Fall is in the air. The cooler nights and less intense heat testify to apple pie and brightly colored leaves to come. All these things remind me of my Mom. She is big on all seasons, changing seasons. Big on seasonal food and seasonal activities, but particularly big on Fall. We don't live too far away and sure there's always the telephone or email but it's just not the same. Today I'd like to be out in the garden together, maybe lamenting on the fact that the potatoes really didn't do that well this year but take a look at all that corn. We'd maybe talk about how the magpies are really doing a number on the cherries and how Dad was going to have to shoot a few.

Makes me wish we were headed out on one of our bi-annual girl's shopping trips, because you do know that every changing season calls for a few wardrobe updates.  Or maybe flipping through that newest Sundance catalog that arrived in the mail, full of cozy sweaters and cute boots. Mom would always dog-ear the pages with items that caught her eye but then wait a few months to order, until every reasonable size was out of stock (this shopping method is good for the budget, I suppose, but always makes me crazy). 

This morning I had some free time, so I gathered some produce from my not quite-so-stellar garden and made some chocolate chip cookies. Excited that it's finally cool enough to risk turning on the oven and because maybe that is what's happening back home. I also thought about washing the windows, because that is more likely what's happening back home, but really? I'm not feeling that sentimental. I wanted to call and say hello but the lump in my throat was just a little too big.

Job's Peak, Job's Sister & Freel Peak


The plan was to do something mellow and short as the flu officially put the stops on a longer more techincal climb. Freel Peak was said to have incredible views so we found directions to the trailhead and Denver loaded up on Sudafed, Gatorade and crackers. The trailhead wasn't all that easy to find so eventually we just parked the truck with the ridgeline in view and traveled cross-country. We ended up at the saddle between Job's Sister and Freel Peak and decided that we might as well summit Job's Sister before heading over to Freel Peak. Freel Peak didn't end up taking all that long, we had plenty of remaining daylight, and weren't quite ready to head back to the truck. Job's peak was in the opposite direction so back we went along the ridgline, up and over Job's Sister, and finally to the top of Job's peak. Our one peak turned to three but the views were amazing and there's no stopping Denver once he sets his eye on a mountain top.

We did lots of hiking/peak bagging when we first got married. We were living in Alaska at the time and it was too wet in the summer to really do much else. In the beginning I'd complain bitterly about having to always have to climb up something. "Why can't we just hike across something?" I'd say out of breath and frustrated. Denver would always promise that next time we could. He'd start out with good intentions, letting me choose the trail and plan the day.  Once we got out on the trail though, there was always "that" distant tantalizing peak. His pace would invariably quicken and he'd look around at me, his eyes asking me to be gracious because some things simply can't be helped.  He'd take off up the hill and I'd follow him and that's pretty much how it's been ever since.

Job's Peak, with a view of Freel Peak and Job's Sister

The top of Job's sister

the top of Freel Peak



Sometimes things don't go quite as planned
Sometimes you get skunked
Sometimes even the best laid plans are impervious to the reign of a flu bug

Despite my bad attitude, I am thankful for a beautiful morning in Mammoth Lakes, thankful for Dani & Adam sharing their treasured, and carefully doled, Hawaiian coffee and thankful for an evening spent around the campfire.

We're waiting around, hoping that tomorrow will bring renewed health and we'll be able to do the climb that just didn't work out this morning.  I'm thinking that maybe next weekend is a better bet.

Desolation Wilderness


Into the wilderness we marched. Spending three days and two nights traversing some of the most beautiful country that we've yet to explore in the Tahoe area. We began our traverse at the trail head in Emerald Bay and finished at the Echo Lakes. The guys liked to make their own cross-country trails. These trails didn't necessarily save time but I have been strongly assured that they cut down on the scheduled twenty miles significantly. Regardless we were left with plenty of time to explore, kick-back on some granite pad and watch the sky, swim in any lake that looked inviting, attempt to fish, drink a little whiskey, and eat some freeze-dried goodness. Turns out Brandon & Breanne are our backpacking kindred spirits. All about fast and light, hiking-isn't-all-it's-cracked-up-to-be, who-wants-to-carry-extra kind of mentality. Denver and I actually looked like Norman Clyde (an old-time Sierra man known for carrying a 90lb pack weighed down with rifles, cast iron pans, a full-size ax and books of Greek poetry) compared to them and their 11lb packs.

Would you say, I have a plethora of tomatoes?


The day has finally come, we are finally in heirloom tomato heaven. A week ago we had one or two lone cherry tomatoes to snack on and suddenly in the last four days the plants have started going gang busters, making me so proud.  Neighbors and co-workers, beware! we have an overload.

Donner Lake


It's toasty warm here in the desert and the cool mountain air has never felt so good. When Danny & Lauren offered to share their cabin we certainly didn't turn them down. I've been looking forward to our weekend at the lake all summer and it was even better then expected. I'm not sure if Danny & Lauren were in on this, but we all decided to call it the first annual Donner Lake weekend.

San Onofre


All the hard-working and busy family members graciously let us steal away for a few hours each day to experience some of the best waves and weather we've seen all year. The water was warm, 68-70 degrees, the sun was shining and the swell just got better as the week went by.


Dani posted a beautiful blog over at The Corner Booth. Her words fit so appropriately with the photos we took last week while we were staying at the house on Flower Street and camping on that nice hard carpeting. The week was so filled with remembrances for those I love. Each and every old photograph, numerous nic-nacs, familiar smells and the foggy morning air brought back a flood of memories. Denver and I went for a quick run one morning, up the big hill and back to his childhood home. His old neighbor was taking out the trash, just as he did fifteen years ago, as we stopped to catch our breath and relive the rollerblading and little-red-wagon-careening-down-the-street days.

Feeling fine and wearing heels


It's a big deal when the heels and the suit jacket make and appearance. Couldn't help but document the moment.

Home, sweet home

It's good to be home, our booty of lemons, fresh from the tree, matching the warm summer day. We were able to spend today unpacking, catching up and readying ourselves for the work week. Denver changed the oil on the car, and announced that we've driven over 10,000 miles in the last three months. It's been such fun, but I'm also looking forward to a little less driving these next two weeks.

We arrived home last night to a spotlessly clean house, well-watered plants, dinner prepped and waiting to be heated, ice cream in the freezer and fruit in the fruit bowl. Does the person who watches your house do all that? Didn't think so.