Tag Archives: weekend wandering

Weekend Wandering: Horsetail Falls.

Also known as: The second week in a row we didn’t make it to the waterfall.

Although this weekend, at least we FOUND the waterfall. We just didn’t make it to the top like I thought we might. Due to a variety of technical difficulties, we had a late start, and due to some time constraints and shoe difficulties, we thought it wise to stop and sit with our feet in the pool rather than press on. And actually, I’m really happy with the way that worked out. I’ve been to the top of the falls several times – but I’ve never sat down in any of the the cool pools. We had roast beef sandwiches and pringles and enjoyed the hot sun and the icy cold water. It was a good hike.

The pool we sat in:

View from where I sat:

View from the other direction:

Later on that day, I had to drive to the airport and pick up Connor. It was good I had some time to enjoy the open air on the mountainside yesterday, because today has been difficult. Sigh.

A nice reminder.

Weston & I decided to get away for the weekend. We wanted to go to Ojai, CA. He used to live there, and I wanted to visit… so we thought we’d hop in the car around 4:30 after work, stop somewhere and pick up food & gas, and be at the Best Western Casa Ojai by midnight, no problem. Wrong. We started our trip late, because neither of us left work on time. We weren’t able to get away until almost 6:00, so we were feeling antsy and wanted to get on the road FAST. We decided to stop in Stockton and pick up the food and gas, and we settled on RedBrick pizza (VERY tasty thai chicken pizza), picked up the pizzas to go, and got back on the road. (The clever observer will notice a small – but important – detail at this point.) We had some nice conversations, ate our delicious pizza, and were cruising merrily along on southbound I-5 (if you would like to see approximately where, just type “panoche junction” into teh googlemaps) when the car did something funny.

“The car is doing something funny,” I said.
“Funny-ha-ha?” asked Weston.

The needle on the speedometer was going down, down, down, and I was pushing on the gas pedal, trying to get it to go back up when Weston made an observation. “Um… We’re out of gas.”


It was a small mistake. One minor oversight. But it took us 3 hours to correct it. See, in order to call for roadside assistance, you have to know where you are. We didn’t have any idea. A nice trucker stopped by and tried to help us while we were walking to find a mile marker. I couldn’t understand him very well, but Weston figured out what he was trying to tell us. We went back to the car and called for help.

At 4:30 a.m., we pulled in to the Best Western, which was as welcome a sight as I’ve ever, ever seen. The hotel is lovely. Everything was ready for us. We slept, and now we’re off to wander Ojai. We’re going to visit the ice cream shop – I’ve heard Julia Ormond gets her ice cream there. But today, I will be paying attention to the small things. Sometimes they’re important.

I’m Back.

Back from UTAH. The land of layered clothing, glossy hair, frozen yogurt, and lovely, lovely canyons. I had a wonderful time. It was way, way, WAY too short though. I’m thinking I need to take some unpaid time off so I can have a respectable vacation. I still really don’t know how anybody has time for a full-time job. I certainly don’t.

Anyway, while I was in Utah, I had some cheese curds and didn’t hate them. The last time I ate cheese curds was 13 years ago when Erin M. bought some on a young women trip to Southern Utah. The cheese curds I had this time were from Logan, from the Utah State University creamery, which was the ONLY thing open when we went there to show Katie the campus. (Seriously. EVERY other building was locked up.) I also had some ice cream while I was there, which was pretty good. But alas, Katie – poor Katie – she chose the bubble gum ice cream. She said it was the worst ice cream ever. And I thought, “Surely, it can’t be the worst ice cream EVER – I mean, come on. There’s some pretty bad ice cream out there…”

But then I tried it. And let me tell you, Internet. It was, truly, the Worst. Ice cream. EVER. Also, we’re pretty sure it was a monster.

We had lots of fun. I saw new babies, and new houses, and watched Stardust under the stars. (Seriously. The freakin’ stars.) We also went to McDonald’s. This isn’t particularly noteworthy – except that I took a picture.

Weekend Wandering: Double Feature.

I’ve done a couple of great day hikes in the past few weekends.  Mount Diablo near Walnut Creek, and Bassi Falls up off Highway 50 past Pollock Pines.

Round One:  Mount Diablo.  Connor did so well on the hike.  We hiked about two miles, roundtrip, with a nearly 1000-foot vertical gain.  It was a beautiful day – blue sky and breezy.  Lots of people driving around in their convertibles.  At the trailhead, we saw this little guy getting a drink out of the faucet.  Didn’t even flinch when we walked up to take a picture.  Animals that aren’t scared of people = slightly creepy.  (Still cute though.)

When we got to the top, we could see the whole valley. A little hazy – but still pretty cool.

Round Two: Bassi Falls. WHAT a FUN trip. Oh wow – we had a great time. We went with some friends, and Connor got to hike with the boys. He LOVED it.

It’s an amazing place. The water comes crashing out of the mountain, onto some enormous boulders, then filters down in streams and rivulets over a wide swath of flat granite and trees.

Origin of the falls:

View from the other direction:

Connor brought his Pokemon toys – and played in the little streams while the bigger kids climbed up to the top. Then the boys made little boats out of duct tape and pulled them along with strings in the water. It was great – almost like we borrowed some older brothers for him. Sometimes I feel like he’s missing out, not having siblings… but not this weekend. Nope. This weekend, he wasn’t missing anything at all.

Weekend Wandering.

Last weekend, we managed to get out of town for a few days. I wanted to take Connor to the Monterey Bay Aquarium. We did, eventually, get there – although it took a really, really long time. We decided to stop in San Jose and see my sister, stay overnight, and drive the next day to the aquarium. No problem right?

Except. Highway 17 had a big traffic jam. We thought it might be nice to take the windy, out-of-the-way Highway 9, and it was nice… until it was blocked 45 minutes later. We wound down a bunch of random roads and ended up (eventually) on the 101. It only took 4 hours to get from San Jose to Monterey. Yeesh.

We stayed in some very nice hotels, ate some very good food, and saw some very cool fish, but what with all the weird traffic, we only got to stay in the aquarium for a few hours – so I think we’ll have to go back again. (Oh darn.)