Back in July, when the Department of Parks & Recreation first announced its list of 70 parks slated to close, one California woman felt prompted to visit them -- all of them. Guest: Lucy D'Mot, blogger.
Back in July, when the Department of Parks & Recreation first announced its list of 70 parks slated to close, one California woman felt prompted to visit them -- all of them -- and blog about it. Lucy D'Mot, a data entry specialist from Pollock Pines, 60 miles east of Sacramento, embarked on a grand adventure, along with a handful of intrepid buddies and her photogenic foster dog, Roxy. The conversation has been edited for clarity and style.
RACHAEL MYROW: How did the blog get started?
LUCY D'MOT: I was sitting around on the morning of July fourth drinking my coffee and I see a post on my Facebook page about the woes of the California state parks and that 70 of our 278 state parks are scheduled to close. I said to myself, "What a nice July fourth gesture it would be to donate a few dollars to each park," but then I realized that would require an entire month's income. And then one of those wild hairs took hold of my brain matter and I said "I'm going to see how many of those state parks I can visit."
MYROW: You've hit a lot of historic parks like Rail Town 1897, the Leland Stanford Mansion and the Bale Grist Mill...it's like the fourth grade all over again.
I said to myself, "What a nice July fourth gesture it would be to donate a few dollars to each park, but then I realized that would require an entire month's income." And then one of those wild hairs took hold of my brain matter and I said "I'm going to see how many of those state parks I can visit."
D'MOT: Except that I don't feel like I got a lot of this in the fourth grade. A lot of it is brand new.
MYROW: If people listening to this program had room for just a few parks on their pre closure bucket list, what would be your top three?
If you're a hiker, I would definitely try to get to Castle Crags if there's no snow there. If you like the beaches, any of the beaches on the central coast, be it McGrath, Morro Strand, Garrapata or Moss Landing. Historic? Jack London State Historic Park, also I really enjoyed Pio Pico Mansion down in Whittier.
MYROW: You battled blackberry bushes, sidestepped coyotes, nearly stepped bootless on some red ants, but my impression after reading your blog is that the hiking at state parks is actually very accessible for casual day trippers.
D'MOT: Oh absolutely. Most of the hikes are designed for the day hiker and some of the trails do hook up with longer trails if you're interested. For instance, at Benecia State Recreation Area it hooks up with the Bay Trail and Castle Crags hooks up with the Pacific Crest Trail.
MYROW: Aside from the media attention, what do you hope comes of your blogging about California State Parks?
D'MOT: I hope that people will visit the state parks. I think it was on the Henry W. Coe State Park website that I read the best thing you can do for the state parks is visit them.
MYROW: There have been so many comments on your website. What's you're favorite so far?
D'MOT: Mostly, people are dismayed, or were not aware that their own personal favorite park was going to be closing. I don't feel good about it, but I'm glad I raised awareness to that person that their park is possibly not going to be around in the future and maybe they could go visit, write their leglislature or do something about it.