NEWMAN - Trapshooting - which began in the early 1790s as a sporting event where gunmen would shoot passenger pigeons - is one of the country's oldest sports.
GROVELAND - While Yosemite National Park is the tourist-attraction star player in the region, there are myriads of visitors' destinations that are just satisfying, visually and otherwise, just as outside of the ancient granites' gates.
A brand new shooting range has opened in Ripon at the Barnwood Arms gun shop centered in Ripon's old downtown.
The Stockton Trap and Skeet Club recently went with bio-degradable targets.
BIG OAK FLAT – There's no pot of gold at the end of the climb up winding Old Priest Grade in Tuolumne County.
The main entrance of Manteca's Bass Pro Shops stopped Ivan Soto like a deer caught in headlights.
MURPHYS - Tickets are now on sale for three more acts which have been added to the line-up of world-class performers for the 2012 Ironstone Vineyards Concert Series.
CERES - Ceres will host the 24th annual Ceres Street Faire, a free venue in Whitmore Park next to Highway 99, the weekend of May 5-6.
MODESTO - Scotland's highly acclaimed Puppet State Theatre company will bring Jean Giono's story The Man Who Planted Trees, to the Gallo Center stage on Friday, May 18, at 7 p.m.
STOCKTON - San Joaquin Delta College's Center for the Arts presents Arthur Miller's dramatization of the Salem Witch Trials in "The Crucible" at Delta's Tillie Lewis Theater, April 27 & 28, May 4 & 5 at 8 p.m., as well as April 29 and May 6 at 2 p.m.
MARIPOSA - The Mariposa County History Center is offering the first "Young John Muir" tour of the season on Saturday, May 12.
COLUTERVILLE - The 27th Annual Coyote Howl & Car Show, Saturday, May 19, at the Coulterville Park is an old-fashioned, family oriented event.
If you're looking to "strike gold" in your next vacation experience, you might consider a houseboat getaway in California's Gold Country. New Melones Lake just happens to be situated in a scenic part of the state that is almost like a giant theme park focused on some of California's most interesting tourist attractions.
OAKDALE - Oakdale police officers from the "Cowboy Capital of the World" saddle up every year on their own time to assist Ripon with its Almond Festival at the Mistlin Sports Park.
OAKDALE - The appeal of dining on the Sierra Railroad hits you as you scan the wide open countryside absent of telephone poles and any signs of civilization save an occasional farm house as you rumble along east of Oakdale.
So what are we doing for Thanksgiving?" my girlfriend asked.
It is nothing short of a miracle that 19-year-old Tyler Murphy
Not too long ago, Jason White and Lisa Perez took their road bikes out and took a spin along San Joaquin County's wine country region.
LOCKEFORD – It starts with the meats.
Although a majority of individuals only drive through Hilmar as a means to get to Interstate 5, the small community in Merced County has proven to be much more than a pit stop along the way.
KNIGHTS FERRY - It is a magical time along the Stanislaus River.
It's an eye-opening revelation of what Central Valley vets suffered in their Vietnam service where they felt they were braving their fears in combat for their country as they witnessed many of their comrades dropping to their deaths beside them.
On July 7 1944, Charles "Chuck" Walker vividly remembers being sent on a long-range bomber escort mission over Hungary. Just as the young pilot was focusing on driving off German Messerschmitt 109s, his plane was hit in the left engine. Mistakenly, Walker separated from his squadron, which left him weakly in the midst of a number of German aircrafts.
Private First Class John Burch Mooney, Jr. received a number of decorations during his time serving with the 35th Infantry Regiment during World War II, including an Asiatic Pacific Campaign Medal, a Philippine Liberation Ribbon with one bronze star, a Good Conduct Medal, and a World War II Victory Medal.
Paying it forward.
One of the best decisions Denise Johnson ever made was joining the military.
In the heart of the town that labels itself as the Gateway to Yosemite, aka Groveland, is a quaint cottage where you can relish being pampered by almost everything that is traditional English before you head out to the wilds. That place is Dori's Tea Cottage & Café at 18744 Main Street, which is also Highway 120. The famous
MODESTO – You need your porcelain. You need your finest china. And you absolutely need your tea.
ANGELS CAMP -Three miles north of Arnold off Highway 4, the colossal trees of Calaveras Big Trees State Park stand in quiet testimony to prehistoric times. These massive relics, which can reach a height of 325 feet and a diameter of 33 feet, are descended from trees that were standing when dinosaurs roamed Earth, and birds, mammals and flowering plants began to appear. Some of today's trees are thought to be as old as 2,000 years.
TURLOCK – With the spookiest holiday just around the corner, the city of Turlock has both children and canines covered with events including BARKtoberfest, a downtown trick-or-treating event, and Haunted Housing at California State University, Stanislaus.