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Chasing the California Dream, Lisa F. Wood

To better understand California, Lisa Wood rode horseback into its history, inspired by Joseph Smeaton Chase, who made a similar expedition in 1911.  Armed with little more than a roll of duct tape and a sense of humor, she rode her sometimes-grumpy, always-hungry Appaloosa, Cacho, from the Santa Monica Mountains of Los Angeles to the beaches of the Oregon border.  On this extraordinary quest, she explored spectacular landscapes, overcame life-threatening obstacles, met caring strangers who helped her find strength to face the solitude of the journey, and gained new perspective on the essential needs of body and soul.  This personal account combines biology, history, and the insights of an adventurous woman, who discovered that by leaving behind everything in her life, she gained far more than she gave up.

Lisa Wood earned degrees in biology at UC Berkeley and San Diego State University.  During an internship with the San Diego Planning Department, the ardent equestrian found time to train Arabian horses, and once rode a horse across the Tibetan Plateau!  Now Senior Environmentalist for the City of San Diego, Ms. Wood is a devoted backpacker, hiker, and cyclist.  She is a member of the Nature Conservancy, the Endangered Habitat League, the Sierra Club, the Audubon Society and the Jersey Wildlife Preservation Trust (where she is the adoptive mother of a Waldrop Ibis).

"Lisa Wood's tales of riding across California teach us a great deal about the nature of both humans and horses.  This is an inspiring account of challenges, determination and achievement.  I look forward to reading about her next adventure - a ride across the U.S.!"  Joy Zedler, Aldo Leopold Professor of Restoration Ecology, University of Wisconsin-Madison.

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