Lodi Street Faire

Lodi Street Faire 2013

Much Ado About Sebastopol

Hilt

Sebastopol Renaissance Faire
Much Ado About Sebastopol Festival

Much Ado is become the regional Renaissance Faire in Northern California. A quality, family-friendly event in wine country that is entertaining and educational, as well as a long-term fundraiser for local Sebastopol public schools.

Wander around and interact with a myriad of villagers from 1578, make herbal soap or try your hand at weaving while listening to a wandering minstrel. Enjoy ice cold lemonade while watching the falcons and learning about their role in Renaissance farming. Sit back and take in a short Shakespeare performance while feasting on a hearty, rustic lunch.

Annual event: September
707-481-8213

Sebastopol, CA

muchadoaboutsebastopol.com

Much Ado About Sebastopol 2013

Much Ado About Sebastopol 2013

Ramona Music Fest

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Ramona Music Festival

Backcountry San Diego, California

Ramona Music Fest always has great music, good food and decent beer, with prizes and auctions from community donors. Kid friendly and hosted at the Ramona Outdoor Community. Cheer on emerging local talent, outstanding performers, and have a great time at this one day event – come hungry and bring the kids.

Held at the Ramona Outdoor Community Center, also called the Rodeo/Fair Grounds. The venue is located at the northeast end of downtown Ramona, accessed via Third Street.

Annual event: September
760-788-2889

Ramona, CA

ramonamusicfest.org

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Sunset Savor the Central Coast

Central Coast Pavilion

Sunset Savor the Central Coast

Sunset Savor the Central Coast is a world-class food and wine event that caters to those in search of the hottest culinary and wine trends from across California and the entire West Coast!

Celebrate the beauty and bounty of the coastal region with an incredible 4-day experience. The event showcases area winemakers, chefs, and artisan food producers. Sunset Magazine’s expert editors guide attendees through outdoor adventures and farm excursions. You can also join other guests at exclusive winemaker dinners and amazing culinary showcases by celebrity chefs.

Annual event: September
805-541-8000

Pismo Beach, CA

savorcentralcoast.com

Sunset Kitchen Garden

Greek Festival Cardiff

Months of preparation required to create dishes for Cardiff Greek festival

Cardiff Greek Festival

San Diego holds a couple of Greek Festivals during the year & this one is located in the North County Coastal area of Cardiff. Greek food, live music, dancing and marketplace. Saints Constantine & Helen Orthodox Church, 3459 Manchester Ave. Cardiff-by-the-Sea, CA 92007

Annual event; September
760-942-0920

CARDIFF CA

cardiffgreekfest.com

Greek Festival in Cardiff, CA.