Faces of Menlo

Post image for Menlo Park resident Jonathan Nash participates in National Outdoor Leadership School

Menlo Park resident Jonathan Nash, 20, recently completed a semester course in New Zealand with the National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS).

Nash and his coursemates kicked of their semester with a 24-day canoeing section traveling on the Clarence river of New Zealand for 120 miles. The group traveled in 6 tandem canoes down the river. Curriculum focused on camping skills, canoeing skills, environmental studies, risk management, leadership and first aid.

While on the river, the group faced variable weather conditions from sunshine to snow. The river was technically challenging with low water levels and frequent rapids. Students left the river as competent white water canoeists and efficient backcountry campers.

DCIM116GOPRO

DCIM116GOPRO

Nash and his coursemates transitioned from the river to a 24-day hiking expedition in the Lake Sumner region of the South Island, New Zealand. Students traveled on and off trail for 100 miles through Beachwood forest and high alpine ridges. Curriculum focused on first aid, navigation, self-care, “Leave No Trace” principles and student leadership. The section highlight was an independent student expedition where students traveled without instructors for five days and nights.

For the final section of their semester Nash and his coursemates headed into the mountains for a course on technical mountaineering. The group was faced with much adversity during this section. They were first met with torrential downpours that forced the group to find high ground to escape flooding. Once into the mountains instructors and students were hammered with gale force winds and snow that destroyed all but two of the tents.

DCIM116GOPRO

DCIM116GOPRO

Fortunately, the group was resupplied by helicopter halfway through this 24-day section allowing them to take another attempt at summiting Anderson peak. On the second attempt, students learned a number of technical mountaineering skills that included glacier travel, fixed line travel and high altitude camping.

Ultimately injuries and weather thwarted the attempt to reach the summit; however, this did not dampen student’s spirits as they came away from the alpine country competent mountaineers.

Nash and his coursemates graduated from their NOLS Semester in New Zealand equipped with technical outdoor skills, a wilderness ethic and leadership skills they will use for the rest of their lives.

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Checking out the newly ADA compliant Dutch Goose

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Since opening in 1966, The Dutch Goose has been an iconic landmark  in and around Menlo Park. This year it has a new look, inside and out. Owner Greg explains that the restaurant “got sued for discriminating against handicapped people,” and subsequently needed to renovate the building in order to provide access. [Editor’s note: According to the […]

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Man of many talents Gary Riekes helps others reach their potential

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We’re guessing we aren’t the only one who associate the The Reikes Center for Human Enhancement in Menlo Park with fitness. But on a recent visit there, we discovered that the Center’s fitness programs represent just 25% of the revenue. Also offered are art, music, nature and community service programs. Center founder Gary Riekes journeyed west from […]

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Menlo Park native KK Clark scores gold as member of USA Women’s Senior National Water Polo team

Thumbnail image for Menlo Park native KK Clark scores gold as member of USA Women’s Senior National Water Polo team

KK Clark is now traveling around the world as a member of USA Women’s Senior National Water Polo team. But she got her start swimming in Menlo Park, where she grew up. And her Menlo Park aunt and uncle, Marybeth and Chris Dorst, have some impressive swimming resumes themselves: Marybeth was a member of the 1980 U.S. Olympic […]

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Jennifer Bryson leads new non-profit, The Zephyr Institute

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We first met Menlo Park newcomer Jennifer Bryson when she was organizing no-host parties to watch the victorious U.S. women’s soccer team. Along the way, we stumbled on the reason the Bay Area native had returned after many years on the East Coast. She’s the Executive Director of a new non-profit, The Zephyr Institute. “Our […]

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Dan Dieguez transformed his backyard into magical wildlife garden

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Dan Dieguez grew up in the Menlo Park home he lives in currently. But it’s his personal stamp that’s transformed the large backyard into what he calls a “wildlife garden.” “My friends call it ‘organized chaos,’” he explained during a recent visit accompanied by Menlo Park-based photographer Frances Freyberg, whose photos of the garden are featured here. […]

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Keith Willig hands out five-gallon buckets to clients to promote water conservation

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Keith Willig Landscape Architecture and Construction (KWLA), based in Menlo Park, recently began a small initiative to increase public awareness of the drought and to promote water conservation. The company ordered 100 five-gallon buckets to hand out to clients around the Bay Area to inspire water collection in every form. Tied to each bucket is […]

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Dr. Paul Jemelian tends vegetable garden at Menlo Medical Clinic

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Growing up in Lindenwood, Dr. Paul Jemelian’s backyard always featured a vegetable garden, lovingly tended by his mother. The gardening bug bit him early, and through friends, he spent three summers on a Iowa farm. Ultimately he chose medicine over farming. He’s been able to blend the two pursuits since joining the Menlo Medical Clinic two […]

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Board chair Gillian Growdon talks about Random Acts of Flowers Silicon Valley

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We met Gillian Growdon, Board Chair of Random Acts of Flowers Silicon Valley, at a place that smells sweet. The local branch of the national organization has office and warehouse space in Menlo Park, and the Wednesday afternoon we visited, a crew of adult volunteers, sprinkled with a few kids, was arranging bouquets to be delivered to individuals […]

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Raising the barre: Erin Paruszewski takes the Dailey Method private, opening Alkalign Studios

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I just finished taking an entire year of chemistry in high school, only to find out —ironically, through the owner of an exercise studio — that alkaline does not just refer to certain metals on the periodic table. As Erin Paruszewski, former owner of two Dailey Method franchises and founder of Alkalign Studios in Menlo […]

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One daughter salutes a great Menlo Park dad on Father’s Day

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Editor’s note: Debbie (Morris) Evangel let us know about her father’s model train table, a conglomeration of memories from Menlo Park and Redwood City. She writes: “He grew up in Menlo on Live Oak and ECR and met my mom in Redwood City, so the places he frequented growing up and in married life we […]

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