Before there is “arriving”, there is “getting there”. On North Dome, I am feeling unmotivated to get out the skillet and and do dishes in the morning. So we go with a very light breakfast. Perhaps too light. It is a granola with milk and blueberries dehydrated meal from Backpackers’ Pantry. Delicious and satisfying, but probably low on protein.
We leave North Dome at around 8am. I already know where the first creek is, so the day’s agenda is a matter of passing that creek, then Lehamite Creek, then cresting the ridge at Yosemite Point, and making the descent to Yosemite Creek, followed by a short ascent to our hidden campsite just above Yosemite Falls. Continue reading →
I wake up early, mainly because I am cold. I didn’t think to bring my beanie or gloves (because July!), but I am wishing for them in the morning. I pull on some wool socks and slip on my Chacos instead of putting bare feet into flip flops. As I am tooling around camp, I notice a round, peach-colored glow from behind the trees. It is the moon set. And it is full. Could it be that we accidentally scheduled our backpacking trip for North Dome on the night of the Full Moon?
I just returned from an epic 12-day journey, my longest continuous stay so far, in Yosemite National Park. First night (a Tuesday in July) at Crane Flat Campground — lucky to get the one open campsite reservation online. Next five days/four nights in the backcountry. Entering at Porcupine Creek trailhead, camping on North Dome, then top of Yosemite Falls with a day hike to El Capitan, then back to Indian Ridge (near North Dome) for the final night. The final seven days were spent in Yosemite Valley Yellow Pines campground as volunteers with Yosemite Conservancy. This was our fifth year of service as volunteers with YC, and my first time as Assistant Cook, helping with preparation of hot breakfasts and dinners for the work crew of twelve volunteers all week long. I loved it!
I have just finished gathering and photographing/scanning all of the art images I created during my twelve days. A total of forty-six images, each with a mini story that will allow me to retrace my steps, one day at a time, and share each episode with you, in twelve, bite-sized portions. Each post will go up at 10:00am Pacific Time. At the end of the twelve days of posting, I will post the entire body of work on the front page of this website, as one project.
In the meantime, sit back and take a walk with me through one of our nation’s finest treasures. Continue reading →
It’s been hard to ride my bike continuously along the coastal trail these past few days. Every few feet I am stopped in my tracks by a breaching whale or pair or three! I have begun to observe how the birds show us where the next whale will breach. And I love seeing pairs breach in unison!
Fourth of July was a full day for me, starting with milking the goats at Vida Verde Education. On my way back, since I was with my partner who had never been to Martin’s Beach, we decided to stop and check it out. We were the first ones to walk the beach that morning.
But we were not the first to see the message placed on the bluff top like the “Hollywood” sign. I wonder who the lucky couple was.
Today I cracked open a new Moleskine notebook – the small watercolor album. I’ve never used it before, but there is liberation in a small blank page.
I sat with a piece of seaweed in front of me on the beach, and was able to take the time to let each layer of paint dry, adding more layers until I found the olive green-brown that satisfied me.
Today my gift from the sea was the chance to pay attention to the way colors mix on a page. And to sit for long enough to feel the quality of the ocean’s embrace. I was inspired to jot these words down too:
She approaches with a low rumble
as if a stampede of galloping hooves roll in
from the horizon.
She rolls and curls
and like many gentle fingers
she envelopes with a
Soft yet definite
holding the power
to move boulders
grain by grain
of our brief time here.
Today – Friday, June 3, 2016
Check out more of my journey in sketches on Miramar Beach in this gallery.
This spring, I’ve been out on my bike, and on my own two feet hiking along the California coast.
I’ve also been inspired by children’s books, and the amazing artistic freedom shown by so many illustrators.
Check out my new portfolio of Wildflower Collage Illustrations (some of which are available NOW in the store as limited edition prints) and below, enjoy a sneak peek into my landscape sketchbook from this spring. All sketches were done outside! Follow me on Instagram to see these images in their natural environment. Continue reading →
Rainy day. This morning before I sat down to draw, I picked up my copy of The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron. I received my paperback copy in 1993, as a high school graduation gift. She was an actress; he was a university chemistry professor and my dad’s PhD advisor. Both of them came to my graduation ceremony, as they were good friends of my parents and had no children of their own.