Monday, August 10, 2015

Kennedy Lake in the Emigrant Wilderness

Something new-Linda's pack and my pad, something old-Jim's cooking pots, something borrowed-Linda's pad, and something blue-all our shirts.  No, not a wedding, it was a three day, 15 mile out and back, backpacking trip to Kennedy Lake in the Emigrant Wilderness with Carla, Linda, and Tanya. We are off....

From Kennedy Meadows it was another one and a half miles to the Wilderness trail head.

The Sierra Nevadas are incredibly beautiful mountains.  We crossed three bridges on our way up the mountain.  The spaces between the bridges are the most challenging of this hike as the trail has large rocks that tend to accommodate horses more than humans.

Our campsite was at the near end of the valley, the lake was at the far, far end.

Tanya and Carla are the most technically oriented hikers.  A hammock?  We benefited greatly from their choices of what each brought in their packs.

Jim is the most experienced hiker and the minimalist hiker.  We think his pack was the lightest because he knows how to do it.

Tanya was the only one with a tent...a cozy and warm, two pound tent.

Kennedy Creek was just a few steps away from the campsite.  We saw fish jumping and osprey hunting.

Some time was spent filtering water.  Fortunately, we had two filters because one ended up breaking.  And we had a gizmo that boiled water in about one minute.  Wow!  This is high tech camping!

Jim took advantage of the late afternoon sun.

Jim built our fires when it started to get cool.

That boiler gizmo worked great to make hot tea and hot water for our dehydrated food packets.  Everybody had a stash of chocolate to share!

Tanya brought some zinfandel for Happy Hour.  Jim carried the tequila.

The second day we aimed for Kennedy Lake and a trail to the Pacific Crest Trail to Sonora Pass.  There was a tiny bit of snow still high on some mountains.

We passed an old cabin while heading to the lake.  Jim went on ahead threading his way through the marsh.  If we had followed him closely, we might have made it to the lake as he did.  As it turned out, we girls found ourselves moving through vast marshy areas.  We could not find a way through, even though we saw the lake from a distance.  It took us until mid afternoon to finally give up and return to our first campsite for our second night.

As we headed down the third day, we encountered two pack trains of one horse and four mules each going up to our campsite.  Two different groups of people were hiking up with small day packs.  There is hiking, and there is backpacking.  We plan to go backpacking again before summer is over.

Monday, July 20, 2015

Manhattan in June

Manhattan in June is about proms, graduation, Father's Day, and the Summer Solstice.  Normally, we would not be here for any of those days, but we were this past June.  It was chilly, and that was good.  We saw lots of people out enjoying the city around the many landmarks.

Candy selection in the Eataly Caffe

Where else but in New York City!

Conservatory Water or The Model Boat Pond in Central Park

Views from atop the Empire State Building

Looking Up!

Bill and Marge were in New York City, too, and had the free passes to the top!  We also all went to see a wonderful production of "Kinky Boots".

Columbus Circle at Midnight

The Metropolitan Museum of Art had an extensive and most beautiful exhibit, China: Through the Looking Glass.

Meanwhile, at the Museum of Modern Art, Andy Warhol: Campbell's Soup Cans and Other Works, 1953-1967 was showing.  I really liked all the Marilyns.

Jim took Roxie for a walk everyday we were there...around the block and into the park.

Finally the weather warmed and created a wonderful evening to participate in the 37th Annual Museum Mile Festival.  We wanted to go into the Guggenheim Museum, but the line was too long.  Instead, we took the long, right way, around the Reservoir home.  

I can hardly wait to go back.

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Beaches of Oaxaca

Beaches are my favorite places to be in the winter.  The Mexican state of Oaxaca has some beautiful ones including Mizunte, Augustinillo, Zipoliti, and La Perla.  They are uncrowded, clean, and warm with a variety of restaurants, bars, and hotels.  All you need are a few good books.

Friday, July 17, 2015


Mexico City was the first stop-over on our way to the beach.  Oaxaca was our second stop-over.  Arriving by bus after a long, but scenic, ride from Mexico City, we located our room then walked to the main plaza area.  One area was nearly covered with tents belonging to teachers who were striking for higher pay and better working conditions.  Posters of the university students recently killed were strung up also.  The tents and posters confused us and angered the citizens of Oaxaca who believe their plazas are being co-opted, limiting their enjoyment of their public space.

A wedding procession was in progress along one of the pedestrian streets.  Guests dressed all in white and holding colorful lanterns followed the dancing bride and groom.

I took a bus out to Monte Alban to see the ruins.  The ball court is minus its ring.

The steps are steep.  It was a trek to the top, but the views were great.

Another smaller ruin was off to the north above the valleys that comprise the Oaxaca area.

We drove out to Hierve El Agua, an area created by mineral deposits long ago.

Much gringo activity, many wonderful restaurants, tasty mezcal, indigenous ruins, and bountiful artisan diversity characterizes Oaxaca.