California Sun

Happy Sunday.

Here are a few stories you missed in the California Sun over the last week.

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Sunday sampler


A River Runner simulation weaves from the Sierra Nevada to the San Francisco Bay.

This is very cool.

A developer built an interactive map that lets you point anywhere on a map, then zoom through a 3D visualization of the waterways that a theoretical raindrop would travel on its path to lower ground. For California, most clicks in the northern half of the state lead ultimately to the San Francisco Bay, into which 40% of California's landmass drains. Give it a try. 👉 River Runner


No one is going to rescue Drawbridge.

Yuval Helfman

The ghost town of Drawbridge in the south San Francisco Bay was once a vision of the Wild West, with gambling, brothels, and speakeasies. In the 1920s, it had about 90 homes, many on stilts, and drew hundreds of visitors on weekends. Duck hunting was so bountiful that gamblers slapped their catches on betting tables as currency. But unlike other of California's prized ghost towns, Drawbridge is not being saved. Perched mere feet above sea level, its boardwalks and sagging wooden structures are being left to slowly melt into the marsh. KQED

You can't visit the Bay Area's last ghost town; it's part of a protected nature preserve. But this panoramic viewer offers some awesome views. 👉


As Americans emerge from their post-pandemic cocoons, the ultrarunner Timothy Olson is celebrating in his own way: He's attempting to break the speed record on the Pacific Crest Trail, stretching from the Mexican border to the Canadian border through California, Oregon, and Washington. To pull it off, he needs to cover 2,650 miles in under 52 days — or the equivalent of back-to-back marathons daily for 50 days straight. “I want to set a marker for what is possible,” he said. Outside | S.F. Chronicle

Olson set off from the trail's Southern Terminus on June 1. Track his progress. 👉 Outside


Sequoia National Park abounds in boisterous wildfire.

Stephen Moehle

"The Pileated Woodpecker again. It's so loud!"

As part of a new pop-up podcast series, an ecologist brought sophisticated recording equipment into Sequoia National Park to capture the sounds of the forest — from 150 feet off the ground. Jacob Job climbed into the canopy of a giant sequoia and interpreted an incredible symphony of birdsong. Scientific American


Rachel Barrett

In the 1970s, the coastal village of Bolinas was a place where people settled to share existence with each other and nature. The photographer Rachel Barrett was interested how those communal roots echoed decades later among a new generation enthralled once more by back-to-the-land ideologies. She chronicled the lives of eight young women sharing a home between 2008 and 2010. The images capture a mood as much as a place. Fraction Magazine | Behance


Scrappy-Doo is the nephew of cartoon star Scooby-Doo.


The Wikipedia entry for the plucky cartoon puppy Scrappy-Doo is 25,623 words, nearly 2,000 words longer than the entry for the entire history of Poland. Mystified, a British journalist who stumbled upon the page tracked down the author: Shauna, a 20-year-old college student in California who has high-functioning autism and felt Scrappy was misunderstood. "He was sweet and happy, he was quirky, he was kind,” she said. The Waiting Room


Over the last five years, the independent journalist Yashar Ali has emerged as one of the most powerful voices on the web. When a reporter working on a profile asked for a list of his acquaintances who might comment about him, Ali shared a spreadsheet with the personal emails and cellphone numbers of more than 40 bold-face names, including Chrissy Teigen, Piers Morgan, Jeff Zucker, and Meghan McCain. The resulting profile didn't fully answer how Ali amassed his army of A-list supporters, but it did provide a fascinating window into the world of a bon vivant who lives out of benefactors' homes while using his vast Twitter following to promote his famous friends and punish foes. L.A. Magazine


Thanks for reading!

The California Sun is written by Mike McPhate, a former California correspondent for the New York Times.

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