Adventure & Hiking

Pattern Inspiration in San Francisco

On Wednesday, I went to see a friend in San Francisco. We didn't have much of a plan, but we were thinking something like lunch and checking out the sunset at Land's End. My friend Gabby is a crazy-inspiring person. She has a lot going on in her life right now and actually kind of always does as a traveling, swimming (she just swam to Alacatraz!), pilot who is starting a company with her man. The day was like a breath of fresh air for the both of us. I won't write too much since the pictures speak for themselves. 

Mile Rock Beach, Land's End

Mile Rock Beach, Land's End

A-maze-ing rock pattern

A-maze-ing rock pattern

Gabby walking through the maze.

Gabby walking through the maze.

Mussels

Mussels

More mussels... and look at that hole pattern in the sand too.

More mussels... and look at that hole pattern in the sand too.

Sand lines with golden hour lighting.

Sand lines with golden hour lighting.

More sand lines. 

More sand lines. 

A tree-like pattern. 

A tree-like pattern. 

Fractals, dude. It always amazes me how this pattern exists so commonly in nature. Blood vessels, trees, lightning, snowflakes, this repeating pattern occurs everywhere. 

The view of the Golden Gate from Mile Rock Beach. You can see the mussels on the rocks here. 

The view of the Golden Gate from Mile Rock Beach. You can see the mussels on the rocks here. 

Never a bad sunset here. 

Never a bad sunset here. 

The sunset getting more ridiculous.

The sunset getting more ridiculous.

View of the moon from  Top of the Mark

View of the moon from Top of the Mark

We ended the night at Top of the Mark, the 19th story bar and lounge at the top of the Mark Hopkins Hotel. We wanted to sit with a view of the moon and at first we couldn't see it. After a few minutes, we saw it peek out from behind this building.  We drank martinis while a jazz pianist played. Of course, the picture doesn't quite do it justice.

Such a good day and night.

Cabin Weekend in Tahoe

Ah, Lake Tahoe. Bright blue, shimmery and clear... well no, not when the forecast was cloudy and rainy. Last Friday, I left for Tahoe with my boyfriend and his family for his dad's 60th birthday. We all knew it was going to be cooler and and raining, so we packed up our coats and headed to this cabin in Tahoe City. It was a great weekend with a great family (only bits and pieces of them shown here).

Feeling pretty lucky knowing I would be here all weekend. 

Feeling pretty lucky knowing I would be here all weekend. 

I had felt a little worried about going away for 4 days when I have a lot of work to do, but I surrendered myself and just enjoyed the weekend. It was pretty easy to relax here!

Quite a dreamy cabin, huh?

Quite a dreamy cabin, huh?

Despite the weather, I knew my bag of paints and book would be of use for the weekend. We were able to go for a run the first day since it was cloudy, but not yet pouring rain. Just as we left, a mama bear and her cub walked up behind the cabin! It was my first time seeing bears in the wild. In all my years of camping, I had heard them at night at campsites, but never seen them. It was super cool! I knew I had to paint it. 

Gouache painting of bears at the cabin.

Gouache painting of bears at the cabin.

Dinner time!

Dinner time!

We ate well all weekend, being sure to include salads with all our decadence! Everyone made such good food. The younger girls put together the beautiful pine cone floral centerpiece gathered from outside. Happy birthday to Victor! 

The girls "acting natural."

The girls "acting natural."

There was a covered porch swing!

Love that A-frame!

Love that A-frame!

And a pool table upstairs!

Chess!

Chess!

The rainy and sunny road south.

The rainy and sunny road south.

After a couple days at the cabin, we headed to South Lake Tahoe to have brunch and check out the area. I had never been to this part of the lake before. It's a lot more crowded than north Tahoe, but still nice. It was a rainy day, but still so beautiful. 

Gloomy weather in South Tahoe.

Gloomy weather in South Tahoe.

And the clouds came back in! Personally, I was ready to get back to the cabin. I was so inspired to work!

So many trees...

So many trees...

I am ready to go this week! Surrounded by trees, wonderful people, rain and being in an A-Frame all weekend gave me a little boost for my work week:)

 

 

 

 

Yosemite Part One

In March of this year, I won the permit lottery to climb Half Dome at Yosemite. Last year, I wanted to accomplish some sort of grand physical feat. This year, after talking with my friend Rachel about hiking Half Dome, we both applied for a permit. I applied early the first day applications opened and selected a few full moon dates. A month or so later, I received the good news that we would be hiking Half Dome for the Harvest Moon. it is fairly difficult, though many do it and it doesn't require any expert training. I imagine you can't be too scared of heights and you have to be able to hike 14 strenuous miles. 

An old book and a painting from when I was a kid.

An old book and a painting from when I was a kid.

When I was a kid, my parents would take me to the bookstore and I was allowed to pick out one book. One time, I picked out the above Sierra Guide. I have perused this book since I was about 8 years old and the cover picture of El Capitan has stayed with me. I also painted this picture as a teen with some cheap paint on board. Still, as a child or adult, I never visited Yosemite, fearing the endless tour buses and crowds I had heard about. I felt I had seen enough Ansel Adams photographs and could just leave it to my imagination. 

Nick at El Capitan

Nick at El Capitan

Soon after entering Yosemite, you see El Capitan. It's no wonder that everyone uses the words majestic, magical and captivating when they describe Yosemite. It really is. All the Yosemite photos in the world can't capture actually being there. We stayed at Upper Pines Campground, which was a bit crowded but really it's the company and surround landscape that matters.

Rachel, very happy to be in Yosemite.

Rachel, very happy to be in Yosemite.

Rachel had warned us there was a fire last week in Yosemite. There was also one that started the day before our arrival. Being the positive group we were, we allowed fate to decide whether we would actually be able to climb Half Dome...well, actually the rangers decided by closing the trail gate. When we were informed of the closing, I can't say I wasn't disappointed. I had been looking forward to this for 6 months! 

The mystical Yosemite Valley

The mystical Yosemite Valley

We decided to do the the Four Mile Trail as an alternative since it would be a 9.4 mile roundtrip hike. As you can see the views are spectacular. Just layers of rock and layers of trees under a gigantic sky.

Above the valley.

Above the valley.

Getting higher.

Getting higher.

And even higher.

And even higher.

We saw a double rainbow over the valley while walking through some rain. It was one of the most beautiful views I have ever seen. The rain cooled us down as we pushed ourselves to the top. The thunder made me just a little nervous, but luckily it cleared up.

We're giddy to be here.

We're giddy to be here.

People on the trail laughed at my reaction after coming around the bend and seeing this view of Half Dome. It sort of appeared magically and I couldn't get over its beauty. 

Another surreal peak of Half Dome.

Another surreal peak of Half Dome.

Um, yeah.

Um, yeah.

Teddy Roosevelt and John Muir spent 4 days up here at Glacier Point. I am thankful this park is preserved.

3,214 feet above Yosemite Valley

3,214 feet above Yosemite Valley

Hahahaha. We convinced Bryan to do this. Such a good sport.

Hahahaha. We convinced Bryan to do this. Such a good sport.

The whole crew.

The whole crew.

Bryan and I hiking back down. 

Bryan and I hiking back down. 

Glacier Point from the valley. Yup, we hiked that.

Glacier Point from the valley. Yup, we hiked that.

Camp dinner with my sweet crew. Utterly grateful for to have these people in my life.

Camp dinner with my sweet crew. Utterly grateful for to have these people in my life.

Aquarius and the moon

Aquarius and the moon

When my friend Gabby looked at her sky app, we found that our sign, Aquarius, was on the full Harvest Moon. How perfect is that? We're definitely going to apply for the permit lottery again next year. I had hoped they would give me other options, but I was sent a refund the day after we were supposed to hike. Yosemite was as stunning as I imagined and then some. It was more populated than I am used to for camping. I also thought frequently of the original Miwok who were booted from the area and how odd it was to see tour buses and campgrounds of people spending time enjoying Yosemite in their place. It is sacred and beautiful land and I felt it to be a privilege to be there. 

Stay tuned for part two tomorrow. 

 

Labor Day Weekend

It felt like all I did was work this Labor Day weekend, but between a scenic hike and working on new art for a show, it didn't feel like work at all. 

The crescent moon over some gold fringe. 

The crescent moon over some gold fringe. 

First off, we celebrated a good friend's birthday. This was the only photo I got, but I thought that it fit the relaxing mood of the weekend. His girlfriend did such a lovely job decorating.

Berry Creek Falls trail

Berry Creek Falls trail

We hiked to Berry Creek Falls on Sunday to prepare for hiking Yosemite's Half Dome next weekend (still can't believe I will be doing this!!!). It was a 10.5 mile hike. I saw the warning sign that it would be strenuous, but it felt pretty easy for the first few miles. By the end, I felt a few blisters and my legs were shutting down. Maybe my tough workout the day before didn't help things or the fact that we finished the hike in 4 hours roundtrip, not the 6 posted. Still, I love the feeling of a grueling hike. 

Big Basin pines.

Big Basin pines.

I love the curve of the tree line above. It was an incredibly beautiful California day on Sunday. Perfectly blue, perfectly sunny.

Berry Creek Falls

Berry Creek Falls

At Berry Creek Falls, we saw butterflies fluttering around and of course a rainbow arced in front of it. We were expecting a unicorn next. 

Bryan tending to the map.

Bryan tending to the map.

We had lunch at this tiny waterfall. I lay back on the ground becoming one with nature or something like that. Of course when I sat up, my tangled hair was covered in twigs. Oops. 

A tiny Rachel amongst the green and blue.

A tiny Rachel amongst the green and blue.

I love taking pictures of peepholes in the canopy of trees. There is something about this color combo that reminds me of being a kid exploring the Santa Cruz Mountains. 

The colors of decaying leaves are something else. 

The colors of decaying leaves are something else. 

The Beach House, work in progress.

The Beach House, work in progress.

And a new painting for my show at Seeing Things Gallery that opens on Friday, September 5th. I spent a lot of time this weekend working on this one. Hope you all had a great Labor Day weekend!