Sunday, October 31, 2010

Next part of the trip

Apologies.  It's been ages since my last post, but between driving, hiking, visiting, and reading natural history material in preparation for our next stop, I have been slack with posting.  But, we've been having a wonderful time so far. 

After a few days of visit mom, we went to Bodie, California, an abandoned mining town which sits at nearly 9000 feet.  It was fascinating.

Then onto Manzanar, California, the home of a US Japanese internment camp in the middle of Owens Valley (the place where water was taken from to feed LA; it's the basis of ChinaTown, a movie about how corruption let to 95% of the Valley's water being sucked dry).  Apparently it used to boast being fertile orchard country.

After another long drive, that included a tour through Death Valley before we visited the Grand Canyon.  These photos don't come close to the grandeur...

Then onto my brother Bart's  in Phoenix.  We cruised around Canyon Lake, which I hadn't been to since I was a kid (it's one of the nearby lakes where we used to camp when I was a kid).  We also went to the Museum of Music which is world class, and so well done; it was amazing and well worth a visit if you're in the area.  

When we left Phoenix we headed for more Canyon Country.  The first stop was Monument Valley where a lot of the westerns were filmed.  We also visited Gooseneck State Park.
We've been covering a lot of miles, but every day seems to be a highlight.  We visited Mesa Verde, one of the homes of the Anasazi (a word no longer in use by the way) which totally blew me away.  The drive up and down just about did me away, with hairpin turns and steep cliffs, it sits atop the very high dessert mesa pictured here.

I thought Mesa Verde was amazing.  Then we went to Chaco, New Mexico, another home of the "Ancient Ones" ( 850-1100 AD).  It was desolate and beautiful and amazing.  It's been called the North American equivalent to Stonehenge since the building site is aligned such that light shines through corner openings at specific times of the year to capture solar and lunar cycles.  It was a major cultural centre for the Pueblo peoples and comprised the largest buildings in North America until the 19th century.  It's mainly quarried sandstone, but the Chacoans hauled wood for roofing from as far as 50 miles away... without the aid of the wheel!

Next installment in our Four Corners visit is Arches National Park and  then Bryce Canyon and points north.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Goodbye Seattle, welcome to Reno

  So far, the weather has been lovely.  Had a great visit with my nephew and family in Seattle with gorgeous sunny days.  Visited the Pike Street Market, read books with my grand niece Abby, bounced baby Chloe on my knee, and went out for a fabulous dinner with Brian and Diana.

 After Seattle, we did a long day's drive to get to Susanville, CA where we had fabulous chili rellenos in a family Mexican food restaurant before crashing.  Arrived at mum's place the next morning and have been hanging out for a few days, drinking tea, catching up on family news and going for 5k runs to burn a few calories for the out-of-proportion meals she insists on serving.

Since mum isn't into computers, we are at Starbucks in Reno, Nevada, using WiFi to catch up on email and drinking a London Fog. Not a lot of gambling going on for us though...we walked into a casino but the cigarette smoke chased us away after only a few minutes...I hear there are non-smoking places, but we haven't discovered them so far.

Time to head south tomorrow to visit Bodie, California, a mining ghost town which just might make a really great setting for a novel. I'm hoping so...I've always wanted to write something set in a mining town since my dad was a miner and I grew up in small mining towns.  It never hurts to think of the next book, even if you're only mid way through the first draft of the work in progress.
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Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Sad & Excited

Just said goodbye to my girls after a wonderful Thanksgiving weekend.  I'm sad and excited all rolled into one.  I treasure the time we spend together now that they each have their own busy lives, but this leaving was made easier because tomorrow is day one of a month long road trip to the American Southwest where I'll get to reconnect with my mom and sibs, and where I'd love to set a novel (after the one I'm working on now).

This has to be a short and sweet post as I'm on the run to get a million errands done.  My next chore (hee hee) will be to pick out a couple of books from my bedside pile to bring along.  I had planned to bring Inkdeath, the third in Cornelia Funke's Inkworld series but I've decided against it as I'm having a hard time getting into it even though I grew to care about Meggie, her parents and the fire-eater Dustfinger in the first two books.  No worries though...the pile to choose from is BIG!

Monday, October 11, 2010

Returned home from a writing workshop to an almost complete renovation

I returned home from Quadra Island where I spoke to a grade 4/5 class, followed by a two day writing workshop with 5 other Vancouver Island writers. When I left the bathroom was totally pulled apart with renovations taking longer than planned.  The reno is almost complete.  Just waiting on special order part.  In the meantime, I now have a deep, comfortable bath for bubble baths which I love love love, especially after a run.

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Canadian Thanksgiving coming up.

Apple PieImage by bucklava via Flickr
I'll be on wonderful Quadra Island, BC working for the next several days and will be picking my girls up from the ferry on my way back into town on Friday night.  They'll be home for the long weekend (Canadian Thanksgiving) so no posts for a while, especially since I have to make apple, pumpkin and blackberry pie to keep everyone happy!  Not to mention turkey!  Hope you all have a great book to read!

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Sunday, October 03, 2010

Five K down and it's only 10:30

Here are  my friend Trish (in the blue vest) and I closing in on the finish line of this morning's 5K Run for  the Cure.  Now it's time for a quick cup of tea and a shower, before work.

Saturday, October 02, 2010

One more day before Run for the Cure

Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation (CBCF) - Run...Image by Barnaby Jeans via Flickr
Only one day before the 5 K Run for the Cure.  Consider donating either your time or $.  Women everywhere will appreciate it.

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