catalina island


we really couldn't of asked for a more perfect long weekend. the best weather, lots of yummy fish tacos and great company.  it was also pretty awesome having a professional photographer along...check out his photos here


really missing dave and his large catch in this photo


yuba river


an invite to spend the afternoon at the yuba river was a welcome break from our weekend designated to working on the house.

before we made our escape to the river though, we did manage to reside/stain two of the exterior walls. denver had previously decided that we wouldn't need to replace the exsisting roof and some of the exsisting exterior siding but it's been a bit tricky coming up with a solution to blend the old and the new.

we eventually decided to go for vertical fir siding with weathered steel in the eves and opted to stain the old/new the same color; for a deliciously dark monotone look that also pleases the very lazy paint contractor (myself). i had been secretly hoping for black siding all along but finally realized it just didn't work with our house style and surrounding environment. we eventually settled on a dark grey that seems to suit the house so much better, blends the old wood with the new and really works with the tiled roof, at least we think so. i can't wait to show pictures of the progress.

downieville classic


yay! downieville! it's been on our to-do list for a while now, so stoked to of finally made it happen.
14 miles and almost 5000ft of downhill single track;  seriously one of the most fun trails we've yet to ride.

can't wait to go back and give it another go.

lake tahoe


Each time I catch a glimpse, it's like I'm seeing it for the very first time, like we've just discovered a new landmark and will soon be joining Lewis and Clark in the american history books. Never mind the massive houses lining the shores and boats scooting to and fro across the surface like a game of tic-tac-toe.  

The beaches on the west and north shores are always nice. but my favorite is the east side, massive freckled granite boulders trace the shoreline, providing hours of endless entertainment and the perfect place to spend an afternoon.

in progress


there is a wildfire nearby. the smoke tinting our sunrises and sunsets with a unique hue. lots of pinks and purples, sometimes bright sometimes pastel.

denver went outside to capture a few photos of the smokey evening sky, i went along but got distracted by our forlorn airstream battling the encroaching weeds for driveway space. the airstream project has been on a standstill since we bought the new house. full of random odds and ends that we couldn't find a place for in the move, license plate hanging upside down, paint faded, patches of new aluminum glowing against the old.

joining the ranks of a work-in-progress our new house stands just as tattered (and has also been on standstill for the last three weeks while denver has been remodeling a condo on the other side of town). i think you've all seen pictures of the new house when we first moved in. Now it only looks worse with patches of tyvek, boarded over windows and partially removed decks. the whole set-up makes me want to duck my head in shame each time i pull into the driveway and discontentment rears up its joy-stealing head.

the fact is, the girl who has difficulty seeing the value in process married the guy who loves a good project. bam. God knew he would have a chance to do a little heart work.

i spent the last remodel disgruntled and longing for the finished product. only to realize that the satisfaction of a job-well done lasted about two days before discontentment returned, leaving me wishing for something new. 

i've realized that i treat life with the same approach that i've treated these remodels, constantly looking to the future as the end goal. chaffing at the day to day instead of realizing that life is the day to day. life is all about process and until i learn to enjoy that process i'm going to be settling for about 2% enjoyment and 98% discontentment. 

i'm ready to see the sky in all it's glory, 
pull into the driveway and just feel thankful for a place to call home.

mt rose meadows to chimney beach downhill


taking a breather at the mid-point mark on marlette peak
definetly looking a little worse for wear. it's been warm out folks!
i'm not complaining though, can't help but love these hot summer days.

the plan was to give ourselves an early start and try to avoid the late afternoon heat but our intentions were waylaid by a shady front porch, cool morning air and a latte in had...that latte machine is really getting the best of us these days.

we finally made it off the porch and up to the trailhead only to discover that denver's bike had a flat and we didn't have the correct repair pieces.
back down the hill to the house for the needed piece
back up the hill to the trailhead, so much for beating the heat.

it was one of the harder trails we've done on our mountain bikes, due to mileage and elevation gain, but the views were incredible and that portion of the tahoe rim trail is my favorite so far.



sheesh, that guy i married is 28-years-old.
starting to feel like time is against us, so much to do and so little time.
 i feel like we're racing the clock, which is a stupid race because we're sure to lose.

we've been wanting to bring our mountain bikes to santa cruz for a while now, having heard so much about the singeltrack in the area, and were certainly not disappointed.
it is a pretty incredible experience to go zipping along through the redwoods, the trails are incredibly smooth and fast.

there was a woodies on the wharf event happening over the weekend.
although by the time we finally made it downtown (traffic was a bit of a cluster cuss) it was woodies in a parking lot for us.
i'm not usually that into old cars, but there is just something extra special about these iconic surf-era cars.

we ended our weekend getaway with a stop in san francisco to pick-up a range spotted on craigslist. made us feel somewhat justified for taking four days off of house work. it's hard to leave guilt-free these days with such a mega-project on our hands.
the range is bright shiny and beautiful, can't wait to get the sucker in our new kitchen.

river rock


nothing says summer more loudly to me
 then frying to a crisp under the hot sun on some dusty trail or rock wall
and then recovering good humor with a refreshing float down the truckee river.
so glad those summer days are finally happening.

birthday weekend

denver's birthday is this weekend
we're planning on celebrating the best way his book anyways,
surfboards and bikes included.

melody joy


It's amazing how one can spend days chattering about the weather, recent trips, this trail or that climb, all the while avoiding the one thing that weighs the heaviest. The one thing that takes up every thought and makes any other prayer seem trivial. Sadly, not talking about that bad stuff doesn't make it any less real.

My brother and his wife's world was rocked last week when their daughter was diagnosed with cancer. Yesterday it was rocked once again when more cancer was found upgrading Melody from a stage II to a higher risk stage IV. 

 I can't help but remember my brother's closing statement to an email that he had written just a few weeks before Melody was diagnosed:

thankful God has given me Karen and Melody to walk the road with... May He return soon.

Praying that the three of them will be able to continue to walk together.

Costa Rica, IV


Notice how I just did that just now? Squeezed in a few more Costa Rica pictures without any apologies or preamble...and you thought you were in the clear.

The last few days of our trip were spent in the tropical highlands and on the Caribbean side of the country. The highlands were a welcome break from the constant high temperatures. It was such a surprise to find ourselves surrounded by cabbage plants and wishing we had packed some warmer clothes.

The Caribbean side was dirty spicy and fun. The surfing was out of our league so we just snorkeled, checked out the tide pools and watched the skilled surfers. We had almost given up home on ever spotting a toucan in the wild when we finally saw the two, pictured above, hanging on the bars of our seedy hotel room window.

tyrolean downhill

pretty stoked to have ol Brian back in town for the weekend
it's always fun trying to catch up with him on our bikes

skiing the north peak couloir


"no need to bring food" we say, "it's basically a walk in the park"
those are the famous last you're-going-to-be-hungry words
perhaps the members of the donner party had a similar exchange

worth the effort and hunger pains though, just to see the landscape
the sierras always leave us wanting more

 north peak

 we skied the couloir on the right

Lover's Leap


dusted off the climb gear
did a trad climbing 101 recap, how has it been so long? 
remembered just how amazing a clean granite wall can be
fell in love with summer all over again

Lassen Peak


 gaining elevation

 at the summit

 the descent....look for the little skier

the view of Mt Lassen on our drive home

A ski ascent of Lassen has become a favorite of ours. It was so much fun for the last two years that we've decided to make it a yearly late spring here's to the second annual ski Lassen pilgrimage!