Mojave in my Heart

From a not-so childlike beginning in New York City to my child inspired world here and now

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Porcupine Flats

Trying to collect my thoughts on last week as we drive along route 1 in California. It’s bumpy and I’m singing panic as we go…
We arrived at Yosemite early Monday from Reno. Reno, surprisingly was a success is more ways than one! I hadn’t expected much from the casino city, but I found a sweet Ashtanga studio, great food, and a casino/smoke-free hotel!
I’m always reluctant to explore the larger more popular national parks, but Yosemite seed to be calling. Just a hop away from the festival in the Sierra Nevada and then another hop to San Francisco, it made senses. I was curious about all the talk of the valley and these granite mounds?! Our visit started with a perfect little hike at tuolomne meadows to Dog Lakes. The girls were amazing and we followed their lead! Their Boulder hikes were paying off. Vertical ascent into the forest? Got it! Meandering meadows? Wonderful. We built some cairns along the way and sat out in a granite boulder at the end of the hike.
We found a great camping site behind a outcropping of boulders at the end of the campground at Porcupine Flats. The girls pulled out their camping chairs, kicked up their heels and got right down to business! Telling stories, creating concoctions and making plans. Stephen and I busied ourselves with setting up camp, but soon had to hurry some more as rain was coming in. Oh how I prefer camping in the desert!
The next day we visited a grove of sequoia. With the girls encouragement, we all crawled through a fallen and hollow sequoia, surviving it’s tapering end. The adventures we have because of our children!

What did we learn from Yosemite and our children those 4 days? Keep it simple! While our ambitious hikes often yield lovely experiences, keeping it slow and simple while hiking and camping is surely an avenue to explore. Again and again. The hours we spent wading in the Merced River in Yosemite’s valley, sitting around the campfire, making trails in the woods behind our tent, snuggling and chuckling in the tent (morning and night) were definitely the most precious and fulfilling.













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Spontaneous Spirits

Mary and Lloyd’s visit was wonderful. We sketched out lots of trip ideas and promised we’d give them a couple days to acclimate before hiking at the high elevation. Of course we ended up
hiking at Chautauqua the very first full day. We explored beautiful Rocky Mountain National Park, rode the carousel in Nederland, celebrated the summer solstice with friends, lazed at the pool, walked Pearl Street (some of us barefoot) and drank coffee. Stephen and I caught a couple concerts, hiked an amazing trail and were blown away by the sparkly night
sky at Rainbow Lakes. We awoke to cool mountain air and a warm campfire. We smiled a whole lot.
The next week was just as full and balanced. Our weeks together took on their own rhythm — Lloyd’s morning walks, Mary and the girls’ bookmaking projects, Stephen and I catching a run or yoga. Baseball time! More hikes! Denver Botanic Gardens, Red Rocks Amphitheater, the pool…Sundays started with the quiet reflection
of Quaker Meeting.
Saying goodbye was difficult. One of the hardest aspects of moving out west was moving away from Gommie and Poppie. It’s been so special to watch their relationship grow these years. It was incredible to see it come into bloom so easily these last weeks . It was comforting to know we will see them in a few months, but still hard to say goodbye.
It wasn’t long after being home that the wheels started turning. Maybe we should embark on a little travel adventure sooner than next week! One of our most adventurous adventures before the girls started with: where’s Panic playing tonight? That morning 7 years ago in southern Utah ended with us in Alpine, California that night. This particular day after dropping the family off at the airport was defined with a similar question and a similar answer. Panic? California in 3 days. We mulled it over, checked out some maps, skipped the beer and started planning our trip to Panic in California. If we’re going to California, why not Yosemite? Aunt Diana? The beach!? See some seals on the coast! Swing back to Utah from Texas? End up in Zion before home?
What a full wonderful unbroken circle!