Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Shower Power

Living in the great outdoors has its perks and pitfalls.  Showering includes both ends of the equation.  Follow along as this perk went from perk to pitfall and back to perk.

Perk: private shower in the RV...nice!

Pitfall: tiny, postage stamp-sized shower stall.  I can hardly turn around in it, never mind bend down to pick up the soap I will inevitably drop!  Plus there were holding tank issues...4 people showering in the RV means dumping lots of grey water and for various reasons that wasn't going to work for this RV.

Ann to Mark, (the RV owner): "OK, so if showering in the RV isn't going to happen, what's the next option?" 

Mark: "Doug and I will build you one outdoors?"

Ann:  "Really?  You're kidding, right?  You do know we're here for 5 whole months, right?"

Mark (with a playful smile): "Trust me."

To myself: "Do I have a choice?"

I'm glad to report this story has a very happy ending.

Mark and Doug did indeed construct an outdoor shower and I became its biggest fan.  Sure, we had to walk about 20 feet from the RV to get to where the shower sat at the back of our campsite but it was private, as private as an outdoor shower can be, and quite luxurious. That's right, luxurious.  I felt like I was showering in something built for Outdoor Living.  In my mind I had joined the ranks of that ultra-cool outdoorsy group of people who only shop at REI and Whole Foods.

Mark and Doug built a shower stall with a rugged, wooden shelf for shampoo and soap, there was a hand-held shower head with hot and cold running water (fueled by a propane and water heater), a heavy duty tarp that provided complete privacy and a slatted board floor that allowed water to run through so we wouldn't have to stand in a puddle, and there was a stump for sitting (?) or simply to add to the ambiance of the outdoor living we were experiencing.  The best part was the open-air shower was no ceiling.  The surrounding mountains and Aspen trees were our ceiling and their color changed throughout the months, adding to the beauty of each shower.  Now that I think of it, the truly best part of showering was the decor Doug added.  He would fill empty uniquely-shaped liquor bottles, left behind by campers, with fresh flowers and put them in the shower stall.  Sweet!  Showering indoors will never feel like this so I'm enjoying every moment.

Although the pictures don't do it justice, take a gander...

Wish I had taken a photo when the trees were more vibrant but this gives you an idea of the view from my shower stall!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

The boat floats!

Doug and Henry Wyatt took the newly completed sailboat, christened "Pison," up to Lake Sabrina and set sail while Chandler and I scooted alongside in a friend's fishing boat.  It was such fun to see the boat float after all the hard work it took to get it to this point.  The summer will now be filled with smooth sailing under the Sabrina Lake mountain peaks.  Take a look...

Chandler, Ann, Doug, and Henry Wyatt just prior to launching

Catching a pretty good breeze!

Pulling up the center board as they make their first landing
As for those mountain peaks I mentioned...

That's Doug and Henry Wyatt in the lower left part of the lake

No boat in this pic...just peaks and the glow of the sunset

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Long Lake hike

Periodically friends visit us up here and we love that!  Ric, from San Jose, decided to join us one weekend while George and Monica decided to drive up from LA on the same weekend.  It made for a perfect mix of friends and hikes.

We ventured out to Long Lake, a fairly leisurely hike up to 9,800 feet from our camp site at 9,000.

George and Monica

George, Henry, Ric, Chandler, Doug, Monica, and Ann

The next day Ric, George, and Doug hiked a much longer, higher hike to Piute Pass.  Peaking at 12,700 and hiking a total of 3,500 feet from the camp site, they had some great stories to share when they returned to the camp site that evening.

George and Ric

The goal is to get to the pass at the center of this pic

Looking back toward where the guys started


Monday, July 2, 2012

Old friends, new experiences

One of the coincidences of being in the eastern Sierras is that it sits above the dusty western town of Bishop, CA.  Cheri and Randy, friends from Doug's early SoCal days live in Bishop and have been overly generous in showing us around, inviting us to use their home in town where there is internet connectivity and a pool!  We haven't been shy to take them up on their offer to invade their home even when they aren't there.  It's been a gift...really.

Randy's brother, Will and his wife, Jane, are friends of both Doug's and mine from my LA days so when W & J, along with their twin sons, visited Randy & Cheri for two weeks we commandeered some of their days (and one overnight!) and enjoyed the hiking, tenting, and campfires that Sabrina Camp site offers.

The Fendon & Brown clans

Drivin' around the campsite.  We've got wheels!

Fresh trout from the nearby lake for dinner


More s'mores

Even squeezed in some home schooling

Perfect day for a hike

Clean-up crew (yes we make guests clean too!?!)

...well, Doug does the real heavy lifting

Cleanest site in the canyon...camper comment cards confirmed it!