Posted in Adventure, Hiking, Mother nature

The Descent from Cathedral Lakes

It was time to tackle the descent from Cathedral Lakes to allow plenty of time without having to rush. It’s crazy how much quicker it goes going downhill, but I still find the constant pounding on the knees and putting the brakes on just, if not more strenuous as climbing.

Nearby thunder was still in the air and could be heard off and on. It was time to go and I enjoyed the play of watching the clouds make way to bright sunshine, only to cast shadows on the peaks a few seconds later. I surely gotten my fix watching the “Puffies” dance that day.

This picture was taken on the way down and you can see Tenaya Lake in the distance. The non-existing trail continues over the even steeper drop off in the middle of the picture. Yeah it’s so steep it literally vanishes and looks like there is nothing more but cliff. Most of it had to be tackled in switchback motion, a zigzag pattern to ease the incline or drop off. My trusty hiking stick always by my side and often bracing myself.

In the end I made it of course. I’m here to tell the story. It was surely an adventure that left me feeling accomplished and grateful to have finally seen this place. It would become one of those hikes throughout the summer, strenuous and in high elevation, but ultimately conditioning me into better shape. I earned it and I am grateful for the memories.

Posted in Achievement, Hiking, Mother nature

Cathedral Lakes

Finally…I made it to the top, and it took this and this to get here.

Long ago the once considered elusive path was conquered and now lying behind me. Of course I’d still had to make it back down, but for now nothing but adrenaline and pure achievement was rushing through my veins. I could finally check this one off r he list and say that I had seen it with my own eyes. That I had made it despite the odds. No doubt did I feel accomplished, and quickly gave thanks to perseverance, to my body supporting me and making this possible, as well as to my willpower and not throwing in the towel midway.

Thunderstorm clouds accompanied us all the way up to the lower lake, and circled around us with the occasional not too distant thunder. Luckily it never rained and the smooth granite would already be slick enough going down. Being wet would have only added an additional element of danger and luckily it wasn’t something we had to worry about.

A tiny little baby chipmunk came to say hello, and yes I did shared a saltine cracker with the little guy. In exchange he allowed me to watch him and get some close up pictures. At the lake, I got to dip my toes into the cool blue, stroll along the edge and admire the landscape with all the puffies (clouds) that were ever changing the view. Was it worth the effort…what do you think?

Next stop the descend. 😳

Posted in Achievement, Hiking, Mother nature

Restored to Wonder

Picture from last weeks hike.

Come celebrate with me…

It took 32,103 steps, 11.5 miles or 18.5 kilometers, and 67 flights of stairs climbed to be rewarded with this view. One flight of stairs equals 20 feet or 3 meters. I was worried I would run my tank up on empty, but I managed. The adventure took me through the rain and the thunder and the lightning. I will write a full post about that experience another time as it is worthy to be shared and acknowledged.

Not so long ago this would have been unimaginable.

I’m restored to Wonder. 🙏🏼

PS. I will be gone for a bit restoring myself some more 😉. Well actually it will be the longest trip in awhile with a one day break and taking in the full moon next week. I’m pushing on to new heights and it’s yet to be seen how I hold up.

Your visits are always appreciated 🙏🏼, and your comments will be answered when I return. ❤️

Posted in Health, Inspiration, Mother nature

Nature’s best – Green Juice recipe

After watching the documentary “Fat, sick, and nearly dead” by a Joe across, I made the decision to Juice.

Since, I have lost 10 lbs and it’s weight that is coming off slowly because I am building muscle at the same time, and muscle is heavier than fat. Luckily I love the taste of the green juice while some may struggle with it. My body craves it and it’s thanking me in a big way. I am growing stronger and just this week I went on my longest, most challenging hike in years. If you ever wondered about if this could be for you, here is the recipe and I hope you give it try. It takes a little planning and I prepare my every 5-6 days which helps keep time requirements, shopping, and clean up down to a minimum. I make enough juice to store and seal tight in mason jars which lasts in the fridge until I make a new batch.

And now, the recipe from Joe Cross with a little added twist from me:

Serving size 16 oz (multiple for yo ur desired batch)

Ingredients:

1 cucumber

4 celery stalks

2 apples

6-8 leaves if kale (Australien Tuscan cabbage)

1/2 lemon

1 tbsp ginger

(And my secret ingredient red onion. Take a look at the health benefits of onions, you’d be amazed)

Direction:

Wash well produce well

Peel lemon, optional and I use all of it including the peel

Juice

Pour over ice

Enjoy!

Can’t wait to hear what you think. It’s life changing and just imagine if you can commit to more than one shake a day! I will try to add another to my morning routine soon and see what happens next.

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 Inspiration, Mother nature

A sunset to remember

Puffies (puffy white clouds) were dancing in the sky at Tenaya Lake for most of that beautiful relaxing day. Providing an ever changing landscape, at times lit up by the sun and hiding in the shadows at others, it was the perfect place to spend the day. The entire vibe was peaceful, and being surrounded by so much beauty, it was no surprise that we didn’t want the day to end. Instantly we knew that these puffies would make for a stunning sunset and we decided to stay in the park with it’s grand cathedrals that is Yosemite.

Olmstead point was visible in the near distance and would make for an amazing 360 degree viewpoint. With views of Half Dome, Clouds Rest, Tenaya Lake and much more it was the ideal spot. From the parking lot it is a short, but very steep climb to the ridge. The terrain is a mix of smooth granite, boulders and stones that creatively become steps on the way up. It takes your breath away climbing up as you gasp for air, but so does the view from the top once you have made it up there.

This was only my second time at the top and the grand theater of Yosemite would not disappoint. The day was slowly coming to an end as the clouds turned pink, yellow and various shades of gray. It was a fascinating glow, lighting up the world for one last time. Two days of the birthday trip had passed with one more day to go, which would also be travel day and driving back home.

To summarize the last two days, it had been a quiet and relaxing trip, completely different compared to the trip just a month ago where I had pushed myself to new physical heights. Where so many revelations came through about leading a healthier lifestyle, the green juice, and becoming a master herbalist. This one seemed quiet compared to it, almost as if I was waiting for more information to come through. In the days ahead I would sum it all up to see what lessons I was taking away from this magical time. Soon I would realize that although it seemed like nothing much was going on, my soul was doing very important inner work.

Posted in Hiking, Mother nature

Birthday trip – Tenaya Lake

Tuesday morning came, and my birthday was officially over. It came to a meaningful end after receiving a little birthday message from Mom and Dad that evening. I was at peace and touched deeply.

The weather forecast was calling for a warm and breezy day, perfect to lazily lounge at the shores of Tenaya Lake in Yosemite National Park. Yosemite holds a special place in my heart and every time I go it’s like going home, as if I was returning to myself. This time was no different and as soon as we passed the entrance gate, a feeling of deep emotional gratefulness washed over me.

This trip was panning out differently than my last trip just a month ago. This one was more relaxing in the sense of being less physical, not scaling major mountains and pushing myself to my limits. Much was going on in the month past, and after all, I deserved a break. Plus who would have not taken advantage of taking a dip in the gorgeous blue and majestic surroundings.

We found a small sandy beach by the water that was perfect. Families came and went throughout the day, but it was relatively quiet and peaceful. We stayed all day, swimming, picnicking, reading small stories from John Muir, his stepping grounds (Yosemite), taking pictures and napping. One of the things Yosemite did for social distancing was to limit the amount of guests allowed in the park (per day) after it reopened. I think it’s one of the best things they did, not just for social distancing and keeping people safer, but also to protect the environment and all its animals. Besides trash being improperly disposed, bears are killed each year due to speeding tourists rushing through the park from one point of interest to the next. I always hurt seeing the signs that mark where a bear was killed due to speeding, or when people come to visit such a beautiful place but don’t clean up after themselves and trash it.

Having a restricted amount of visitors for each day, provided a new park experience with less congestion and crowds. It was probably the most peaceful experience in Yosemite, especially in such a easy accessible area that would normally be overrun by people. But it wasn’t and it was a day spent in beauty and bliss.

Posted in Adventure, Hiking, Mother nature

Birthday trip – Monday

With the clock striking midnight my birthday was here, and actually I didn’t even pay attention. I wasn’t trying to stay awake or get excited, I had no agenda or plans, just a long and hard day was coming to an end. Mom’s birthday. I glanced at the clock because I couldn’t sleep. My mind was restless and still full of sadness. 12:08 AM the clock display announced, meaning that for the past 8 minutes I had been a year older. Oh well…big deal…I was in a funk, unable to pull myself out, only hoping to fall asleep quickly.

I knew all too well what happens when I go to sleep like this, and most likely I wake up in the same mood, and so it was. Monday morning and the world in my neck of the woods was burning from a wildfire. The skies were gray and covered in thick, heavy smoke. It definitely matched my mood and it was fitting I thought. We ended up with a later than usual start due to road pavements in the neighborhoods and I’m lucky it was caught. It would have been stressful to return from the trip and find my car missing and towed. So thank god for that.

Eventually we were on our way and the drive left the smoke behind with clearer skies off in the distance. What also became visible were darker storm clouds and we traded the smoke for some raindrops and cooler temperatures. It was all good and just like the smoke had lifted so did my mood. Why not let the rain wash all the sorrows away and lift the veil. The troubles and sadness took a back seat and finally I was grateful for another birthday. To have gotten away for a few days and to make new adventure memories. I was wondering what kind of wisdom they would bring this time, since the last trip was all about realizing new strengths.

We stopped at a tiny village for some overpriced food but a nice outdoor space where in the end we could say “Well we finally stopped after passing by for years, but we probably won’t stop again.” A couple of good but nothing special to brag about burgers, one drink and not even fries set us back $25. Well at least we did it and the outside space was neat.

Our final destination was Mammoth Lakes and we took our time to get settled. It still looked stormy and the temperatures had dropped, but it was comfortable. In the evening we set out for a little sunset stroll to check out this little log cabin, now a museum tucked away behind trees and near a little stream. It was a peaceful 3 mile hike and a beautiful sunset that by now had settled my soul and weary feelings completely from the tough start of the day. Plus a little surprise was still waiting for me that would make a big difference.