Normal day, let me be aware of the treasure you are. Let me learn from you, love you, bless you before you depart. Let me not pass by in quest of some rare and perfect tomorrow. Let me hold you while I may, for it may not always be so. One day I shall dig my nails into the earth, or bury my face in the pillow, or stretch myself taut, or raise my hands to the sky and want, more than all the world, your return. - Mary Jean Iron

Monday, July 13, 2009

Encounters with the Wild

Well, the end of our trip has taken a slight turn. We set up our tent and hammock in a campground outside of Trinidad, CA. Spending the evening reading among the redwoods was just what we had planned until we heard a screeching sound coming from the campsite adjacent to ours. The best description I can give is of a cat being run over or chased by a dog. As soon as I heard the eery noise, I recalled that while checking in, the manager of the campground had been conversing with a state trooper about a rabid fox that was roaming the surrounding area. This may sound negligent but it did not really register as a concern. 

Sure enough, our tent neighbors came bounding out of their tent waving a machete and claiming that a fox had been trying to scramble through the ventilation flap into their tent.  We jumped into our car to find the manager and as we drove past the bathroom there were three screaming girls running from the showers with a limping fox following in hot pursuit. 

The fox somehow made its escape but the manager assured all of us that he was handling the situation and we were not to worry. I will admit that it took quite some time for Adam to calm me down and convince me that we would be safe in our tent (time was 9:45 pm). 

From this point on, all I remember is that at about 10:15 there was a slight thump outside followed by the same scrambling and squealing that we had heard earlier, except that this time the creature was inside of OUR rain flap. I would like to say that I jumped into action with my adrenaline pumping to battle the rabid animal, but for some reason my mind and body thought it more appropriate to lay prostrate yelling profanities while Adam administered the real beating. 

The twist in the story actually comes in here. Within seconds of the creature retreating from our tent, we realized that instead of a fox, we had been attacked (and sprayed) by a rabid skunk!! 

Needless to say, we packed our bags and spent the next 24 hours trying to find a way to deodorize ourselves and our gear. 

With only three nights remaining in our trip, we have decided to bag our reeking gear and spend the next few evenings in quaint hotels on the coast of Oregon. Why punish ourselves with the painful task of deodorization when we can always take care of it some other day?

Monday, July 6, 2009

Experiencing City Life

I am a bit behind on my updates so I thought I would go ahead and jump to more recent events. The past week and  half we have been relaxing on the coast and camping in some of the beautiful coastal state parks of CA. Touring the magnificent Hearst Castle, observing the curious habits of the elephant seals, wandering through redwood and sequoia forests, and dipping our toes in the pacific eventually led us into the heart of San Francisco where we spent the past four days. 

I had a small pit in my stomach as we navigated our way through the maze of downtown, trying to locate our hotel. We are about to move to a city of comparable size/population (at least in the opinion of a mountain girl) and I have been nervous that a visit to San Fran might turn me into an anti-urbanite indefinitely. 

However, the pit was gone after a little less than 2 hours and I realized and I kept saying over and over again that "I can't wait to live in D.C." I agree that living amongst millions is busy, hectic, somewhat anonymous, etc. but there is something attractive about it, nonetheless. 

First night we entered into the lottery for last minute tickets to Wicked, and we were the first names called!!! I think it now rivals Les Miserables in my ranking of Broadways. The evening was a blast!

We spent Saturday morning sharing coffee and a loaf of sourdough at the Farmer's Market on the Pier. Even in a city that spans miles and miles, the turnout to support local farmers was impressive.

We strolled through the Castro district and saw the famous theater and Harvey Milk Park. If you haven't yet seen "Milk", you definitely should.

We watched the San Francisco Mime Troup at the Mission Delores Park.

We shared a delicious ice cream sundae in Ghirardelli Square.

Best of all, we had a picnic on the grass at Fisherman's Wharf and watched the Independence Day celebration and fireworks. Best fireworks we have ever seen!!