Posted in Adventure, Backpacking, Moon

Greenstone Lake

As the morning dawned, I was glad that Grandmother Moon made a brief appearance during the night prior. It seemed like I woke with the same smile than the one that had sent me off into slumberland just the night before. Seeing her glow through the netting of the tent was all it took and I could honestly say that I slept under the full moon light. It certainly was a neat sight in addition to all the star constellations and satellites that traveled through the night sky.

A few more silent moments were enjoyed next to creek while sipping morning coffee and anticipating the crowds that soon would arrive. And they did, surprised to see us at what appeared their favorite spot and the early head start they thought they had. It was getting hot already and soon we were off making our way back down the trail to the car.

And a few more moments were enjoyed next to creek where the bats flew in the evening. The crowds would soon be here, and just like that the first group arrived. Seemingly surprised, coming around the corner, realizing that their spot was already claimed, despite their early start heading up trail to reach it. Camp was already broken and soon we found ourselves trotting down the trail back to the car. It was amazing how many large groups passed us, with no masks or coverings, seemingly unfazed by all concerns, displaying their social distancing at it’s best. We made sure to give them plenty of space and distance while passing us, even facing in different directions at times.

Back at the car, I was happy to see that the little chipmunk had cleaned up the cracker offering I had snug out and left on a branch for him. I know, I know, probably dangerous to leave food right next to the car but it was one small saltine cracker and I didn’t see the harm in it, other than giving the little guy a break and paying for his meal.

After a short drive we found our next hike on the outskirts of Yosemite. Along a man made reservoir, the going was difficult for me, maneuvering a hillside with lose Schale rock that was unstable for the most part, doing a number on my feet. All in all about four miles round trip over the rocks, I was glad to be back what that part was concerned, but not without staying and enjoying this amazing view for awhile. With boulders scattered everywhere and multiple lakes glistening in the sun, it was as arriving in paradise. I quickly added it to one of my most favorite places and in fact we might backpack it next week and visit the other lakes within a loop in the same area. Going backpacking or camping has become the weekly norm it seems and it’s easy to get addicted to. But with views and adventures such as these, is it truly any wonder?

Posted in Adventure, Backpacking, Moon

Full Moon bust

Camp was made and everything was set for the full moon adventure to begin. How exciting, the stars had aligned and free days fell onto a full moon.

As daylight was fading, I retraced some of my steps back to a little shallow waterhole that was full of old, dead, and weathered tree trunks. Still standing were the remains of the past and I had no idea what had happened here. The surrounding area was lush with grasses, bushes, trees and flowers in bloom. A stark contrast, life an death and even here was beauty to be found. For a moment I thought it would look pretty spooky to photograph. I could already envision the moon lighting up the scene with the dead trees like skeletons casting shadows onto the water. Definitely a cool image, but I quickly dismissed the idea as it would have been difficult to make my way back to the tent in one piece. Uneven grounds and bogs would have been challenging to maneuver with just a little moonlight.

Back near camp, dusk had arrived and I plotted myself on a big rock near the waterfall. It wasn’t long until bats came out, cruising up and down the little stream, picking up bugs in midair. It was incredible to watch the speed and precision in flight, while flying low over my head or just making sharp turns right in front of my face. Immediately I was reminded about some childhood tale where I was told that bats like hair and sometimes get tangled up in your precious mane. Mmmh, it didn’t take but a moment to decide that it would be best to keep my hat on to minimize my exposure. I wonder, is that even true or just some tale and folklore? Has anybody heard of that?

Darkness had fallen and the mountains started to light up. A glow was on top of the ridge and the shadow line on the peaks was slowly lowering, exposing more and more rock. The moon must have been right behind the ridge and in about 30 minutes we would see it in all its glory. I began unpacking my drum and started drumming to the full moon (glow) while the bats were still cruising. 30 minutes had passed and the scene showed little change, surely the moon would be out shortly, definitely in 30 minutes. 🙄 I don’t know how often we said that the moon would appear in 30 minutes, but it never did. It was getting cold just sitting there, waiting for the moon to appear, and eventually we called it a night and retired to the tent. Only the tents mosquito netting was separating us from the outside wilderness and a world of wild animals.

Sometime later, much much later that night, I woke up and low and behold caught a glimpse of the full moon. It was traveling behind the mountain ridge the entire time, and it wouldn’t have mattered how many more 30 minutes had passed. Grandmother Moon would have kept us waiting all night. The whole experience paned out different then anticipated, and there was no walking around under the moonlight, drumming and seeing nature lit up. But at least I saw it in the end and with a smile fell back asleep.

Posted in Backpacking, Moon, Mother nature

Full Moon adventure

It takes just two days off a week to go on a little adventure. Kram all your chores into the work week, before and after, and you might be able to fill your free days with some of the good stuff that makes your heart beat a little faster.

Monday’s full moon was perfect for such an adventure as we decided to go camping/backpacking. I’ve only been one other time and being a moon child myself, it is a real treat for me to be out under the stars and the glow of the moon. It doesn’t always work out to coordinate your time with the moon schedule, but this was it, an opportunity and we jumped at it.

Soon the pack was ready and I was proud of myself having I managed to leave the kitchen sink at home. If we’d decide to backpack, I would have to carry all the weight on my back, and that was something I wanted to stay conscious of. The day started almost identical to my recent birthday and the skies were gray. Nearby wildfires left a layer of smoke on the horizon, turning the day into gloom. But luckily the air quality improved as we drove further out of town, making our way back to Yosemite.

Along the way we checked out a campground that we previously had set our eyes on. We drove the entire compound and actually found a pretty decent site amongst a grove of aspens. It was private and not too close to the other sites. It could have worked, but in the end we decided to go backpacking into the wild and find a much more suitable spot for a full moon. It’s not for everyone, just like the campground atmosphere is not really for us. To truly get away from it all, there is no other way but to backpack into the wild.

The picture above was taken along the way of finding such a spot, which ended up nestled atop of the waterfall you see here. There in this granite bowl, with the majestic border that is Yosemite we found our spot with access to water and near the creek just before the falls. By late afternoon the people encountered disappeared and soon the entire area was quiet, peaceful and ours. Camp was made and slowly daylight was fading. Hello full moon, I am ready.

Posted in Backpacking, Inspiration

Sneak peak – Yosemite

As I return from my moonlight backpacking trip and settle into the duties and routines of daily life once more, I leave you with the last picture from the trip, taken at the doorsteps of Yosemite National Park.

I can’t wait to share this amazing experience with you that always lifts my heart and makes me feel alive just a little more. I am happy to say that the realization of this trip was this “little more.” It’s a little extra, a little push, a little more, but it makes all the difference in the world. Without getting into it too much right now, I am here to urge you and say to you with the highest importance to seek out your “little more.” You will be happy you did and it will give you a purpose that exceeds your highest expectations.

Posted in Adventure, Backpacking, Inspiration

Rocky narrow – Day 2

” Let’s just walk in a little ways” they said. I think I had an inkling that it would be much more than that, but I didn’t dare to ask. Remember the innocent, not knowing bliss I was talking about? Well this was such a moment and knowing what was ahead of me, would have simply overwhelmed me. Not to mention knowing that I always have one good hike in me and usually struggle with back to back long hikes. I had just finished my Waterfall hike and subconsciously I set a limit for myself thinking I had done the work. Well Day 1 would soon receive a new perception and go into the books as a piece of cake compared to what was ahead. By the time everything was said and done on Day 2, I would have climbed 68 flights, hiked 8.8 miles and had a step count of 19.107 steps.

The trail was scenic and beautiful, meandering along the Stanislaus River, crossing bridges, boasting narrow rock walls, with several waterfalls and wildflowers. We even met Captain Morgan in the woods wearing a face mask, but that’s a different story. Stay tuned 😉

It was challenging to take in the beauty as the trail kicked my butt and climbed continuously, sometimes steeper, and sometimes easing off a bit, but it always climbed. For over 4 miles, over rocky terrain and natural stone switchbacks. It was hot, and frequent breaks in a shady spot helped me overcome and finally reach the top. Have you heard of false summits? Yeah, another story for another time. As always, there has never been time when I said that all the hard work wasn’t worth it, but man, do I have to work for it at times.

Even more so a reason to listen to the signs and I look back at it with a smile now. Regardless of how tough it was, how I had to push myself thinking I didn’t have a second hike in me (one even harder than the day before), I know that much is mental and if we set those limits for ourselves, we will always find ourselves confined within these borders. Fact is, I MADE IT, and within it I find victory and confirmation that I am getting stronger. I felt supported by my body and my joints and just recently this would have been unthinkable. No doubt was I tired at the end of the day and I could definitely tell that I walked a whole bunch of steps, but to my surprise, I wasn’t even sore the next day. I wanted to rest and I did, but not because of being sore from the prior days workout.

It’s amazing what we can learn about ourselves when we tune in. My tune in was a newfound motivation, an inspiration to build on the gifts that I was given. To take my health further and not let these moments pass me by. My aha moments were unfolding, I just wasn’t fully grasping them yet. Much would play out in hindsight, after the experience and once I was back home. More goodness was on the way and I was ready.

Posted in Backpacking, Hiking, Mother nature

Day 2 – Stanislaus River

Day 2 started with aches and stiffness, and all of a sudden the ground felt much harder than the night before. Was it a case of getting older, being too old for camping and sleeping on the ground, or was it not getting the proper rest after the somewhat strenuous hike to the Waterfall. Regardless of what it was, the idea of investing in a better quality sleeping pad was born as the perfect solution. It might have been a little bit of everything, but who was going to admit that, and after all this was no time to say that our camping days are over.

It was time to pack up though and remove our tiny footprint, leaving Mother Nature in the same beautiful condition we found her just two days ago. With a last look back, a sigh and a promise to return again, we made the short trek to the Jeep, loading all our belongings. And off we were, with no concrete idea of where the day would take us. We passed a few trails I saw in my California hiking book (happily crossing off the trails explored) that sounded interesting, but I knew they were short and easy and n out something we could spend the whole day on. Dang, the “easy part” sounded so appealing.

We ended up at Kennedy meadows and the lodge was open. All of a sudden the idea of a second breakfast sounded appealing and we couldn’t resist the yearning for some real food. Quite honestly I didn’t know I was hungry or even considered it until that moment. Sitting on the patio, taking in the morning air and peace, a huge animal transport arrived. Today was the day several of these transports would arrive, loaded with cows, and later guided by cowboys on horseback and dogs (yes just like you would see in movies) to higher pastures. One by one charged out of the transport, over a ramp that would lead into a holding pen. It was a little bit like the running of the bulls, at least that’s what I called it. How cool was that and for once the timing was on our side to witness this unique experience. I say for once because the usual timing is often something that makes us shake our heads and just smile in disbelief.

Full and happy we decided to walk up the meadow “a little ways”, haha. I should know better when it’s a little ways or “we are almost there.” But what do they say “not knowing is bliss sometimes” and it definitely was in this case as it would have caused me a huge mental block.

Stay tuned. 😉

Posted in Adventure, Backpacking, Hiking

Not a bad spot

Being in the vicinity of where we wanted to stay, we arrived at this beautiful lake that reminded me a little of the Yosemite, the fjords of Norway, and the Königssee in Germany. With only a few hours from my house in Nevada, I suddenly felt transported as if I was in a different country. Once again the wind carried me exactly to that magical spot that without a doubt gave me the feeling that it was here that I wanted to stay for awhile. It’s quite amazing how it works, going without major planning, have a vague idea, winging it and always finding a spot like this. It’s a feeling and you will know once you have arrived.

Just minutes from the road, amongst huge boulders that provided shelter from the wind, nestled on sandy ground between shrubs and mature trees, a big cave nearby that had to be inspected first to not disturb any potential creatures such as bears, the tent found the perfect spot for to embark on the first night. Sitting on a rock ledge with this view to marvel in, the day slowly was winding down and coming to an end. It was quiet and it was peaceful. Just t he sounds of Mother Nature and it’s creatures filling the air. It would be a comfortable night as far as temperatures go and it was then that the thought crossed my mind that I had overpacked again and would most likely carry everything back home, unneeded and unused. What else is new? Not even the thought of having to carry all this weight on my back, deterred me and finally made me master the science of packing light.

Posted in Adventure, Backpacking, Hiking

Driving into solitude

Day 1, and this was literally the first picture I took on my recent get away and hiking excursion. Doesn’t it look peaceful already?

Heading towards Sonora Pass at an elevation of 9000+ ft, there are still patches of snow that can be found and some survive all summer and are part of year long glaciers. The temperatures at that elevation dipped into the upper 20’s, low 30’s at night and we decided to cross and head down the pass on the other side for lower elevations, and more comfortable temperatures. The first day was mainly spent driving, hiking a short 2 miles and scouting out the area for a suitable camp site in the wilderness. Campgrounds are slowly opening up again, but as mentioned before, this was going to be a backpacking trip, away from modern comforts and away from the noise and people.

There was a sense of adventure in the journey and I remembered an old saying that the journey is the destination. Or is it the destination is the journey? It really fits both ways I think as long as you find yourself taking a journey. You don’t need to have it all figured out and things will always find their way. And so they did and we found a great place to camp just a short distance from the road with free parking.

I found myself glad of not having to carry my heavy pack for miles and miles. Just before I had felt ready and strong, despite a few concerns, but something happened on our travel day. I got a little altitude and car sickness from the winding pass and all of a sudden I didn’t feel so strong anymore. I felt disappointed in myself that yet another obstacle was standing in my way as it does so often with a chronic disease, but all turned out well in the end and we found a breathtaking site. Stay tuned…

Posted in Backpacking, Hiking, Mother nature

Pushing myself

I am going on a little adventure, pushing myself to old but new heights. I am going backpacking for a few days and once this post goes active I will be gone already. Backpacking is a whole lot different from camping and there will be no such thing as driving up to your campsite. Backpacking allows you to step into the wilderness while carrying everything you need on your back for miles on end, to a spot that tells your soul to stay for awhile. Undisturbed and away from the noise and complete solitude and serenity.

Going backpacking pushes the issue for me fighting a chronic disease that does not take kind to too much physical activity. To sleeping on the hard ground and may not getting enough rest, but I can challenge each point made here and Mother Nature and fresh air is also healing for me. Grounding recharges my system and the hard ground will actually do me good. In the end my mountains are calling and I have to go. It’s that simple and I have to try and get back to this side of what I love to do.

Wish me luck and watch out for some amazing pictures to come your way.

Posted in Art, Backpacking, Inspiration, Journey

Youniqua progress

Recently I introduced you to Youniqua and some of my future plans. My mind has been working overtime, on how to combine my crafts and hobbies with Energy Healing, Reiki and Sound Therapy.

This year I have successfully completed my Reiki Master degree, certified in the 7 Chakras and complete Energy Body, have studied Energy Healing and certified as a Group Sound Bath and Ceremony Master. I have my eye on a couple more courses and will incorporate color and crystal therapy into Reiki and energy healing. I am currently checking my options on creating a space where I can offer and practice those healing modalities. I even went as far as playing with the thought of a “She Shed” in my backyard that would accommodate healing sessions. This will be unlikely and would only be possible if I planned on staying in this house. It’s complicated…

I’ve also been busy working on my Etsy shop and there is much to do and figure out. I almost have enough listings to open the shop, but I’m not ready yet. Store policies are waiting to be written and international shipping still leaves me a bit in the unknown on how it will come together. Plus I have only listed one type of item so far which will be my Notebook / Sketchbook and need to add diversity and write product descriptions. I am planning on being so much more than a notebook shop. But here is a preview of what the journals look like and what I got. I can’t wait for your feedback. What do you think?