Saturday, July 23, 2011

Vacation Part I: California Dreamin'

Today is our first day back home in the Herm. That means one thing - laundry. So, in between loads I'll try and get you caught up on our last 11 days. 

Wednesday after work, we headed down to Prineville, Oregon. About 3 1/2 hours from Hermiston. It was a gorgeous evening. 

So excited to be on vacay! 

The next morning we left bright and early and continued south. There wasn't a highway we encountered that didn't have a "road construction ahead" sign. But, I jumped outta the van and had Eric snap this shot - we were supposed to be following a pilot car through a construction zone. Oops. 

At a pit stop in a very long day of driving 713 miles, Eric had to hug a palm tree. That hippie.

We finally arrived at my Grandpa Lee's in Porterville at about 10pm and promptly hit the sack.
The next morning we woke up and Grandpa took us to the Sequoia National Forest. We went from 500 feet elevation to somewhere around 6,500 feet in elevation. The road we took was very narrow, full of switchbacks and not at all the kind of road a pregnant person who is prone to motion sickness would ideally take. In fact, halfway up the mountain I requested a brief stop in which I lost my entire breakfast. 
We reached a place called Bulch Park and were finally able to explore some of the mammoth trees. Here is Grandpa's trusty Buick next to a fallen Sequoia that you can climb all around and in. 
Eric followed my surprisingly limber grandfather down into the tree. I was still feeling shaky and didn't trust myself to leap down 8 feet into an ancient sequoia tree. This sounds like the beginning of a book I read in the sixth grade... 

Oh, you know, just me by a tree... GIANT! 

The inside of previously mentioned fallen tree. 
Mr. Lougee with 'Lady Alice.' 

Me with Grandpa Lee by one of two beautiful little lakes. 

We took a short hike to these old Indian baths and grinding stones. The Indians ground out holes of various sizes to both bathe in as well as use to grind up various foods and nuts. 

Apparently these rocks have magical powers to bring out the Indian Warrior in you, randomly.

This is Eric entering a tree in which a couple actually lived for many years. Check out the junk in that trunk!

We finished Friday off with a swim in Grandpa's pool and a BBQ - including some of the best corn on the cob I've ever had, as well as vanilla ice cream with freshly picked strawberries. The produce in California is amazing. Really. 

Saturday, we were able to attend the Fresno Temple with Grandpa. It was a really special experience and I appreciated the opportunity to share it with two important and admirable men in my life. 
Saturday, we had another BBQ featuring amazing tri-tip steak, more corn on the cob and delicious potato salad. I also gorged myself on the biggest blackberries I've ever seen! Then Eric and I hit up HP7 Part 2 while the old folks tucked themselves into bed. 

We left Sunday after attending Sacrament Meeting, in which my Grandpa was released as 2nd Counselor in the Bishopric and called as 1st Counselor. We were also able to be there when the Stake President set him apart, and that was neat. We changed our clothes, hit the road and about 30 miles down the highway, we spotted a flea market of some kind. We pulled off and discovered it was this big spanish market. We stayed for an hour, just taking in sites and sounds. 

Fresh fruit.

I tried to convince him to buy a cowboy hat, but he shyfully refused. Bummer, cuz I think he's totally pulling off the reggae, cowboy look. 

I got a churro. 

Eric ate intestine tacos. He's gross. 
 We continued north until we reached Castle Sprags State Park in Northern California. We registered and were then informed that a mother bear and cub have been in and out of the park. Peaceful dreams! 
We chose what we thought was a quaint quiet camp spot. But really it was infested with ferocious, human eating mosquitos. Eric must've gotten 15 bites while setting up the tent.   
Matchy matchy!  
It was a beautiful area, right by Mt. Shasta. 

In the little town nearby, we spotted a cool old "California Theatre." 
Then we caught a few, very few zzzz's as I was terrified of being ripped out of my tent by an angry momma bear - and in the middle of the night a tree came crashing down just above our campsite.

Stay tuned for Part II: Lougee Lovefest


Stephanie said...

Looks like a really fun vacation with time to do a lot of important things and see some beautiful country.

Stephanie said...

Gareld thinks the indian warrior photo almost looks animated. He said "did you see Lexy?". It's a funny shot of you.