the Double Cone Register | The Journal of the Ventana Wilderness Alliance | Vol VIII No 1 Fall 2005

The sun shone level, and with a strange bronze hue, through a translucent veil of fog. Below the fog the surface of the ocean was clear, and was flooded with gorgeous purple by the sunset. On the high crest where I stood, a clear, warm glory bathed the golden slopes of grass and lighted the noble trees as if for some great pageant. There was a solemnity in the splendor, an unearthly quality in the whole scene, that kept me spellbound and bareheaded until, fatefully, imperceptibly, the sun had set.

Joseph Smeaton Chase, California Coast Trails, Ch. XV

Well, it's been more than a year since the last issue of the Double Cone Quarterly. During this time we in the Editors' Suite have received a lot of inquiries as to when our devoted readers could expect to see the next edition, and we've had to reply that what with one thing and another we just haven't had the time - and neither have we been able to collect enough content to fill an issue.

So we put our heads together and thought about what to do. The DCQ has had a good run of 20 issues since 1998, and we didn't want to just abandon it; but we knew we would not be able to sustain the quarterly publishing schedule. So we decided to keep the presses running, but to publish only when time allows and we have sufficient content to fill out a bang-up issue. This seemed to be an ideal solution; the only snag being that since the magazine would no longer be published quarterly, continuing to call it the Double Cone Quarterly would not be exactly accurate. So we brainstormed to come up with a new name. In the end, we settled on the Double Cone Register. We hope that what the new name has lost in alliteration, it has gained in relevance to the publication's mission. After all, just as summit registers allow you to scribble your thoughts for all to read after a long hard day on the trail, so we hope the DCR will continue the DCQ's mission — to provide a place for you to publish your Ventana-related poetry, prose, scholarship and art to be perused by your fellow aficionados of this very special part of the world.

So aside from the publishing schedule, there won't be much difference between the Register and the Quarterly, except in one other respect: We are hoping to alternate issues with a variety of reader-submitted content with issues devoted to single important publications, including original scholarly works and (in particular) digital transcriptions of seminal or little-known public-domain texts relating the areas of activity of the Ventana Wilderness Alliance.

With that in mind, then, it is with great pride that we present the first issue of the Double Cone Register, devoted to the first-ever complete web edition of Joseph Smeaton Chase's classic California travel adventure - California Coast Trails. Scanned entirely from the first edition published by Houghton Mifflin in 1913, this exciting, informative, and extremely fun account of a horseback journey from Mexico to Oregon along the California coast includes all sixteen of Chase's photographic plates, which we believe have not been published in any edition of the book since the original went out of print. So follow the link below and let your friendly, observant, erudite and witty guide, Joseph Smeaton Chase, lead you on a leisurely tour of the California of nearly a century ago.

California Coast Trails

The Double Cone Register (formerly the Double Cone Quarterly) is published at irregular intervals by the Ventana Wilderness Alliance and can be perused free of charge by all who steer their browsers to the DCQ Issue Index at

Co-Editor, Miscellaneous and Sundry: Boon Hughey
Co-Editor, History & Botany: David Rogers
Webmonkey & Co-Editor, Maps & Trails: Phil Williamson

All articles, photographs, and artwork are copyright ©2005 by their creators.
All rights reserved.




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