Eclipse Chasers Travel Far and Pack Traditions: Orange Pants and Dinky Doo


For Mandie Adams, the total solar eclipse on Dec. 4 will be the 12th one she’s seen. It will also be the 12th for her teddy bear, Dinky Doo.

Seeing it won’t be easy. The eclipse will be visible only on a sliver of Earth in Antarctica, the South Orkney Islands and the surrounding ocean. Ms. Adams, a rental-property owner who lives in Southend-on-Sea, England, flew from London to Madrid to Buenos Aires to the town of Ushuaia on the southern tip of Argentina. From there, she will board a 15-day eclipse cruise, which sails through the notoriously turbulent Drake’s Passage, to see just under 2 minutes of total eclipse darkness—if there aren’t clouds.



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What Newsom’s Victory in Orange County Says About 2022


Orange County — despite its historical associations with famous conservatives of yore, including Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan and John Wayne — hasn’t been a Republican stronghold for years.

Back in 2016, headlines trumpeted that Hillary Clinton turned Orange County blue during the presidential election. In 2018, my colleagues wrote that Democrats flipped four Orange County congressional seats, a sweep that turned “a Republican fortress” Democratic.

Of course, 2020 showed that those pronouncements may have been premature: The county chose President Biden over former President Donald J. Trump, but two of those congressional districts returned to Republican control with the victories of Representative Michelle Steel and Representative Young Kim, both among the first three Korean American women in Congress.

Kim told me last year that her election represented a new direction for the Republican Party.

“This is not a Trump or Biden issue,” she said. “That’s how I’m going to work.”

Then came the recall election, offering political analysts a rare opportunity to take the temperature in key parts of California a year before the 2022 midterms. As my colleague Shane Goldmacher and I reported over the weekend, they were watching Orange County closely.

The region is no longer a wealthy, reliably conservative enclave, but a vision of the future of large suburban counties across the nation: increasingly diverse and politically complex — which makes it tantalizing to both major parties, who see the territory as up for grabs by candidates who run nuanced campaigns.

“In Orange County, if you run a cookie-cutter campaign, you are going to lose,” Jim Brulte, a former chairman of the California Republican Party who lives in San Juan Capistrano, told Shane.

Gov. Gavin Newsom depicted his fight to keep his job as a matter of life and death, as a battle for California’s progressive values against a Trumpian power grab. And as of Wednesday, the vote in Orange County was 51.7 percent against the recall.

Voters I spoke with in Ladera Ranch, a very Republican bedroom community near San Juan Capistrano, told me they sensed the political makeup of their neighborhoods changing — although few discuss politics in person. Mostly, partisan fights have played out in Facebook groups.

Candice Carvalho, 42, a Democrat in Ladera Ranch who voted against the recall, said she and her neighbors were exhausted from the bitter partisan divides that for many defined the Trump presidency.

“I think that everyone’s had such a rough year and a half that I have this feeling that people want to — not reunite, but let’s kind of get back together,” she said. “Let’s just move forward.”

But how that weariness with partisanship will translate next year in House races depends on what lessons the Republican Party takes from the recall, analysts said.

Representative Katie Porter, a Democrat who was elected to her seat in the Irvine area in 2018 and won again in 2020, told me her victories had hinged on engaging voters of both parties on issues important to them.

“Until you have a sense of where the Republican Party is going to land in its values, with science and gender equality and fighting climate change,” she said, “it’s difficult to know at this point how you would best engage across party lines.”

For more:

This mushroom lasagna tastes very rich, even though it really isn’t.


Today’s travel tip comes from Patricia Goodson, who recommends the town of Ferndale in Humboldt County:

“It is a town of Victorian houses. Great shops and the only way to the Lost Coast. Ocean views for miles without congestion or many homes.”

Tell us about your favorite places to visit in California. Email your suggestions to [email protected]. We’ll be sharing more in upcoming editions of the newsletter.


The century-old diary that Christina Lalanne found in her San Francisco house tantalized her with the beginnings of a tale of two young Danish lovers, separated by different journeys to the United States and an unhappy marriage.

Eventually, The San Francisco Chronicle reports, they may have met again.

But the real love story here is one between a deeply rooted San Franciscan and her home.


Thanks for reading. We’ll be back in your inbox tomorrow.

P.S. Here’s today’s Mini Crossword, and a clue: Alphabet start (3 letters).

Steven Moity, Mariel Wamsley and Soumya Karlamangla contributed to California Today. You can reach the team at [email protected].

Sign up here to get this newsletter in your inbox.



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What Newsom’s Victory in Orange County Says About 2022


Orange County — despite its historical associations with famous conservatives of yore, including Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan and John Wayne — hasn’t been a Republican stronghold for years.

Back in 2016, headlines trumpeted that Hillary Clinton turned Orange County blue during the presidential election. In 2018, my colleagues wrote that Democrats flipped four Orange County congressional seats, a sweep that turned “a Republican fortress” Democratic.

Of course, 2020 showed that those pronouncements may have been premature: The county chose President Biden over former President Donald J. Trump, but two of those congressional districts returned to Republican control with the victories of Representative Michelle Steel and Representative Young Kim, both among the first three Korean American women in Congress.

Kim told me last year that her election represented a new direction for the Republican Party.

“This is not a Trump or Biden issue,” she said. “That’s how I’m going to work.”

Then came the recall election, offering political analysts a rare opportunity to take the temperature in key parts of California a year before the 2022 midterms. As my colleague Shane Goldmacher and I reported over the weekend, they were watching Orange County closely.

The region is no longer a wealthy, reliably conservative enclave, but a vision of the future of large suburban counties across the nation: increasingly diverse and politically complex — which makes it tantalizing to both major parties, who see the territory as up for grabs by candidates who run nuanced campaigns.

“In Orange County, if you run a cookie-cutter campaign, you are going to lose,” Jim Brulte, a former chairman of the California Republican Party who lives in San Juan Capistrano, told Shane.

Gov. Gavin Newsom depicted his fight to keep his job as a matter of life and death, as a battle for California’s progressive values against a Trumpian power grab. And as of Wednesday, the vote in Orange County was 51.7 percent against the recall.

Voters I spoke with in Ladera Ranch, a very Republican bedroom community near San Juan Capistrano, told me they sensed the political makeup of their neighborhoods changing — although few discuss politics in person. Mostly, partisan fights have played out in Facebook groups.

Candice Carvalho, 42, a Democrat in Ladera Ranch who voted against the recall, said she and her neighbors were exhausted from the bitter partisan divides that for many defined the Trump presidency.

“I think that everyone’s had such a rough year and a half that I have this feeling that people want to — not reunite, but let’s kind of get back together,” she said. “Let’s just move forward.”

But how that weariness with partisanship will translate next year in House races depends on what lessons the Republican Party takes from the recall, analysts said.

Representative Katie Porter, a Democrat who was elected to her seat in the Irvine area in 2018 and won again in 2020, told me her victories had hinged on engaging voters of both parties on issues important to them.

“Until you have a sense of where the Republican Party is going to land in its values, with science and gender equality and fighting climate change,” she said, “it’s difficult to know at this point how you would best engage across party lines.”

For more:

This mushroom lasagna tastes very rich, even though it really isn’t.


Today’s travel tip comes from Patricia Goodson, who recommends the town of Ferndale in Humboldt County:

“It is a town of Victorian houses. Great shops and the only way to the Lost Coast. Ocean views for miles without congestion or many homes.”

Tell us about your favorite places to visit in California. Email your suggestions to [email protected]. We’ll be sharing more in upcoming editions of the newsletter.


The century-old diary that Christina Lalanne found in her San Francisco house tantalized her with the beginnings of a tale of two young Danish lovers, separated by different journeys to the United States and an unhappy marriage.

Eventually, The San Francisco Chronicle reports, they may have met again.

But the real love story here is one between a deeply rooted San Franciscan and her home.


Thanks for reading. We’ll be back in your inbox tomorrow.

P.S. Here’s today’s Mini Crossword, and a clue: Alphabet start (3 letters).

Steven Moity, Mariel Wamsley and Soumya Karlamangla contributed to California Today. You can reach the team at [email protected].

Sign up here to get this newsletter in your inbox.



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Orange County moving closer to completely removing mask mandate as travel increases


On Wednesday, Orange County’s COVID-19 briefing was held at the airport, and officials did talk about an increase in travel. The biggest news is that Orange County is on the cusp of moving to Phase 3, which lifts all mask mandates outdoors and indoors.Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings has said in the past that Phase 3 could begin when 70% of the population over age 16 has received their first dose of the vaccine and/or Orange County’s 14-day rolling positivity rate is 5% or lower. Orange County’s current positivity rate is currently at 5.2% and health officials think in the next few weeks it will meet the threshold to move to Phase 3, which means masks will no longer be required indoors, as far as the county is concerned.”It appears that we will hit the sustained 5% or below prior to hitting 70%, so it’s a benchmark, it was guidelines that were given to our community, that is somewhat consistent with what we’ve heard from Centers for Disease Control,” Demings said.On the travel side of things, the CEO of Orlando International Airport said last weekend OIA saw some of its largest non-holiday crowds since the pandemic started.On Sunday, more than 66,000 passengers departed from OIA, also, for December through March, OIA was the busiest airport in the country.As for what is ahead this summer, officials say they believe that domestic travel will continue to grow, but business travel is not yet back and international travel is likely to take even longer to come back.

On Wednesday, Orange County’s COVID-19 briefing was held at the airport, and officials did talk about an increase in travel.

The biggest news is that Orange County is on the cusp of moving to Phase 3, which lifts all mask mandates outdoors and indoors.

Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings has said in the past that Phase 3 could begin when 70% of the population over age 16 has received their first dose of the vaccine and/or Orange County’s 14-day rolling positivity rate is 5% or lower.

Orange County’s current positivity rate is currently at 5.2% and health officials think in the next few weeks it will meet the threshold to move to Phase 3, which means masks will no longer be required indoors, as far as the county is concerned.

“It appears that we will hit the sustained 5% or below prior to hitting 70%, so it’s a benchmark, it was guidelines that were given to our community, that is somewhat consistent with what we’ve heard from Centers for Disease Control,” Demings said.

On the travel side of things, the CEO of Orlando International Airport said last weekend OIA saw some of its largest non-holiday crowds since the pandemic started.

On Sunday, more than 66,000 passengers departed from OIA, also, for December through March, OIA was the busiest airport in the country.

As for what is ahead this summer, officials say they believe that domestic travel will continue to grow, but business travel is not yet back and international travel is likely to take even longer to come back.



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18 States, Including Indiana, Now on Orange List – NBC Chicago


Chicago updated its emergency travel order Tuesday, detailing where states currently stand on the city’s list of “orange” states requiring travelers to quarantine or test negative for COVID-19 prior to their arrival in the city.

The “orange tier,” which requires a quarantine or pre-arrival negative test before coming to Chicago, now lists 18 states, including neighboring Indiana, as well as Puerto Rico. The lesser yellow tier now includes 31 states as well as the District of Columbia. Which tier states are in depends on case rate adjusted for population.

Here’s a look at which states are in either tier, according to the Chicago Department of Public Health:

  • 31 yellow states and District of Columbia: Oklahoma, Mississippi, New Mexico, Arkansas, Louisiana, Nevada, Kansas, Wisconsin, California, Wyoming, Missouri, Hawaii, Utah, Arizona, Texas, Kentucky, Idaho, Montana, Alabama, Georgia, Tennessee, South Dakota, Maryland, Nebraska, Ohio, South Carolina, Virginia, Vermont, Alaska, Connecticut, District of Columbia, and Iowa
  • 18 orange states and Puerto Rico: New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island, Florida, Delaware, Colorado, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Minnesota, Michigan, Indiana, West Virginia, Maine, North Dakota, Puerto Rico, North Carolina, Oregon, and Washington

Since the last update on April 20, Indiana is the only state that moved from the yellow to orange tier. Health officials in Indiana on Tuesday reported 824 new cases of coronavirus and 12 additional deaths. A total of 967 Indiana residents are currently hospitalized, officials say, an increase from the day before and the state’s highest level of hospitalizations since mid-February.

South Dakota, Nebraska, Ohio, Virginia, the District of Columbia, South Carolina, Vermont, Alaska and Connecticut all moved from the orange to the yellow tier since the last update.

While health officials continue to residents to avoid travel if possible, the thresholds and the testing or quarantine requirements for each category are as follows:

  • Yellow: States with a rolling 7-day average less than 15 cases/day/100k residents.
    • No quarantine or pre-arrival test required. Maintain strict masking, social distancing and avoidance of in-person gatherings
  • Orange: States have a rolling 7-day average above 15 cases/day/100k residents 
    • 10-day quarantine OR negative test no earlier than 72 hours before arrival in Chicago with strict masking, social distancing and avoidance of in-person gatherings
      or
    • Be fully vaccinated, as defined as two weeks after the second dose of a two-dose COVID-19 vaccine or two weeks after one dose of a single-dose vaccine and not have symptoms

In the last update, CDPH said those who travel from an orange list state and are not able to get a test before arriving in Chicago can use an airport testing site or another testing site upon arrival, officials said, adding that those who get tested upon arrival must still quarantine until they receive a negative result.

CDPH Commissioner Dr. Allison Arwady said last month that while more residents continue to get vaccinated, the travel order remains in place as cases in many states rise.

“We look at it every week and as more and more people are vaccinated, it applies to fewer people,” she said. “I think what we’re going to see is increasingly there will be less need for these kinds of municipal travel orders because we may see airlines, for example, requiring vaccination status, or potentially a pre-testing requirement to travel. I think there’s going to be more and more incentives for people to be vaccinated who want to travel and it will increasingly be safer to travel, but we are still, you know, we are clearly in, you know, another optic here in terms of COVID in the U.S. I wish I could say we were past it, but we’re just not at this point. So at the moment really encouraging people getting vaccinated is the safest way to protect yourself and then you can do a lot of these other things like travel with much less worry much less need for the testing or the quarantine or any of those pieces.”

City health officials updated the order in February to exempt anyone fully vaccinated and without COVID-19 symptoms from the quarantine or test requirement to bring the policy in alignment with guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“Fully vaccinated is defined as being at least two weeks after receipt of the second dose in a two-dose COVID-19 vaccine series or at least two weeks after receipt of one dose of a single-dose COVID-19 vaccine,” CDPH said in a statement at the time.

“Fully vaccinated travelers must monitor their health for 14 days after travel and if they experience symptoms potentially consistent with COVID-19, they must self-isolate until clinical evaluation and COVID testing,” CDPH continued. “They also must continue to adhere to all recommended protective measures including wearing a mask (and using job-specific personal protective equipment), maintaining physical distance, practicing hand hygiene, and avoiding crowds.”

Health officials still recommended canceling all non-essential travel, vaccinated or not, particularly after cases in Chicago and Illinois increased in recent weeks.

The city said it hopes to simply educate travelers about the order, but those found in violation could be subject to fines of between $100 and $500 per day, up to $7,000.

Exceptions can be made for travel for medical care, parental shared custody and business travel for essential workers. It also does not apply to an individual passing through states for less than 24 hours over the course of travel, including layovers at airport or people driving through a particular state. Daily commuters to and from neighboring states are also exempt.



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Orange County Man Accused in January 6 Riot Appears in Court


ORLANDO, Fla. — A 30-year-old Orange County man accused of participating in the January attack on the U.S. Capitol as a member of the Proud Boys, wore a T-shirt promoting the group to federal court on Tuesday in Orlando.


What You Need To Know

  •  A 30-year-old Orange County man appeared in federal court Tuesday on charges he participated in the January 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol
  •  Arthur Jackman could be seen wearing a shirt saying, “Proud Boys did nothing wrong!” during the hearing
  • He was released on a $25,000 bond

Arthur Jackman, 30, was released on a $25,000 unsecured bond and other conditions, including staying away from his wife’s guns.

He ignored reporters’ questions and remained silent after Tuesday’s hearing.

He had turned his black T-shirt turned inside out, hiding the lettering, for his brisk walk from the courthouse to an SUV that pulled over on West Central Boulevard to pick him up.

Earlier, when Jackman — shackled at his ankles and wrists — walked into the courtroom wearing the shirt, the words on the front, “Proud Boys did nothing wrong!” were visible.

The back was also visible during his 20-minute hearing before U.S. Magistrate Judge Daniel Irick at the George C. Young Federal Courthouse Annex.

It said: “I am a Western chauvinist, and I refuse to apologize for creating the modern world.”

The back also had an image of George Washington and a character giving an OK hand gesture — a suspected “white power” symbol.

In a criminal complaint filed by federal prosecutors in the District of Columbia, Jackman is accused of obstruction of an official proceeding, a felony punishable by up to 10 years in prison.

He is also accused of knowingly entering or remaining in any restricted building or grounds without lawful authority and engaging in disruptive and disorderly conduct. Someone convicted of that crime, which is a misdemeanor, could be imprisoned for up to a year.

Jackman will eventually have to travel to a federal court in D.C.

He also will have a pretrial hearing in Orlando, but a date wasn’t set Tuesday.

Federal prosecutors did not ask Irick to hold Jackman until his trial.

Instead, the judge imposed release conditions recommended by prosecutors, including taking his passport and restricting his travel to the Middle District of Florida and the District of Columbia.

He is allowed to travel between those destinations for court appearances.

Jackman is the latest in a string of Florida suspects tied to the Proud Boys accused of storming the U.S. Capitol on January 6 in an attempt to overturn the results of the presidential general election. Other Florida suspects include alleged attackers from another far-right group, The Oath Keepers.


In all, more than 300 people, many supporters of former President Donald Trump, have been charged in the siege.

The FBI got a tip about Jackman from an unidentified person described as a childhood friend.

Jackman texted a photo of himself inside the Capitol while wearing a mask and giving the OK hand gesture, agents allege.

Agents said in a document Jackman photographed and videotaped wearing a red plaid shirt in the U.S. Capitol.

The FBI interviewed him on January 19, when he reportedly told them he joined Proud Boys in 2016 to support Trump.

He thinks the election “was stolen,” according to a court document which states Jackman and “other Proud Boys were not there to infiltrate the Capitol as it was not a sanctioned Proud Boys event …”

Federal investigators obtained Google records of Jackman’s phone and say he entered the Capitol at around 2:14 p.m.

He was inside various locations, including the northern end of the Capitol and inside the Senate chamber, federal officials allege.

When agents asked if he was in the Capitol or if photos would show him there, Jackman had “no comment,” the agents said.

Agents said Jackman was spotted with Joseph Randall Biggs of Ormond Beach, another accused member of the Proud Boys, before and after the Capitol attack.

Biggs, Jackman and others were captured on video marching on Constitution Avenue while chanting “Whose streets? Our streets!” and expletives.

Biggs was later captured on video inside the Capitol, according to the affidavit.

“In the video, a voice off camera says, ‘Hey Biggs, what do you gotta say?’ The person depicted below smiles broadly and replies, ‘This is awesome!’ before pulling his gaiter up to cover his face,” a probable cause affidavit from the FBI said.

The video was live streamed on the Parler social-media site, the FBI said.

Biggs and other alleged members of the Proud Boys in the U.S. Capitol attack were equipped with “walkie-talkie style communication devices” on their chests, the FBI alleges.



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How to do a ski trip to Mammoth Mountain during the pandemic – Orange County Register


In late January, Mammoth Mountain was hit with more than 100 inches of snow just as Gov. Gavin Newsom lifted the latest stay-at-home order.

And, while the fresh powder beckoned cooped-up eager skiers and riders, it also was a pivotal lesson in how resort officials would navigate this year’s season amid tight COVID-19 restrictions while still providing a fun place to enjoy the outdoor winter wonderland in the High Sierra. The resort opened on Nov. 13, after the longest off-season in its history.

“It was quite a weekend,” said Stacey Cook, who heads up the mountain’s newly created COVID-19 Enforcement Team. “The storm kept building in the forecast and at the same time, we saw the stay-at-home order being lifted. It was the perfect storm.”

Crowds began forming at the few open lifts across the vast mountain and wait times stretched to as long as 55 minutes. Access to the mountain was limited to IKON pass holders and advance paid ticket sales. By that weekend, resort officials announced the mountain was “sold out.”

“Everyone showed up all at once,” Cook said. “We wanted to make sure we had safe operations and waited until ski patrol finished their avalanche blasts. I don’t know if any communication would have suppressed the guests’ stoke.”

Then, two weeks later, the mountain got some more fresh powder with about 18 more inches. Skiing conditions were much better and the mountain opened a lot sooner. The next fresh snowfall is expected Wednesday, March 10 and the mountain is expected to provide skiing and riding until at least Memorial Day. The summit now has received 224 inches and Main Lodge has 184 inches.

To keep its guests safe, Mammoth Mountain has invested $1 million in COVID-19-related resort enhancements. This includes new technologies and sanitization procedures to help with physical distancing and public health and to reduce contact points throughout the resort.

Skiers and boarders wait in lift lines near Canyon Lodge, where COVID-19 restrictions are in place. (Photo by Erika Ritchie, Orange County Register/SCNG)

Skiing in the COVID era

That late January weekend was eye-opening as crowds began forming at the lift lines. Masks are required indoors, in lift lines and on lifts, in gondolas, shuttles, and when social distancing with others outside who are not part of your travel group.

Cook’s team members — dressed in orange vests — were on hand to make sure guests had their noses and mouths covered and that they kept a 6-foot distance. Bandanas and gaiters are already part of many riders’ gear, so that part wasn’t that difficult, officials said.

But, some who tried to grab a sip of a beverage or maybe cool down after an exhilarating run and pulled down their face coverings were quickly and politely addressed.

“A lot of it is observation and talking to guests,” Cook said. “How do we make them believe what we’re doing is necessary? We’re constantly battling the misconception of being outside without a mask is OK.”

Chris Dahl, a lift operator, brought an unusual amount of enthusiasm to the waiting lines at Chair 5. He’s found a way to make COVID-compliance fun by bringing a sort of entertainment to the crowd. A senior Mammoth Mountain official was at the lift observing the crowds and took a video of Dahl. Later, he was given an award for his efforts.

“It made us all laugh when we needed it,” Cook said.

For Dahl, it was a way to get compliance while bringing about group motivation.

“It’s almost a whole year into the pandemic and I can see a lot of people are pretty tired of it,” said Dahl, of Fullerton, who is working his first season on the mountain. “I take that attitude because it helps make my experience more fun. I think people gravitate towards it because they’re also excited about being on the mountain and they want someone to share the energy with.”

Since the first storm, Dahl said he gets a good level of compliance but sees better cooperation from California residents than from out-of-state visitors.

The lift lines are distanced. For skiers, that isn’t too hard; it means lining up tip-to-tail and, and for some, allowing an extra foot of separation.

“We do get some people who squeeze up tight,” Cook said.

The late January storm showed Cook and her team how to get ahead of the game. In some cases, that meant opening lifts earlier and getting ahead of any crowds forming by the beginning of the day.

“That weekend, we were never able to get people spaced out.”

The COVID team works with mountain hosts — part-time workers and local volunteers dressed in yellow jackets — to advise skiers and riders where to go on the mountain.

Three-step enforcement

While the majority of guests comply with the COVID protocols, Cook said some balk. But, the mountain has a three-step plan for non-compliance. Many times the mistakes are innocent and people have either forgotten or aren’t aware.

“We correct the mistake and we’re nice about it,” Cook said. “The second time it happens, we educate them on why it’s important and how we’d like to keep the mountain open. The third time, corrective action is taken; it’s noted in their profile.”

Each guest has a profile whether they are an IKON Pass holder or not. A first warning is noted in the profile. The second time non-compliance happens, their ski pass is turned off for a week. If it happens a third time, the pass is revoked for the season.

Cook said a lot of notes have been made in profiles and more than a dozen passes have been revoked so far this season.

COVID protocols have also affected the Panorama gondola that travels to the summit. It no longer picks passengers up mid-mountain at McCoy Station. Riders must board at Main Lodge where capacity is limited to single households. The Village Gondola — which runs from Canyon Lodge to the Village at Mammoth — limits capacity to 25% with open windows, even in inclement weather. Seating is arranged to ensure a six-foot distance between people from different households.

If you want to get more proficient at making turns, ski and board lessons are private to ensure only people within a household are placed together.

Mammoth Mountain basking in sunlight after a recent storm. (Photo by Christian Pondella, Mammoth Mountain)

Lodges and après-ski

And, with the restrictions on the mountain, there are similar safety measures being taken at all of the resort’s lodges.

Hand washing and sanitizing stations are placed throughout lodges at the resort. Places like railings, bathrooms, door handles, tables and chairs are being disinfected regularly.

Guests will miss some of the traditional ski getaway fun like eating hearty breakfasts and lunches inside lodges, having a place to warm up a shivering child with hot cocoa and the ever-popular and expected après-ski at some of the mountain’s bars and restaurants.

While the lodges aren’t open to gather, there is plenty of outdoor seating where visitors can enjoy takeout food and drinks. The mountain also has opportunities for advanced ordering and pickup options through the Mammoth Mobile App. There are also pop-ups on the mountain where guests can buy drinks and snacks.

At Canyon Lodge, for example, the ever-popular Canyon Beach has been a place to hang out, socially distanced, while relishing the pure joy of a bluebird ski day. At Main Lodge, there’s plenty of space on the sun decks outside with views to the mountain’s famed Unbound Terrain Parks.

“It’s not the same experience, but it’s still a good experience,” Cook said. “Have a plan to grocery shop or eat lunch in your car. Call and ask questions, look on our website and don’t come unprepared. Our employees don’t want to be the police. This is a place to be kind and enjoy life. Show up with an attitude of fun and patience.”

In Mammoth Lakes, restaurants are open for outdoor dining, takeout and delivery.

The best place for a fun après-ski is likely your lodging. If you need to stock up for groceries and want to avoid large groups and long lines, avoid times between 3 and 10 p.m., especially on Friday and Saturday.

While COVID may have changed some of the experience, Mammoth’s terrain remains amazing. The wide-open bowls, steep canyons and long groomers are there to welcome eager skiers and boarders back. Here are some of the best ski runs that just may make you feel “normal” again.

A skier is covered in powder on Mammoth Mountain. (Photo by Peter Morning, Mammoth Mountain Ski Area)

EXPERT

Hangman’s Hollow: Perched near the summit of Mammoth and accessed by the gondola, Hangman’s Hollow is an adrenaline junkie’s dream. Large rock faces and drops take you through the “hollow” and into a powdery landing. This run requires skill and bravery.

Climax: Towering just below the gondola, Climax is a steep, daunting run that provides some of the best turns on the mountain. Drop over the edge and get buttery turns. Funnel through a few chutes; then it’s back to wide, fun slashes to the bottom. Don’t fall because you’ll have an audience watching from the gondolas above.

Dropout Chutes: The Dropout Chutes, which take skiers right under Chair 23, are filled with some of the best snow on the mountain because they capture the Mammoth “wind buff.” Skiers and riders pass by large rock formations in a tight chute and then hit wide, long, grin-inducing turns that are hard to beat.

West Bowl: Some of the best “first tracks” on the mountain on a powder day. On an average day, it can be a technical mogul field. Accessed from Face Lift Express, West Bowl requires a slightly technical traverse to drop in; then it’s a wide-open bowl, usually all to yourself.

Paranoid Flats: The “Noids,” as locals call them, may not feature the rocky chutes of some other double black trails, but they are steep, fast and require a little finesse to access. Whether you choose 1, 2, 3 or 4, Paranoids give a run of a lifetime when they’re hit right.

Avalanche Chutes: Off Lincoln Mountain and Chair 22, the “Avy Chutes” are a ton of fun for advanced skiers or riders — especially after a storm. Chair 22 is an option when the top of the mountain is closed. You can get fresh, steep tracks while snow falls. The chutes collect a lot of snow, and a short hike takes you over to a choice of three.

Boarders cruise groomed runs above Canyon Lodge. (Photo by Erika Ritchie, Orange County Register/SCNG)

INTERMEDIATE

Road Runner: Road Runner takes skiers and riders on a scenic 3-mile tour of the backside, all the way back to Main Lodge. The views of the Minaret Range will take your breath away, but don’t get too distracted — there’s a steep dropoff on your side.

Stump Alley: It’s a misleading name. Stump Alley is actually a wide treeless run with tons of space to work on turns. With just enough pitch to pick up some acceleration, you can carve down at full speed and treat yourself to some pulled pork nachos at The Mill at the bottom. This tame blue run has varying conditions and can be confidence-inspiring.

Solitude: Taking you from the top to the bottom of High Five Express, Solitude is fun and wide. If you’re feeling adventurous, the left of the run is lined with trees you can cut between and find hidden pockets of powder. Just make sure you don’t cut through the trees completely, or you’ll find yourself going down the more advanced Face of Five trail. Solitude is the perfect practice for making turns down steeper terrain or to get comfortable picking up downhill speed.

Gold Hill: Starts off at the top of Cloud Nine Express, which is known for having some of the best snow after a storm. Gold Hill definitely provides that for the intermediate skier or rider. It’s a long run with tons of fun side hits, tree runs and powder stashes.

White Bark Ridge: If you’re looking for a relaxed run off the backside of Mammoth, head over to Chair 12 or 13 and take some laps on White Bark Ridge. Shorter than Road Runner, White Bark Ridge provides amazing views and is less of a thigh burner.

A view of The Minarets — a series of jagged peaks — visible from Chair 16 on Mammoth Mountain. (Photo by Erika Ritchie, Orange County Register/SCNG)

BEGINNER

Sesame Street: If you’re at Main Lodge, Sesame Street can be a good place to build confidence on the slopes. It’s an easy run with access to beginner freestyle terrain. Sesame Street has some of the best views of the top of the mountain to give you something to work toward.

School Yard: Out of Canyon Lodge, head to School Yard to learn your heel from your toe turns. School Yard is a long, easy beginner run that is a perfect place for all age levels.

Pumpkin: Out of Eagle Lodge, Pumpkin is a long, mellow run perfect for beginners to get comfortable on the snow. Often with fewer crowds than other beginner runs, Pumpkin has space to learn how to nail your turns.

Wonderland Playground: This is the perfect space to learn and get comfortable in the park, whether you’re new to freestyle terrain or just looking to have some fun. With small jumps, ride-on boxes and rails and an 11-foot halfpipe, this is the place to start your park progression to the big leagues.

St. Moritz: If you’re feeling comfortable on the beginner slopes but aren’t quite ready to make the jump to an intermediate run, check out St. Moritz. Take the Panorama Gondola to McCoy Station and make your way down the wide, mellow beginning of Stump Alley toward the top of Forest Trail. St. Moritz is an advanced beginner run that takes you back to Main Lodge and allows you to gain more confidence on the mountain before hitting intermediate runs.

 



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Don’t sleep on this lemon-curd morning bun – Orange County Register


I often dream of living next door to a little bakery like Rye Goods, which opened last month in Lido Marina Village. I imagine waking up at the crack of dawn to the smell of sourdough loaves and sugar-dusted morning buns being pulled from the ovens. Strolling out the front door, still bleary-eyed and with bed-head hair, to pick up a box of warm pastries without having to get in the car and drive, lemon curd sticking to my fingers as I stumble back into my kitchen where a fresh pot of coffee is waiting. 

But this is not Paris, it’s Southern California, so that’s just wishful thinking. En route to Newport Beach, I have to stop and fill the car up with gas first. But my fingers are still sticky with lemon curd, and I’ve got meringue smeared across the tip of my nose as I stumble back into my kitchen with an armful of fresh pastries an hour into my morning adventure. 

If I lived next door, my exploits with Rye Goods would have been more civilized. I would have simply gone to the bakery every day for a couple of weeks, teasing my appetite with something different each morning. Instead I’ve stuffed a couple of boxes with nearly type of pastry they offer — a morning bun filled with lemon curd, a fat blueberry scone, a gigantic lemon-filled doughnut, a pistachio-blueberry swirly thing, a coconut swirly thing, a half dozen chocolate chip cookies, croissants — every single one of which will be eaten by noon, at which point I’ll go back to bed. But when I wake up again, it’s the morning bun that captures my attention most sharply. The bun is made with wild-fermented croissant sourdough, which is rolled with the zest of local Meyer lemons and stuffed with sweet-tangy curd, the whole of which is topped with meringue. 

 

Rye Goods is a beautiful little shop opened by Sara Lezama, a baker with a passion for slow food who previously operated The Rye Truck. The pastries and bread (nearly a dozen different loaves) she and her team make now appear to be a 10-fold progression of what she was serving from the truck. 

Word of advice: Get there early. On weekends, the bakery has been known to sell out of everything within three hours of opening. Weekdays are much more low-key. 

Rye Goods

Where: 3418 Via Lido, Newport Beach

When: Wednesday-Sunday, 8 a.m.-3 p.m.

Cost: $5.50

Phone: 949-432-5550

Online: ryegoods.com



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Opposing coaches tip their cap for LeBron James’ MVP candidacy – Orange County Register


The “LeBron for MVP” cry has started early this season. And no one’s touting him quite like … opposing coaches?

It might seem strange, especially for Eastern Conference coaches who James spent so much of his career frustrating and vexing. But Boston coach Brad Stevens thinks the four MVP awards the 36-year-old already owns deserve more company – a lot more.

“He is as special as special gets, and he would be a multiple-time-more MVP award-winner if people weren’t bored and looking for other things to discuss, right?” Stevens said. “He’s been the best player in the league for however many years now. … Nothing but the utmost respect for him. I’ve never had anything but.”

That’s a truism in the coaching ranks around the league, but in his 18th season, James has helped even opposing coaches vocalize it. James entered Saturday’s game in Boston averaging 25.5 points, 7.5 assists and 7.8 rebounds while shooting 41.7 percent from 3-point range. Perhaps most impressively, he’s yet to miss a game after a short offseason, rife with speculation that James stoked himself that he might rest in certain games early on.

Dwane Casey, whose Toronto teams James steamrolled again and again in the playoffs during his Cleveland runs, might feel a little warmer toward him now that he’s out West. Casey compared James’ shape to a 21-year-old, still able to physically be atop the game while improving his skills.

“You look in the dictionary and see a picture of a perfect basketball player, that guy’s there,” he said. “You hate playing against him. But as a basketball fan and when you’re not coaching against him, you enjoy watching him play because you see the nuances he brings to the table.”

James certainly has spirited younger contenders between him and a fifth regular-season MVP: Denver center Nikola Jokic and Philadelphia center Joel Embiid are popular first-time candidates, while Brooklyn forward Kevin Durant could be contending for his second MVP while averaging more than 30 points in a comeback from an Achilles tendon injury that kept him out all of last year.



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Lakers’ Anthony Davis misses Thursday night game in Detroit – Orange County Register


As Anthony Davis left his post-game press conference on Wednesday, he laughed after wrapping up a question about a seemingly balky right knee.

“You’ll see me tomorrow,” he said.

But Lakers fans didn’t see Davis on the court against Detroit, in the second game of the Lakers’ back-to-back on Thursday night. The team announced a few hours before tip-off that Davis would miss the game with a bruised right quadriceps that he injured in the first quarter against the Philadelphia 76ers.

Davis indicated Wednesday night following a 107-106 loss to the 76ers that although he had seemed to favor his right knee, it wasn’t a lingering issue.

But on Thursday, Davis felt some swelling, leading the Lakers to make the call to shelve him.

“I’m not sure what play, but he came in, he was hobbling for a few possessions, felt like he banged and then just played through the pain the rest of the night,” Coach Frank Vogel said. “Obviously swelled up a little bit and had some discomfort this morning so I decided to hold him out.”

It was the third game the 27-year-old has missed this season, all of which so far having been linked to back-to-backs. Of the Lakers’ four back-to-back game sequences this year, Davis has only played in both games once. Vogel said it hasn’t been part of the Lakers’ strategy to rest Davis in back-to-backs, but the timing of the injuries have simply been happenstance.

The Lakers started Kyle Kuzma, who got his fifth start of the year in his home state of Michigan with family in attendance. It also opened up rotation minutes for Talen Horton-Tucker. Both made a scoring impact in double digits, but the game still marked the first loss of the season without Davis, dropping them to 2-1 without their star big man.

Since signing a five-year maximum contract in the offseason, Davis’ numbers have tailed off slightly from last season, in part owing to the Lakers’ scoring depth this season. He’s averaging 21.9 points, 8.8 rebounds and 1.9 blocked shots per game. After starting the year on a tear from long range, his 3-point percentage has dropped to 32.6 percent, and he’s only made a 3-point shot once in his last seven games.



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