Richard Bothwell has hiked Mount Kilimanjaro, scaled Peru’s Cordillera Blanca, and surfed the waves of four continents. But perhaps his greatest feat was establishing the Outdoor Adventure Club in 1996, where he leads others in conquering nature's challenges. He and a staff of seasoned outdoors enthusiasts escort visitors of all fitness and experience levels in local excursions and international vacations, all centered on exploring the great outdoors. On the local level, the guides lead rock-climbing classes at Castle Rock State Park in addition to hiking, backpacking, whitewater-rafting, kayaking, and skydiving excursions. International adventure vacations expose folks to surfing in Costa Rica, rafting in Patagonia, and mountaineering in Peru. The expeditions marry the camaraderie of a social club with the expertise of professional guides, who are each trained in emergency wilderness care in case of squirrel attacks.
If you follow Excelsior Urban Hikes' resident guide Christina, it will only take you two hours to see all of San Francisco. That's because it takes two hours to hike to the top of Mount Davidson, which offers stunning views of the city, both bay bridges, and the Pacific Ocean beyond to visitors who reach its summit.
Christina leads hikes down city streets and through nature trails to reveal scenic vistas. Besides Mount Davidson, she often takes groups to McLaren Park, where she points out interesting graffiti and pauses so hikers can take in views of the Outer Mission District. Christina also takes nighttime excursions to the top of Bernal Hill, where hikers can marvel at the sparkling bay lights and a lightening bug with a great stand-up routine.
In the current landscape of big-box stores and chain restaurants, many fear the dissolution of the small business. The worry is understandable, as many of these local ventures are what give cities, towns, and neighborhoods their distinctive flavor. It doesn't help that, on average, only 13% of the money spent at corporately-owned emporiums actually finds its way back to the community. This means that 87% of the dollars spent find themselves in a faraway bank account with nothing but a distant memory of the newborn pennies they left behind at home. When people give local shops and restaurants their business, however, an average of 45% of their money goes toward keeping the area and its unique culture thriving.
Fueled by this understanding, the folks at Localize It! helm The Alameda Summer Stroll, an evening of neighborhood appreciation, art, and live music. During certain days throughout the season, participants meander along several streets of the bay-adjacent burg to peruse the goods from local operations and sample locally crafted food, beer, and wine. They can even participate in a wine tasting and food pairings, as well as take advantage of discounts at area restaurants, such as Pasta Pelican, Calafia Taqueria, and East Ocean Seafood Restaurant. Along the way, neighborhood crawlers can stop to take in the musical strains of Jim Parodi and Friends or admire masterpieces by local Alameda and Oakland artists.
The stakes are undoubtedly high. At the current rate of donation, more than 30% of people on the National Organ Transplant Waiting List will never get the organs they need. California Transplant Donor Network aims to change that by educating people and raising awareness. They also put boots on the ground, facilitating organ and tissue donation by offering assistance to 175 hospitals in California and Nevada. In addition to their donation work, the network holds events such as 5Ks to raise funds and invites families of donors to contribute memories to the Donor Memorial Quilt Project.
During a tumultuous period in her life, Amber Scriven turned to yoga as a way to find balance and a new perspective on the world around her. It led her to becoming an instructor in the Vinyasa style, in which she incorporates breath and flowing poses into the most natural of classrooms?nature, itself. Her all-level classes begin with an easy to moderate hike up one of the many trails in Marin County. When they reach a clearing with stunning views, Amber leads students in setting down mats and engaging in a series of poses that rejuvenate the spirit and integrate acupressure points for increased health.
After the birth of her first child in 2001, Baby Boot Camp’s founder, certified trainer, and spin and Pilates instructor, Kristen Horler, wanted a postnatal fitness program that didn't require her to leave her baby at the door. Her solution was to start a suite of programs just for new and expecting parents where mothers could bond with their infants while soaking up the support and camaraderie of their peers. During Strollfit and Strollga sessions, certified trainers and Radio Flyers equipped with outboard motors lead ladies through innovative routines that incorporate baby-filled strollers into yoga, cardio, and strength training. For long-term fitness, coaches encourage aspiring runners to break through the tape during the 5K training program, and Kristen's own Nutrition Solutions teaches the benefits of healthy eating habits during a four-week program designed by registered dietitians.