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Des Moines is FLOODING! & 4 years!

Des Moines is flooding! The water started going over the emergency spill way last night at Saylorville. You can view new stories about it here (for now). They even talk about my home town being flooded in one of them. They pump the water up and out of Big Creek into Saylorville, once the water levels get to high in Saylorville, the pumps can’t handle the pressure, so they shut down. So now they are trying to put in a ton of emergency pumps to keep our town from flooding. My parents said that the neighbor’s garage is almost under water and that our backyard is flooded. Scary stuff! They haven’t seen this kind of flooding since 1993. Hopefully this time the DM water works doesn’t get flooded out!

Also, it’s been 4 years now since I moved to California… Nothing really new to report in that area. It’s a love/hate relationship!

I am happy about my new 300gig hard drive in the laptop!

UPDATE!:// So my f’ing landlord just called and says he hasn’t received my rent for the LAST THREE MONTHS! WTF?! How does that happen! I have cleared checks from the bank showing that he HAS! I just have to order “official” copies to prove it to him!

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Around The Globe Not Published

Yosemite National Park!

My legs…. HURT!

I’ve been in Yosemite park since Wed and I have had so much FUN! That place is just gorgeous! I wish that I could spend months there camping and hiking through the back country and just sitting on the rocks overlooking a waterfall and reflecting on life. There were many times when the beauty of that place brought a tear to my eyes.

Wed night Christian came over and brought all his shit, we hung out that night and finished getting the group stuff ready and had a few drinks. Got up Thursday morning and picked up the rental truck and then everyone showed up at my place around 9. We loaded up and headed out. The drive there was pretty easy really, we only stopped once, but got LOST in the town that we were in and could NOT find the way back to the freeway! Once we got into the park I was so excited to just get there. I love flying around all those curvy roads, the people in the back seat though were getting sick. Opps! We got into the park about 3:30ish and quickly unpacked and then did a quick 2 mile hike up to Mirror lake. I fell in. 🙁

Friday morning we got up early and cooked breakfast. We were going to do the Panorama Trail so went up to the lodge to get tickets on the shuttle bus but they were all sold out till 1:30pm! Decided not to do that and went on the Upper Yosemite Falls trail instead. The sign said it was only 3.2 miles, so we figured it’d be pretty easy, little did we know that in those 3.2 miles you gained 3,000 feet in elevation! It was very hard for most of the group. Half of them turned around about half way to the top. Even I had lots of problems the last 3/4 mile. Between the steepness of the trail and the elevation I could hardly breathe! But it was really worth all the work to get to the top and see this amazing waterfall just flying over the edge of the cliffs. We hiked a little bit past there, then stopped at the river bed and filled up our water bottles for the hike down.

Got back from that and made dinner then a few of us went to a talk given by Ron Kauk where he showed Return to Balance: A Climbers Journey which had some amazing shots of him climbing and of Yosemite in general. It was really neat to see. I talked to him after and got some pointers for my next trip up to Yosemite where I could do some easier climbing. After that I had to run to the Village to do some work and then back to the campsite for bed.

Saturday morning we got up VERY early because our bus for Glacier Point left at 8:30am! We got everyone up and breakfast cooked and on the road just in time! The bus driver was really funny and was telling stories the whole way up there. We got there and looked around a little bit and then started our hike down Panorama Trail. This one ended up being around 10 miles total and 5,100 descend and about 1,900 ascending. We got to see some amazing views of the falls throughout the park. Some of which were Illilouette Fall, Nevada Fall, Vernal Fall and ended along the VERY steep but wonderful Mist Trail.

Part of the group turned back once we hit the mist trail. Which was probably a mistake, because they then had a 4 mile hike ahead of them, instead of just the 3 very steep miles that we had. The Mist trail was just amazing though! We got back an hour before the rest of them did. That night Nick and I headed up to Tuolumne Meadows to watch the sunset… The meadows are at 8,600 feet above sea level, it was 41 degrees when we got there and there was still pockets of snow! But we were crazy and went SWIMMING in the river! 🙂 Ok, I was in the water for about 1.5 seconds before I jumped out screaming like a little girl. Nick was more manly and was in for about 4 seconds total! It was wonderfully refreshing though after the long day of hiking we had. We spent a few hours in the meadows and really enjoyed the sunset. It was just amazing.

Got back to camp late that night and we all sat around drinking and talking and having a great time… Got up about 7 on Sunday morning and Sirin made breakfast for everyone which was delicious. Packed up camp and we were out of there by 10am! Got back to LA around 3:30 and unpacked.

It was so wonderful being up there, sleeping out under the stars and just hiking and enjoying nature. I cried a little bit as we left, and then again as we were coming over the pass into LA and seeing all the smog and the cars again. I hate smog and cars. I just want to sleep under the stars and enjoy nature!

All the photos are available here. And you can view our google earth tracks/photos here.

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Lone Pine Trip

This weekend was very long and yet tons of fun!

Friday I got up early and headed out to Pasadena to pick up this guy Jimmy, from there we headed up to Canyon Country to meet up with George, Jason, Merot and Lewis. Headed from there up to Red Rock Canyon. Hung out there for a little bit and did some running around. Nothing to crazy.

My big ass Rock climbing.After that we drove from there up to Fossil Falls for some rock climbing. We setup up at the top of the canyon and then rappelled down. I did some pretty good climbing, I was very impressed with myself. One of the climbs that I did you had to climb up to this small ledge about 15 feet off the ground, and then the rock comes out over your head. You have to put your hand in this little slot in the rock and make a fist to lock it in there, then pull yourself up while trying to get your feet into this tiny hole that was about waist level. From there you have to get both your hands up over this rock and then pull yourself the rest of the way up. I made it up that, but fell just as I was trying to make the last move to get my feet up on top of the ledge. 🙁 It was our last climb, so I’m very impressed I even made it that far.

From there we headed out to this place called Dirty Sock. It was this very interesting hot spring pool out in the middle of no where. It was really weird because when we would throw in a rock, it would bubble and create this neat fizzing sound. After that we headed up to Lone Pine and at dinner at this little cafe and then went to the GHETTO hotel. There were 6 people in our one room.

Saturday we got up at 5am and started a 13 mile hike across the desert! We started in a little town called Keeler, CA and then hiked somewhere between 10 and 13 miles across the salt flats/desert/swamp to get back towards Lone Pine. It was a lot of fun to do and not as hard as I thought it would be. The weather was wonderful. There were these two little kids with us who were lots of fun, but they were very slow so I stayed back with them for a little bit and sang old scouting songs with them and told stories. Sadly I can’t remember any of the good scouting songs any more so that didn’t last very long.

From there we headed up to the Obsidian Domes up by Mammoth lakes. On the way there we stopped at Erick Schats that was kind of hard for me up there because that was the bakery that Constantine and I stopped at on our way back from Mammoth Lakes, and played a big part in my realization that I loved him… It was there, at that bakery that I looked at him and said to myself. “Oh my god, I love this guy.” … Ugh. Anyways, there was lots of snow on the domes which was fun!

Lone Pine Hot CreekWe headed down from there and went to this place called Hot Creek sadly it was closed currently to swimming, but it was still very pretty. Wish we could have got in.

That night we to this crazy party in a small town called Darwin. It was very strange and very scary. Everyone was wearing these weird ass costumes and shit. I felt like we were going to be killed!

After that I drove back to the hotel and hung out with Alisa, Edder and Matt for a while and we had a drink. Went to bed and got up at 6am to drive back. We did a lot of random driving to strange places. We stopped somewhere that morning, but I can’t remember exactly where, drove through Trona and then stopped at a tiny little ghost town run by these two crazy hicks. They let the children shoot black powder rifles. They also had what they claimed was Charles Manson’s old truck. Stopped off in Atolia as well which was fun, but they put up fences around everything since the last time Constantine and I were there. So that’s sad.

Overall it was a really great trip and I’m really glad that I went.

In sad news though, Tuxedo is missing. He’s been gone since Friday Morning for sure, but maybe even since Thursday afternoon. I left my door open while I was packing up my car. I do this a lot, and have never had problems before. Friday morning I went to say goodbye to my kitties and couldn’t find him anywhere! I spent nearly 30 minutes outside calling for him and looking for him, but I just don’t know where he is at. 🙁 I am hoping that he’ll come back. I have put food out and will be putting up posters later today.

I stayed home from work this morning and am working from home. I’m also watching this movie Wild Tigers I have Known. I KNOW that I’ve seen this movie before, but I cannot remember where or who I saw it with. Very annoying.

So that’s about it.

You can download the tracks with pictures of the weekend for google earth here. I’ll update this post when the pictures are all uploaded as well.
UPDATE:// Photos are now posted on the photodump.

Adios.

Categories
My Life

California Poppy Reserve

What a busy busy weekend…

Lets see, Friday I wasn’t feeling good at work, so I headed home at noon and took a nap. That evening I went out to a play called Regretrosexual with Jess. It was a really funny play about a guy who had a 2-year gay experience. He’s dating this girl and who’s past fiance turned out to be gay. So he’s trying to tell her about her gay experiences and past. We laughed a lot and it was at this tiny theater which was fun. After that we headed out to WeHo. First stopped at Fiesta Cantina. Had a drink there and chatted for a while and then headed to a place called Trunks, I had never been there, but it was interesting. From there we headed to The Abbey. Tal met up with us there and we all hung out for a while. Eventually Tal and I headed back to his place and I crashed on his couch. I was very tired, but could not sleep.

Saturday morning we got up early and headed out for a bike ride. Ended up doing the 35 mile ride which was lots of fun. The group was very odd considering the normal group that I used to ride with. They weren’t as considerate as I’m used to. Either way we had a great ride and were done by 11 so I headed home, showered and napped some.

Saturday night I headed up to Santa Monica and went shopping at 3rd Street. I bought three new shirts which were needed because my wardrobe has been a little boring lately. From there I headed over to a restaurant called Hidden. My conclusion, it should STAY hidden. I was very unhappy with the food. We got a $25 cheese plate that was TINY. I got a $23 salad that was TINY, the other people got Kobe Beed tacos, etc that were all TINY. And considering we spent nearly $40 a person and all left still HUNGRY! How does that happen. The atmosphere was great though, I would suggest going there for drinks (DURING happy hour) and then going somewhere else for appetizers and dinner. One plus was that we saw Dylan McDermott there.

From there we headed to The Other Room in Venice which was lots of fun. I’ve never really explored Venice that much, even though it is supposed to be a great town. This place was great, and I suggest people check out the beers there. I had a really fun night with these guys though. One of them does basically the same thing as me at Cedars Sinai so it was a lot of fun to talk to him about that stuff. For once I could tell someone what I did and they actually UNDERSTOOD! Hahah.

Sunday morning I got up early and headed up to Canyon Country to meet up with Jerry and gang. We headed out to Vasquez Rocks for some quick rock climbing before heading out to the Poppy Reserve. It was absolutely amazing and beautiful out there.

You can check out the other photos of the Poppy’s on the photodump.

Got home about 5:30 Sunday night and tried doing a Skype call with Const, but for some reason it said that there was not enough bandwidth! How annoying. He comes back this weekend and I am planning lots of stuff to do. Hopefully it all goes excellent.

Just a few random words.
1) 3 years ago I upgraded to WordPress 1.5, this past weekend I upgraded to WordPress 2.5. I have to say I am not very happy with it right now. The new Admin interface is very strange, and they took out a lot of small features.
2) Absolute Vodka recently did an add in which they depicted the SouthWest US as part of Mexico. I thought it was funny. But apparently there was a huge uproar and talk of boycotts. Really? get over it people!
3) This set of Satellite images makes me very sad. 1, 2, 3. It’s the before, during and after of Jordan Creek town center in Iowa. Very sad to see that. 🙁

That’s about it! Adios!

Categories
Around The Globe My Life

Napa Valley Trip!

I love three day weekends…

This past weekend we had a great time. First was Jason’s birthday party on Friday. We had a great time, but left early. I felt bad about leaving so early, oh well.

Saturday morning we got up early and headed out to Napa Valley. On the way up there we stopped at Pinnacles National Monument. The drive from the freeway to the monument was tons of fun. But we only spent about an hour there. It was pretty and I’d like to spend a little more time there.

Got up to Napa late that night, went out to eat and while we were
eating this girl next to us saw that we were looking over maps and stuff and talked to us about the winery she worked at called Mumm Napa.

Sunday morning we got up and headed out at 9ish. Our first stop was a few parks and what not. First was Bothe-Napa Valley SP. It was a nice park, but nothing exciting. After that we headed to the Old Faithful of California. That was also fun, but again not that exciting. It was neat to ee though. Then we headed to the petrified forest. Here’s a pic of Const at the Petrified Forest:

From there we headed out to the winery’s! First was Sterling, which was probably my favorite in terms of the overall experience. First you arrive and take a tram ride up the side of the hill to the top of the winery. You are greeted with your first wine tasting and then you go on a self-guided tour of the winery. Here’s a shot of the HUGE wood barrels they ferment the wine in:

As you make your way through the winery you get to try a few different wines, on the balcony you get some wonderful views of the valley and you can just chill and talk and drink your wine.

Once you get through the winery you can take a seat in the main building and you get to try three more wines. On the day we were there they had some AMAZING Truffles there as well from a company called Truffle Gateau. I HIGHLY suggest going and buying some of them!

After this place we headed out and and drove to Burgess Cellers. Apparently you needed reservations or something, because the guy seemed very confused that we just walked into the door that said “OPEN”. So we just left. Headed from there to Sutter Home, which we went to because I really liked the building. Tried a few wines, but nothing I really liked.

Headed from there to V. Sattui Winery. This was another GREAT winery. But only because of all the foods and cheese they had at the shop. Oh my god. The cheese was wonderful! We also ended up buying 6 bottles of wine from them. From there we headed to Mumm beacuse of the girl we met. We didn’t taste anything there, but saw the art gallery and bought two small bottles of wine just for the hell of it

Our last stop of the day was Peju (only because it was basically the only one open past 5). I really enjoyed the modern art they had outside, inside we found this great pic which is just exactly like Tuxedo!! How cute:=

We got a great guy to taste with and basically a private tasting room because they were so busy! We bought two bottles of the Provence wine which was really good.

But this whole wine tasting thing. I really don’t get it. “In this wine you’ll taste hints of bannana and mango and this and that and the bottom half is a little bit sassy!”. Umm, really!? WTF!

We went home and were just so tired from all the tasting that we went to the hot tub and then just ate dinner and hung out at the hotel for the night.

Monday we headed home and stopped at the Golden Gate bridge for some pics.

From there we headed south to the Winchester Mystery House. This place was really cool. Very crazy stuff.

Of course, you can download our Google Earth Tracks here or you can download our GeoTagged photos here.

And photos of the trip are all here.