Friday, December 15, 2017
Over Thanksgiving I drove up to Lake Tahoe in Northern California and spent the week at a cabin in South Lake Tahoe with my sisters clan, the Passafiume family. Fog covered the lake as we drove up into the Sierra Nevada Mountains.
The dramatic scenery in the Sierra Nevada Mountains always captures my heart.
Rugged mountains, deep blue sky, wispy white clouds and pine trees all make me love the Sierras.
We stayed at a cabin in South Lake Tahoe and kept a lookout for bears. No we didn't see any!
But we did see lots of trees and lots of water and lots of clouds!
The Passafiume kids and grandkids; a fun, lively bunch that always make me laugh. Our Thanksgiving dinner was a combined effort with everybody pitching in to make some very delicious food. I am very thankful to God to be able to share such a special day with family.
That would be me sitting down on the right next to my brother-in-law Tom and Michele's husband Nick. Michele is holding the littlest Passafiume, Jade Rose, and Jesse, Olivia, Carson and Mikah are all standing up with my sister Judy and Jared.
Our cabin was right on a creek that flowed into Lake Tahoe. I spent many a happy moment down at the water, collecting rocks and sticks, something my grandson Dylan loves to do!
I love creeks and rivers even more than lakes and couldn't have been any happier! Thank you Tom and Judy for a wonderful trip!
Sunday, October 22, 2017
On my way up to Bishop Creek last week, I stopped to watch the sun rise over the weird lava formations. In the background you can see smoke from the major wildfires burning in California.
It was cold that morning as the sun came up, but quickly turned warm with the sunshine.
As I passed through Lone Pine I stopped to take this picture of Mt. Whitney. At 14,505 feet, it is the highest peak in the Sierra Nevada Mountains, as well as in the contiguous United States.
One of my favorite places in California, Bishop Creek, just outside of Bishop. My happy place, to be more exact!
It was super cold up at my campsite which was situated at 8,000 feet. I spent a lot of time gathering wood for campfires in both the morning and evening. When I woke up that first morning it was so cold that I could barely crawl out of my sleeping bag. I checked the temperature and it was 27 degrees. When I went to heat up some water for coffee, I found my water bottle had frozen into ice.
The place attracts fishermen of all ages, as well as fisherwomen and fisherchildren. Fishing season closes on November 15 in the Sierras, and wont reopen til the last Saturday in April. Better get up there quick if you want to get some fall fishing in!
As I was collecting wood, it was high noon and yet I found ice sculptures down at the creek.
Golden autumn leaves lined the road on my way up to Lake Sabrina.
A slight detour brought me to North Lake, such a beautiful place to stop and have a snack.
That would be me up at Lake Sabrina! The lake was created in 1907 by damming the middle fork of Bishop Creek in the Inyo National Forest. I have seen Lake Sabrina in the Spring, Summer, Fall and Winter. Each season has its own special beauty.
While on the trail leading to Blue Lake, I stopped and took this photo of Lake Sabrina. The water was clear and varied in color from emerald green to midnight blue. The reflection of the mountains in the deepest blue water was spectacular.
Fall color sprouting from the crevice of a boulder.
The Bishop Creek campground I was staying in closed for the season, so I drove up to Convict Lake, just off Hwy 395 near Mammoth. I was able to get the same campground on the creek that I had camped in the previous year, with the same wonderful view of the trees, water and mountains.
Camping at Convict Lake was even colder than camping at Bishop Creek, but again I collected a bunch of wood and had wonderful campfires.
I was at my campsite doing some work at the table, when I turned around and found this doe staring at me. She did not even flinch, but just looked me straight in the eye like she expected something. I figured it was food, so I opened the bear box, which did not frighten her in the least, and grabbed an apple. She was still there staring at me as I cut up the apple and gave her half. Fearful that she would bite me, I laid the apple on the bench and she grabbed that thing and started chewing. It took her the longest time to chew up the small piece I gave her, but I wasn't about to give her any more. That deer would not leave so I just went about my business and she finally sauntered off.
At Convict Lake there is a 3-mile trail around the lake that I love to walk. I had never seen the lake so blue before, and looking down through the golden trees made it seem even more blue.
Water, wood and rocks. Three of my favorite things!
While camping at Convict Lake a dear friend of mine, Mark Downey, passed away quite unexpectedly. As soon as I found out I lost my camping joy and decided to head home. God please bless Mark's wife and son, and all those who knew and loved Mark. I know Mark is with you, Lord, but we will miss him so very much. "But as for me, I trust in You, O Lord; I say, 'You are my God.' My times are in Your hand."
It is hard for me to drive long distances as I get bored behind the wheel. Therefore I stop a million and one times and end up taking three times as long as a regular person would. My friend Jim told me about this cool little town that was almost a ghost town. Curious and tired, I pulled off the highway and found it but everything was closed. That made it seem even more like a ghost town. I took a bunch of photos and then got back to the serious business of driving home.
This particular house had so much rustic charm!
One of the newer buildings in town that really caught my eye with this display.
Most of the buildings looked like this one, and I so wished some of these old antique stores had been open! I love to wander around and look at old things. Don't buy much, just like looking. Good night to one and all. May you be filled with peace knowing that God is alive and well, and always willing to listen to the heart of His children. Susan Little
Wednesday, October 11, 2017
Several weeks ago, I drove up to Big Bear Lake in the San Bernardino Mountains to visit my friend Nancy. On the way up the clouds were resting in the valley and looked almost spooky!
On the way in, I stopped at Boulder Bay to have a look about. It is all so pretty up there, and it is up there! The elevation is 6752 feet! Quite a change from my sea level elevation.
According to the Big Bear History Site, Big Bear Lake was actually a small swampy lake until 1885, when Frank Brown built a rock dam that didn’t actually create a new lake, but increased the size of the already existing lake to about ten times it’s normal size. For over 25 years the rock dam at Big Bear Lake managed to hold strong until it was eventually replaced by the concrete multi arch Eastwood Dam in 1911.
Acres of California Goldenrod bloom along the shore at Big Bear Lake.
Meet Nancy, a dear friend of mine who I have known since 1973!
We took a hike along the lake and saw some of the prettiest scenery I've seen since North Dakota!
Yes, that is me, loving life in the beautiful San Bernardino Mountains.
One of my favorite verses comes to mind when I look at this picture. "Rest in the Lord and wait patiently for Him." Psalm 37:7 How sweet it is to rest.
Oh yeah, me and my new boyfriend!
One last shot of the gorgeous scenery in Big Bear Lake! So very pretty. Good night and God bless each and every one of you. Susan Little
Saturday, July 8, 2017
One of the last places I camped while on my massive road trip was Theodore Roosevelt National Park in North Dakota. My first time camping there was years ago, and it was extremely hot, so I left early. This time, even though it was hot, I was determined to see the park and camped in the South Unit for three nights.
The sky is so beautiful in North Dakota, with puffy white clouds stretching out into thin wisps of smoke. You can get lost in the clouds if you're not careful.
I arrived at the Visitor Center around 1pm and it was HOT! Remember I am used to ocean breezes and fog in the morning! That is me in front of the Painted Canyon. I wanted to explore, but decided to wait until it cooled down.
Do you see any shade trees? No, either did I. Thankfully I brought my shade shelter which was impossible to put up in that heat. I did it anyway, even though it turned out lopsided. The following day, I moved to a site with a little shade, and one big fat rattlesnake that nearly bit me.
The Little Missouri River flows through the park, and is right behind the campground. Its not the kind of river you swim in, or even wade in. I don't know why, its just not. Pretty for reflections!
One morning I woke up early and jumped in the car to go out exploring. A misty cloud covered the ground and looked so cool in the morning light.
I passed this solitary huge bison who was very nonchalantly scratching his neck on the road barrier. He must have stood there forever, scratching this way and that. Not wanting to disturb him, I stayed in my car and took the picture through my open window!
Further down the road a herd of bison were coming down the hill and crossed the road right in front of me. I had no choice but to wait in the car until they all passed. After I got home I found out that the day before I left Theodore Roosevelt National Park, a tourist up in the North Unit was gored by a bison while out taking pictures of the beasts. Always best to keep your distance from bison, especially early evenings.
The Maltese Cross cabin was built for Roosevelt on his Maltese Cross Ranch. Following the death of his first wife and mother, both on the same day, Teddy Roosevelt spent nearly three years going back and forth between New York and North Dakota, immersing himself in the hunting and ranching lifestyle. Even though his ranch never prospered, he thrived and went on to become the 26th President of the United States.
The Badlands in Theodore Roosevelt National Park, a place that fills ones soul with a desolate beauty.
Looking down into Wind Canyon nearly took my breath away. It was so incredibly gorgeous!
Wild blue violets grow in the park, and look so sweet against such austere beauty.
"There are no words that can tell the hidden spirit of the wilderness, that can reveal its mystery, its melancholy, and its charm." Theodore Roosevelt
Wild horses roam the park and kept turning up in the most unexpected places!
"It was here that the romance of my life began." Theodore Roosevelt
Erosion has carved the sandstone into beautiful formations; a perfect sculpture in a hostile place.
I said goodbye to Theodore Roosevelt National Park and began the long journey home. My heart was thrilled to have nearly accomplished my personal goal to see all 59 of our National Parks. This road trip brought me to 54 out of our 59 National Parks that I have visited and camped at. After 9500 miles, 22 states and several months on the road, I finally found my way home. It was a wonderful journey, one that will remain in my heart forever. Happy Trails to you and yours, and may you find the time to step out and explore those wonderfully beautiful wild places known as our National Parks. Susan Little
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