Thursday, August 24, 2006

Smelling like a campfire in the San Fran Museum of Modern Art

After a few days of achilles recovery in Lone Pine, CA. I climbed what was supposed to be a relatively short scramble up Lone Pine Peak on Tuesday (not to mention Lewis looking at my screachy brakes on Monday, ask about that one later). This was a nice hike of a fews hours to a few alpine lakes, called the Meysan Lakes, and then a rather arduous challenge of my route finding and scrambling abilities. The views were awesome, especially of the great white whale (aka Whitney).

After what ended up being a 10-11 hour day, I figured a couple of days off would be nice. I came to the Bay area, where I'm in a nice campsite not far from Larkspur, where I took the ferry across the bay(s) into the city to visit the SFMOMA.

They have a rather extisive collection of Paul Klee ink drawings (my coworkers will know Klee by the poster -the crazy looking guy- in the art cube. My internet friendly acquainances will know this same work as my MSN avatar.

I pick up Wade from the airport tomorrow and we will be returning to the Sierra where we will hopefully be attempting Whitney (permits are more difficult to get than I had expected, but it looks hopefull that there will be an opening due to someone else's cancellation).

I am running out of internet time here at this cafe, so please forgive the misspellings and general lack of grace.

Having sensory overload here in CA...mountains, bays, art, etc...

Stay tuned!

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Sweet Surrender

I am sorry to report that I've found on-the-road updates of the blog complete with pictures too difficult and/or expensive.

I am now in Lone Pine CA, where I will be for a couple of weeks, there is a coffee shop here with wireless - and they charge. :(

Death Valley is AWESOME, I was not prepared for just how cool it was going to be. Besides being very hot (I did go through in the afternoon and never turned on the ac, out of principle) the desert peaks are quite breathtaking.

As I come further west, more and more of the tourists are European. They seem to be mostly German Speaking, and after that, Russian (as far as I can tell), French, and Italian. In Death Valley, I think I was the only North American present. It confirms my decision to spend time seeing the great west of my native continent before flying off to another.

Coming out of scenic Death Valley, to get my first glimpse of the Sierras in the distance, was overwhelming. Please forgive the extreme cheesyness of saying this: I cried non-stop for about 30 minutes and had to pull over to get control of myself, before rolling into town.

The only thing that's just a little less than perfect (besides the blog compromise): is that hiking the AZ peak (Humphrey's), followed the next day by walking around Vegas in sandals, caused my left achilles to be a little sore. I'm giving it a couple of days before hiking, which is just as well since I should be slowing it down a little, reading a book, and writing some music.

I camped here in Lone Pine, CA last night, which I just found out is only at 3600 feet. So I will be heading up to the nearby smaller town for acclimation (Porthole, I think) which is at 8600 and directly at the foot of Whitney and Russell, both of which I plan on hiking.

After I'm back I'll post my pictures with descriptions, and/or I can hold you captive with a long vacation slide show!

To answer questions: I am ashamed to say that I've slept in motels a few nights and have not yet slept in the car. I only ate out once, which was at a very good Mexican restaurant in Vegas. Otherwise I've been eating out of a cooler in my trunk. A lesson? I have really lost all taste for hotels. Mr. Tibbs is one of the many pet names for the Hyundai Tiberon (he and I have bonded quite well, he deserves another oil change).

I usually rate my vacations on a 10 point scale. This vacation has already surpassed what would have been a 10 point on that scale, setting a new precedent. Where it will fall in my estimation within a few years, we'll see. (The only part of this trip where I was less than elated was in Las Vegas, which isn't surprising. Now that I've seen most of it, I never have to go back!)

I've give another update in a week or so. See you all soon, hope life is good.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Technology Sucks

Just in case you're checking my blog, I am having technical difficulties, what with the uploading of pictures and such.

Short update: Having awesome time, in Vegas now and I summited the highest peak in AZ yesterday. Heading for Lone Pine CA tomorrow, going across Death Valley, so I will hopefully get an early start so as not to be there in the afternoon.

Mr Tibbs? Running great.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

I suppose it may be the year of the clouds

That's what my great-aunt Marie would say, upon leaving the house, to see an overcast sky. No one knows what she meant by this. She, at the not-so-early age of 93, died a couple of months ago after living what was for the most part, a full and healthy life.

My ENTIRE FAMILY exists amongst the docile villages just north of Kansas City, MO. I return once a year, or so, for visits. Save this summer, where I have driven back and forth over a couple weekends for my aunt's funeral and related reasons. I will yet return to the shire one more time, to visit the townsfolk, in my voyage to the western shores.

“But Shawn, according to your first blog entry you should be long gone to (and back from) the west coast by now!” you exclaim in confused madness.

Indeed! (Please calm yourself.) My vacation was delayed due to the aforementioned project at work going overdue, to no big surprise. I will be leaving, for my belated reclamation of the soul, in one short week on August 11th. So, in the six weeks since I was first scheduled for departure, stressful (albeit engaging) work, the trips down home, along with other smaller engagements and complications, have kept me rather busy.

“But what about the Tibby?”

Thanks for asking. He's miraculously running without incident in recent weeks and months, except for a blown tire en route from KC to Mpls, which I believe I can hardly hold against him.

Behind the veil of the daily grind and the trips down home, California had become so clouded that I began to doubt whether the golden state was still attached to the continent, and whether Monsieur Tibbs and myself wouldn't careen off the edge of the earth in a dual suicide, like the chick-flick heroes we were indubitably destined to become.

Alas, now that at last the smoke is clearing, the Atlas makes it apparent that the left coast is still with us; and now that I have a degree of finality at work, I will finally get a finale to the wonderfully grotesque web of Summer 2006.