Vacation: Only Memories Now


Our vacation is now over. But looking back over the past 10 days, Ingrid and I agreed that it was one of our all-time favorites! We had SO MANY unique experiences -- like taking Benjy and Angie down into one of California's infamous earthquake faults (pictured below), and really felt like we relaxed in a qualitative way (people in our congregation even commented on how "relaxed" we looked).


DSC01258After 7 days in Mammoth Lakes, CA -- we drove up over Tioga Pass (Elevation 10,000 ft.) and through the northern part of Yosemite National Park. After a very L_O_N_G day of driving, we arrived in our state's Capitol (Sacramento), were I played "tour-guide" for my wife and daughter. :D (explanation: over an 8-year period, I helped lead tours through the State Capitol and surrounding locations for students in our Christian school)

Although Governor Arnold didn't clear his schedule to see me, we still had a great time in and around Sacramento, which included some serious wild-blackberry picking (with whipped cream...yum!).


If you'd like to see more of our vacation photos, go here. Since I've come back with a serious "itch" for the trail, I'll probably find a way to carve out a few more days away before summer's out. I guess I'll keep you posted. ;)

Vacation: Surprized by Bears & Hikers Rare!

SecondBearThe day started out with our SECOND bear encounter -- another "teenage" bear, this time chased up a tree by a couple local dogs! The picture quality on the left may not be so great, but all this was quite the shock to my wife -- when the bear scrambled up that tree -- which was only 3 feet away from her as she was walking along the second-story walk-way at the condo complex we're staying at. Whew! How would you feel if a bear startled you like that, being as close to you as that? Well fortunately, I was there with camera in hand (and even captured a quick mpeg of it all)! Well, needless to say, it took awhile for her adrenaline levels to come down, but we were eventually ready to hit the road for our next adventure.

RainbowFalls1The Olivers then joined us for a spectacular hike in the Ansel Adams Wilderness -- this time to "Rainbow Falls" (pictured). What a beautiful day for hiking and... for discussing eschatology (Benjy and I thoroughly enjoyed "getting into it"). Sweet! The weather cooperated with us (afternoon thunderstorms are common in the Sierras this time of year), and after the hike we enjoyed a delicious lunch at the historic Reds Meadow Cafe.

AmyANDGeoffAnd it was right outside the cafe, where we met Amy and Geoff (that's them pictured with me on the left) -- an awesome couple who are hiking the ENTIRE Pacific Coast Trail (which I've mentioned in a previous post, and which runs from Mexico to Canada). They've been on the trail for about two months! They are certainly not your "ordinary" hikers -- it's very rare to meet people as ambitious and successful as Amy and Geoff. If you'd like, you can check out their website and trail journal by going here.

Vacation: Surfing in Mammoth

surfing_in_mammoth_1So how kewl is this?!

Yep, it's Benjy and me surfing in Mammoth Lakes, CA -- internet surfing outside of the Old New York Deli & Bagel Company! And can you blame us? They have FREE wireless internet here! Yippee!

We enjoyed a cafe mocha inside, until they closed-- then moved to the outside seating and still enjoyed the connection (they never turn it off, they told us). We'll be back.

Vacation: Trail to Shadow Lake

Yesiree! DesertPastor has left the Desert (well... only for a week or so), and is vacationing in the High Sierra's of California! Here are some pics from yesterday's 8.5 mile hike from Agnew Meadows up to Shadow Lake (8734') and back. It was an amazing trail (part of the historic Pacific Crest Trail) which journeys through the Ansel Adams Wilderness. I've been dying to get on a hike like this for months...




I never tire of being out in the creation like this. The sights and sounds and smells, the breezes and the vistas -- they all remind me of my smallness and vulnerability, of my "creaturliness" in the presence of the Creator. Incredible!