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June 28, 2017

Hike Like a Deer Hunter

Or How to Skulk In the Woods Our first lesson is stillness. Not easy, perhaps, to generate or even locate deep quietude in frenetic modern times. But nature doesn’t tend…

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May 16, 2017

Orwell’s Last Resort

Optimistic subtext in 1984 A literary pilgrimage can be rather fraught. One might journey to a famed writer’s studio or home, only to make a utterly unwished discovery – something…

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October 13, 2016

Three Family-Style Sierra Resorts

Smaller, family-friendly ski resorts offer their own more-affordable charms at Lake Tahoe. Cross-country skiing reigns at Tahoe-Donner; Soda Springs offers Planet Kids. Granlibakken has snowplay, sledding and a modest ski…

Avocets at Cullinan Ranch. ArticlesArticles - Recent
October 13, 2016

New Habitat for Waterfowl, Human Recreation

That darned pair of mute swans steadily out-maneuvered me. Plus, a breeze from the west slowed my kayak as I tried to position myself between a setting sun and that…

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August 17, 2016


Sacramento Bee, August 17, 2016 Paul McHugh, Outdoors Writer California’s link to the Hawaiian sport of surfing goes back more than a century. Bay Area adventurer and writer Jack London…

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August 3, 2016

Take a Ride in a Time Machine

…with wings The Sacramento Bee, August 3, 2016 Paul McHugh, Outdoors Writer Stearman biplanes are sailboats of the skies. Not only because their tails have big, curved rudders that appear…

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June 22, 2016

Next Door

Sacramento Bee, June 22, 2016 Paul McHugh, Outdoors Writer Hey there, breeze-seekers! Sure is growing warm ’round Sacramento. I suspect that you’d love to find a way to play around…

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February 3, 2016

Badger Pass

Sacramento Bee, February 3, 2016 Paul McHugh, Outdoors Writer, Special to the Bee As a legend has it, the magic Scots village of Brigadoon comes to life once each century –…

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April 21, 2015

New Trail Provides Access Along the Waterfronts

BY PAUL MCHUGH Special to The Bee SUISUN CITY Water-sport fans, take heart: The sea won’t go dry despite the drought. Access to the ocean can begin with San Francisco…

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April 4, 2015

Coast Range Wilderness on Path to Preservation

BY PAUL MCHUGH Special to The Bee Brush grew so thick on the ridgeline I could not see a hiking companion just 20 feet away from me. I looked down…

Archive Articles

Archives: First Ascent of Mount Trashmore

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Mt. Trashmore reverses that ancient poet’s line. Here, mice labored to give birth to a mountain. That was among my last lucid perceptions as I struggled upward through a methane…

Archives: The Plane That Won The War

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Four roaring engines on the bomber’s silver wings vibrated the air above the tarmac, and the B-17 began to glide forward. Behind the plane’s Plexiglas nose dome, a tall man…

Archives: Other Northern California Lighthouses

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Follows the Course of Maritime History September 16, 2012 By Paul McHugh Conquistador and explorer Juan Cabrillo sailed right by the narrow entry to San Francisco Bay without noticing it…

Archives: Foraging

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Paul McHugh comments: I never met the fabled Hal Silverman in person. He was editor of “California Living”— one of three (count ‘em, three!) magazines that ran in the Sunday…

Archives: DeeJays

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Paul McHugh comments: I’ll always feel grateful to the poets, musicians, actors, singers, potters, painters and other creative types that made Mendocino a counter-cultural mecca during the period I lived…

Archives: Outdoor Business

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Paul McHugh comments: Nature has always been our teacher. This story, from 1985, reveals how outdoor adventurers Royal Robbins, Yvon Chouinard and others extracted lessons from their exploits in the…

Archives: Shasta Preacher

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Paul McHugh Comments Call it creative mountaineering. When the Reverend Douglas Smith decided to live as a hermit atop Mt. Shasta to protest the war in Vietnam, it was a…

Archives: Xmas on the Locked Ward

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Paul McHugh comments: The meaning of Christmas gets reduced to basics on the locked mental health ward of a veteran’s hospital. A day spent there during the holiday season a…


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Reviews August 11, 2010: SF Public Press, Leslie Guevarra Book Review: Journalist spins riveting tale of murder and intrigue along the California coast. August 6, 2010: The Monterey Herald Paul…

Deadlines and Dan Rather

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“DEADLINES” and Dan Rather October 8, 2009 “Every reporter worth his or her notepad is a sleuth at heart. Paul McHugh brings this truth to life with crackling suspense and…

Riders on the Storm

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Aidan’s beat-up kayak rode low in the water. He still kept trying to bail it out with that plastic cup he kept stuffed under his kayak’s spraydeck. But the boat’s…

Archives: BowHunt

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Paul McHugh comments: Here! The first freelance story I sold for actual money, in 1979. A bit of background may amuse. For a present, my girlfriend at the time bought…