Archive for the ‘California’ Category

Mobile California

Thursday, September 22nd, 2011

Unfortunately this post about our fantabulous long weekend in California will have to be similar to the Mobile Maui post. This time it’s not because I’m a lazy photo editor, but because we came home to a failing double-backup hard drive system. I’m hoping the resident geek, JK, can fix them since they contain all of our photos. And our videos. And our music. Most of the photos are backed up on flickr, but not the RAW files I haven’t processed yet…including the ones from both our Norway trips this year. Ach. I’m trying not to think about it.

In the meantime, I don’t have enough space on my laptop to process our new RAW files…so here are my cell-phone photos from the trip.

Tahoma! Now THAT'S what I'm talking about

JK spent last week in Anaheim at a conference (his talk is available here in case you’re nerdily inclined), and I flew down to meet him on Thursday. I amused myself by the pool while he finished up his conference duties, and on Friday afternoon we drove up to Santa Barbara. We spent ’04/’05 at UCSB, and this would be my first trip back to the place we used to call home.

Justin and JK through the ruins Santa Ynez views

Our old friend Justin let us stay at his place AND he took us hiking. Good man. He even made sure to take us to the drier, sunnier wine country so we would escape the dreaded marine layer which appeared to have followed us from Seattle. Luckily it had cleared up by the end of the day, so we were able to stockpile lots of vitamin D for winter.

Flower squeezers Holy wowsa, Anacapa rocks!

We also took a boat out to Anacapa Island, part of Channel Islands National Park. Why did we never go here when we lived so close?? It was so pretty that I want to go back for kayaking in spite of all the great white sharks. Maybe.

Arch Rock Isla Vista sunset

An inordinate amount of time was spent eating as we visited several of our favorite vegetarian restaurants in Santa Barbara and Santa Monica. I usually lose weight when I’m on vacation, but it quickly became evident that this was not to happen this time around.

So many places to call home... 9/11 memorial at Pepperdine University

The gorging continued on our flight home since we flew jetBlue. That means BLUE CHIPS, which we can never find in the store anymore (probably a good thing) and which taste even better when you’re cruising above Yosemite during sunset. The perfect ending to an excellent trip.

Love flying jetBlue! Sunset over the Sierra Nevada

The Real Housewives of NWHikers go to California

Thursday, August 19th, 2010

Karen posted a trip report from our California vacation and included this magnificent work of art – a reality show from her adventure with us stay-at-home Seattleites!

(Video by Karen Crowe ┬ęsKarecrowe films)

The full trip report on is here (photos on page 1, 2 and 3 but there’s more to come – apparently we are very inefficient housewives, teehee).

I wish they all could be California girls

Wednesday, July 14th, 2010

Looks like I haven’t updated this thing since May – oops! – but for once I have a legitimate excuse…we’ve been on too many adventures! Just in case I never get fully caught up (I literally have thousands of photos to go through, but the weather is too nice to stay inside), here’s a handful of the pics I’ve already processed from our trip to our sunny almost-neighbor to the south, California.

California Girls

Karen (who also took me to Tank Lakes last year) invited Tisha, Josie and yours truly to the Sierra Nevada for a grand lakebagging adventure in June/July. Unfortunately the unusually high snowpack forced us to change our plans a little bit, but I think we managed to make the most of what we had.

First stop*, Yosemite! We hiked the Mist Trail, did the whole touron thing, were blown away by the granite awesomeness of the whole place, and, on the way out, saw one of the famous Roadside Bears o’ Yosemite. (I have yet to see a bear in Washington, but I saw six(!) of them in Whistler the week before we went to California.)

Yosemite My seventh bear!

After camping at Tioga Pass (man alive, what a gorgeous drive!), we made our way east of the mountains to Mono Lake where we marveled at the tufas and took a well-deserved dip to escape the heat. It has such a high saline content that you just float on top without any effort at all (I usually float well due to my high blubber content anyway, so it was a double win for me). Definitely the coolest swimming hole I have ever found.

Mono Lake Swimming in Mono Lake
Shutterbug Tufas in the sunset

Next we drove south to the Bishop area to go backpacking up by Big Pine Lakes. The lakes were melted (huzzah!), gorgeous, and I broke my previous altitude record when we hiked up to 11,000 feet. I was surprised that I didn’t get a headache or feel nauseated when we were camped so high, but I was wheezing like crazy for every step I took. Luckily the scenery allowed for lots of “photo breaks” where I could rest my hyperventilating lungs.

Happiness is: Second Lake
11,009 feet Wonky and wide-angled me

The main part of our trip was a three-day backpack to Thousand Island Lake. Our original plan was to spend four days on/near the John Muir Trail, hiking a loop that would get us to all sorts of gorgeous lakes, but since most of those lakes were still frozen, we camped by Thousand Island and were content with rafting among the icebergs in the lake, doing a short dayhike to Garnet Lake, chatting up lots of Pacific Crest Trail thruhikers and photographing marmots.

Ugly Sierra hiking views Rafting Thousand Island Lake
Yellow-bellied Marmot Hells yeah!

Some marmots were more interested than others – this one came right up to the camera when Karen was trying to take our photo!


(photo by Karen Crowe)

I absolutely loved this trip; the High Sierra is like miles and miles (and miles and miles) of the Enchantments, and I already want to go back. I’ve been wanting to hike all 211 miles of the John Muir Trail ever since I started hiking, so maybe I can convince JK that we need to do that next summer.

Trip report on

*ok, technically our first stop was a six-hour layover at a sketchy gas station where our rental car broke down and we were approached by an assortment of hillbillies and tweakers who wanted our candy. But let’s try to forget that part of the vacation.

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