Monday, July 13, 2009

to the mountains

Thursday my husband said he'd like to get one more mountain climb in before he leaves for the Grand Tetons tomorrow. A practice climb, is good idea since we live at sea level and he needed some time at altitude...

...I thought it would be a good change of pace since all I've seen is our couch this past month! I love road trips, even if this was going to be a quick one... Thursday after he was done working we took off for the Eastern Sierras,

and Mt. Whitney...

...the drive is about five hours from our house, I love passing through the Mojave Desert and a beautiful place called Red Rock, we camped there once and climbed and hiked all over. No one was there now, the temperatures in the high 90's...

...we arrived at 11pm. And by 11:15 we were asleep. Our bed was pads and sleeping bags in the back of our open pickup truck. Did I mention that the Whitney Portal car park is an Active Bear Area? yes. There are signs everywhere to empty your car of food so as not to entice the bears. There are pictures on display at the Whitney Store of the damage these hungry bears do. Like peeling off the tops of cars or pushing through windows to get inside. There are bear boxes available to put all your stuff in, even toothpaste, so the bears won't come.

We do this.
Plus, I say a little prayer.
Don't get me bears.

Amen. at one am my husband got up to leave. He was climbing the mountaineer's route, at one am, by himself, in the middle of the night. And...there isn't really a trail.
Most of the way anyway.

But he said "There is a full moon".

I think my husband is very brave. And a little kookoo..., when he left and it was pitch dark (you definitely could not see the moon where we were parked, so many pine trees). I got a little nervous. So into the cab I went with the sleeping bags and rolled up the windows, locked the doors,
put the keys in the ignition, just in case,

and fell back asleep... the morning, climbing out of the truck at around 6am, it was time to go have a look around! I was alone, everyone else was already up the trail, save for a few late starters... is a map of Mt. Whitney. It used to be the tallest mountain in the United States, until Alaska joined the union and then Mount McKinley took that distinction. Now Whitney is tallest mountain in the contiguous U.S. Still pretty smart heh?

Most people go up the yellow trail. My husband did it with me once because I didn't want to go up the crazy way. The way he likes to go. That would be off to the right of the yellow...

...I was so happy to be here, but the altitude was affecting me,
maybe since I still feel out of sorts...but how could I just sit in the car when there was so much to see? I compromised and walked really really slowwww... this tiny little lake across from the Whitney store. I saw two fishermen and smiled. Good, I thought, now the bears have a choice. No, not that the fishermen would get eaten! The fish! Bears love fish right?

...then continuing on to this waterfall. It is so loud it sounded like a freight train, but it's good to see all the streams full. Doesn't this look like a good place to sit and think? or just sit and drink your morning tea?

...or pray? I sent out many little prayers for everyone I could think of, a friend who is sad after losing a best(four legged) friend, another who is in pain from a horrendous accident, a friend who wishes for a job that'll give her the life she dreams of, a friend bonding with the newest member of her family,a friend struggling to find out what ails them (no, not me!) my kids, all five who are stepping off into new adventures,

my husband up on that mountain, oh dear!

...then, I took myself back to our truck to rest and wait for husband. It wasn't long, at exactly 10am, he was back. We lay in the back of the truck looking up at the trees and told each other about each of our adventures. His was much more exciting, I'll admit. But the time we shared in that morning, looking up, talking, listening and just being silent,

that was the best of all...

...heading back home, waving good bye to the mountain...

...and the bears...

... sorry Val, Smokey is the only one we saw!...

...passing thorough the Alabama Hills, the list of movies made here is a mile long ...

... to the town of Lone Pine. There is a Museum of film history, and a
Lone Pine Film Festival, also here in Inyo County is the home of the Paiute and Shoshone Indian Reservations ... quick detour to the Owens river... heh? my husband and one of my sons paddled this for miles...

...leaving Lone Pine now...

...just as soon as we stop for a yummy lunch, see the cowboy hats hanging over the bar? This quick trip takes us through the mountains, to the country,

to the desert and finally back to the sea..

...I searched through every sugar packet for my favourite saying (while my husband rolled his eyes), do you like this one? for more lovely sayings go to ...

...dirty windshield going home photos... matter, it always looks so good to me...

Have a great day whatever you do!

love, lori


  1. WOW! What a wonderful trip you had! You are so lucky to live in such a beautiful country, and that special quality time with your hubby - so nice!
    Thanks so much for sharing!!!
    Have a nice time too!

  2. I am glad to hear that you were able to travel a bit.
    I had forgotten about Mt Whitney... my mother and I used to go to the Sequoia National Park... Thank you for the virtual trip, your pictures are gorgeous!

  3. Love Mt. Whitney views, Lori. I've never been there in person though I've thought about going. Your yellow trail is about my speed too...though yellow doesn't mean afraid, does it? I'm glad the bears didn't get you or your husband! What courage! <3

  4. we really are sisters in a million different little ways...the trip you did, that is ME, so very me and Stellan. I am your little soul sister, I am following in your footsteps literally. Like your experience at LAX and the monk and hearing the kids etc all those years ago....oh and you will love this one...shhhh...but i have heard two more little voices calling out to me....which in the end would make me michelle x 5 .... LOL .... see, literally following in your I am shaking my head in disbelief...actually, i am a total believer. I believe in You and Me and everything happening for the right reasons, and I believe in trails that led us to people we need to connect with....which is how and why I found you.
    love to you and Chuck

  5. Lori, Thanks for taking us along on your trip.Must say your husband is indeed a brave man!!:)The images are superb and what a beautiful place.

  6. It must have been an exciting and refreshing trip looking at all the beautiful places in the pictures.

  7. Beautiful country and a great trip! Your husband may have had the most adventure but your tour of this lovely area did the rest of us good. Thanks for that and the all the pics!

  8. You are so good at these picture stories. Beautiful photos, gentle tales... they would make great little picture books. Thanks for another adventure.

  9. Those photos make me yearn for the Sierra Nevadas...

    hope you are feeling better.

  10. What a terrific trip you had! I love the Sierra mountains! We are heading out tomorrow for about an 8 mile hike near where we live. Sometimes I just have thank my lucky starts to live in such a scenic hiking area! As for bears, our friend said her son woke up to a bear on top of him, while sleeping at their cabin in Twin Lakes over the 4th. They were on an upper deck, where our mutual children always slept growing up, and he woke up to a small bear on top of him! He yelled and it ran off. But I always worried about the candy they would often take to bed with them when they were little. The glow in the dark suckers, and such. Now I know, the worry was rational! (We always created a barrier on the steps leading to the upper deck, but now we know how ineffectual that was!)

  11. Lori your pics are superb and bring your stories to life for me. When I look at your fabulous photography, I realise one day I WILL come and visit you to experience it all for real!
    Thank you so much for sharing and an even bigger thank you for including me in your prayers.

    lots of love

  12. so beautiful - i am not sure if I have the guts to start a hike at 1am in the bear country, but kudos to Chuck - I hope to visit the area one day.

  13. Dear Lori,

    Thank you for your beautiful compliment. I am touched and agree that travel forms part of someone's character.

    And what an adventure you have had now! A short road trip to the most beautiful mountains, your time after the climb where you just talked and listened sounds lovely.

    Where is that beautiful sea in the last picture?

    If someone could bottle your positivity, they would be blessed :)

  14. What a really great post of your trip and lovely pictures as well.

    Wizz :-)

  15. Absolutely superb photographs. A really lovely post and a quite exciting blog.

  16. Oh my, you're both very, very brave! Great pictures, and lovely narration.

  17. yey! i love picture stories! that one was a good one. :)

  18. Hmmm! Canoeing with Rhinos, parading around Elephants and Giraffes, sidestepping 8 inch spiders and you are worried about a couple of little Teddy Bears. Just give the cuddly little Pooh Bears a big ol' jar of Honey and it's all good! Seriously though, those were some amazingly beautiful pictures. I could almost imagine the feeling of inhaling the crisp fresh air surrounding you. I do have to agree though, it sure beats parking your butt on the couch. Not only that, but you included so many people in your prayers too! What a lovely gesture.

    Lori Ann you are a special person for sharing so much of your life and adventures with us all. It is indeed a pleasure to witness people like you and your husband enjoying so much of what life has to offer them. I hope you are also having some success in finding out what has been ailing you. Thanks again for being such a Dear Friend.

  19. Michi,

    Thanks, we really are grateful to live here. But I think where you live looks just as nice! Someday I'll see it for myself ☺

    Thank you so much. I love those trees, the sequoia's! It probably hasn't changed too much since you were there last. You must have some good memories!

    Oh no! there is nothing yellow about the trail, it may be tamer but it's still a thrill. The view's from up above are spectacular. I hope you can go someday.

    Crazy huh? still shaking my head.
    love love love,
    all love little sis♥

    Thank you again for your kind comment, I am so glad you enjoyed this post, it gives me great pleasure!

    Even though we weren't there long, it is always good to get in those magical mountains. Thank you for your comment☺

    Yes! you are right, It's so pretty up there, whatever you do it's good. Something for everyone!

    Thank you. I used to do that with paper and paint (little books) a long time ago. Now this is so much fun with a digital camera(my first, i still shoot mostly film)the posts just make themselves almost. Instant!

    thank you so much, I'm trying to get well! You've been to the Sierra's? Isn't it so beautiful?

    Have a great hike! The weather is probably perfect too...
    Those bears are so smart they can smell through plastic, ice chests, anything except a bear box. Have you seen them? its a canister that you can rent(or buy)it's the only thing they can't get in!

    When you come I can be your guide.

    I did do it once, but we were part of a group so it made it a little less scary I think! i hope you do get a chance to see this part of the state, it's really beautiful. To see more check out the list of movies made in the area, it's fun to see the mountain in the background!

    Thank you, what a dearheart you are. I really appreciate your kindness towards me.

    That is the Pacific Ocean, between Santa Barbara and Ventura county. About 5 miles from where we live.Everytime I see it on our way back home I breathe a deep sigh.

    You would have loved it!
    Dave King,

    Oh Thank you for visiting my blog and for the very lovely compliment!wow ☺

    THaT is such a nice thing to say, thank you very much. I really am glad you enjoyed this.

    I love picture stories too! maybe you could do one(hint hint ☺). thanks!

    Ok, so s******s and Bears are the two things that scare the life out of me, haha!
    Thank you for your kind words, I always appreciate them. Of course it is my pleasure to share, it is so much more fun that way! my dedicated Dr. is working overtime to figure it out...soon(finger's crossed!)

  20. Lori your blog is simply one of the best in my eyes.... it's uplifting, informative and fun loving.
    I thoroughly enjoyed the road trip.
    I'm not sure whether you guys are brave or kookoo... but either way I'm glad you're who you are.
    Once again... thanks for all that you share
    xx Ribbon

  21. Lori
    I absolutely love the quote on the sugar packet.
    I've never seen that before and visited the site.
    Very lovely concept.

  22. Fantastic Lori, I was just wandering slowly round with you.
    And I get to show off cause I've been to Lone Pine to!!
    Wonderous photos. Good to see your able to go out and about again even if you have to take it slow.

  23. Fantastic and awesome. Just found you through David.

  24. Great images.

    (And, having faced - and photographed - a charging grizzly a few months ago, I hear the concern in your voice.)

    I think it was before you started reading my blog, but you can see the photos, posted live from the Yukon, on a post titled ``G is for Grizzly" around September 1 or 2, from memory.

  25. Fabulous post and incredible pictures. California is so beautiful, so diverse and ... so DIFFERENT than your pictures from the African continent.

    Your husband is a true adventurer, a brave soul which also means, yes, a little bit koo koo.

    Thanks so much for the prayer Lori. It really means a lot.

    Glad the bears had other things to do while you were there. I've seen first hand how strong they are, and how smart, when I was camping further north in the Sierra. But that's another story.

    Hope you get back on the couch and continue your recovery.


  26. Beautiful story, stunning images - what a staggeringly gorgeous corner of the world! Thanks so much for sharing - and I'm glad the bears didn't come and whisper sweet nothings in your ear! xxx

  27. What a wonderful journey! I came over from David's authorblog. Congrats on the Post of the Day Award!

  28. Good gracious Lori, it's like a tonic coming over to your blog. Breathtakingly beautiful again! And reminds my of our hiking days in Canada where I saw a bear, the poor thing was terrified.

    Thank you for your hugs, they helped a lot xxx

  29. Ribbon,

    Thank you for the absolutly lovely comment. You know of course I feel the same about yours. If only the world could be run like blogworld. Full of understanding. And nice sugar packets. ☺

    That is really cool that you've been to Lone Pine. Did you take any photos? I imagine it's not changed much in 20 years, it's still a very small town. Thanks for wandering with me. ☺

    Welcome and Thank you for such kind words!

    Thank you. I found it, your post. Good God.Great you got a shot!
    You are much better than me. While being charged by an elephant i forgot my camera exsisted! And when the hippo charged I was stuffing it in a dry bag because I thought we were going in the water!

    Tell your bear story, I want to hear! sending hugs (from the couch)

    Wow, thank you. California is a beautifully diverse place, if you get out of the city! ☺

    cute name! Thank you so much for the kind words. wow, post of the day?

    I am really glad to hear that, we can all use a little diversion sometimes.Even though I am glad there were no bear siteings this trip! I do hope the kids are feeling better?

  30. wow! wonderful trip it seems. a little chuckle at the prayer for bears. beautiful pics! congrats on the POTD mention.

  31. Lori Ann thank you for the prayers.

    Now I have to tell you, you amaze me. How the heck do you get the stamina to do all these things.

    I sometimes can barely get my ass out of a chair.

    You are living a good life and I love that because for some reason when you write I feel like I am on the adventure along with you.

    I must admit I thought for sure a bear was going to grab your leg at any time.

    I hope your grandchildren are all doing well.

    Love Renee xoxo

  32. Thank you Brian,

    haha! bear prayers are essential up there!
    Dear Renee,

    Thank God you were wrong about the bears I mean!!

    Stamina? it's a state of mind. That, and marrying a younger man, hee hee.
    my grandbabies are having a fantastic summer vacation, isn't being a granma great??!

  33. Hi Lori!
    I tell my daughter that my dream is to live in the US just to travel, take pictures from these beautiful landscapes and eat different food... Who knows some day we´ll meet on the road?!!!
    Your post just makes me want more and more... what a wonderful trip you had with your husband.Thank you for sharing! Have a beautiful Friday!

  34. Hi ~ Thanks for allowing us to travel with you. I have never been to your part of the world - some day I hope to be able to head west. Great photos, and perfect words to describe the entire adventure. Congrats on POTD !

  35. You should have won POTD! Well you should have! Bah!
    Wonderful,captivating post! ~ but a little scary again, for a sooky like me. I was in the cab with you, guarding the doors while you rested.Yep,and then ~ drinking my hot tea by the water.....because bears like fish right??? love to you as ever.xx♥

  36. Hi Mina,

    Oh I do hope you get to do just that, and yes! I hope we do meet, wouldn't that be something!

    Thank you very much, that is so kind of you! I hope you do make it out to the westcoast, there is so much to see.☺
    thanks Natsy,
    sounds like you need the rest more than i darling, I wish i could help you out, why do we have to live so darn far apart???

  37. Gosh, Lori, that was a beautiful trip. I kinda felt like I was right there.

    Wishful thinking, I guess. I haven't been out of the flatlands in forever.

    Years ago when driving through the Smokey Mountains, we had to stop (unplanned) and sleep over in a park. Two gals and a guy. The macho guy said, "Oh, I think I'll just sleep out on the ground."

    "Oh no," said the gals, "there might be bears."

    "Rubbish," said macho man.

    We all snuggled in...well, at least us gals did. About 45 seconds later there is this frantic knock on the car window.

    "Hurry up." said a fraidy voice, "I hear something out here. Let me in!"

    Macho, smacho.

  38. Haha Pat!

    That is a funny story, he sounds like a sensible guy. The flatlands are beautiful, but I bet a change of scenery would be good too!

  39. Wonderful to re-visit Whitney through your eyes after just summit-ing last week. Saw Chuck this morning and he told me about the blog, so here I am. I just took an amazing journey to Whitney and then north for a week---1st time away from the boys. Hope you are on the up and up and up! Love. Lark


xoxo lori