Archive of Jym Clendenin

Jym Clendenin has lived in Menlo Park for 35 years and thinks the town’s best attributes are its attractive housing, friendly residents, and just-right downtown, not to mention the near perfect weather. He worked nearby at SLAC for 33 years as an experimental and accelerator physicist, retiring in 2008. Now he enjoys running, biking, backpacking, cooking and reading as well as unearthing facts about Menlo Park’s little known corners and hidden past.

Jym has written 63 article(s) for InMenlo.


Post image for Backpacking the Sierras continues as a favorite pursuit, this year marked by water – and mosquitos

Editor’s note: Jym Clendenin, a long-time Menlo Park resident and occasional contributor to InMenlo, recently spent a week with six others backpacking in the Sierra Nevadas. His report follows, part of our continuing coverage of how people spent their summer vacation. If you had an interesting adventure, let us know: tips[a]inmenlo.com.

We started our adventure at a diversion dam on Bear Creek a few miles south of Lake Edison. Lake Edison is about 70 miles as the crow flies northeast of Fresno at approximately 7600’.

Our group included two seniors each well past the three-quarter century mark as well two men and three women barely beyond 50 years each — all experienced backpackers. Pictured (top) they are: Steve St. Lorant, Martha Berndt, Misha St. Lorant, Nadine Krefetz, Esther Berndt, Axel Brachmann and Jym Clendenin.

As we started hiking north on the Bear Creek trail, two things were immediately clear: 1) There was still a lot of snow melt from the winter’s heavy snowfall — Bear Creek was roaring; and 2) Abundant water resulted in a proliferation of mosquitoes.

The second day, now hiking southeast on the Pacific Crest Trail, we crossed Bear Creek and then camped at Lou Beverly Lake. Our two fishermen were disappointed to find the lake had lots of fish but all too small to eat.

So we divided into a dedicated fishing group that moved on to Rose Lake where larger fish were found, and four intrepid hikers headed up the East Fork of Upper Bear Creek, following a rough, unmaintained trail. Yours truly struggled to keep up with youth as we waded across creeks, fought our way through willows, rock-hopped on occasion, and hugged granite cliffs. With heavy breathing, we rapidly ascended to about 11,000’— granite country well above the tree line.

We were rewarded by stunning vistas of Bear Basin. It was a warm, sunny day. After a pleasant lunch we descended through snow fields past Vee Lake, which was nearly covered with floating ice, back to our base camp at an unnamed lake (about 10,500’).

That evening we experienced a pretty severe and very sudden hail storm with thunder as close as three seconds to the lightening. Two days later we were back at the trail head, no one seriously injured, but each of us suffering from muscle fatigue and numerous mosquito bites.

Photos by Axel Brachmann (c) 2017

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Menlo Park gates to live again – if enough money can be raised

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“Portals of Early Days’ at Menlo Park Laid Low; Landmark of 1854 Falls.” Thus headlined an article in the July 7, 1922, Palo Alto Times. “The landmark…was struck early this morning by two automobiles, filled with singing passengers, which careened down the highway and crashed into the old arch…” The wood “…was rotted and scarcely […]

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Camp Fremont Centennial Committee formed to plan events and celebrations

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Ninety-nine years ago today (April 6, 1917) the U.S. entered the European war. At the time, Menlo Park was a relatively sleepy country community consisting of a couple hotels, a few businesses (including several bars) and perhaps 2,000 residents clustered around a Southern Pacific train station. As Barbara Wilcox details in her new book, World […]

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Menlo Park expands Friendship City program

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During the month of March, the display case at the Menlo Park Library entrance features two of Menlo Park’s friendship cities: Galway City in Ireland and Bizen in Japan. The signing of a friendship agreement with Galway City in 2013 was the culmination of over 50 years of official and unofficial contacts between the two cities. […]

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Spotted: New shiny red bike racks at Trader Joe’s

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There are now five new, bright-red bike racks to compliment the two older gray ones at Trader Joe’s. The ironic thing was that I had just been at the City Admin building discussing bike racks with Mayor Rich Cline. He told me the City is looking to install more of them on Santa Cruz Ave. I complained about not […]

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Menlo Park’s first resident, Dennis Martin, is subject of book by local author

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It is only fitting that the full story of Menlo Park’s first resident, Dennis Martin, should have been unearthed (so to speak) by ultra-local resident Bo Crane. Bo was born in the old Palo Alto Hospital (now Hoover Pavilion) and was baptized at Holy Trinity Church on Pine near Ravenswood a few years before the […]

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A look at Menlo Park schools from 1875 to 1927 is focus of mini-exhibit

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A new mini-exhibit with photos and other items chronicling Menlo Park schools from 1875 to 1927 is featured in the Menlo Park Library’s downstairs display case through October 30th. What is the significance of these dates? In the 19th century, the name Menlo Park was used for essentially all the area between Redwood City and the […]

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Local bicyclists view coastal farms on 20-mile POST organized ride

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On Saturday morning (6/27), over 75 bicyclists of all ages and skills — many from Menlo Park —participated in the first Bike the Coast with POST (Peninsula Open Space Trust). The 20-mile loop began on Cloverdale Road just outside of Pescadero. Riding south, the first stop was at the Root Down Farm , a new organic […]

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Galway City Mayor and Chief Executive visit Menlo Park as part of St. Patrick’s Day tour to the states

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Editor’s note: This article was co-written by Lucy Spaziano. On the eve of St. Patrick’s Day, Menlo Park welcomed Galway City’s Mayor Donal Lyons (left in photo) and Chief Executive Brendan McGrath (right) for a two-day visit March 11th and 12th. This visit continues the Friendship Agreement signed by the two cities in 2013. Galway is a city […]

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Former Menlo Park City Attorney Jack Jorgeson talks about the 60s and 70s at Menlo Park Historical Association annual meeting

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At the annual meeting of the Menlo Park Historical Association an audience of about 50 were taken back to the City of the 1960s and 70s by Jack Jorgenson, the Menlo Park City Attorney from 1961 to 1985. In 1960, Jorgenson was assistant to City Attorney James O’Keefe, Jr. when O’Keefe left to take an elective […]

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Italian stone pine in Fremont Park gives birth to art & play structure – with new trees to come

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From disaster and death can come the birth of something good (myth of the phoenix). The big Italian stone pine that guarded the eastern side of Fremont Park had to be taken down in September, a disturbing event for many in our community. From the collective brainstorming of residents and city of Menlo Park staff, […]

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