Sunday, August 1, 2010

Back to the Grind

No, that kid didn't do that for the picture, I'm just a camera phone quickdraw master. And yes, that's a tree that's been made into a tunnel. I don't think I'll ever get over how enormous these sequoias are! It was like walking through some Tolkien-crafted fantasy world! It's quite a humbling experience to be standing at the metaphorical feet of a living thing that's been around longer than the country that claims it.

Adding to the fantastical feeling was the horseback riding trip we took through the sequoia groves. My horse's name was Little Blaze, and we became good friends over the course of the hour-long ride.

Alas, all good things must come to an end, and this morning, our branch of the family packed up and began making its way back across the country, this time with two additional people. It's just as comfy as you'd expect. The trip was a lot of fun, and I'll definitely return someday with my own family. It's given me s lot to think about in terms of my future, but I'll cross that bridge when I come to it. For now, it's back to the daily grind!


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Friday, July 30, 2010

The Geodudes! Bam! POW! Action!

Today, a few of us woke up at arse-crack of dawn to embark on an eleven-mile hike through the mountains where they would trek through brush and brook, gaze out over glorious valleys, and watch the indigenous wildlife. I woke up briefly to wave them goodbye before scratching my posterior and rolling over to go back to sleep.

Those of us who didn't want to commit suicide by overactivity (which is totally a real thing that I didn't just make up) went out and did what's called "geocaching,'' which is where you go out to the brush and look follow a GPS signal to a container (like a box or a cylinder). These can contain anything, from coupons to toys and trinkets. If you want to take something you find, you must put something else into it in return. Our group found a necklace, a small shell, and my new friends you see above: (from left to right) Doctor Gordon, Leo, and Mister Disco. I'll need to find a place for these Geodudes when I get back home in a couple of days. It's been a rewarding trip!

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Thursday, July 29, 2010

Of Mice and Gigantic Trees

Today was wonderful! After a quick breakfast, the troupe drove nearly an hour into the nearby mountains where we explored the Giant Forest among the enormous sequoia trees.

Unfortunately, my phone inexplicably committed suicide half an hour into the trek, so this picture will have to do for now (don't worry, I got some wonderful shots of the world's largest tree which I'll post up at a later time).

This particular monster was called the Buttress. It's estimated to be over 2300 years old and fell without warning (clear, calm, windless weather) on June 3, 1959. Apparently, these hulking things can randomly lose their balance (as was the case here) if the soil around them gets too wet or thin. The Buttress is 272 feet from where its top used to be to where its bottom used to be. That gnarly mass of roots there is about 20 or so feet in diameter. Important note: this was one of the smaller ones. I'll try to post some pictures of my cousins, brother, and I on top of it later so you can get an idea of the scale we're talking about here.

Later on while on a hike the group encountered a small bear just munching his way through an open field. My brother got some fantastic shots of it, which I'll try to remember to post later if I get the chance.

Overall, an absolutely magical day that really hit me hard with a question: Might I want to change my life's course toward being a park ranger of some kind? It's definitely something I need to give serious thought to, and I'll post on it at a later date.

For now, goodnight!

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Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Oh Crap, I Missed a Post

I guess this one will have to encompass today and yesterday, then.

It's only 3pm here, so something might happen later to bring me back to my quota. But for now, not much has happened today. We ate at a restaurant called Riverview that had some excellent sandwiches and now we're driving around taking in the sights.

Yesterday was pretty uneventful, as well. Just a whole lot of driving with few picture-worthy sights.

Unfortunately, I have zero signal up in these mountains, and the WiFi is very skow, so updating is going to be a challenge.

As for pictures, the best I can offer is an adorable upside-down konked-out puppy. You're welcome! (I'll take/post more later...)

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Monday, July 26, 2010

Laughlin Needs To Be Nuked Out Of Existence

Though the sunset was glorious. Today, our caravan made its way from Point A to Laughlin, Nevada. I think this city might be a displaced chunk of Hell.

In case you don't know what Laughlin's like, imagine Las Vegas minus the class, the fun, and pretty much everything good. Basically, Laughlin is Vegas' fat ugly sister. I want this place to become the next major nuclear testing site.

Ugh. There's a curfew in place for everyone under 18, preventing a few members of our party from seeing the greatest work of cinematic mastery (Inception).

All in all, it's not all bad. We bowled a bit, watched some Cosby, and I had half a hot dog. The drive up was fantastic, too. We visited a dinosaur tracks park (pictures later), saw some stunning landscape, and I got to see a magnificent sunset. Tomorrow, California!

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Saturday, July 24, 2010

I Totally Just Jumped Off a Forty-Foot Cliff Holy Crap

Yeah. Forty feet into frigid lake water.

Today, a bunch of us took a trip to Lake Navajo to (I suppose) take the pontoon boat, which I have personally christined the S.S. Cliché due to repeated use of the phrase "I'M ON A BOAT."

We found a forty-foot cliff where a few jet skiers were jumping off between speculative gender accusations. After a dozen grueling attempts to climb onto the cliff, I finally found myself at the top. After a trip to nature's bathroom (to avoid "letting go" mid-flight), I finished psyching myself out and showed that I do, in fact, have a pair and plummeted into the cold water. Apparently, I executed the pencil dive so perfectly that I dropped an additional ten feet into the water. After gathering my wits and making a strenuous swim back to the Cliché, we're heading back to shore, racing the impending rain.

Sooo tiiired...

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Friday, July 23, 2010

Over the River, Through the Woods, Across a Vast Nothingness..

To grandmother's house I go! After missing the Target departure time of 8am by a scant five hours, we finally managed to leave the driveway and have been trucking (vanning?) for six hours practically nonstop so far.

The occasion is an epic event: five cars full of the Hitchcock bloodline will depart from Point A in New Mexico and drive to Point B in northern California via the Nevada desert.

I think what excites me the most about this roadtrip is the prospect of passing through/spending extended amounts of time in most of my favorite environments. Point A is in the stony landscapes of New Mexico, we get to drive through the Nevada desert, and Point B is among the forests and mountains of northern California in the most beautiful part of the country. Can't wait!

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