Sunday, July 12, 2015

Summer fun

Granite Dome

Here are some photos from a trail run/hiking adventure through the Emigrant Wilderness over Fourth of July weekend. 

And here are links to recent Weekend Escapes for L.A. Times travel:

Snow in July!

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Lake Ediza (last year as a trio)

For our ninth annual backpacking trip to Lake Ediza, we had to modify the journey due to Amber’s pregnancy. We set up our “base camp” for two nights at a campground before the climb up to Shadow Lake.

Ediza and I were still able to make the trek up to Lake Ediza the following day.


No llamas this year, but Ediza's stuffed llama Peak made the trip again.

Once we caught the shuttle back to Mammoth, Ediza tried her hand at some bungee acrobatics. As always, she is flying high! 

Sunday, June 7, 2015


Well, the year is almost half-way over and this is my first post of 2015. So here’s the quick update: I got promoted at the local newspaper, Ediza just finished second grade and we have another baby on the way — nine years later! Here are some photos from the past two weeks:

Amber (and baby) and Ediza in Yosemite for a friends wedding.

My friend Sarah (we first met studying abroad in Australia, then worked together at a summer camp in Missouri before she moved to the Bay Area) got married at Sentinel Beach along the Merced River. Their reception was held at the nearby Yosemite Bug Rustic Mountain Resort and featured great food, live music and even a tea lounge. Ediza got an early start with some costumes (props from the dress-up photo booth, of course).

The day before we hiked around Pinecrest Lake with her class.

And here she is with a cat she knitted for her end-of-year puppet show: Meow!

Friday, December 5, 2014

Season's Greetings

We returned this year to the Historic Downtown Sonora Christmas Parade, which is held annually the night after Thanksgiving. This photo was taken at the start of the route near the Red Church. Amber made wreaths with lights for around the llamas necks, and Ediza was a pro walking her llama the whole way. Speaking of pros, thanks to Maggie Beck for the festive photo!

Earlier that week, we spent my birthday exploring Moaning Cavern (which we hadn't done before) and sampling beer at Prospectors Brewing Company (which we have done before). Also that day, my latest L.A. Times travel piece ran: Visiting San Francisco? Say yes to NoPa

We hope everyone has a wonderful holiday season and an incredible New Year ahead!

Friday, November 7, 2014

Fall photos

Here's some of what we've been up to the past month...

A dozen of Ediza's friends slept over for her 8th birthday party. It was an "under the sea" theme with lots of activities, including pin-the-tail-on-the-mermaid. In this pic, they are hitting a pinata (shaped like a whale, of course) in the backyard.

After a tea party breakfast and everyone left, we headed up to Bell Meadow that afternoon to check out the golden aspen grove.

The following weekend we took two llamas up to Camp Tuolumne Trails in Groveland to visit with some special needs campers. Here, Golden is checking out the view. In the background is a new lookout where you can see damage from last year's massive Rim Fire.

The mermaid theme continued for Halloween. Amber's sister made Ediza's costume complete with real sea shells.

We went to a variety of Halloween-themed events, including the festival at Sierra Waldorf School, trick-or-treating at Rocky Hill (which I wrote about) and "Dia de los Muertos" in Murphys. Amber also went to a midnight showing of the "Rocky Horror Picture Show," where she won a costume contest (no pics of that one). My coworker voted for her and didn't even know it was her....that's how good the costume was!

Friday, August 29, 2014

Summer's last hurrah

My parents came to visit earlier this month and we went everywhere from the mountains of Mammoth Lakes to the skyscrapers of San Francisco. Speaking of Mammoth, here's a link to my new L.A. Times travel piece about our trip there last month — Weekend Escape: Off the trail and into a soft bed in Mammoth Lakes

During their visit, we also checked out the wineries of Murphys, the latest play at the Fallon House Theatre in Columbia and an outdoor movie at the Pinecrest Amphitheater. 

Here are some pics from San Francisco, where we stayed with Airbnb again:

A selfie in front of the "Painted Ladies."
A playground that rivaled those in New Zealand. 
Blondes on the beach. 

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Hiking to Lake Ediza

We just returned from our annual trek to Ediza's namesake, Lake Ediza. While it was our 8th summer in a row making the hike, it was our first without the llamas (although Ediza did bring Peak, her stuffed toy llama).

Our journey started with a trip over Tioga Pass and a visit to our favorite park at Mono Lake followed by camping at the hot springs near Mammoth Lakes.

The next morning we started our hike, and this photo was taken at the bridge before the climb up to Shadow Lake. (Pepper, the dog Ediza is hugging, belongs to the person taking the picture).

This is what you call backpacker chic

Once we arrived at the lake — in the Ansel Adams Wilderness of the Inyo National Forest — the weather was very dramatic with heavy winds and large, cold raindrops. Ediza took it all in.

The next morning the sun was out and we were off exploring early.

Later we had to spend some quality time in the tent as we were being swarmed by pesky mosquitoes.

We then played in the rushing snowmelt water.

After two nights at Lake Ediza, we started the journey back.

At our new campsite, Ediza — playing the role of a marmot-chipmunk who would only answer to the name "Chubs" — made her home in a downed tree. Amber later joined her.

The next morning we went from eating oatmeal to arriving back in Mammoth, where we indulged in a hotel stay and eating out (including Amber's new favorite Ben & Jerry's flavor called "Chocolate Therapy").

After mastering the real thing, Ediza went up this climbing wall at the ski area.

Before leaving town, we went thrift shopping and caught Mammoth's fun and interactive 4th of July parade.

We also stopped by the Independence Day festivities in Bridgeport before making our way over Sonora Pass, where we helped a motorcyclist who had crashed near the top.

Another adventure complete, we are already looking forward to next year's return.