Labor Day is past, but I'm still on the natural high from the camping trip Gill and I took to Devil's Postpile over the weekend. The weather was just about perfect and the area is as gorgeous as you'd expect being in such close proximity to Yosemite.
We arrived about an hour before sunset on Thursday and found a campsite near the river, set up camp and ate a simple dinner under the stars and nearly full moon before bed. Friday we did the short hike down to the the postpile formation itself. I was duly impressed: it's a large mass of volcanic rock that separated into enormous hexagonal columns when it cooled. We continued onto Rainbow Falls (too many clouds for a rainbow when we got there) and down to Little Falls further down the river where we had a lunch on a rock out in the middle of the falls. I couldn't convice Gill to swim in the pools below the falls. I can't blame her, someone told us the water was 40 degrees. We headed back to camp through a section of the forest still badly scarred by the large 1992 Rainbow Falls Fire (change of scenery indeed!) and got back early enough to prepare our one elaborate dinner (well not that elaborate, but everything tastes better when camping).
Saturday was to be our hike to get away from the anticipated Labor Day crowds. We set out across the river and were planning to leave the John Muir Trail to go up to Lake Emily which is at about 10000' (camp was at 7500'). Though the trail we were to take was on the topo map I had, we started to lose it after a mile or so. We did a tiny bit of rock climbing (yay!) to scale a 20' face (I did say tiny) and had lunch up in the sun and decided the idea of getting lost and spending the night out there was unappealing so we decided to head back to the JMT and head north. We still wound up climbing to about 9650' and Gill (who has asthma) started to have some real trouble with the altitude. She was a trooper, though, and after some rest we pushed on and were rewarded with some staggering views of the lakes and and landscapes. My favorite, I think, was Lake Rosalie (whoever named all of these was clearly obsessed with the ladies), we're already talking about doing a backcountry trip and camping along it. The northern reach of our hike was the loop around Shadow Lake at which point we hiked alongside the waterfalls back east to the river which we followed back to our camp.
In the end I calculate we did about 18 miles that day and it really took a toll. Even though Gill was the one having trouble early on, I was far worse off at the end of the trip. I staggered into our camp with an increasingly bad headache. Gill made dinner and gave me lots of water and after a couple of hours I had recovered. We certainly bit off a little too much that day but neither of us had any regrets.
Sunday we took a bit easier with a leisurely breakfast on the river bank before packing up our camp and heading back home. We stopped along the way at some hot springs before heading over the pass again. That was just the ticket. It would have been wonderful to soak all day, but with the long drive ahead we left after an hour or so and got home around sunset.
At some point I found out that this was Gill's first "real" camping trip and she took right to it. This is great news as I hope to do a lot more in the future than I have been.
My own photos will eventually make it to the web...
Gill and I have been joking around about me taking one of her classes for a while. I don't know when it became a more serious idea but somehow it has gotten to the point that tomorrow I'll be starting Latin 101. I'm kind of nervous! I haven't been in school for quite a while.
Gill only teaches three of the days a week so it took me as a bit of a surprise when she reminded me that her TA teaches two days per week as well. Are you counting? That's five days a week. Five. Rutgers (all those years ago at least) was of the longer and fewer classes philosophy so I haven't been in a class that meets five days a week since high school.
Obviously my ongoing underemployed status gives me some flexibility with my daily schedule making a 10am class possible. I've already been told by more than that I'm being a big baby and just to suck it up. It's just 101! I can always drop! But I tell you (again) I'm really nervous! Languages have always been my academic Achilles heel (in no small part because of my atrocious study habits).
I've got to go study some declensions or something...
I spent this weekend in Santa Cruz at a frisbee hat tournament1 with Gill. This was the first time I've been to a multi-day tournament. My body isn't hurting nearly as much as I thought it would be (my worst complaint at the moment is sunburn on my ankles) and I had a lot of fun. I played well on Saturday but kind of crappy on Sunday. I've been beating myself up a bit about it because our team was pretty good and probably could have made it to the semi-finals had it not been for a couple of spectacular screw-ups by yours truly. I know really, though, that it is just a hat tourney and the main point is to have fun2 and meet new peeps from all over. These things were accomplished so I just need to get over myself.
Also fun was camping up in the SC mountains. I love sleeping outside. Having the cool air blow in and being able to nestle into a sleeping bag equals pure somnific bliss for me.
I'm really happy to be playing lots of disc again (two nights each week of summer league as well). Even when some of my body parts think I'm overusing them, I think my general health and psyche are in a much better state.
2 To give an idea of the spirit of the tournament, in this one everyone was required to wear ridiculous hats. If your hat came off at any point, it was considered a foul and whatever penalty that would normally imply was incurred.
Just spent a bit over an hour dealing with a fraudulent credit card charge. About half of that time was on the phone with my CC bank. The steps for reporting such a charge involve answering the same questions repeatedly interspersed with some calming hold music for 5-10 minute intervals. The other half was updating all my automatic billings with the new CC number. It would be so nice if my CC bank could manage that for me.
Anyway, be on the look out for charges from www.ppcflash.com, apparently I'm not the first to get hit with this. It's a small charge, around $10.
Just as was about to make dinner tonight I was overcome with the urge to clean out my cupboards. I embraced this because I've gone several years without any such urge. I'm really not the tidiest person when it comes to, well, anything, but in this case, I refer to determining what should and should should not be shoved in the back of some shelf. That is, probably nothing should be shoved to the back of some shelf, but I shove everything back there.
Who knew such hijinks could ensue from such an industrious intention? Oh, the fun I had when a bag of tapioca flour came tumbling off the top shelf ("What's in there? I'll just give it a tug and catch it as it falls"). Fortunately I was wearing all black so I could clearly see where the flour landed on me and I could brush at it in annoyance. Now I'm wearing all grey. I also got to enjoy the lovely music of all those pieces of rotini crunching underfoot. Or were those the peppercorns. Or some other cupboard oddity I couldn't identify.
Gah. At least my cupboards are clean.
And now I'm on that Dreamwidth thing as "dang". Come find me if I haven't found you.