Now that 2017 is here, like me you might be feeling some new vibes. Maybe they can’t quite be categorized yet or maybe they are vibes like betterment, not settling for merde and things like – that which doesn’t help my growth, aid in my potential or teach me something profound can simply vibe off. People were really hating on 2016, I was one of them. Honestly though it wasn’t the worst year, that goes to the year my mom got sick. But it wasn’t one of the best and up until about Oct./Nov. it was going quite averagely well. Then, if you asked me where I thought I’d be in 2 months time, I couldn’t of pictured my current situation in a million guesses. I digress, lets go back to warmer times, friendlier times and happier times of the summer, starting with…
Boozy Backpack Meteor Shower Hammock Hang
If spending nearly an entire day in a hammock, sipping margaritas after hiking in maybe for a couple hours counts as backpacking, then sign this girl up! Tara, my camping partner in crime who has now ditched me to become a climber, planned our hardcore backpacking trip into the Eastern Sierra wilderness starting at Mosquito Flat, passing gorgeous Little Lakes Valley to end up at Chickenfoot Lake. This is the easiest backpack one can do around here so of course it was for us! We scored the first parking spot at the trailhead early in the morning and were at camp by 11. Obviously we didn’t bring enough booze for this long day of leisure, nor for the exciting all-nighter we attempted to pull for the Perseid meteor shower. Yes, we should have maybe kept hiking around to see more lakes but it was hard to move once you were sucked into the seams of your hammock.
The Great Reno Balloon Race
My co-worker Grub, an accomplished balloon owner and chief of ground crew for the Eastern Sierra Drifters, invited me to go to the annual Great Reno Balloon Race with him and his friends. How could I say no to that!? What this entailed was 3 days of lots and lots of balloons, but the thing about balloons is that they require extremely light winds because they lack a steering wheel and wings. SO that means, the great race starts at dawn. So THAT means, we party all night and not sleep. Being as old as I am, I was not prepared for the impact of this plan and found myself sleeping off my drunken-ness in a cold field with the sound of balloons being inflated all around me. And this was only day one. We all napped after that, me by the pool-side at the Sands hotel, and met for dinner and drinks later, only to repeat the whole process with a few more new additions to our crew from Bishop. Most couldn’t sustain (me! included) and slept this time, only to awake a few hours later for the dawn patrol, glow show and mass ascension. I took off for home on day 2, after our long morning drinking mimosas on a grassy hill, watching the sunrise with balloons all around us. So magical!
Hidden Mono Lake
Okay, I might get in trouble for posting these super secret spots but I bet you couldn’t even find them anyways. I worked at Mono Lake so I’ve come to know it well, from a distance. My friend Ralph has a razor and likes to take people on rides, lucky for me! We went all around the roads I’ve longed to go down but couldn’t because of my limited car capabilities. We rock hounded mahogany obsidian, went to the glassy Boyer Land, saw wild horses run through the sage brush, found a random kiln and saw the craziest ice age tufa I’d ever seen. Then while I was napping in the front seat from over stimulation, a poor dove ricocheted off the door, hit me in the lap and died at my feet! Ralph wanted to eat it but I threw it in the bushes, feeling so so bad for killing such a beautiful bird.
Saline Valley California
Well sometimes the road less traveled is less traveled for a reason. Saline Valley is tucked away in the random back country of Death Valley National Park and requires ingenuity, perseverance and grit to get there… or your friend Pat from LA with a Jeep! The four of us were surrounded with gear as we bounced our way to this random oasis in the middle of nowhere. Debates were made, girls vs. boys, as to what route we would take and the boys won with their adventurous route over Cerro Gordo Rd. out of Keeler. We barely made/found it and noticed the flat tire only when we finally arrived after a grueling, gut-wrenching, twisting ride through the hills. But this place was unlike anywhere I’d ever been. Still part of the National Park but it’s own thing entirely… a towering grove of palm trees that encompassed natural hot springs in the desert wilderness. We stayed for two nights and had an amazing time. Wild burros greet you in the morning looking for handouts, coyotes circle your camp at night trying to catch you off guard, at dusk you hear the gentle flap of bat wings as they dive down for a drink in the hot tub you are soaking in.
So yeah, the snow is falling hard outside the window of my new house as I type this. Another massive wave of a storm is coming in, a good thing for Mono Lake and the drought but I can’t help missing summer. This post ends at September so I guess it’s technically only part of the story. Not that the end of the year didn’t have any shortage of adventure but that isn’t quite the right word for it. I basically lost everything. My boyfriend, my apartment and my job… all things I loved but things that needed to be lost at the same time. The process in which it all happened left me more devastated, empty and heartbroken than I can ever remember feeling and I’m currently still becoming that shinning bright phoenix rising fresh and renewed from the heavy ash of its former life. There are some major adventures being planned and life changes in the works so do not worry about me! Here’s to new vibes!