Thursday, September 18, 2014

Whirlwind Yosemite Trip: Part 2

In the morning the boys and I explored the area. We had found our tents at night, so we took the opportunity to enjoy the surroundings. Before we headed off, Mum wanted pictures of each party in front of their respective tents. Mum and I were a bit boring, but the boys, realizing that they were in tent 747, laughed about how it was the "airplane" tent.

We drove to Olmstead Point, where we took yet another jumping picture. It was quite windy and hot that day. The fire behind us was a controlled burn, or so they said.

Here's Mum pointing to Cloud's Rest, which we had hiked to a little over two months ago. It was during that last trip that I made more solid plans to go to New Zealand.

After stopping in Tuolumne Meadows for a snack, we drove down Tioga Pass to Mono Lake. Connor wore his loud shirt that day so he wouldn't get lost. Somehow, he still managed to wander off without us seeing where he was going. The conversation would go something like...
"Where did Connor go?"-Mum
"I'll go look for the highlighter" - Me

After eating lunch at the Whoa Nellie Deli, we drove back up Tioga Pass where we started to suspect that the "controlled burn" might not be so controlled after all. As we passed Olmstead Point again we saw a helicopter go by. Later on we learned that they had been evacuating people off of Half Dome. I was a little disappointed to not have been one of them. Imagine walking to Half Dome and getting a free helicopter ride back!

After Olmstead Point, Jason chose the music: the Guardians of the Galaxy soundtrack. The first song, Hooked On A Feeling, came on and Mum exclaimed, "I know this one!" Then she and Jason proceeded to sing. Connor leaned over to me and whispered, "This just got awesome!" It was then that we all learned that Jason has an amazing voice.
Jason had the honors of cleaning the windscreen since he had shotgun. 

As evening crept in, we stopped by Knight's Ferry and got the last jumping shot of the trip.

On the way home Connor and I passed out. Mum leaned over to Jason and asked if we were awake. He replied that Sparky (me) and Highlighter (Connor) had burnt themselves out.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Whirlwind Yosemite Trip: Part 1

Today, I will continue with the epic saga of "Relive my whole life in two months." This time I found myself in Yosemite for a whirlwind trip that lasted 37 hours. The players were Mum, Jason, Connor, and I. With everyone picked up, we were on the road by 9AM. An hour and a bit later, we stopped at Casa de Fruta, which my father once infamously pronounced as, "Caser de Fruter." To which Mum said, "There are no 'Rs' in Casa de Fruta." Dad responded, "I can't help if they are silent." And we all replied, "And nonexistent."
Connor noted that just about every spot was a "Casa de" something. It was at this point that I introduced the boys to the jumping shot.

We only live about 4ish hours from Yosemite, so it didn't take too long to get to the Mariposa Grove. Despite it being past Labor Day, and supposedly the "off season" the parking lot was so full that we had to park elsewhere and use the shuttle instead. But once all that was sorted, we did a little hike. The boys joined me for a second jumping shot in front of the Grizzly Giant.

We continued on with the hike, looking for the Telescop Tree, a tree where the center had burned out but still was living. It took a bit longer than we anticipated, and just about every burn tree we found we looked up into to see if we could see the sky. Pro Tip, the tree has a sign in front of it. We did eventually locate it. Mum thought that we should take a "selfie". I still think it's funny every time Mum says that word.

After we got back to the car, we drove to Tunnel View. I love that we reached it right around sunset. It is certainly my favorite time of the day to see the view. And as always, we did the obligatory jumping shot.

Connor was the only one of us to have not seen Yosemite yet. We were staying in Curry Village. When he learned that Curry Village was in the valley, his eyes lit up. Something about, "We get to stay down there?!" Yes.... yes we do.

By the time we checked in, it was around 8PM. Most of the restaurants were closed. The one that was left open (pizza) was going to be open until 10PM, so we all opted to put our bags in the tents and take showers. Another Pro Tip from me to you: even if you get back into the same clothes you were wearing, if you wear fresh socks, you will feel better. Jason in particular felt that I was right.
We ate a massive amount of pizza. (I might have "won" at 5.5 slices.) And afterwards we played Nertz. After finding that three of us had a two of clubs and only he had the ace, Connor invented a clever new move. He threw the two into the air, put out his ace and the two landed on top. I didn't even realize what had happened. But there was a two on the ace and it wasn't mine. We pronounced the move legal because it was kind of amazing.

Mum headed to bed and the boys and I did a little stargazing. I spotted the only shooting star of the night before we all turned in. In the morning we would be continuing on with the second half of our whirlwind trip.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Fern Canyon

Mum told me the other day, "It's like you are trying to relive your entire life in two months." She is kind of right. I've travelled all over in the last two weeks and spent almost no time on the computer and no time knitting. I'm sure there will be time to catch up, but the time is not right now. I will try to fill you all in on my recent exploits though.
After seeing my Oma, Mum and I drove to Fern Canyon to do a sock photo shoot. I've been to Fern Canyon several times and I think summer is probably the best time of year to see it.

Looking up the wall of the canyon, it is just so stunning to see all the ferns lined up. I feel like I'm living through the Jurassic Period.

Mum was an excellent model as usual. Some people walked up to us an asked if we wanted our picture together. I had to explain that I design knits and that I was taking pictures of socks on purpose. We saw them later on and they cheekily offered to model.

When we saw the water running down the side of the canyon, Mum said that it reminded her of Milford Sound in New Zealand. I hope I get a chance to see it when I'm there later on this month.

As usual, I got my jumping photo. These orange shoes have seen their fair share of adventure. I think they brighten up the photo quite well.

As we finished hiking the trail loop, Mum and I noticed that a bunch of plants had been eaten. At first I thought that the banana slugs had either grown to great proportions or that there was an army of them. Then we realized that the Roosevelt Elk that live in the area must of climbed into the canyon and had a feast.

Fern Canyon is quite a ways away from home, but Mum and I decided that we were going to power though and got home around midnight. We actually drove over the road where the Napa earthquake was only hours before it happened. I've decided that my Mum's superpower name should be "Natural Disaster" because weird events seem to follow her.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Crater Lake

I have been all over the place in the last two weeks and it doesn't look like it will let up any time soon. I was in Davis saying goodbye to friends and helping one pack up her house for moving day. Next week I'll be volunteering my time at a youth camp. But in between I went up to Oregon to visit my Oma. She's not been well, so I wanted to be sure to say goodbye before leaving for New Zealand. We had good, long visits. 
One of the days we were up there, we went out to Crater Lake. On the way we stopped by a natural bridge. The Rogue River briefly disappears as it shoots through a lava tube! It's pretty neat to see, but hard to capture in a photo. Below you can see the river entering the lava tube.

As we continued our way to Crater Lake we stopped again to see the Rogue Gorge, which is where the canyon narrows and water rushes by at a tremendous speed.

The power of the water is amazing to watch. This log had gotten jammed near the entrance to the gorge and water was spraying up into the air as it pressed into the wood.

After doing the two little hikes, we stopped at the lodge at Crater Lake for lunch. Afterwards, my aunt told us to go enjoy the view while she paid the bill. A fellow knitter stopped me and asked about my Pente sweater. (Id' finished weaving in the ends that morning, but hadn't blocked it yet.) It's always a good day when you get to talk about knitting.

I made sure to get my jumping photo in. Once again, I remembered to tuck my shirt in first.

It was cool and crisp up there, but that made it better sweater weather. Just before we left, Mum wanted to do a selfie. (Mum is not the most tech-literate, so I can't help but giggle when she says something like "selfie") She did a pretty good job getting us all in the frame. 

Monday, August 18, 2014

I'm Going On An Adventure

I have a bit of an announcement. At the end of September, I will be moving to New Zealand.

I don't know for how long or what job I will eventually have. But I do know it is going to be quite an adventure!

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

It's Scooter's Birthday Song

Hey Scooter, do you know what today is? It's your 12th birthday.

Although, with the way you live your life, it's like every day is your birthday.

It's been a good year. We've learned and grown together.

We've also caught up on many, many naps.

I'm so happy that we are still best friends. I hope there are still many years to come.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Yarn Chicken

I wish I could show off a finished sweater. Alas, with three stripes left to go, I've made the classic rookie mistake and run out of yarn. (Note: It doesn't matter how long you've been knitting, sometime when you play yarn chicken, crash and burn.) 

When I bought the yarn I hadn't planned to make any modifications. But when knitting, I thought I'd extend the sleeves to full length rather than three quarter.

Thanks to ravelry, I was able to get another skein out of someone's destash. It isn't the same dye lot, but I've noticed that Brooklyn Tweed does a pretty good job blending their yarns. Like Cascade, it seems to be pretty consistent between skeins.

Hopefully I'll be done with this sweater (Pente) soon!
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