Columns

Into the crisp air

Ron Erskine

Ron Erskine is a local outdoors columnist and avid hiker.
Ron Erskine

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After a dry December, it looks like some rainy weather may be in store. Hopefully, it won’t be long before the hint of green in the hills grows rich, the creases in the hills gurgle with runoff, and the flowers begin to pop. If you just pulled into town or have never hiked our [...]

Three seaside settings

Ron Erskine

Ron Erskine is a local outdoors columnist and avid hiker.
Ron Erskine

Latest posts by Ron Erskine (see all)

Outdoor photographer and mountaineer, Galen Rowell, wrote that a landscape is most alluring at the edges; where the mountains rise above the plains or a stream divides a lush meadow. But no scenic boundary has stirred humankind’s imagination through the ages more than the [...]

Devil’s Dance Floor

Ron Erskine

Ron Erskine is a local outdoors columnist and avid hiker.
Ron Erskine

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Hell for Sure Pass. Gorge of Despair. Lake Lola Montez. Wonderful place names are scattered across Sierra Nevada maps colorfully depicting the difficulty of passage or honoring everything from the Devil to wayward Gold Rush dance hall girls. When a friend sent me a list of [...]

Brokeoff Mountain

Ron Erskine

Ron Erskine is a local outdoors columnist and avid hiker.
Ron Erskine

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Where did it go? Didn’t we just uncork some bubbly and toast the arrival of 2017? And now, another new year is at hand. Whether you make New Year’s resolutions or not, the beginning of the year is a good time to reflect. We know we should be doing a little more of this or a [...]

Requiem for a backpacker

Ron Erskine

Ron Erskine is a local outdoors columnist and avid hiker.
Ron Erskine

Latest posts by Ron Erskine (see all)

Early October 2017. 9,500 feet. Emigrant Meadow Lake. Emigrant Wilderness. It is late afternoon. I lay tucked in my sleeping bag staring at the ceiling of my small one-person tent. Every two or three minutes, I slap the rainfly to remove snow collecting there. Six inches are on [...]

Jammy Trio

Bev Stenehjem

Bev Stenehjem is a wine columnist for South Valley Magazine and is the author of the Wineries of Santa Clara Valley, Arcadia Publishing. Bev also promotes the Wineries of Santa Clara Valley association on Facebook and Twitter. Reach her at [email protected]
Bev Stenehjem

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On a recent Friday evening, my husband and I chose Bella Viva Ristorante and Wine Bar to celebrate my daughter’s birthday. This historic restaurant is situated in a 100-year, former Gilroy landmark, the historic Steinmetz Building. Recently renovated with graceful arches, [...]

Dine-in bar

Bev Stenehjem

Bev Stenehjem is a wine columnist for South Valley Magazine and is the author of the Wineries of Santa Clara Valley, Arcadia Publishing. Bev also promotes the Wineries of Santa Clara Valley association on Facebook and Twitter. Reach her at [email protected]
Bev Stenehjem

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The fun factor in downtown Gilroy just got kicked up a notch with the opening of Bartenders Union, the newest business venture of Dustin Evanger (formerly the owner of The Hill Bar & Grill in Morgan Hill) and his three business partners. A ribbon-cutting was held Oct. 23. [...]

Stunning Summit

Ron Erskine

Ron Erskine is a local outdoors columnist and avid hiker.
Ron Erskine

Latest posts by Ron Erskine (see all)

Most beloved landmarks have an air of aesthetic elegance that endears them to us. Most, but not all. The massive radar tower atop Mt. Umunhum that has looked out over the Santa Clara Valley since 1957 gets no style points, but this sterile concrete obelisk is loved nonetheless. [...]

Elegant sip

Bev Stenehjem

Bev Stenehjem is a wine columnist for South Valley Magazine and is the author of the Wineries of Santa Clara Valley, Arcadia Publishing. Bev also promotes the Wineries of Santa Clara Valley association on Facebook and Twitter. Reach her at [email protected]
Bev Stenehjem

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On one of the last summer weekends of the season I popped into Sarah’s Vineyard to sample the latest releases. The tasting room was bustling, while live music was entertaining picnickers outside on the patio. With the warm weather outside, general manager Steve Howard [...]

Victorious vintage

Bev Stenehjem

Bev Stenehjem is a wine columnist for South Valley Magazine and is the author of the Wineries of Santa Clara Valley, Arcadia Publishing. Bev also promotes the Wineries of Santa Clara Valley association on Facebook and Twitter. Reach her at [email protected]
Bev Stenehjem

Latest posts by Bev Stenehjem (see all)

With all the new, recent awards and accolades—both near and far—it’s cheers all-around for our local wineries. Anthony Dias Blue, the well-known wine writer and editor-in-chief, for SOMM magazine, Blue Lifestyles and The Tasting Panel magazine recently awarded seven of our [...]
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