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California Trivia

Some days there just isn’t enough coffee.

I’m stumped for blog topics this morning, so I thought I’d just share a few of the more amusing facts I’ve uncovered while researching my Northern California book


The Lost City of the East Bay Hills. In the hills just east of Oakland is the Morgan Territory Regional Preserve. It was once home to the Miwok metropolis called Volvon. For 10,000 years this native tribe lived here, grinding acorns and hunting rabbits. Strolling through the preserve you can still see the bedrock mortars – the collections of holes in large flat stones where the women would gather to pound acorn meal.

The personal hot tub began in Northern California, when enterprising young hippies attached wood burning water heaters to old redwood vats that had been discarded by the vineyards. They leaked something awful, and left a person with splinters in their behind, but there’s still something nice about a wood tub. As the fad spread through the country most manufacturers switched to fiberglass. 

The Mission Burrito is an actual thing. Steaming a big tortilla before stuffing it to the gills and serving it with corn chips is actually a very Bay Area tradition. El Faro claims to have been the first to serve it up in the 1960′s, and they’ve been a staple food ever since.

Steam Beer (now known as Anchor Steam Beer) was invented by miners in the 1850s who had a hankering for lager, but no refrigeration to cool the fermentation process so they had to do a warmer (ale style) fermentation and viola! a new kind of beer was born.

There’s much more, but you’ll just have to wait for the book to come out.

Now for more coffee…



  1. Aunt Suzann
    Nov 16, 2011

    Ahhh hot tubs, remember the one your parents had in Bennett Valley?

    • April
      Nov 16, 2011

      I had so many flashes of that tub while writing this section. The smell of the redwood and chlorine together. Summer and me diving for pennies… good times.

    • Egypt
      Nov 26, 2011

      Keep it coming, wrtires, this is good stuff.

  2. Yolande Tischler
    Jan 17, 2012

    Do you mind if I placed this piece of content on my blog? I would give you credit and a link back to your webpage. Thank you, and don’t hesitate to let me know here, or email me!

    • April
      Jan 18, 2012

      Hi Yolande,
      Sure, feel free to spread the CA trivia. A link back would be appreciated.

  3. Hakeem
    Feb 19, 2012

    Good blogging!


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