Light it up 

Moving on from the foggy woods, the short trail was slightly descending downhill towards the beach. With the trees and brush behind us, we quickly conquered a few short staircases and were greeted by the wide open spaces, ready for our feet to hit the sand. It was late already as dusk set in with little daylight left, but who would resist a short stroll along the beach, right? It was priceless to hear the waves crash ashore and I would love to add that we were watching the sunset, but the foggy conditions were hiding the rays within its thick, opaque cloud of mystery. The picture perfect sunset with the romantic views (did I mentioned before that I’m a hopeless romantic?) of the sun disappearing into the ocean were replaced with a mystical feel of serenity and peace. It was perfect even without the warm fireball that was hiding from us.

I scoured the area for treasure, such as rocks, driftwood, fossils, leaves and seashells. Whatever I could find that evoked some kind of emotion while speaking to my heart. Of course time went by even faster and somehow it always seems to do so when we enjoy ourselves in whatever it is that we are doing. We didn’t get very far as we decided that we better turn around and head back. Snapping a few more pictures at the wooden tepee that almost knocked me out earlier with a plank coming loose and landing straight on my forehead (well, yeah I had to check the inside and yeah, I did feel that one as it would leave my forehead sore to the touch for days), we came across a group of people that were in the process of leaving the beach. “Enjoy our fire if you want to” we heard them call towards us as one by one made their way up the stairs. Within close proximity was a decent fire (actually it was pretty good size) and we couldn’t believe that it was left behind with nobody tending to it or putting it out to prevent the escaping embers to set a fire. The initial plan was to put it out, but I have to admit that I’m a sucker for campfires and I love sitting around that glowing ring of fire while letting its warmth’s hug my soul. Plus I never knew that you could have fires (where have I been) at the beach and it’s hard to believe that in all my years this has finally been a first. I can’t believe what I missed in all my hiking years, but like they say “Better late then never” and I’m sure it won’t be the last fire of this sort.

We stayed and sat next to the fire, rearranging the burning logs and keeping the fire fed with what was already within the built stone fire ring. I didn’t want to leave and I know that I could have easily slept next to fire all night. I’m sure the thought crossed my mind as I wondered why we paid for our campsite as the beach was free. Surely, I would have gotten cold at some point during the night, unless I kept the fire going, but I didn’t cared much and maybe it was then that a plan was born to cowboy camp in the soft sand next to ocean some day. It got darker and darker and the shoreline on either side of us was lit with fires that was dotting the beaches. I saw a young group carrying their musical instruments make their way to the right of us and shortly afterwards a new fire was born. I couldn’t help but think about how cool it would be to make a little video of them around the fire, playing their music to the background of the ocean. I was close and I was contemplating to ask, but in the end I respected their privacy and let them enjoy themselves among each other. There was something primal about all the fires lighting up, something you don’t see every day. It felt wild and you know how much I love the word “Wild” as I associate it with the memories that stay with us through thick and thin. The memories that stand out and translate into the wild moments of our life that we remember. The moments of our life when we “Light it up” in whatever form possible.

I would have to lie if I said that I wasn’t a bit nervous of walking up the hillside, through the brush and the woods in the dark, and yet I couldn’t tear myself away from the fire. I was mesmerized and it was the best campfire of the trip, plus it was inherited on top of it. We left eventually and I found that the worries of the dark were no worries at all. I even preferred to lead us up the trail which is a bit unusual for me since I’m usually the tail-light and don’t mind letting somebody else safe guard the path for me in the form of giving slithering reptiles (snakes) a chance to get away by the time I make it through. I had no problem at all that night and the half moon provided enough light to make out the path. Worries were replaced with a sense of adventure and some sort of adrenaline rush that had me enjoy every moment. I loved it and I’m sure that this experience was wild enough to stay with me forever. Definitely a must do if you visit the ocean.

 

Lovely Critters 

I’m in love with Critters big and small, and these little furry friends always steal my heart. This furry little Marmot was sunning itself on a boulder on the way up to Matlock Lake. Curious he watched us hike by on the trail, never moving from his comfortable basking rock. Or perhaps it was his “Ruling Rock” 😉

Animals on the trail, encountered in nature are always a bonus and a sight I always search for. My heart leaves just a little happier having seen one of these lovely Critters on the trail. 

Where my soul feels at home 

In all the years I’ve been hiking, I have found some special places everywhere. Places that restore the peace within and vanish the stress from my life. Nature has been a great teacher, a calming mother and a beautiful companion. Nature has been powerful and has put into perspective how tiny we are in grand scheme of the universe. I have no doubt that I’ve been lucky to have seen so many beautiful spots and I know that I could have never done so alone. 

Each place holds a special memory and transports me back to the serenity that I felt, even if it is years later that I have been there. But like good friends that go the extra mile and who touch our life’s forever, some go just a little further and take a piece of our hearts. 

This is one such place and my soul is at home in the Sierra. 

En Route to Ruby Lake

As Yosemite remains under snow in the higher elevations and the plowing of Tioga road is slow going, it will probably be until July before I get to visit the park. Maybe a birthday trip will be in order, which is actually not a bad idea. Plans shall be made and I love this kind of planning. It starts with a thought that comes to mind and seconds later you hold on to a date and it’s pretty much a done deal. You are practically there already and all there is left to do are just a few technicalities and date off requests. 

I already can’t wait, but until then, I am reminiscent of the many amazing spots within Yosemite and surrounding areas of this amazing place. I have been blessed with visits to so many different places along the Sierra from Reno all the way down to Lone Pine and Cottonwood Lakes. 

This picture was taken of a small pond and my beautiful mountains in the background while hiking to Ruby Lake. I could have easily stayed there for awhile and all you have to do is just look at that place, but Ruby Lake is definitely worth pushing on and you won’t be disappointed. We actually returned twice to marvel in the beauty of the lake and to take in all its beauty. Some places you just can’t get enough and they never get old. Ruby Lake had a great ruling rock as well that was perfect for sunbathing while extending into the lake. (I will show you the lake in another post). But you really have to see it for yourself as pictures hardly capture the feel of this majestic scenery. 

In the end I can only hope that the images I post will prepare and inspire you enough to make the great outdoors your destination. Wishing you safe steps along the way as you chase your own memories and special moments.

Xo……. ❤

Monochrome Memories

My friend Marcus recently reminded about the beauty of Monochrome photography. Although I am a huge fan of black and white photography, I was surprised of the lack of those said images lately. For the most part I have taken picture as seen with the naked eye, but with little to no artistic value. Sure the composition has to be right and you need the vision of what you want to fill your frame with, but I haven’t played much with enhancing these images further or shooting in different settings. 

Another lol moment followed with a heart touching compliment came from my friend Colin. After posting Burney Falls, Colin asked me if I lived in middle earth or Narnia and it brought a huge smile to my face. Further he wanted to know if I ever considered gathering my photos and publish them in a book. It actually was a long forgotten thought I dabbled with a long time ago. A thought that got lost in the shuffle until Colin reminded me of it the other day and I am back to considering if I should actually pursue the idea. What do you think? 

Here is a picture from my hike last week in Plumas Eureka near my house. The road was still partially snowed in and we hiked up the dirt path to get to this waterfall. Snowmelt has washed out parts of the road and it is amazing how much destruction and damage in the form of fallen trees a strong winter can leave behind. A reminder that the force of Mother Nature can not be underestimated. This picture was on top of the waterfall and I thought it was a fitting subject to turn into a little drama and a quote that speaks to my current life. Later, we conquered what was the hugest ruling rock ever, with a view to die for that covered the entire area in 360 all the way around. It doesn’t get much better….