Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Just got back from the first leg of my vacation to Lake Tahoe and Mammoth Lakes with my girlfriend Lynn. We spent the first five days at Tahoe and the last three in the Mammoth Lakes area. Tahoe was a bit hectic with the crowds, Casinos, and all. There is alot to do in the Tahoe area. We went on a boat ride, vistited a Viking Castle, spent the day at Virginia City, bicycled, saw the Pirates of the Caribbean, and the firework extravaganza on the Fourth of July. I can't really say what my favorite activity was and confess I am a bit jaded when it comes to vacations and travelling. I have travelled alot over the years and it really doesn't matter much anymore what I do. I just like being in cooler weather and doing things at my own pace and rhythm. So much of our lives is dictated/ controlled by others or time schedules and I cherish anytime I can do what I want, when I want. My friend Seth met up with Lynn and I in Mammoth. We didn't do much in Mammoth because Seth was hammered after hiking 20 miles while climbing 13,000 foot Banner Peak. Seth is a hiking/climbing machine who loves the mountains as much as I do. The highlight of the Mammoth trip was the bear that came through the camp during the morning we broke camp. I got within ten feet of him in an effort to take a picture but some guy scared the bear away before I could get a picture of him on the table about to grab a couple of wine bottles and some other snacks the guy left on the table. I have seen my fair share of bears over the years and am not really afraid of them unless it be a Grizzly bear or a mother with cubs. Most bears are probably more afraid of you than you are of them and all you have to do is holler, wave your hands, and generally they head off into the forest. There is still a significant amount of snow in the mountains and I always find it strange to run across large amounts of snow in the middle of the summer. I have even come across frozen lakes as late as the middle of August in the Sierra's of California. Most people don't realize that the Sierra Nevada mountains of California get an incredible amount of snow some years. Mammoth Mountain recieved over 50 feet of snow this year. That's right, 50 feet, which translates into over 600 inches......We spent the last day in Yosemite National Park. Yosemite is on the way home from Mammoth. We spent most of the day in the "high country" of Yosemite and very little time in Yosemite Valley. Most tourists only visit the valley and are unaware of some of the other incredible sights outside the valley. The Valley is spectacular but is also "very" crowded anytime during the spring or summer......Anyway.....I am back now for a couple of days before I head out on the second leg of my vacation with my son Wesley who finishes summer school at the end of the week. Wesley and I are going up north to the coast of California and Redwood National Park. We might even head up the Oregon Coast for a day or two. I love the north coast of California. The weather is cool, there aren't too many tourists and it's primitive for the most part which is what I really appreciate from time to time. We will be gone for two and half weeks before I come back to start work during the first week of August...Bummer...Oh well.....I can't complain because most people hardly get much time off for vacation......

2 comments:

Dave said...

I enjoyed the recap of your latest wanderings, Bilbo. I envy your "jadedness" - I wish I had as many opportunities as you do to get out into spectacular wilderness surroundings! It's been a long time since I've been able to just hang out in the mountains, and even when I get time off, it's usually spent doing something involving "civilization." Nice pictures too, by the way. Big, bright, expansive... nice to look at!

Bilbo said...

Hi Dave,

I wish you and everyone else had as many opportunities to get out and travel as much as I do. Sometimes I kind of feel guilty for mentioning my various travels because I know most folks have to work most of the year with very little time off. I guess it's the price of living in a competitive, industrial, workaholic, capitalistic country. I do wish our nation would give a higher priority to giving everyone more time off to do whatever. I don't know how the rest of you do it week in and week out.... I hope my travel logs don't sound like I am gloating...It's just a part of my life and one of the perks of being a teacher. It hasn't always been this way for me. I started working full time during the summers when I was only 14 years old and I did teach summer school for 15 years straight. It's only been the last two years I haven't taught summer school or worked full time. I finally got up the nerve to say enough is enough two summers ago and just wish I had done so ealier....and....now enourage others to make space and time to spend with their loved ones or themselves. Life is just too short to be working and stressed out all the time.....