The Trail Companion
From the Editor
By Scott Heeschen
Our theme for this quarter is the history of the
parks in our area, and we've got three articles which
cover that topic. Geoffrey Skinner found so much
information that we may continue seeing historical
tidbits in issues to come.
As usual, we've got
updates on our activities and news from the parks in
our area. In addition, Bob Kelly has written a good
article on the problem plaguing several types of oak
tress in the area. He includes several great tips on
keeping your trees healthy, too.
Our hike for this
issue goes into detail about Geoffrey's love for the
huckleberry. And the accompanying picture? Trust me,
as long as you don't come between Geoffrey and
trailside berries, you're safe.
Unfortunately, I have
some sad news to report this issue. Betsy Crowder, a
founding member of the Trail Center, recently died in
a freak car accident in Portola Valley. A car had
knocked a telephone pole to the ground. Betsy's car
hit the pole and got a flat tire. While Betsy was
standing outside her car, another car hit the pole
and a cable that had come down with the pole whipped
through the air and struck her, killing her
I was stunned when I
heard the news. I didn't know her very well, but
rather knew of her. Everyone who knows about trails
on the Peninsula knows of her. She served as a
director with the Midpeninsual Regional Open Space
District. She co-authored the Peninsual Trails
guidebook. She was a member of the San Mateo County
Trails Advisory Group. For her 1998 election for
MROSD Ward 6, she described herself as a "grandmother
of 4-year-old twin hikers". In other words, she loved
hiking and the outdoors.
All my interactions
with Betsy were via written word. The first was after
I wrote an article for this newsletter describing the
excitement of discovering new trails to explore on my
mountain bike. She wrote a letter back to the Trail
Center admonishing us for promoting reckless mountain
biking. Sandy Nichols, our Executive Director at the
time, reread the article, and, interpreting it
differently, called Betsy to explain how he saw it.
He's often mentioned how he enjoyed talking with her
that day, primarily for the chance to learn where she
was coming from - from a concern about nature and the
The most recent
letter we received from Betsy was in response to our
Winter 2000 issue where we listed our trailwork
projects through the years. She had some corrections,
and mentioned how she was glad to see us continue on
with our mission after the massive changes over the
She will be
Winter 2001 Giving Back to
the Parks: Trail building is only one of the
many ways we can give back to the parks. We look at
docent programs and other volunteer activities in Bay
Area parks and open spaces. We're also continuing
this month's theme with an additional looks at
history in the parks.
Spring 2001 Natural
History: The Santa Cruz Mountains are home to a
rich community of flora and fauna. Learn about our
unusual plants, rare habitats and the geology
...as well as news of Trail Center events, park
news, and new literary works.
We're always looking for contributions to the
newsletter - trail and park issues, hike/bike/ride
descriptions, book reviews, volunteer opportunities,
and literary works (poetry or prose) on wilderness,
the outdoors and human-powered outdoor recreation
(and you needn't be restricted by the issue theme).
Articles may be up to 250 words in length (feature
articles may be longer). We may also be interested in
reprinting or adapting articles published elsewhere
in print or linking to articles published
electronically. See our website or inquire for full
Deadlines for upcoming
issues: Winter 2001: Friday, Dec.
Spring 2001: Friday, March 9.
Submit literary works or questions to Geoffrey
Skinner, Literary Editor, c/o of theTrail Center or
firstname.lastname@example.org ; all others, to Scott
Heeschen, Trail Companion Editor, c/o the Trail
Center or by e-mail,
Trail Center. All rights reserved.
Please contact the Web
Manager for corrections or comments.