Cross Country Skiing Hope Valley

The outdoor adventures continued during Tahoe Xmas 2013 and we went Cross Country Skiing! Now, I don't ski. I am a big klutz and that is why I snowboard. Only one piece of equipment to worry about when you snowboard..... You worry about four pieces of equipment when you ski. This was another Middle Sister idea and we went to Hope Valley and rented Cross Country Skis. T took this picture of the family after about 30 minutes into our adventure. My mom stayed home and enjoyed some alone time.... but the rest of us gave cross-country skiing a try!

I am the third from the right in this picture, white vest with the hat. I look extra short in this photo becuase I am living in fear of falling yet again and am keeping my knees bent and weight forward. I was not very good at cross-country skiing. I fell six times during this adventure. And by the way, it is not easy to get up when you have skis on, but I seemed to find a technique. My Uncle G and Brad helped me with my cross-country technique. Eventually we left the woods and did some laps around a meadow. It was much easier to follow in someones tracks and work on my techniques there. T snapped this picture of us on about my third lap!

My sisters did much better than I did and my Aunt Jan took this picture of them.
And here are the two uncles and one of the cousins. They were by far the best at cross-country skiing and my cousin looks a little winded in this photo because she was trying to keep up with Uncle Brad as he did laps around the meadow. She did, and she got a good workout that day.
Over all the cross-country adventure was a good one. T said he would definately do it again and all of us were glad to get out of the house and enjoy the beautiful day! I would recommend the place we used to rent our skis in Hope Valley. The website is http://hopevalleycrosscountry.com/ They were friendly, offered lessons, and are located in a beautiful spot.



One day at Heavenly

One day during Tahoe Xmas 2013 T and I went skiing at Heavenly with Uncle Brad, his girlfriend, and my Cousin Molly. They all ski and I snowboard. They are much better than I am, and it was my first day out this season. After a few runs with them, I told them to go on ahead and spent a little time on my own. I have mentioned before that I am not very good and this day was no different. I got a few good runs in but then my legs started getting tired and I started to fall. The last part of the run I was on was the steepest and I fell forward and was sliding down the hill on my belly looking like I was trying to make a snow angel. I am sure it looked pretty funny! I made it down the hill and was glad we only had one day of skiing in Tahoe this year. T took the picture above on the last run down the hill.



Hiking Vikingsholm, Emerald Bay State Park, Lake Tahoe

Happy Holidays! T, Samson, and I are in Lake Tahoe visiting family. This is our third time having Christmas in Lake Tahoe and you can read about the other trips HERE and HERE. My Uncle (Mom's brother) lives up here and her side of the family comes down from Seattle to meet us at the "halfway point" in Lake Tahoe. We have done this every other year for the last four years. Each trip has been very different and this time the Middle Sister had a few ideas of possible excursions around Lake Tahoe. One of them was this hike in Emerald Bay State Park to Vikingsholm.

There was some snow, but not very much, so snowboarding only happened on one day of the trip. On another day the cousins, sisters, and I headed out for this hike. There was some snow on the trail, and it was colder in the shade, but the hike was a good excuse to get out of the house.

The view of the lake was beautiful when we reached the bottom of the hike. The beach was covered in snow and the Vikingsholm house closed up for the season. We took a few pictures and then started the hike back up the hill.
I am a little surprised that we haven't explored more of Lake Tahoe on our holiday excursions. I guess it is because the last few times we waited for my Uncle, the Tahoe native, to suggest outings. He hasn't really done that and was more focused on skiing or talking computers and fishing with T. This year we came up with some ideas and the Middle Sister drove so we had an "escape pod". It was a good balance of "family time" and seeing a bit of Lake Tahoe. While the hike wasn't hard, long, or overwhelming, it did give us a bit of fresh air and a taste of the outdoors. I would do it again in a heartbeat!



Bodie State Park (CA)

About a month ago T and I took a trip to the Eastern Sierra (our second home it seems like) and the Fish Whisperer and his wife took us to check out Bodie State Park. Bodie State Park is a California ghost town and a state park of California. It is in what they call "arrested decay" and looks very much like it did 50 years ago when the last resident left.

It took us about 30 minutes to get to Bodie from Hwy 395. The first part of the road is paved, but soon you will find it slower going on a dirt road. The road closes during the winter due to snow.

I have driven by the road to Bodie numourous times and this was my first time visiting. Bodie was a gold-mining town in the 1800's and at one time had a popultion of 10,000 people! This website has a video of the road into Bodie and some other info.

This place is truely a "ghost town" with some park rangers living there year round. Walking around, it looks like people just walked away and left everything. I walked up to a few houses and looked in the windows. Inside was incredibly spooky. I was glad the sun was shining that day.
The photos here show the outside of the house and then the inside of the same house. I took all of these with my iPhone and have to say I was pretty impressed with the way they turned out.
The houses show class segregation and even race segregation when you get to the "China Town" area.
A true "wild west" town, at the peak of the populaiton 3-4 people died a week between the extreme weather, gun fights, or sexualy transmitted diseases from the red light district. Many children died in the harsh conditions of the town, but still it survived into the 1950's.
For more information about Bodie visit the CA State Park website or Bodie.com.



Consumed by books

Happy Thanksgiving! After the fabulous meal with family, I proceeded to pick up three books that consumed my life for the remainder of the holiday. Forget shopping. Thank goodness for pumpkin pie meals and turkey sandwiches, because I spent the weekend reading.

I think there might be a support group I should belong to. Books consume my life support group! Or, more accurately, sometimes books consume my life support group. The ironic thing is that I am currently a librarian. People assume books consume my life, but the truth is I rarely read during the semester. I am just too busy. But when the holidays come, I am lost in the books. I have been like this most of my life.

It might be hard for some to believe, but I had a bit of a reading problem as a young child. My mother took my sisters and I to the library and introduced me to the horse section when this was the case. I was into horses back then. I remember checking out the same book all summer long and after that I became a reader. I would hide in the bathroom for hours reading. I remember a time when my Mom had the policy of a minute of reading earned a minute of TV. The Little Sister and I earned about eight hours worth of TV by reading and then my Mom tried to change the policy to be that you couldn't watch all the TV at once, or something like that. My Little Sister and I can't remember what it was exactly, but we remember feeling like we had been had!

As I have gotten older I have had to compartmentalize my reading. Reading for school or work doesn't consume me. It is just something I need to do. It is easy to read a few chapters and go on with my life. But every once in a while a book will sink it's teeth into me and I can't let go.

A few years ago The Hunger Games did it. A friend had let me borrow it and she needed to return it to the library in a few days time. I had it all weekend and decided to start reading it Sunday night about 10pm. At 4am I finally put it down, woke up at 5am, and finished reading it before work at 8am. It consumed me. I couldn't stop reading it.

This happened again to me over the holiday weekend. I started reading a book at 9pm and finished it at 5am. I guess it is a good thing I am a fast reader. I then passed the book on to the Little Sister and we both read a trilogy over Thanksgiving. The books consumed both of us.

So I don't know if this is a good thing or a bad thing. The books reading happens at a time in my life when I get to relax. I am very good with organizing my time and getting things done if I need to. The book consumption seems to happen when I have the time to let it happen.

Luck for me I have another trilogy lined up for Christmas!