Saturday, April 7, 2018

Spring Break Yosemite Camping Trip

Last year we went camping at Yosemite for Spring Break.  We stayed for 4 days and it was just not enough time.  This year we planning it for a week and it still was not enough time!!

The boys had their spring break two weeks earlier than last year and we were wondering what the weather would be like.  The weather reports all said snow storms and rain so we were a little concerned making sure we had the correct gear to stay warm.  You should have seen our car it wwas packed full!!  By the time we picked up the water and food 2 hours to the park, we had everything in our laps.  It must have been a sight to see on the road.

When we arrived, it was snowy but not icy.  We wanted to get the tents set up quick before night fall and rain.  By the time our tents were set up, it had started to rain slightly.  Thank goodness we were all exhausted from the road trip that we crashed really early.  I remember waking up many times that night because it was raining and I could hear things sliding off the top of the tent.  When we woke up, I found out what it was.  It was snow! HAHAHA. it was probably the best thing to wake up to.  Everything was covered in snow and the boys were so stoked to have a snowball fight.  They even made a fort out of the branches on the ground.

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We got to see so many different things on this trip.  We were so glad we were there before the crowds and before the weather warmed up.  It was cold and seemed quieter than it had been last time.  We had a super nice neighbor who was very helpful when we had issues getting the first started in the rain.

The snowshoeing experience was probably my favorite because I have been wanting to go snowshoe hiking for years..since I first heard of it at Mount Charleston when I moved to my parents and saw snow in the mountains HAHAHA.  Never growing up with winter and snow, I had no idea about winter activities.  I wanted to try the snowshoe guided hiking at Mount Charleston but that winter I had injured my feet running and had to wait out the next winter..by then I was working and commuting between states that I couldn't get to that..so it's been on my mind forever!! I was so happy to go it made me smile.  I am now obsessed and can't wait to get my own and go all the time.  The boys loved it too and all they did was make snowballs all day!

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We explored a hike around Mirror Lake to Snow Creek and also walked from our site to Yosemite Falls..it was so beautiful.  We were a little disappointed that there wasn't much water at Mirror Lake.  We had hoped to catch what it was named for..Mirroring the mountains.  Snow Creek made up for it  with its peaceful rush of water.  We heard coyotes howling and saw them running in the woods.  It was insane to hear them so loud.  We had seen so many deer you could almost walk up to them.  I was in heaven!  We had hoped to see a bear or mountain lion but we didn't encounter one on this trip. 

There were many people next to us who came and went but our favorite was Mic.  He was the there the last two days of our stay and he was so knowledgeable and kind.  He shared so many great stories about exploring and his son who is our age.  He gave us many tips that we will use next time we go camping.  It was really inspiring.

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This trip has just reminded me that there is so much more to see.  I always say it but I know it in my heart that we need to keep going..Keep exploring.  Teaching the boys what is gifted to us because it may not always be here if people don't appreciate it.  By the end of the trip, I was so sad because it felt too short, yet again.  I could have easily stayed another week but maybe if we had come a week before we came because we were actually glad we were leaving.  It was getting so packed the last day we were there.  Everywhere was busy and crowded and were shocked at the insane line of cars that winded down the mountain to get into the park as we were driving out.  We had gone at a good time.

Thankful for the adventures life has already given me..and cannot wait for more to come...

Friday, March 2, 2018

March Women’s Month

I don’t follow many current events and trends in the world. I really should. I'm ashamed that I don’t but at the same time everything I read and see hurts my heart so much that I almost need to stay away to keep from sinking into a sadness for whatever it is I read or see.

I came across an article that march was women’s month and sad that I do not know all of these things. But I did want to say that women need to be strong and able to stand independent. I find myself a lot less independent when I’m in a relationship. My confidence seems to go out the door. On the other hand, there are a lot of beautiful things I like about who I am when I am with someone. So pros and cons of every side of the story. But it is important to know that we are individual people and we should be strong just on our own two feet. 

Sunday, February 25, 2018

Hauntingly Fascinating Ghost Town of George Air Force Base California

We decided to take a quick day trip out to Victorvilletoday.  It is about 2 hours away from us so we decided to explore a little.

When we got to George Air Force Base, it was open to drive into and the security was abandoned.  It has signed of no trespassing in areas and warning signed that the air was contaminated.  We had no idea what to expect as we had not done any research before driving out.  We tend to do things on the whim most of the time LOL.

We drove into the first portion where there were tons of abandoned homes..looked like military housing back home.  Everything was falling apart and windows were gone..it almost looked like someone had just bombed the whole place..but I have never seen a bombing before..just what I imagined.  As we drove out of the little turn around street, we headed into the town and saw that it extended to a huge ghost town! 

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 Large buildings were empty and ruined..we passed the hospital and saw the signs of contamination... I could hear someone singing within the building and it scared me a bit...

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We started reading about it.  It seemed so sad that this was once a busy military town and decomissioned in 1992..  I cannot imagine what it must be like to have been born there or growing up there when it was bustling and to see what it looks like now.   You can see bullets and holes in the walls and lots of paintball markings..The worst was reading about the damage all the chemicals, pesticides and radiation washed into the earth has caused and how those who must have lived there probably had no idea at the time..the whole town is deserted and yet parts of it is still upkept..we drove past a church, playground and theater that looked like it was still being used..how odd..

Sunday, February 4, 2018

Mount Whitney Trail to Lone Pine Lake Hike - Conquered!!

We didn’t make it the first time we attempted to find the lake and we wanted a redo. We can say we achieved redemption on our second go! 
The roads are closed in the winter so we could only go up where we could park at the nearest closed gate as we could.  It is a good 1.5 miles away from the actual trail head.  We kept saying we heard the hike was only 5.2 miles round trip but they didn't account for the extra 3 we'd have to do going and coming back to the car.   I think they pain on the road at the start and end for about 1.5 miles each way was worse than the hike.  My back was screaming in pain from that.  

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We took this Boomerang while we took a break halfway up. We weren’t all sure if we would make it this time before the sun set and it was well worth all the pain in hips and back to get there. We were all super stoked. 



Mind you, there was some whining and tears and fear we wouldn’t make it. After 8 hours and about 8 or 9 miles round trip, I’d say the boys did amazing.  I am super grateful for all the support as I trudged up in pain and walked very slowly and stopped to stretch my hip pretty much every 10 minutes.  It was cold and beautiful the whole way.  As we got about 1/3 to the top, it was cold with deep snow and we were falling into the snow was we walked.   By the time we got to the lake we were so happy that we made it.  As soon as the boys saw the lake in the distance they started running towards it.  It was frozen and beautiful.  Peaceful with no one around.  At 10000 feet elevation, it was difficult but worth every ounce of energy spent.

Everyone was excited and proud of themselves and we decided we would make a goal to hike to the summit of Mount Whitney next time.  We'd bring out camping gear and stay the night and make it a few day backpacking trip.  Goals!!!

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Saturday, January 27, 2018

Saturday Night Fun With Beautycounter

So, this is what 10 minutes of our Saturday night looked like.

Jump out of the shower with a bright idea of trying out the Beautycounter Charcoal Face Mask that I thought I'd try out.  I am not a face / makeup person but lately I have tried a few products because a friend works for them and turned me on to them.  I am a believer in supporting safer products and chemicals.  If I can try something and it feels right, I'm down.

I thought I'd try the Charcoal Face Mask.  It sounded like something fun and I've never done it.  I asked Mathew if he'd like to try and he did..it was so funny because we didn't know how to put it on and when it was done we laughed and grabbed the Nerf guns because it looked like we were going camoflauge!

Overall, we liked the way it felt after the 10 minutes.  We were tripping out at the what our skin tightened as it dried and we laughed thinking that is what our wrinkly skin would look like when we get old.  We could see all our pores as it dried but when we washed it off, it was nice and soft...maybe after a few months I will post an update!

The kids thought we looked so funny BTW..

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Monday, January 15, 2018

Return of Family Hikes - Mount Whitney Trail Lone Pine Lake

We haven't taken the boys on long hikes in a long time.  Maybe over two years!  I used to take them on long hikes weekly and short ones in between before or after work.  Ever since we have gotten so busy with work and all my pains in my body that prevent me from doing any kind of workout, it kind of fell through the cracks.

We have been making a point to do day tips and road trips whenever we can in the last year and we decided to do a hike yesterday.  I love it so much and have always wanted my boys to grow up being explorers and appreciate nature and what it has to offer.  We wanted to get to Lone Pine Lake at Mount Whitney.  We knew it would be tiring from the review but we had no idea how tough it would be.

We definitely were not prepared for the distance, endurance and snow of this hike.  We got there and the road was closed for the winter.  We drove a little past the sign to the closest gate we could get to where other cars were parked.  From there, it was a good 2 mile hike just to get to the start of the trail.  All uphill!  Then we got to the starting point and it was uphill the entire way.  We encountered snow at the beginning and then it disappeared for 1/3 of the way up.  After that, we had more snow until the top.  The snow was deeper and deeper and we were all exhausted.  We had no snow shoes and no trekking poles making it even more difficult.  Especially for an 8 and 11 year old LOL.  There were so many stops and for my body, I wanted to badly to make it to the top to the lake but it was failing me.  The pain in my feet and hips and lower back were winning and I was almost in tears.  I am so frustrated with the constant pain that has plagued me with no answers to how to fix them.  I tend to try to push through it if I really want something but this was beyond painful.  I knew if I didn't stop, I may not be able to walk down back to the car.  I stopped and waited with the boys while Mathew went up another 30 minutes to check to see if he could see the lake but he said it would probably be another 30-45 minutes from where he was so he came back down to meet us at our waiting spot.  The snow was thick and we were freezing cold.  The sun was diappearing behind the mountain and we knew it was time to head back as it had already been over 3.5 hours up and would be about the same going back.  We didn't want to be stuck out there in the dark.

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By the time we were heading back down, it was slippery and scary and Rocket decided he had to poop.  Oh that was so much fun while he nearly pooped his pants and had to be butt naked while cleaning up in the snow!  HAHAH. Those are stories we have to tell when he gets older hahahah.  We slipped and fell many times on the way down and we were so glad we made it back safely.  It was cold and exhausting and the pain coming down was worse than going up and by the time we got to the car all I could do was tear up at frustration of my body.  The shattering pain that comes in my feet and hips and lower back screaming keeps winning and it makes me so upset that I cannot do what I would like to but I will figure it out..

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We all agreed that we would prepare better and knew the things we needed for the next REDO when we come back to tackle the lake.  Cannot wait for the next time!!!  It was absolutely gorgeous all the way up and could only imagine what the lake would be like.  The best part was driving back down and seeing two little Inyo Mule Deers hopping around in front of us.  That made my frustration pass and all I could do was smile =)