the Double Cone Register | The Journal of the Ventana Wilderness Alliance | Vol IX No 1 Spring 2006

Everybody needs beauty as well as bread, places to play and pray in, where Nature may heal and cheer and give strength to body and soul alike.

John Muir, The Yosemite

Spring has come at last, and the long, wet winter of 2005-2006 begins to fade into memory as we once again take to the trails, with sunny skies, wildflowers, face flies and other harbingers of the dry season on every hand. Despite the aches and pains that inevitably follow the first day's hike of the season — more aches, and longer-lasting, as the years go by! —, the joy and freedom and poignant beauty of the mountains after the end of the rains never lose their keenness, year after year. It seems that it is when we first return to our beloved backcountry after a long spell of enforced absence that we are most keenly aware of its beauty, most sensible to its myriad tiny details, and most apt to reflect upon its spirit, its history, and its meaning in our lives.

It is in this frame of mind that we offer yet another issue of the Double Cone Register. You'll recall that the last time, in the Fall 2005 issue, we presented in its entirety J. Smeaton Chase's classic California Coast Trails. This time around, we are returning to the old Double Cone Quarterly format with the traditional variety of offerings — history, botany, cartography, and reader-submitted writing and photography. There is however a link with the last issue: a little-known article by J. Smeaton Chase, published in the December 1913 issue of the old Overland Monthly, giving an account of his travels through the Santa Lucia Mountains during the long horseback paseo chronicled in California Coast Trails, published earlier in the same year. We're very proud to be able to bring this unique document to our readers.

So take off those muddy boots, pour yourself a cold glass or hot mug of your favorite beverage, settle into a comfy chair, and read on.

— the Editors of the Double Cone Register

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 DCR 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 ©2006 by their creators.
All rights reserved.




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