December 29, 2003

I know this will be difficult, just a week into winter but close your eyes and imagine yourself on a palm studded beach of beautiful white sand, the sounds of a turquoise blue ocean, warm sunshine beating on your face; are you still with me here? That's where the Chapmans; Diane, Nick and children Denise and David were enjoying an exotic vacation to Hawaii free from Holiday Inn last September. Diane entered and won a contest through USA Weekend magazine to vote for one of the 10 most beautiful places in America and with over 100,000 entries, Kauai received the most votes. This lucky family got to spend 5 days in Oahu, then they traveled to Kauai for 2 days where they rented a car and tried to see everything on the island. "Kalalau Lookout was just beautiful, it's on the Na Pali coastline, and it's just gorgeous", said Diane.

Yes that might have been me you have seen swerving on Kilkare Road recently. No it's not all that cold medicine I've been taking lately, it's just those slow-moving, slimy salamanders that come out during every rainy season. It's just hard for me to run over these little creatures I call "sticks with an attitude" because that's what they look like crawling across the road with their little heads sticking up in the air. Now folks I know this is not an "only in Sunol" moment and they are not closing the road for the newts mating season as they do in Tilden Park. Interested in learning more about these romantic amphibians? Join a 3-mile hike in Sunol Regional Wilderness' on January 31 in search of "Salamanders!" for more information call, (925) 862-2601.

It's been one month now since taking over this column and I have received many wonderful requests that I write about Sunol's historical background. It's fun and interesting for me because these requests are coming from neighboring cities. I have also been requested to write about such topics as; What is actor Clint Eastwoods connection to Sunol? Did legendary bandit Joaquin Murietta actually hide out in one of Sunols many caves? Is there a time capsule buried somewhere in Sunol? Where was the air raid siren from World War II located? Did a plane crash here in the 1950's? Has anyone actually seen the Niles Canyon ghost? Where are the dinosaur bones that were found during the construction of Calavaras Dam? I'm really excited to report on these topics but I would sure love some help. So if you are an old timer or local historian or if you just have a story to share please contact me at the address or email listed below.

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