Sunday, October 6, 2013


I live in Californ-ni-ya! ANNNND That's where I plan to Stayyyyyyyy! 
That is the song I learned a a small child elementary school and it is hardly the first of its kind. There are thousands of songs singing the state's praise. And who can blame them... it's an AWESOME PLACE!
When I was in 4th grade our history lessons were focused on California, I remember being shocked when I talked to my cousin in Washington who was also in 4th grade and found out that they weren't studying California too. I just assumed that everyone learned California History because it was such an important state.
I mean come on.. how many Washington Songs have you heard this week?

I've grown up a little since then and realized that other states are also important and other people do love where they are from too. But deep down inside every time I hear, California Girls (beach boys), California (phantom planet), Save me San Francisco (train), California Dreaming (the mamas and papas), or any RedHotChilliPepper or Sublime song. I cant help feeling like the rest of the nation/word recognizes that California is the Best. 

So you can imagine how I felt when I saw my beloved state out the window for the first time in 2 years!

San Francisco  Airport :
First impression:
When did everyone start walking so FAST! I felt like I was about to get run over constantly! I'm still considered a fast walker here in Hawaii, but I must have slowed considerably in the last 2 years.  So I'm dashing here and there with my carry-on full of Macadamia Nuts and Pineapples (35lbs worth!) trying my hardest not to get run over, Starving! so I start trying to find some food. 
2nd ipression:
EVERYTHING is Organic!
There is a significant lack of organic food on Ohau. I could hardly believe the overwhelming quantity of organic food priced almost exactly the same as the... wait ... can you even get non-organic here... Seriously I think it has just become the norm. How awesome is that! Anyways, I got some Grandma's homemade organic chicken noodle soup, with organic apple juice, an organic apple, and a homemade organic sourdough crusty roll!
3rd Impression:
Oh Sweet Heavens I've missed good bread! Bread is not a staple food here, rice is. The same way we have bread at breakfast lunch and dinner they have rice. You are literally served rice with breakfast. (still getting used to that)  I have dearly missed good bread. Especially, California Sourdough. Also my salt expectations have gone way up. By the time I finished the soup I could see how it probably had the correct level of saltiness, however I guess kind of like salt miners, spending so much time in a salty ocean  must lower your tasting levels.

Visiting Jeff and Amy in Weaverville: 
I was lucky enough to rent a car with unlimited miles because I made up for my lack of road tripping:

First stop: Visiting Jeff and Amy and Milo in Weaverville:

I wish I had taken more pictures, the drive between Whiskey Town and Weaverville is drop dead gorgeous!
It was so much fun to visit them. Milo (their little boy) was an infant when I saw them last. Now he was an adorable, smart, flirtatious little toddler! It was especially nice to talk with someone who had lived on the islands too :) 

But back to my own beautiful Hat Creek Valley.
(this is a pic taken by a girl who writes this awesome blog about her backpacking: You should read it!)

It was so good to be home but bitter sweet. The people who own the home my parents live in decided to sell it so this will be the last time that I can call this property home. 
Even working and commuting full time my mom's garden looked AWESOME:

The Highlight of this trip was definitely backpacking the Thousand Lakes Wilderness Area with Eli:

The 'little rental car that could', hauled us up the dirt road deeper and deeper into the mountains:

My Dog is getting old... Graying hair, milkier eyes, faulty back end.... but a good car ride turns back the clock every time:

Lava Flow:
Hawaii and California have been my two very favorite places to live... I must have a soft spot for volcanoes :)

I love love love the Geckos here in Hawaii but I miss cute little snakes:
He was an especially brave little guy! Stayed in the trail the whole time while we walked around him and took his picture.

Best part of NorCal Hiking: Cool, well kept, empty trails

You could tell we were approaching one of the lakes as it started getting greener!

Lake HO!..or maybe Swamp ho!

It is pretty late in the season so some of the little lakes had turned swampy. Jenny - the dog who is afraid of water, always forgets she is afraid of water when we go hiking lol. She gets some of her crazed border collie look back in her eyes and becomes 'Swamp Dog'

First of the Thousand lakes -- Lake Barret

Eli happy to be back:
Eli helped restore miles and miles of the trails out here for his Eagle Scout project a decade ago.

One disturbing fact was there was a lot of dead wood. When the fire comes it will be devastating..

I'm glad it hasn't burned yet :)

So beautiful!

Relaxin country style:
It was nice to just sit in the quiet, read and snack. The water was all from the lake, purified by Eli's nifty little water filter. I was very impressed with how well it worked!

Meadow camp:
We ended up camping a little ways away from the lake in a meadow that probably used to be a marsh, but had dried up since it was so late in the season.
Awesome gear rentals:
I don't own any backpacking gear so I rented some from American Sportsman Outfitters. I was super happy with the quality of gear, they shipped it right to my Mom's place, gave me an extra rental day free (because of the holiday) and shipping it back was a piece of cake! 

Swamp Dog guarding the tent

Dinner actually was delicious, Eli was just making a funny face in the picture. See the nice little bench and fire ring we made:

After drying off Jenny made the transformation from Swamp Dog - to Regal Pedigree Canine:

I love fire:
After the sun went down, it got cold... bitter bitter cold. Jenny who happily hangs outside in the snow all winter started shivering (part of that due to the fact that she has her summer hair cut right now)
When it was time to go to bed her jaw had started to chatter and since we knew she would freak out if we tried to put her in a tent we decided to make her into:
Sweater Dog

She was very insulted that we would do this to her, but she stopped shivering almost immediately and survived the night much more comfortably.
Here is a cool panorama I made of the lake the following morning:

Be sure to click on it to make it full screen.

When we are hiking in wilderness (away from cars or cows) Jenny is a pretty good dog, she runs ahead or falls behind but she always stays in ear shot and behaves well if we run into other hiker. So when she went wandering off we thought nothing of it.
Before the lost dog fiasco:
But at about the halfway mark, she still hadn't caught up. She wasn't responding to whistles or calls and was nowhere to be found. I stayed with the packs and Eli ran up and down the trail back to where we had last seen her. Nowhere to be found. Finally he runs clear back to the lake and there's Jenny all like "Hooray! you came home!.. I've been waiting for hours for you to come back" She had apparently lost track of us, decided the lake was our new home, and just decided to wait for us there. She and Eli were pretty whooped by the time they got back to me at the halfway point. 
And Jenny was thoroughly whooped by the time we got back to the car.

After the lost dog fiasco

We weren't too worn out to enjoy the view on the way back out though.

Later Eli and I went to the Intermountain Fair. This is where we entered bake goods and flowers as little kids, and showed and sold our pigs as older kids. 

It was fun to see the animals and exhibits. We even ran into some old friends we hadn't seen in years.
I found this beautiful succulent planting that got best of show, and then realized my kindergarten teacher was the one who entered it!
Apparently my kindergarten teacher has Pinterest ;)

OOOO funnel Cake

Some Last Minute Reminiscing before taking Eli back to Reno Airport: 

(I have more pictures and more stories however life is overwhelmingly busy at work so by the time I get home, the last thing I want to do is get on the computer.  .. so like so many of the vacation posts, I'll try to fill them in at a later date)

1 comment:

  1. ..great pics & stories! NICE firepit you kids built! Loved, loved, LOVED seeing you live & in person after 2 horrendously long years. Thank you for all you did for me; the cooking, the curly hair, the late nights we stayed up yakking & mama/daughter bonding, etc, etc. YOU ARE STILL MY FAVORITE DAUGHTER ♥ :D

    Oh, and.. don't forget to add to the awesome California tribute songs this timeless Joni Mitchell one ->