Santa Cruz Island Backpacking

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santa cruz island-12I’ve had this post sitting in my drafts for months now and yet I still haven’t found the motivation to write what I think needs to be said about this lovely trip we took to Santa Cruz. So for the sake of posting it, I’ll be brief.

I was nervous about this adventure because Santa Cruz island requires not only taking a small boat (I am prone to sea sickness) but also that you carry all your water for your trip. On the other hand, Santa Cruz Island boasted a chance for a secluded backpacking trip and a opportunity to see the native island fox.

We headed out for an overnight stay with friends in the early summer. The hike to the campground was relatively easy, even with the extra water. We spent most of the trip hanging around our campsite relaxing and doing some shorter hikes in the area. There were beautiful views of the sunset from our spot on top of the island.

Before we left camp in the morning we were lucky enough to see some of the petite island foxes. They clearly knew to come and scavenge the campground when people were packing up their stuff. Of course we didn’t feed them but they were not particularly scared of humans at all.

It is amazing how much this island has been able to come back since it was nearly devestated by human meddling. The island foxes are doing well and they’ve even reintroduced the Bald Eagles after successfully relocating the Golden Eagles that took over their territory.

On the boat ride back to the mainland we were treated to seeing a large pod of dolphins that swam along with the boat. It was a magical way to end a little island getaway.


Another year of mediocre blogging has come to an end. I will probably be shutting down the blog soon since I have neglected it so much. If anything, I may start something new but I find that unlikely as well. I’ve loved having this place of my own over the years but it has really run it’s course.

I’ve been struggling with the internet and social media and such in not being able to show a balanced picture of who I am. I want to share personal things but realize this can be damaging professionally. I’ve also become wary of sharing parts of my personal life on the internet. Conversely, more often than not, I don’t even think I even represent myself in the way that I want to be perceived, as a writer and filmmaker.

Besides a few friends, the majority of visits I get here are for old recipes. I still love making vegan food but I’m not interested in developing recipes nor do I honestly have the time to blog about it even if I did (so much time is needed for taking good photos of food!). There are many other talented bloggers covering this territory.

I certainly don’t identify as a blogger any more. There was a time when this was important to me and it was a great way for me to connect with people but that time has passed. I never cared much about having a high ranking blog, just a good one.

This isn’t goodbye exactly. I’ll probably put together a little e-book of the recipes here if anyone is interested in them. I may move some parts of this somewhere else. I have lots to decide. I guess, so long for now and thanks for reading.

Northern California road trip

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scenes-1Sometimes you have a plan but then you are having so much fun that you just keep driving until you find yourself at a massive, beautiful waterfall. It’s so crazy how different Northern California feels than this dry desert I’m so used to. Give me all the moss and hazy mornings and damp air.

Lassen Volcanic National Park

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lassen volcanic-8We visited Lassen Volcanic National Park on a busy holiday weekend and yet it was still quiet and serene. The campsites were full so we headed into the backcountry despite some rain. I pledged to jump in one of the gemstone colored lakes but never found the opportunity. At our camp I hid in our tent to avoid rampant mosquitos and couldn’t sleep despite a long day of driving and then hiking into the wilderness. It was such a treat to find solitude in such a beautiful location without having to hike so high into the mountains as one would in the Sierras. There were so many geothermal areas to explore, we followed the trail of volcanos up through the Cascade range into Oregon.

Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest

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bristlecone pine forest-21There are magical places with ancient creatures that make you remember how much has come before you and how much will come after. We drove high into the mountains where there was still snow despite it being nearly June. Everything felt lonely and still. The forest is a preserve and you can tell the folks who work there are so happy to share this rare beauty with you, to tell you all about the trees and how slowly they grow. The slowest ones live the longest they say, the ones found in the harshest of environments. The oldest living things on earth battling extreme frozen winters and intense wind. Their pine needles alone can live 30-40 years. We searched for the legendary tree considered to be the oldest, its location now a secret. It could have been any of them really, their twisting limbs and stunted trunks. Soon it will snow again and the road will be closed for winter; the trees safe in their desolate slopes.

Carrizo Plain National Monument

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carrizo plain-22Seemingly endless dirt roads and hardly any people. Quiet campsites with perfect sunset views. Pronghorns, tule elk, burrowing owls. Flowers even after spring is over. Salt flats and grasslands. Hawks, bats and kangaroo rats if your lucky.

Things have been quiet here, I know. The heat of summer seems to have melted away my blogging motivation. That and being caught up in various projects. I’m not making promises but I’ll at least catch up with things. Maybe everything will change. I intended to just post these photos and then I got excited about writing something so we’ll see how this all goes.