Saturday, September 17, 2011

Running update

On my way to the gym for that 400th mile
A running update:
Finally got past 400 miles for the year! Woot!
I'm on a good pace to get to 500 miles for the year. If I knew my foot could take it, I'd increase my weekly miles so I could get in 600 miles, which is what I'd really like to accomplish... but I don't think my foot is quite there yet. Ergh.

Follow the details of my running here. I post my mileage and worry incessantly about recurring/lingering aches and pains.

This week's miles fueled by lots of birthday cake:

There may - - or may not - - have been more. I'm not talkin'.

Friday, September 09, 2011

In the garden

My ginger plants are blossoming again! See the slideshow of what's happened so far in the Ginger Blossom set at Flickr, here!

Wednesday, September 07, 2011

Drive up the Coast, part 3: North to the Redwoods!

As much as we wanted to stay in lovely Carmel Valley, we needed to time our travel so that we'd be able to secure a campsite over the Fourth of July weekend.  We pulled up out stakes, had one last breakfast of chocolate and almond pastries, and headed North.

Somewhere along Coastal Highway 1, I wrote: 'Miles and miles of crops', and I know I sighed, “I just love California”. 

No, in all that dreamy sighing, I didn't think to stop to take photos of all that farmland.


We stopped to take photos of Pigeon Point Lighthouse, just south of Pescadero, California, then drove up to the lighthouse and stopped to walk around and take more photos.



From the California State Parks website:
Perched on a cliff on the central California coast, 50 miles south of San Francisco, the 115-foot Pigeon Point Lighthouse, one of the tallest lighthouses in America, has been guiding mariners since 1872. Its five-wick lard oil lamp, and first-order Fresnel lens, comprised of 1,008 prisms, was first lit at sunset, November 15, 1872. The lens stands 16 feet tall, 6 feet in diameter, and weighs 8,000 pounds. It sits in a lantern room that had been constructed at the Lighthouse Service's general depot in New York before being shipped around the Horn. Although the original Fresnel lens is no longer in use, the lighthouse is still an active U.S. Coast Guard aid to navigation using a 24 inch Aero Beacon.


The lighthouse is currently closed to the public, but the grounds remain open.

The lighthouse keeper's housing is restored and operated as a Hostel.

We meandered along the boardwalk and breathed in deeply of the ocean air and peace.

Back on the road, our goal was to get past San Francisco and into redwood country.

We stopped at the Golden Gate Bridge and exclaimed, “Fog! Ha! What are the chances?!?!”
WandJ at GoldenGateBridge

We drove and drove and drove, and finally stopped at Standish-Hickey State Recreation Area in Leggett, CA and secured a campsite. Sure enough, the park brochure proclaimed this as “the Gateway to California's Redwood Country”...

Thursday, September 01, 2011

Drive up the Coast, part 2

We stayed at the campground at Carmel Valley for two nights and enjoyed having a home base from which to explore Carmel and Monterey. We also enjoyed having showers that didn't require tokens or quarters, or were on a timer, as well. You can imagine. Timed/token showers loomed ahead...

We drove into Monterey, found a wonderful bakery and fueled up with more coffee and chocolate-y almond-y pastries. Heaven! We meandered along the coast, basking in the sun after the fog lifted. So many miles of beach and ocean… We were tempted to go ahead and commit to another night at the site or maybe stay even longer. The original plan was to see the Redwoods, then make it up to Olympic Peninsula, to see Mt Rainier and the fields wildflowers. Or maybe even get to Vancouver, to see the Olympic venues. Getting that far north would mean we couldn't linger for too long in any one place, though. And, however far north we reached, we needed to be able to head back home in time for me to teach on Monday, July 11th. We could make it to Seattle, but would need to pace our way up along the coast, that's for sure. But there in Monterey, we thought, just maybe, we could stay put right there and plan on a long, deep dive into the area … very much tempted by the thought of return visits to Paris Bakery.

We drove along from Monterey then decided to do 17–Mile drive, stopping at all the marked stops: Pebble Beach, Spyglass Hill, Bird Rock, the Lone Cypress, Pescadero Point.

From the Pebble Beach Resorts brochure:
“Before the automobile had become a way of life, 17–Mile Drive was navigated by horse-drawn carriages from the famous Hotel Del Monte, now the site of the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey. It was 1881 and excursions through Del Monte Forest and along its spectacular coastline often ended up at a picnic spot at Pebble Beach…”


We ogled the views, the big homes with ogle-able private views, paused to whip up lunch (PB&J, fresh fruit and granola bars). We stopped and watched the otters and seals. We made a pit stop at the Lodge at Pebble Beach. In the lobby, there were the most beautiful, huge, paintings that captured the bright sunlight and deep, leggy shadows on pristine white sand beaches. Or, at least that's how I remember them.

Dumbfounded, I ogled those for a while.

But did I get pictures? I was far too spellbound. Alas!

We (I) quickly found that it was hard to choose between being spellbound with enchantment for the beauty of it all and thinking to slip behind the lens of a camera to actually capture it. Sigh.

We came upon Point Pinos Light House and discovered that the park was closed that day! Oh no! We could always come back; or would we? We could certainly improvise and make the best of it. It turned out that we happened upon several other landmarks that we'd normally spend much more time at, only to arrive to closed gates. We are not so easily deterred, as you can see:

Pt Pinos Lighthouse

Pt Pinos, navigating the closed gate and fence.
The oldest, continuously-operating lighthouse on the West Coast. Lit February 1, 1855.

Carmel Mission

The Carmel Mission, built in 1771 by Father Junipero Serra. Peering wistfully over the stone wall, after closing.

It was about at this point that it occurred to me that one of us was intent on photographing lighthouses and
bridges and the other of us wanted to paint within the garden walls of all the missions along the way. The lighthouses won; the comprehensive tour of California missions will have to wait for another trip. There were plenty of lighthouses and even more bridges, and plenty of mighty fine places to paint along the way, of course.

Carmel River Lagoon and Wetlands Natural Preserve


We stopped at Julie Pfeiffer State Park and hiked to the falls. We were really struck by all the clover (Redwood sorrel?) all around us. We plucked one and managed to carefully stash it away so that it survived the rest of trip.

At about this point, I realized there was no way I was jotting down the spots we'd stopped at quickly or accurately enough. No way that the Campsites of Southern/Central and Northern California maps that we'd brought along showed enough detail to help me recall our path for each day. I would need much more detailed maps to refer to. I tried to take photos of signs at each spot, but even just two days into our trip, and not even out of 'Central' California, oh my, we had so many pictures and so many more wishes to return to take pictures, but not enough of a photographic memory to remember where to return to.


Note to self: Take the time to take better notes.

All the photos from the trip are here.

Tablerunner: Finished!

This post is especially for my quilty/sew-y compadres. You know who you are (but I'll post links to your blogs all the same so everyone else will know. Bwa-ha-ha!).

I've finished the tablerunner for our coffeetable! Yay! Wow, did I really not post photos of this in-progress, here on the blog? You might have seen them in my Flickr stream. See the old quilt for comparison, here.

New tablerunner

All done. Quilted (see, Donna? Straight grid) and bound, with mostly neat mitered binding. There may or may not have been cussing involved with the mitering, I won't say.

Color match

I managed to find matches for the colors in the fabric in our sofa, which certainly says something about either my eye for colors or how much I have in my stash to choose from (again, I won't say). I managed to not buy any additional fabric (or batting) for this project, except for the binding material. Because I'm just very particular about things like that.

Okay! Done!

The BigBear goes, "Oh, man. I'm going to have to be neater about eating...", and I'm thinking, "You 'n me both". Yes, we're slobs enthusiastic eaters. Never mind that he just made a bowl of buttered popcorn. Chances of getting a buttery splotch on the new tablerunner on Day 1? That's what it's there for, right? To be well-used?

I'm in quite the quilting frame of mind, so am putting together tops from pieced blocks that I already have (plenty to choose from there as well) and am hoping to get back into some freemotion quilting.

Stay tuned.