Archive for the ‘Morgan Hill’ Category

House of Thunder Harley BBQ and Bubba Blackwell Show

The last time I was on a motorcycle was back in my high school days, and that was on my then boyfriends little Honda!

To me motorcycles are a naughty – wicked living on the edge thrill. I love the way they look and sound. I enjoy talking to the riders and snapping a photo… Ms. Valley Vixen on hers and Vince on his big red bike.

The FX hit drama “Sons of Anarchy” is teaming up with Harley-Davidson to make a custom SOA bike.

The award winning (2011 Silver Bar and Shield Award) House of Thunder Harley-Davidson store in Morgan Hill is hosting a BBQ this Saturday.
– talk to them about the SOA bike…

American Daredevil Bubba Blackwell will preform amazing stunts on Harleys! He will do two shows: 12:30 and 3:30 PM.

Also, enjoy the live bands and much more. The show is free but do bring a bit of cash for the BBQ

Where: House of Thunder Harley-Davidson
16175 Condit Road – Hwy101 and Tennant Ave. Morgan Hill.

When: Saturday, June 16

House of Thunder


Morgan Hill Mushroom Mardi Gras Festival 2011

The 32nd Morgan Hill Mushroom Mardi Gras Festival (May 28 – 29, 2011) is a free family-friendly event that features everything mushroom.

Visit the Mushroom Growing Exhibit and see the mushroom growth process in its various stages, learn about compost, and talk with growers.

Enjoy mushroom soup made from local fresh mushrooms. The recipe is free with each bowl.

Take home fresh, just-picked shuttled from the grower, locally grown mushrooms for sale near the inflatable mushroom including Portabella, Crimini and white mushrooms.

The two-day festival includes live stage entertainment, arts and crafts, gourmet offerings, mushroom education, strolling musicians, street performers, and a kids activities area including a petting zoo and pony rides.

Morgan Hill Community & Cultural Center
17000 Monterey Road
Morgan Hill, 95037

Saturday, May 28, 2011
10:00 am – 7:00 pm

Sunday, May 29, 2011
10:00 am – 6:00 pm

Admission: Free

Free parking for the festival is located throughout downtown Morgan Hill
and at the 3rd Street Festival entrance at the Park & Ride lot on Butterfield
Blvd between Dunne & Main Avenue. Entrance to the festival from this
parking lot is located at the train crossing in MunchkinLand.

Live Oak High School is offering parking for a donation of $5 at the dirt lot
located on Church and Depot Street across the street from the main
entrance to the festival.

Both lots provide handicap parking.

19th Annual Morgan Hill Sprint Triathlon

What has 1600 wheels, 1600 feet, swims through Uvas Reservoir and feasts on burritos and beer?

The 800 triathletes who are signed up for the 19th Annual Morgan Hill Sprint Triathlon!

At 7am Sunday, while most people are still snuggled under the covers, 800 athletes plus numerous volunteers will already be lined up at Uvas, with bikes racked and running shoes set out carefully on towels.  Participants will swim ¾ mile in the reservoir, get on bikes for a 16 mile ride, then take off running for another five miles.  Do you have what it takes?

I’m not sure if I do, but I’ll be there lined up in my wetsuit, too.

The Morgan Hill Sprint Triathlon is USAT sanctioned and follows a beautiful, mostly flat course.  Athletes and volunteers return year after year to participate in and support this fast growing sport.  The post race party includes burritos and beer and more!!  If you don’t feel ready to participate or volunteer, feel free to come by and spectate!   It is hard not to catch the triathlon bug when watching your first race.  Don’t be surprised if you decide to hop on your bike Monday and make plans for next year!

Visit the website for more information on the course, parking, volunteering and signing up!  Check back here next week for a write-up of my experience… if I survive!

Tornado Warning for Santa Clara County

The National Weather Service issued a Tornado Warning for Santa Clara County. This included the city of Morgan Hill and Santa Cruz County.

* at 202 PM PST… National Weather Service Doppler radar indicated
a severe thunderstorm capable of producing a tornado moving
northeast at 35 mph. – * until 230 PM PST – This storm may produce quarter size hail.

The first that I heard about a possible tornado was on twitter. abc7newsBayArea. I was not notified by ALERTSCC. So obviously Santa Clara County does not consider a looming tornado enough of a life altering threat to send out the town crier.

I would like to ask San José Mayor Chuck Reed if we will only be alerted after the roof blows off?

Precautionary/preparedness actions:

The safest place to be during a tornado is in a basement. (not many in San José) Get under a
workbench or other piece of sturdy furniture. If no basement is
available… seek shelter on the lowest floor of the building in an
interior hallway or room such as a closet. Use blankets or pillows to
cover your body and always stay away from windows.

If in Mobile homes or vehicles… evacuate them and get inside a
substantial shelter. If no shelter is available… lie flat in the
nearest ditch or other low spot and cover your head with your hands.

Night bike rides at Rancho Cañada del Oro

bicyclistThis spring Rancho Cañada del Oro Open Space Preserve trails will be open after hours only to bicyclists.

The 3,882-acre Rancho Cañada del Oro Open Space Preserve is located in the foothills of the Santa Cruz Mountains in south Santa Clara County. There are over 8 miles of foothill trails just for bikes during this special after hours activity.

Riders are required to register on-site and attend a short briefing before heading out to the trails. Registration begins 2 1/2 hours before the ride’s start time in the Casa Loma Road parking lot. Parking is limited to the first 50 vehicles that arrive at the staging area. This activity is restricted to adults (18 and over). Riders must have a helmet, headlamp and bike lamp. A rear light is recommended. This is a free event.

Rancho Cañada del Oro
399 Casa Loma Road
Morgan Hill 95037

From Highway 101, take the Bailey Avenue exit west. At the intersection with McKean Road turn left. Where McKean Road becomes Uvas Road turn right onto Casa Loma Road. The staging area is at the end of the paved road on your left

The spring rides are scheduled for the first and third Fridays of April and May…

Friday, April 3
7:00 PM to 10:30 PM (Registration 4:30 PM to 7:00 PM)

Friday, April 17
7:15 PM to 10:45 PM (Registration 4:45 PM to 7:15 PM)

Friday, May 1
7:30 PM to 11:00 PM (Registration 5:00 PM to 7:30 PM)

Friday, May 15
7:45 PM to 11:15 PM (Registration 5:15 PM to 7:45 PM)

A wealth of color at Uesugi Farms in Morgan Hill, CA

Uesugi Farms, Morgan Hill, CA

Uesugi Farms, Morgan Hill, CA

So, Sunday morning, my husband and I are going over what to do with our day. On any given Sunday our plan is to take the children and dog to a local walking trail and get some sunshine and exercise. But on the 5th of October, he wanted to do something new and different. While looking up stuff on the web, I looked over my shoulder at my husband, who had both children climbing on him like a mountain, and it reminded me and the huge pyramid of pumpkins at Uesugi Farms.

Poor Claire had to stay home, the farm doesn’t allow pets. She looked so forlorn. We filled her bowl with fresh water, gave her a hug and a Greenie, and told her to be good. She normally is, Good girl dog.

So, I quickly assembled a lunch for us (note: they ask that people not bring in their own food, but won’t kick you out if you open up a lunch box. The food is pretty expensive there, liken to a baseball stadium).. packed up the kids, and headed out to Morgan Hill around 10:am. I had taken my kids there last year in October, and was surprised my oldest remembered. She kept saying “chugga, chugga chugga! Choo-Choo!!” definitely her favorite part is the train, and then talked incessantly about the “great huge” Pumpkin pyramid. I was thrilled that she was excited. My husband was happy too, he rarely gets to be a part of this kind of outing. I stay at home, so, I’m the one out and about with the girls. It a was great start to this plan.

When we arrived I was pleased to see the parking lot fairly empty, knowing that the place can get very busy with families and different groups. I don’t know if it was because it was early in the season, or just early in the day, but we got close to the entrance which minimized walking distance and a chance of excited bolting from the kids. I haven’t decided if it’s a good thing or a bad thing, that the first thing you are greeted with is public toilet stalls. My daughter and I did have to use one almost immediately after the drive, but it’s not really a pretty site. But that’s just a small thing, I suppose they had to put those stalls somewhere, once you are inside, you basically forget about them, well, until you need it again..

Inside you are met with friendly faces of workers, everyone is so happy you are there. Pumpkin movers in bright orange shirts, and guides who are willing to tell you anything you could need to know. And then there’s the Mariachi Band touring around the farm. I loved that band, they actually played, “A few of my Favorite Things” Mariachi style, that was very cool indeed! There is a Pumpkin Lady walking around greeting the people. She’s OK, a tad bit scary, my kids were taken back a little, and I was too at first. But she is G rated, and won’t walk up to children if they seem afraid (one little chap cried and ran the opposite direction, I didn’t know who to feel more sorry for). There is a great amount of things to see and do, the Giant Pumpkin stands out completely, and then there are the corn rows and mazes, a genuine haunted barn, and two trains to enjoy. There is a field of pumpkins and flowers to walk around, and take some fabulous pictures among. The scenery is gorgeous, and it’s great to see all the smiles and happy children running and looking at the different pumpkins.

Of course you can choose your own pumpkin to buy, there are numerous sizes to choose from, from the hand held variety, to the kind you need a wheelbarrow (which are readily available and free for your use). We ended up with 4 total, two the kids were able to hoist into the wheelbarrow themselves and two handpicked by my husband and I.

So, we were out of there by 1:pm, and ready to go. The kids were cheery by exhausted, my husband and I were glad we made a day out of this farm. It’s a really nice place for families, I totally recommend it!

Urgent: 100+ Cats Need Rescue

Everyone, if you have a spare bathroom, garage, bedroom, etc. and you can foster a cat or two or three, please send an email to as soon as possible.

Animal Control was called to a home in Morgan Hill where there are around 100 cats/kittens. All are healthy and happy but need a place to stay immediately. The cats will be taken from the home this coming week, and have no where to go. If Town Cats can’t find room for them all, I don’t know what will happen.

If you can’t foster, Town Cats still needs help at their already very full shelter. Please visit for more information.

Not good enough for Whole Foods, so we get a Wal-Mart

Whole Foods MarketIn the weekend edition of the Morgan Hill Times, is a comment to the paper’s hotline about the vacant Target building at Cochrane Rd and US-101. The building is an 80,000 sq ft facility, now vacant since Target moved to the massive shopping center on the eastern side of US-101. One by one the businesses in the center see less traffic, relocate, or close altogether because of the absence of the traffic brought in by Target. It’s not surprising, however, that the new Target Center (complete with Circuit City, Staples, Men’s Wearhouse, Petco, Starbucks, Jamba Juice, Quiznos, Chili’s and soon a nine screen theater) is the major draw in the area of Cochrane Road.

The question asked of the Times ‘Red Phone’ column is, “Why not Whole Foods?” Whole Foods is a good, healthy (and social) fit for this town. Forget that Wal-Mart claims to be bringing a more ‘upscale’ version of its store. There’s still quite a cultural gap between Wal-Mart and Whole Foods Market.

So, why not Whole Foods?

The answer is depressing and complicated.

The explanation from the Times explains the desire of Whole Foods to be here, and much of that is determined by demographic and psychographic profiles. The math involved points to about 50,000 people within a five mile radius of the market, but that’s not good enough– Whole Foods may want that density in a one mile radius.

This is complicated because of the vast amount of open space and farmland in the area.

Trade Joe’s encountered the same situation, being begged to come here. Eventually, TJ’s did make it, and is located right off of US-101 on Dunne Avenue.

So, for all the restrictions on growth to preserve a natural environment, the return is that to sustain some business and income is by bringing in yet another big box retailer. On the other hand, when Morgan Hill turned down the type of retail presence now dominated by Gilroy to the south, all the tax dollars went–guess where?– not here. Most of the time, to get any real shopping done, I find myself driving either 12 miles south to Gilroy, or 12 miles north to south San Jose.

A perplexing situation?


photo under creative commons license, That Other Paper

Morgan Hill Photography Club

The inaugural Morgan Hill Photography Club met at the independent Book Smart bookstore, attracting many more than the six or seven attendees that organizer Susan Brazelton expected.
Susan Brazelton
A resident of Morgan Hill since 1991, Susan’s interest in photography goes back to the 1970’s where she participated in various workshops and classes along the way.

“About 5 years ago, I decided to pursue [photography] a little more seriously. Now I can hardly look at anything without thinking in terms of light and composition.”

Since her retirement in 2005, Susan has combined her recent involvement in community activities and love of photography, by shooting local events such as the grand opening of the new city library, Puzzle Day, and the Math Mardi Gras.

On why she decided to create a local club, Susan noted, “I am always looking to meet more people in Morgan Hill and I thought that a shared interest in photography could be the basis for creating new friendships.”

Morgan Hill, a bedroom community of approximately 35,000 people, rests at the southern edge of Silicon Valley and is home to a variety of high-tech companies and abundant open spaces. This growing community is known for its yearly Mushroom Mardi Gras, The Poppy Jasper Film Festival, as well as being one of the premier cycling destinations (Morgan Hill is home to Specialized Bicycles) in Santa Clara County.

Having outgrown the bookstore’s cafe, the next gathering of the MH Photography Club will be held at the Morgan Hill Community Recreation Center (171 Edmundson) on May 7th at 7pm. All levels are welcome to share and learn.

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