I've returned from my adventure, about which I'll be blogging in the next few days, if only so I can enjoy seeing the pictures later. I had a fabulous time, but because of the fire, didn't actually go to Yosemite. Another time, I hope!
On Monday, the day after I got home, I started coming down with a nasty cold. Ugh. I've been coughing and sneezing, and barely sleeping. Today, fortunately, is way better, especially about the coughing.
There are now 52 weeks, one full year, to my sabbatical. I feel like I've wasted a bunch of time, but I had a great vacation, and cleared my mind, and should be ready to get back to work. (It would help if my brain weren't clouded by coughing and sneezing stuffs...).
Here's a quick rundown of the trip:
21 July: left home. Drove west.
23 July: arrived at Donner State Park for camping. My site was beautiful, and not too far from the water.
24 July: a semi-relative (in that blended family, not really a relation, but family nonetheless) came and we went white water rafting. I probably hadn't seen this person, E, since I was maybe 10 and she was 18 or so. Back then, she was a scarily cool teenager, and I was a not-cool kid. Now, she's just plain cool, and fun, and a pleasure to know better. In the morning, before rafting, I rode my bike around the lake. Glorious. I did more of that, too.
26 July: I drove down to Sacramento to stay with my cousin, M. The problem with living so far away is that I haven't gotten to spend a good long time just chatting with certain cousins since we're both adults. We corrected that, and M is more fabulous as an adult than she was as a kid, and she was a pretty amazing kid. We visited a used bookstore, REI, rode bikes, and talked, read, and talked some more.
29 July: On Sunday, M and I met her sister, A, and went to Big Basin State Park to backpack. M had made arrangements when she figured out how bad the air at Yosemite was, and that the authorities were evacuating parts of the Park (though not the part where we were planning to be). She also texted our aunt (who's more my generation than not), K, to invite her to camp with us. K texted back to say that she couldn't come Sunday, but would "run in" on Monday morning and hike out with us.
A is as wonderful an adult as M, though quite different. We drove together and had a lovely chat along the way. Our hike in (the long way) was about 8 miles, and boy was I tired. My tuna dinner was GREAT in that eating outside when you're really hungry way.
30 July: True to her word, badass K met up with us at our campsite in the morning and hiked out with us. It was so good to get to talk with her, too!
When she got there, A pulled a birthday cake out of her pack, lit it, and we celebrated my birthday. I was almost in tears because it was so unexpected and kind. (She'd backpacked it in!)
After hiking out, we went to have dinner with my Mom, and that, too, was very good.
31 July: Rosie the Riveter National Park.
1 August: My Mom and I drove over to Santa Cruz and then up the coast to Pescadero, where we stopped to visit the Pigeon Point Lighthouse, then up to Half Moon Bay and Princeton.
2 August: We had lunch with my Aunts, four sisters who are just lovely.
3 August: San Juan Bautista
4 August: New Almaden Quicksilver Mine
5 August: Up to Pt Reyes, and then to Fort Bragg
6 August: North to Richardson Grove State Park, the Avenue of the Giants, with a detour to Shelter Cove (because on my map it looks like you can go north, but you really can't without much more serious four wheel drive than my Subaru. Or so said the locals hanging at the volunteer fire department). Ended the day in Eureka.
7 August: Drove through Redwood National and State Parks, and up to Coos Bay.
8 August: Drove up to Tillamook before heading inland to Portland, where we had dinner with my second cousin, D, his wife and son. So long since I've seen D!
9 August: North on 5 to Seattle Area, where we had a snack with old friends of my Moms, and I left her with them before continuing up to Bellingham to see my friend C and her husband, D.
10 August: with C, went to Mt. Baker for a short hike.
11 August: with C, went to a local fair
12 August: with C, went kayaking, then decided to try out paddle boarding. So fun!
13 August: started back home, spent the night in Idaho
14-15 August: Glacier National Park!
16 August: Drove to Yellowstone and camped with thousands of loud people.
17 August: Drove through parts of Yellowstone, then out through the Lamar Valley, and out the North East Gate. Then I took 212, the Beartooth highway, east. Holy cow, it's beautiful but sort of scary (WAY scarier than Highway 1!). Drove all the way to Miles City.
18 August: Visited TR National Park, and drove across North Dakota to Fergus Falls.
19 August: Home!