Sunday, September 30, 2012

The Color of Aspens

As we wind down our camp host days we are blessed to have the Aspen trees starting their annual dance of the leaves for us.  We'll add pics and posts as these next few weeks unfold.

North Lake aspens set off amidst the pines

The swirl of changing leaves running from the village of Aspendell up toward Sabrina.

Chandler and Henry enjoying a hike through the colorful aspen trees.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Afternoon Sky

At the end of our Mountain Man day the sun put on a beautiful show behind the clouds overhead.  Henry and Chandler agreed there was a little angel in the sky too.  Can you find her?

Mountain Man Day

Ken and Shale Ann, Mountain Man hosts

The owners of Cardinal's general store, cafe, and cabin rentals in Aspendell, 1.5 miles below our camp site, host an annual Mountain Man Day and today was it!  To attend, one had to bring items to "trade" because now money exchanges hands when you are a Mountain Man or Woman!  Chandler painted rocks with pictures and sayings on them.  She ended up trading all 21 for items like bear claws, animal pelts, bandanas, etc.  Henry painted rocks gold and placed them in the stream running through the property so kids could trade and pan for gold.  Ann and Doug helped young-in's create bird feeders from the huge pine cones they collected, smeared with peanut butter and rolled in birdseed before hanging them in trees and trading them for everything from home made tortillas to home grown summer squash and of course home baked cookies.  As for attire, Chandler was a pioneer girl and took first place in the kid's costume event, Henry & Doug were cowboys and Ann was Pocahontas herself.  70 people attended, all bringing a pot luck dish to share after the trading.  Home brewed sarsaparilla, tri-tip cooked over the fire, and plenty of desserts rounded out the event.  No one went home hungry.  Thanks for inviting us Ken and Shale Ann!!

Chandler and Doug, true pioneers!

Pocahontas in RayBan's and her cowboy :)

Mountain Man Days setting - Cardinal Village

Pioneers cooking tri-tip and tortillas over the open flame

Sarsaparilla stand.  Questionable location next to the jail!

Henry, in the black hat, with his hoodlum buddies.
Chandler offering her painted rocks for trade.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Yosemite and Devils Postpile

The school the kids attended last year (near Pollock Pines) held a field Yosemite of all places! Although Chandler wasn't formally enrolled, they invited her to attend, knowing we lived 45 minutes away.  We dropped her off for the weekend and when we picked her up we stopped at Devils Postpile National Monument just south of Yosemite, on the way back to Lake Sabrina.

Here are the basic facts about this incredible natural wonder.  "Established in 1911 by presidential proclamation, Devils Postpile National Monument protects and preserves the Devils Postpile formation, the 101-foot high Rainbow Falls, and pristine mountain scenery.  The formation is a rare sight in the geologic world and ranks as one of the world's finest examples of columnar basalt. Its columns tower 60 feet high and display an unusual symmetry." (Ntl Park Svc)  For more info see:

Fun for Chandler to reconnect with school friends again.

Doug and Henry Wyatt take in the extraordinary views of Yosemite

Chandler inside a twisted tree trunk

At the base of Devils Postpile

Check out the bottom of the posts as they stick out above me.

Here they are at the top of the pile.

The hexagon shape on every post is universal in nature

The Postpile's visual explanation

After a fun but exhausting weekend of camping our girl caught some zzz's on the way home.

The natural beauty of Yosemite

Doug and Henry Wyatt climbed 3/4s of this rock face
Telephoto of my climbers

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Exploring rustic life in the early days of the west

On our way to Yosemite we stopped and toured Bodie, CA, an abandoned miner's town. After a ten year run, the gold and silver rush ended and within a year Bodie residents packed up and left everything behind, including items on the general store's shelves.

The general store.

Our history students.

A bird trapped inside a house. Henry let a park ranger know and the bird was let free.

One room schoolroom

An old safe in the town bank.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Chandler rides, we follow

Chandler has had an incredible summer of riding horses and helping out at a horse outfitter as tourists flocked to this mountain get-away.  Down the road, at Cardinal Village, TessAnne heads up a horse riding concession and she heartily welcomed Chandler's assistance.   Toward the end of the season Doug, Henry, and I joined Chandler as she led the way on horseback through the desert up to an abandoned mine. 

Chandler heads down the mountain to Cardinal Village where she helps out with horse rides most days

C helping Doug with his stirrups

Heading toward the mine

C giving us the history of the mine and it's many owners

TessAnne, Chandler's wonderful mentor

Our happy and capable leader