jg took those pictures of me last weekend while we were snowshoeing in south tahoe. this activity was planned way back in november while we were camping with team bushel.
team bushel in the kitchen
jg and i drove up to sacramento friday night, arriving at april+max's front door at 12:30 am saturday.
the snowshoers at breakfast
michele, schmee, jg, april, max, and josh (who took this picture)
april fed us a pumpkin pancake breakfast complete with fancy scrambled eggs. max prepared a sandwich lunch for everyone before we took off for snowshoeing.
renting snowshoes from the evil empire
up the mountain we go
getting ready at the trail head for crater lake
april in action
short lived victory
michele is april's sister. this is the fist time we met her. i was bothered glad that she has the same birthday i do. she turned out to be rather swell.
that picture still makes me chuckle. we were standing around taking a breather and april just fell over like she's making a breakdance move. i laughed and laughed while the rest of the group just stood there and watched her wiggle around trying to get up. poor april. josh came to her rescue and put an end to the cruelty.
we snowshoed for a little over three hours. we never made it to crater lake but i still had a blast. the weather was calm and even warm. the group dynamics was terrific. the mountain could stand to be a bit less steep though.
jg with chicken volcano
on the way home we stopped by sutter creek for dinner. we ended up at pepita's, where the service was lacking and the food was delicious!
april+max got the steak volcano
poor josh. the service was so bad that he took it upon himself to be our waiter. he left the table three times to request for extra tortillas for the volcano eaters. what a guy!
and a cat
(abby welcoming us home from the day out)
sunday we walked down to the american river despite the rain. april+max live but three quarter mile from the river's edge.
tourists on the footbridge
after the river walk, april took us to the crocker art museum where we fired off the afternoon with a gourmet museum lunch.
pastrami sandwich for jg and puffy cheese raviolis for april
i ordered the special of the day: pasta with pork belly and asparagus. everything was well served and delicious!
the rainy view from the dining hall
tip-toeing schmee and justin
i've known justin since we were freshmen at cal poly. last time i saw him in person was when he came to santa barbara in 2000. he currently lives in sacramento, but he was on the east coast for the weekend. his plane touched down at 2 pm and he drove directly to the museum to meet us.
question: can we take pictures in here?
answer: shrug. just act dumb if they bust ya.
my most favorite painting
sacramento river by gregory kondos
we left sacramento around 4 pm. the drive home was thankfully uneventful. it rained off and on all the way home, which made for some surprisingly picturesque scenery.
fragrant plum blossoms lining interstate 5
weekends always fly by when we're with team bushel. thanks to april+max for taking great care of us. thanks to michele and josh for the excellent company. and thanks to justin for paying the museum entrance fee just so he could hang with us for a couple of hours.
i took that picture last thursday at montecito shores (next to the biltmore). i turned on the camera for the poodle, but it's the tree that made the shot.
i took that picture of sal when we met for lunch on the friday before last. it was awesome that he brought me bananas from his own yard. it took them almost a week to turn ripe. they are so much more flavorful than store bought sort. i love how thin the peel is.
the race director calls them ice cream bananas
cameron the genius
i had to go to the apple store four separate times this week: once on tuesday, once on wednesday, and twice on thursday. the first two times i got cameron and he did great. for the second two i got an idiot who, in addition to failing to solve the problem, talked me into buying a part i didn't need. i would have taken a picture of him, except i was too distracted by the overwhelming desire to kick him in the nuts.
brad with sampler bbq plate at killer b
that was taken on wednesday when i met brad for lunch. the house specialty was not up to snuff so, right then and there, brad decided to throw a bbq party for saturday.
brad at the bbq counter in his back yard
(note the serious grillin' to the left)
party of six, complete with sommelier
seen in the garden
infinitely better than killer b
on top of everything, we had cupcakes from crushcakes for dessert. it was a good party.
jg and i spent sunday morning doing various tasks around the house. i planted a bunch of seeds in the square foot garden while jg worked on the sewing table. in the afternoon we went for the routine hike-n-bike at romero canyon.
wild morning glory
california bee plant (?)
to be identified
turned out to be a pretty warm day. not a bad way to kick off the time change.
jg and i took advantage of the extended daylight by making a trip to saddle rock today after work. i hiked and jg ran. we plan on doing this every other day. i'm not sure what i'm training for, but jg is preparing for a 15k trail race at the end of april.
a minute into the trail, he was gone. i didn't see him again until 27 minutes later. he was a lot sweatier in reality than in pictures.
"running uphill is surprisingly difficult."
jg took the long route up to saddle rock. he's still trying to figure out how far he ran. said he slowed down in some parts but didn't stop running until he "caught up" with me on the trail. not bad for someone who hasn't run since college for fifteen years.
i had a long day at work today so i was really looking forward to the training hike. i even got a head start this evening because jg had to fiddle with a trail mapping app before he could start running.
seen on the fire road portion of the trail
first time i have ever seen this flower. how fitting that it should be tinted with green. i have no idea what it's called and it's not in my guidebook. i would guess that it's a lily. i wonder if it's a native.
by the way, i need a better guidebook for california flowering plants. the one i have shows color pictures for some plants and line drawings for others. i don't understand how a black and white sketch of a plant would help with identification. so if you know of better guides, please let me know.
28 minutes later
tuesday jg ran into me well before i got to the top. today i made it to the top a couple of minutes after jg did. not bad.
green schmee with red booboo
five steps into the hike down, i fell. i have fallen in the same area before, where the ground is always scattered with marble size rocks. it's like stepping on ball bearings. my ring finger also got gashed and now my bum is sore.
flash makes it look a lot darker than it really was
more of the same flower seen on the way down
a well deserved guinness
same destination, different methods
currently it takes jg 25m 21s to run the trail to the left. according to trail guru, it is 1.78 miles long with 889 feet of total elevation gain. i hike the trail to the right, which is only 0.95 miles long. the crazy steepness makes for a good workout.
that's chee's lovely cousin. she's been trying to invite me and jg over for coffee for weeks but it never quite worked out. friday night she sent this persuasive text message:
I went to sb roasting company today and purchased a pound of amazing
coffee specifically for the purpose that one day you might come visit me...
how could we resist?
jg on mason street foot bridge
bright and early saturday jg went to jeannine's to fetch a box of baked goods. then we walked over to mike+jessica's.
breakfast is served
(or ack, left hander with knife!)
jg and our up-creek neighbors
that's mike in the middle. he takes his coffee with caramel and i called him names made fun of him for it. because he's a nice guy, he didn't punch me in the throat. he even let us pick avocados from his yard. mikey likey, indeed!
jg thieving avocados
piston the scaredy cat
it's pretty cool that we finally got to hang with jess+mike and tour their house-in-progress. i hope we'll get invited back soon. for a fancy italian dinner!
after breakfast i went downtown to look for paul at coffee cat and to hit up the library. on the way i noticed that a few of the local sign posts have been dressed in knitwear.
anapamu at laguna
and at anacapa
i couldn't find paul and my library goals were not all that successful. i couldn't find a field guide to wildflowers that's better than the one i have. i wanted to look in the faulkner gallery but it was occupied by a seminar. i went over to sullivan+goss but the exhibitions were lacking. all i got from the entire trip downtown was the identity of this plant.
saturday evening we went to a party hosted in montecito to celebrate the engagement of jg's friend. i've been very good about going to parties but this one was particularly trying. i'm glad to report that the celebration went well and i even got to meet several interesting people.
the couple of the hour and jg
sunday morning i woke up early because the house was racking in the wind. rain was coming down in sheets so it was all together very loud.
looking down creek and up creek respectively
the squarefoot garden
the cubes you see are screens jg and i made to protect the tiny seedlings that have just sprouted. either a bird or a squirrel has been scratching the surface of the soil and uprooting seedlings in the process. i hope the screens work, although i wonder if the dense mesh is letting enough sunlight through.
windowsill garden with week old basils
(note the snazzy upcycled use of a plastic bottle)
on top of the uprooting problem, some sort of bug has been eating all the leaves off our seedlings in the garden. the only way i know to solve this is to start the seedlings indoor and transplant when they're a few inches tall. i did this last year and it was fairly successful.
still pouring as we speak
obviously we couldn't do the hike-n-bike routine this weekend. i hope this crazy rain lets up soon so we can get back on the training schedule!
the training continued yesterday, after the rain had let up for the day. we knew it would be wet, but we really had no idea.
while crossing the creek, i stepped on a wobbly rock and into the water i went. my shoes and socks were thoroughly soaked. past the creek, the trail was completely saturated every step of the way.
i hiked very slowly where the trail was muddy, at times straddling the trail on my tip toe. the clayey soil made for very slippery ground.
very wet feet
(or very white socks)
moss vs lichen
oak tree down
hiking on mud was like an exercise in core balance. i was sweating despite the slow moving. the air was chilly so the sweat made me cold. the hike down was even slower. not very much fun.
blue dicks and indian pink
turn around point
i didn't get very far before turning around. jg was going to run down the same way he ran up so we were supposed to meet back at the car. of course jg got back to the car well before i did so he decided to run back up to meet me.
"what's taking so long?"
i hiked about 1.3 miles total jg ran about 3.75. the trip down wasn't fun for him either. slippery footing.
that was taken on saturday while i was climbing being hoisted up the wall. let's start with friday, when jg and i went on a romantic training date to saddle rock.
even wetter than it was on tuesday
more of the same flower
schmee at turn around point
that picture is supposed to show my sweaty head but all you can see is a slight sheen on my cheek. i must have imagined that i was sweating.
chocolate dipped shoes
i don't bother tiptoeing around the muddy parts anymore. it made the hiking go a bit faster. again, jg ran down to the car before heading back up the trail. we met a bit closer to the trail head than we did on tuesday.
bright and early saturday we left sb for redondo beach. our friend trang had offered to take us to her climbing gym for a quick lesson.
signing in at hangar 18
the gym lent us shoes and harnesses. i was totally grossed out by the shoes. good thing i brought socks.
jg chalking up
trang gave us excellent instructions before setting us loose on the wall. of course jg took to it like a natural.
it took me four tries to get off the ground. then, i only made it half way up the wall before giving up. totally embarrassing.
the enjoyable part of wall climbing
our friend the spider
oh my god, trang can climb like nobody's business! she just crawled up the wall ever so gracefully. jg tried to get past that overhang twice and didn't make it. i was belaying him and it was rather disconcerting to watch him fall off the wall.
schmee giving jg a wedgie
after climbing trang took us to lunch at a korenamese (korean style vietnamese food) restaurant in torrance. there's a lot of funny stuff going on in so cal these days.
jg getting his brain respirated
after lunch we hit up a couple of thrift stores. there was a 40% sale at one joint and i could not find a thing to buy!
jg loves the 80s
shipping container house
seen while leaving redondo beach
it was a good visit with trang. the climbing was difficult, but fun. i hope to try wall climbing again after i regain full use of my arms. and after i lose forty pounds.
sunday we went for a hike-n-run instead of the hike-n-bike routine up romero canyon. it was a super cloudy morning.
i saw a heart in the sky
poppy low, succulent high
that spider web was right in the middle of the trail. if it wasn't for the collection of dew, i would not have noticed it.
they are by far the most comfortable hiking boots i have ever tried. i hate every thing else about them. why can't anyone design a decent looking pair of boots?
that pesky guy again
7.1 miles with 2,195 ft total ascent in 1h 29m
jg uses a free app called trail guru so the stats are not reliable. still, i think he did pretty good. i barely covered two miles in the same amount of time.