Road Trip #2: Chester, CA

Tomorrow morning at 4:30am T and I will head back out to Hwy 395 and take it to Chester, CA to visit some friends for Fourth of July weekend. T will be doing a lot of fishing and I am not sure what I will be doing...

Google Maps said the drive will take us 13 hours.... that seems like a long time. Here is the map.

How to open a wine bottle with a shoe

My mom sent me this. No need to speak French to understand what is going on. Good skill to have for my/your next dinner or wine and cheese party.

How to open a wine bottle with a shoe.


Scenes from my life

This is the iPhone that I was talked into getting less then 24 hours after I purchased it. It is moments like these that make me almost regret decisions I make.

The short story is that I use the iPhone when I run to track my mileage with the Nike+ app. The bad news is that the app does not work on the new phone. The even worst news is that the dog jumped up and knocked it out of my hand on said running expedition when I was trying to take a picture of said dog.

The good news is that a great guy at Apple replaced it for me. I was really lucky to get him as a service rep. Some of the people in the back were giving him a hard time about not charging me anything. He saved my faith in Apple, and made me not regret my decision to buy a new phone.... even though I almost did.... for a second.

Father's Day with the family

For Father's Day my sisters and I made dinner for our Dad and his girlfriend Jan, Uncle J, and Uncle Tim and his girlfriend of one week Marilyn. For years we have invited Uncle J to this event and call it Father's and Uncle J day. He has no children and we have a great time hanging out. We usually spend the evening eating and drinking and laughing. I love hanging out with him and my Dad and my sisters. Jan, my Dad's lady friend has been in the picture for the last 5 years and she is a fun addition to the bunch.

This year my Dad invited his oldest brother Tim to join in the festivities. Uncle Tim has been out of the picture for a few years and has started showing up to family events. I was fine with him coming but two days before Father's Day my Dad called me to say that Uncle Tim was bringing his girlfriend of one week to Father's Day dinner.

Ummmm, what? He is bringing his girlfriend? To Father's Day? Not cool.

My Dad and I chatted about this, saying they would probably be broken up before Sunday (Uncle Tim is not one to date the same lady for long) and we tried to laugh it off.

Secretly, well not too secretly, I was a little annoyed. My Dad invited Uncle Tim because Uncle Tim said he wanted to get more involved with the family but getting more involved with the family does not mean bringing a date to Father's Day. Especially if your nieces are the ones throwing the party and your invite did not say PLUS ONE!

My sisters and I decided to let it go and just have a good time. Everyone showed up and we had a great dinner. Marilyn, my Uncle Tim's date was nice and funny and we all got along.

The next day my Dad called to tell me what a great time he had and how great the evening had been. A little into the conversation he asked me if I was sitting down. It turns out my Uncle Tim had broken up with Marilyn on the way home from dinner! Next time Uncle Tim, no PLUS ONE for you....

Here are some pictures from the evening.
The sisters with our Dad. He is wearing a "Nice" shirt...


The table with the fancy napkins the Little Sister made

Laughing around the table


395: Food

And we are home....

It has taken a little bit of time to get back into the swing of things. T went back to work the day we got home but both of us having been pulling late nights and sleeping in (if you call 7am sleeping in) for a few days. It is funny because when we were camping we would go to bed when it got dark (about 9pm) and wake up between 5-6am. Usually I go to bed around 9pm and wake up at 5am. Sleeping in to 7... well that is unusual. It looks like we might be returning to our schedules... slowly.

I am going to post some pictures of the food we ate on the trip. I was in charge of planning for food and did pretty well. In a previous blog post I might of mentioned how I need a plan and there did not seem to be one, other then to fish. I might of mentioned that T doesn't read this blog..... So something funny happened a few nights ago. I guess T's dad was following the blog and said something to T about the pictures I posted (Hi Hector if you are still reading!) and T decided to check it out. So we are in bed, me sleeping and T surfing the web when all of a sudden he goes, "I didn't know you didn't want to go on the trip." What? (I am sleeping remember). "In your blog..." You are reading my blog? "Well Hector was following it.." Yea, I was not excited about going. "Did you have a good time?" You know I did. "I know, I was just checking." Does this mean you are going to be reading my blog? "Maybe...".

So I might have one more reader.... but I am not holding my breath.

On to the food! I love FOOD. Here are some of the things we ate on the trip.

Trout fresh from the stream on the first night

Bacon, eggs and potatoes

Rib-eye steak with blue cheese, baked potato and corn


Our kitchen table at Bishop Park


Brownie Pie from Lake Sabrina

Apricot Pie from Lake Sabrina

Beer, T drank a lot of beer

We ate well and had a great time. I am looking forward to more adventures along Hwy 395!


395: Day 9-11

It was SNOWING when we woke up this morning! Crazy. It was not cold enough for the snow to stick to the ground where we are camping but it was kind of weird. Snow, in June.

The last few days have been low key with me really trying to catch up on my homework. We were supposed to head home today but somehow T has talked me into staying two more days. I told him I would stay if I could have the truck keys and park myself somewhere with internet for the day. So today I have been at the Looney Bean with free WIFI for the last four hours. Not really how anyone wants to spend their vacation, but it means we get to stay for 2 more days. T owes me, big time.


395: Day 7-8 White Mountains and Bristlecone Pine Forest

On day 7 of our trip the camp host Viki took me into Bishop when she had to run some errands while T hiked to Lamark Lake with Steve. I needed a break from the hiking…

Viki took me to lunch at the BBQ place on Main Street and showed me the used bookstore. It was a nice little trip to town and I feel like I know a lot more about Bishop.

Day 8 found T and I up early and driving to the White Mountains (the mountain range on the other side of the Owens Valley) to go to the Bristlecone Pine Forest. The White Mountains are very different from the Sierra Mountains. While the Sierra jut up violently into the sky, it seems like the White Mountains roll their way to heaven. Very different, but just as amazing. One cool thing about the White Mountains is that you have a great view of the Sierra. Here is one of the vistas.

We went to the Bristlecone Pine Forest and decided to drive to the Patriarch Grove. What a drive! It was off-roading most of the time but a 4x4 vehicle is not required. The views of the Sierra are amazing. We stopped a lot on the way to the Patriarch Grove. When we finally got there (it took about 5 hours from the time we left) we had to hike the last mile in because the road was closed. The Patriarch Grove is at 11000 feet. Here are some pictures.


395: Day 6 Hiking Lake Sabrina and Piute Pass

Today I hiked 9 miles. NINE MILES!!!! What was I thinking?

The day started with a hike up at Lake Sabrina. It was 3 miles round trip and nice. The aspen trees are just starting to bud up here. Here are a few pictures.

Next we ran into Steve (the camp host’s husband) and he asked us if we wanted to hike to Piute Pass. Sure T said and we were off. We hiked three miles up until the snow stopped us and then hiked back those same three miles. Which equals 6 miles, plus three earlier in the day equals 9 miles. Is this the good time to mention I forgot my hiking boots? Needless to say I am very tired right now but it was a great, beautiful day.


395: Day 5 Bishop and Buttermilk Road

I have finished The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and am back to camping! Well, almost. Today we went into Bishop and did laundry and checked out the town. It was HOT in Bishop.

On the way out of town we took the long way home on Buttermilk Road. This road is not recommended if you do not have 4x4 drive. It took us about three hours to get home. Because I know only myself and the middle sister can truly appreciate what it is like to go on a road trip with T, I though I should explain what it is like. He stops. A lot. To take pictures or just to look at something. He goes down “roads” and across rivers and where ever the adventure takes him. Me. I am just sitting in the passenger seat. I can usually hang for the first few hours and if I am lucky I have a book with me but after a while…. It is just not as fun. On this trip I started to let T know that it stopped being fun and he asked me how it could be better for me. Let me drive I said. Nobody likes to be the passenger all the time. And he did. Let me drive. For about 20 minutes but I can see this is baby steps for him. It was much better then being the passenger the whole time. Here are a few pictures.

395: Day 3-4

We moved up to Bishop Park off of Hwy 168 at about 8000 feet. I want to say I went hiking and did all kinds of outdoor things but I spent two days reading this book.

We did have some pie up at Lake Sabrina and dinner with our fellow campers and the camp hosts we met yesterday.

Here are some pictures of our camp.


395: Day 1-2

I think it took about 6 hours to reach our campsite. I might have napped for some of that time…. In my previous post I lamented the lack of a plan. I stand by my statement that T very rarely reads this blog but the next day he called and asked me to create a meal plan. He also created some Google Docs and posted an itinerary. The main point of the trip was still to fish, but now I knew where we were going.

Day 1-2 was spent at Tinemaha Campground between Independence and Big Pine, CA. One of T’s students had told him about this campsite and it is pretty cool. There is a creek running through it with some trees and the Sierra Mountains in the background. When we arrived on Wednesday our little group were the only campers. T’s best friends’ parents are camping with us for the first few days. We set up camp next to the stream and they started fishing. Over the next two hours they caught 6 trout and we had them for diner.

Day 2 found us exploring Bishop and trying to find a campground at a higher elevation. The high is about 90 right now but it is supposed to get to 100 this weekend. We have Samson the cat with us and worry about him getting too hot if we go fishing somewhere. Our day trip took us by the fish hatchery, up to North Lake and we found a campground with a very nice camp host called Bishop Park. We are moving up on Friday but here are some pictures from the adventure so far.

Here is the Campsite. T and Dick are getting ready to fish.

The creek running by our site. It is nice to fall asleep to the sound of the creek.

The fisher-people with their catch.

Our camp.