Monday, August 30, 2010

Half Dome...Do's and Don'ts of Round Dos

Do as Kirsten and use your cell phone to call ahead from the beginning of the trail to put in your order for that smoked hamster, rattlesnake, or marmot sandwich you've got a hankerin' for, from the top notch dining hall they have at the top!
Appreciate the flat parts of the trail, even at the beginning when your toes and knees don't hurt!
Take in the beauty around you...don't I have cute friends! 
Be sure to check in with your other friends and play as much Words With Friends as you can.  You never know how long you are going to be stuck with your friends on a hike like this!
Enjoy the company you're in!
Be leery of strangers on the trail who agree to take your picture but stand way too close.  Especially if they start singing Happy Birthday!
If you want to make record time, make sure Corey is in the lead
Blaze the trail ahead of you...literally if you want!  This sign is was placed here due to Reeds near striking experience last time we hiked the dome.  I'm sure there's a dedicatory inscription on the back or something!
Respect the Rock
Don't be fooled by this cute furry face, Porky here is a thief, and everything is fair game.  Whole sub sandwiches, backpacks and trail mix...He'll run off with them all!
And in case you're wondering, yes you can update your facebook status from the top of half dome. Now I'm not saying Kirsten did, but one of us did and it wasn't me!
Only look down if you dare
Either way, hold on tight!
If you've ever wished for a Mary Poppins like bag, that carries everything including the kitchen sink, or even just a grocery store, have Corey pack your bag for you.  If you want to find any of it, ask Reed.  Just don't let him have the forks, or you may end up eating pasta salad with your fingers!
This is what the sky SHOULD look like if you're hiking Half Dome
Don't listen to the guy who recommends these bathrooms, he doesn't even use them himself.  While they lack running water and flushing toilets, and you must be capable of holding your breath while inside, they are still a better option than the Greenlaw's downstairs bathroom when privacy is a concern.
Smile like Shelley if you were smart enough to use the "pretty potties" (a.k.a. bushes) at the top of the mountain rather than hold out for these ones! And hey, check your email one last time while you're waiting, you never know when your phone will decide it's time for swimming lessons.
If you decide to rest for a bit on the way back down and cool your feet in the calm waters just before the falls, we highly recommend you take your iphone 4 out of your pocket and put it in your pack.  But if you happen to make the same mistake Corey did, no worries, the ebay market will pay a hefty price even for a non working water damaged version!
While Pepito may be accommodating and smile for a picture with you, don't expect him to have your back. When the road closes for construction right in front of you, he will not even let you through the tunnel first!  Resist the urge to yell out the window to him, "July to me Julyer!" It's best to just delete him out of your life forever and get over it!  But first be sure to thank him for the extra half hour with your annoying friends and the abs workout you will get from laughing with them in the mean time!
Plan to do this again and again, it always makes for the most enjoyable of days!

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Invincible or Not!

I like to think that I am invincible.  I like to think there is nothing I can't do.  I even think I'm pretty tough most of the time.  Maybe in my head I think I'm a bit like Wonder Woman...
As you can imagine, this kind of thinking can sometimes get me into trouble.  Sometimes it just shows how truly brainless I can be.  One such occurrence happened this week.  Here is the simple equation.  This
Plus an empty lake smooth as glass,
plus a bit of my wonder woman complex, equaled a sprained knee. Trying to take advantage of the great water conditions at the lake wouldn't have been quite so stupid if this...
wasn't in just 5 weeks! While I did finish it last year, I didn't get to RUN it.  The doctor says its just strained ligaments, that I should be able to run again soon.  I say it's just time wasted on my couch icing my knee  instead of training like I should be.  Nope, no Wonder Woman here, just your average brainless scarecrow!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Bass Lake

It was our year to organize a location for a camping trip with my Dad's side of the family.  
 Our camp site at Bass Lake was large enough for the RV's and tents, a pen for anut Ruthies dogs,  our kitchen set up for preparing dinner and washing the dishes and a fire pit.
It lacked running water and flushing toilets.  But no worries we still had a place to display the quilts aunt Bev raffles off each year,
a place for the arts and crafts she brought for the kids to do,
a location for the luau themed wedding reception for my cousin Stacey and her husband Travis,
and of course somewhere to set up the big screen and projector for movies.
You know, pretty much your basics for every camping trip!!
While the actual site was a bit dry,  the lake was close by and it is beautiful up there.  I snuck off in the mornings for a run along the edge of the lake or to ride my bike along the winding road to the dam.  It  felt so good to start off the day breathing the crisp mountain air and to see what the lake looks like when it is actually smooth.  There is a 5 mph speed limit on the lake form 8pm to 8am.  After that the lake is a mass of boats and jet skis and waves the size of which I usually see only at the beach!
Most of the adults in our group spent the day at the beach on the shore of the lake or hiking in Yosemite.
My boys wanted all the time they could get on the tubes behind the boat.
I was happy to accomodate them.
They went wild out there trying to see who could get the most air  crossing the wake or who could hold on the longest.
Jason, Garrett and I got out early enough one morning to get in a few turns each on the wakeboard and knee board before the lake tunred into an ocean, and that was a blast.
 But other than that my days were spent pulling the crazy kids on the tube until they literally konked out!
Me and my three boys were the last ones to leave the lake at the end of the trip.  We had a handful of mishaps that none of us will soon forget.  The first happened about an hour after Jeff left and I filled up the boat with gas only to realize that I didn't have my purse!  Um...oops! Then when it was time to pull the boat out, I had a few more moments of desperation.  Logistically it was a nightmare that I hadn't anticipated.  We were offered help from a man, the likes of which my children have never come into contact with.  In my panic I took the help that was offered and ended up with a few missing chunks and scrapes on the prop of the boat.
My guys and I treated ourselves to dinner at a yummy Mexican resturaunt when we had finally gotten out of the lake.  I am sure we did more laughing than eating that night, but it wrapped things up just right.  No one but Garrett could keep a straight face and ask the waitress who Nino's children were and why did they have their own menu?  We went home with a little too much sun on our cheeks and full tummies, and that's always a perfect ending if you ask me!