our bench story

Last winter, after several years of drought, we got hammered with precipitation – and as a result, many trees came crashing down around town. So when a gigantic tree in my neighbor’s yard began to split at the top, they had it taken down. We were impressed at how massive this beauty was, and although it was very sad to see the stately tree come down, I wanted a piece of it in the worst way. I connected with theRead more

Johnson Canyon, Truckee, CA

While driving west up Interstate 80 from Truckee, California, you may notice a beautiful canyon, just north of the Donner Lake exit, in between Truckee and Donner Pass. This canyon, at one time slated for a 200+ home development, was acquired by the Truckee Donner Land Trust in two transactions between 2006 and 2012, effectively protecting it from any future development. Until this point, the canyon was referred to as “Negro Canyon”, in reference to the African-American landowner at the base of the canyon around the turn of the century.Read more

Western States 100 Lottery

It had been a disappointing week for me, and I hoped an uplifting weekend with friends might help distract me from the sadness. I recruited Sean and Gretchen to carpool to the Western States 100 (WS100) lottery and run in Auburn afterwards.Read more

Thanksgiving at Camp Whiskey Jack

Papa’s camp, aka Camp Whiskey Jack, originally built around 1905 and acquired by the Potvins in 1944, sits on a couple of 40s (40-acre parcels) in the middle of the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. Every year since my dad was a kid, the men of the family have headed to camp for Opening Day of Deer Hunting Season (a holiday in the U.P.), and the women joined the following week for the days surrounding Thanksgiving. My parents continued this traditionRead more

Oyster run – birthday miles

2:00pm Saturday afternoon, September 9, 2017, Lucas and I sat at the Bread and Butter Bakery in San Anselmo, looking at gaia maps on his phone and figuring out our running route for my birthday run- matching miles for years, to celebrate my upcoming bday on 9/12. The goal was 39 miles. We’d both heard about Devon Yanko’s (an elite ultrarunner) bakery, and Lucas’s idea was to have brunch here then run to the beach and back. We ordered aRead more

Isle Royale Part 6 – 21 mile run on the big island

It was day 4 at Isle Royale National Park, a trail running mecca spread over 400 islands with over 165 miles of trails and 99% designated wilderness, and my sister Lynette (the Ecologist for the Park) and I had plans for a 21 mile loop on the main island. Monday morning, August 14, 2017, Lynette and I set out in her boat, the Universal Special, to head from Mott Island to the big island, for our “big” run of theRead more

Isle Royale Part 5 – Three Mile Hike

(for more stories from my trip to Isle Royale, see parts 1, 2, 3, and 4) It was Day 3 on Isle Royale National Park and although I’d already had 7 moose sightings (on solo runs), my parents and daughter were missing out. Lynette took us by boat to Three Mile, where we tied up to the dock, and headed out on a 3-mile loop. We reached an inland lake, and the whispering ceased. We would need to be really quiet if weRead more