By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
When Is The Down Time?
Marg Jackson

An unusual thing happened this year as I waited for the summer slowdown we typically see in the newspaper business … it never came. Or, it came and went when I wasn’t paying attention or was just too busy to see it.

Seems like just a few weeks ago I was taking photos at the Escalon High School graduation for the Class of 2018 and now it’s time to watch the new crop of kindergarten students arriving as they get started on their educational journey.

Summer often gives us the chance to break away for a true vacation, as the workload is a little lighter without school classroom activities and sports but somehow, this year, I just didn’t get the chance. I stole a few days here and there, just enough to charge the batteries a little.

Funny, though, as I look at those ‘stolen’ days, one was a recent Saturday and one was a Sunday. Days that should be play days anyway but, alas; not always for the press.

My Sunday getaway was with good friend and co-worker Michelle, as I pretty much invited myself to an A’s-Giants game at the Coliseum – it was the Rickey Henderson bobble legs promotion and all I had to do was make sure Michelle’s husband got my bobble legs keepsake in exchange for getting to fill his seat at the game. Done.

It was awesome, despite the fact that most of the time I was surrounded by A’s fans in the section we were in. There were a few scattered Giants fans around, enough to seek out for a high five when we made a good play or took the lead. It was the finale of the Bay Bridge Series and the A’s ended up winning in extra innings but it was just such an exciting game and a great day with a dear friend that I couldn’t be unhappy.

The Saturday escape was a road trip up to about 8,000 feet to get clear of the Valley smoke, haze and heat. It was pretty warm, still, but at least the sky was blue and you could breathe in the freshness. My roommate and I headed out to go spend the day where her daughter and family were camping for a few days with a number of relatives. We took a little walk to a swimming hole surrounded by rocks that were perfect for sitting on while you dipped your feet in the water or, if you were of the braver variety, you waded/dove in to the chilly mountain stream.

We had a rock painting mini-marathon for all ages, with the rocks to be placed around the camping grounds later; they will check for them next year when they return to the same location for vacation.

Then it was off to a lake for some hiking, with a mix of sandy shoreline and trees. I really love the woods, as they always remind me of home, and scrambling over rocks and winding my way through forests was something that was typical of the summers in my childhood. My brother and I would set off for the day with a couple of our cousins and just go. No cell phones. No particular plan. A sack lunch and an appetite for exploration was all we needed.

I did some scrambling over rocks this trip but on Sunday I was reminded that I am no longer in my childhood. Yes, a little stiffness but with over 14,000 steps recorded and 33 staircases conquered on Saturday, it was worth it. Not really sure how my Fitbit calculates staircases but that one day total was more than I have ever registered in a day before. Plus, I got a message in my email that it earned me my first “Redwood Forest” badge – apparently climbing at least 28 staircases in a day gets you that reward.

So now as we look forward to August, here’s hoping that it doesn’t bring us as many 100-degree days as we had in July and that we get the school year started off on the right note. Fall sports kick in and we ramp it back up. Guess the slowdown will have to wait ‘til next summer.


Marg Jackson is editor of The Escalon Times, The Oakdale Leader and The Riverbank News. She may be reached at or by calling 847-3021.