Tuesday, July 31, 2012

and i, i took the path bears traveled by...

hello!  hope everyone's had a fun few weeks.  we've been some hiking fools these last two weekends, and it has been super exciting.  what a beautiful place this Wild West is!  who knew?  yes, i'd always imagined the beauty of The West, but i've always been quite smitten with the ocean.  the Rockies and the Tetons and the rest of the gang are closing in fast on my old friend, the Atlantic.  while that beautiful, peaceful, curling and tumbling ocean will always be a favorite, it has a new roommate in the top slot.  i mean, this is hard to beat.  

two weekends ago we hiked Table Mountain, which put us up at 11,000 feet, and a mile away from Grand Teton.  I've been on the other side of this picture, and seen it up close, but always by car, or a short walk from a parking lot.  This was way different, and I'm so grateful to have been part of such adventure.  We hiked one of two routes to this point--"the steep one"--and it was challenging.  the aspen groves and wildflower meadows are such a great distraction!  the other route is called Huckleberry Canyon and i vote we go that way next time (i'm hoping there actually are huckleberries there).  the steep routes are always worse coming back down.  my knees and ankles protest vehemently!  

anyway, we're hiking up 

and up 

and up, 

a total of about three miles with an altitude gain of just over 3,000 feet, and we come to this:

i know that big old Grand is right over there.  so we make our way  s l o w l y  towards the "table" of Table Mountain (see?) and we're almost there.  once you get to the last part, all you can see is the wall in front of your face.  

you are al. most. there. 

then you take that last step up and -BAM- you see this!

i will never get tired of looking at this.  want to know something cool?  i can see that tall one--Grand Teton--from my neighborhood.  one state over.  120 miles away.  yes.  i love it here.  

but that was so last week.  THIS week we hiked a very long, very exhausting (okay, i was exhausted before i started) but beautiful trail towards Moose Lake along Moose Creek with a stop for lunch at Moose Falls.  

yes, we saw a moose.    
see her?

 she saw us, too, and i was kind of scared, but all is well (i wish moose were as friendly and goofy as they looked.  they're so not).  

there were some cool sights and a 
gorgeous view of the waterfall. 
i mean, we're standing on the edge 
of the canyon, in front of the falls, 
and it's just amazing.  

we had lunch here, at the 6.1 mile mark, then decided to go on further to Moose Lake.  about a mile later we all ultimately decided to turn around (thank you!), but not before we saw what i've been waiting and waiting to see.  

we're going along the trail, all eight of us, and i see meadow to the right, meeting up with a few bushes and the tree line, and green grass and rocks stretching to the left and beyond, up a hillside.  i'm in the back, where i usually am on the trail, and we see the other six of our group stop ahead.  what do they see?  why are they stopped?  they turn and look at us, pointing to the right.  they whisper something.  "WHAT?" i whisper back.  duh.  whispering on the trail.  this can only mean...

...yep, it is.  my first on-the-trail out-of-the-car BEAR.  eeeeeeeee!!!!!
we watched it for a bit, then realized how small it was and got a little nervous about a momma being around, so we headed on for a little while. 

we finally turned around when i announced my exhaustion and apprehension about going along to the end.  you know that voice that just says you need to rethink things?  the one that tells you, out of nowhere, what to do (or not do)?  yeah, always listen to it.  when we got in the car at the end and drove away, we looked back on black skies and a rainy haze.  the thunder started about a 1/2 mile from the end of the trail.  i am so glad we turned back when we did.  around the same time the thunder started, though, so did the wild raspberry bushes.  i got one ripe one and a huckleberry.  between that and the bear sighting, my day was perfect.  

this place is so full of beautiful scenery and amazing things to do, i am always looking forward to the next adventure.  two of my good friends are coming to visit next week and we're off to Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks.  we're camping in Yellowstone.  wish us luck!  

till next time.  

happy trails,

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Busy Afternoons

look at these!  i got a text yesterday morning from my friend Christina (remember Christina with the peach trees?) asking if i wanted to come over and pick raspberries later in the afternoon.  are you kidding?  YES!  see, raspberries are one of those foods i'd consider a weakness.  i must have them.  and they're worse than potato chips--i am not eating just one.  put them with some chocolate concoction and i'm done.  frozen with tequila and lime juice?  um, yes please.  plain and simple, off the bush in the backyard?  that works just as well.  so i went and i got a quart.  that was all i had time for.  i had to be off to make an early dinner so we could meet some friends downtown later.  i would have stayed for hours.  i would've scored some rhubarb, too, but i forgot about it and forgot to take it home.  i was so excited about my berries i got a little tunnel visioned...  oops.  i'm perusing Pinterest for some recipes; in the meantime they are freezing in their single layer on a wax-papered cookie sheet (will Pinterest never stop providing me with terrific hints and ideas?).  what shall i make?  freezer jam?  sorbet?  this summery cocktail?  hmmm.  i'll let you know what happens.  i've been invited back for when the rest are ready to be picked.  i cannot wait!

then this afternoon, i got some stuff done!  i'm feeling very motivated lately--it's so exciting.  my house is clean, things are getting sewn, the grass is mowed, garden weeded, laundry done AND put away, and i made my nephew his birthday present.  oh, and i went and picked up three old windows i found on craigslist for $5 each.  woot!  

i made little D this super cute thing i saw on Pinterest (it never ends!).  it's a Super Hero Fort Kit and it is too fun.  it originally came from meg + andy and i knew instantly i had to make it for him.  this blog has loads of cool things and i appreciate the idea for this kit.  i sewed a D on the front, and am calling it an Instant Fort, but the super hero idea is so cute.  his brother is the one into super heroes, so i thought i'd make it something else for him.  i also added a Where's Waldo book (he's not a reader just yet), some gummy bears and chocolate milk straws.  you've gotta have something to do in the fort!  it turned out okay.  i like her bag and sewing skills better, but it's not bad for my first one.  i need to figure out the drawstring concept.  the inside is what counts, right?  it was fun to make, and i hope fun to get.  maybe he'll let me play in it when i see him next.  

i'm pretty happy about getting two (late) birthday presents done in the same week.  uh, not to mention two blog posts in a row.  wowzuh.  hopefully i can keep up this momentum.  

holding down the fort,

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

it's not too late (is it?)...

good morning.  so seven months have passed since my last post.  HUGE surprise.  lots and lots of activity, exploring, and travel have happened.  i feel like g&m is always in the back of my head, no matter what we're up to, so i haven't entirely neglected my duties.  okay, i have.    those pictures i take "so i can put 'em on the blog" still haven't made it here, and i haven't posted a single word.  but here i am, and i've got loads to chat about.  

i did organize my kitchen and i am proud of that.  after pictures?  none.  mostly i'm afraid if i put after pictures, i'll never keep up my newly organized kitchen space.  well, it was new in january, when i posted about it.  and y'all can forget about the hall closet.   it's finally warm and if i don't have to open it for a scarf or a coat, i ain't opening it.  let's worry about that in the fall, shall we?  i only open it to get out the vacuum, and as long as that fits in there, i'm satisfied.  

in the meantime, there's been two batches of homebrew, a handmade apron,  guinness cake, a garden, travel back to the east coast, a rain-and-snow-filled hike & camping trip, a rafting trip down the Salmon River, a visit to Yellowstone & the Tetons, so much beautiful Idaho scenery, and a ridiculously full "Things to Do" board on pinterest (so many, many ideas!).  i will get on top of all that soon, but i must show you what i did on monday.  

i found an adorable skirt on made, and HAD to try it.  it looked easy enough, and i need easy to get started.  if you haven't noticed by now, i find it extremely hard to start anything.  if i don't start it, i can't fail it.  i have got to end this thought process.  anyway, the little skirts she made are super cute, so i gave it a whirl.  i made three.  woo hooooo!  

my first one!
 i started it sunday, and after completely finishing it,

 i realized i stacked it inside out...
fixed it in the morning, and was motivated to keep on sewing! 

the second skirt--double stitching on the hem!

i'm so proud of this stiching!
bias tape is not my friend, but i won this battle!

they're bouncy and cute, and i hope they fit my little niece.  i can't wait to send them to her.   

till next time,