Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Cookies and Cheer

If you follow Hwy 395 south, guess where you head to -- San Diego and my grandchildren!!! I always try to be here for Halloween, my favorite holiday. Mara, 9, and Jonathan, 6, are all decked out in their new Halloween pajamas.

Of course, Halloween is also a good excuse for making cookies. Do you like Jonathan's Star Wars apron?

But we also wanted to make some creepy severed finger cookies. Our first try looked good before cooking -

But they spread out too much in the oven. But they were still delicious, especially after adding some bloody frosting.

After adding more flour to the dough, and making smaller fingers, they came out better. Add some more "blood", sliced almonds for fingernails, and a little cinnamon for dirt, and they look great!

Jonathan is a whiz at Legos. And Legos are not what they used to be. They are now very complicated, and he does huge projects that are marked for ages 8-14 without any help.

At another point, I mentioned that he sounded like a "broken record." HUH? What's that? I carefully explained that when a record is scratched, it repeats the same thing over and over. HUH??? WHAT'S A RECORD???

Another big reason for being here this weekend is that Mara's Cheer team is participating in a big competition. That's her on the top.

Click to play the whole routine. Corrie has added labels so you can follow Mara.

And guess what! They won first place in their category and level.

The happy team! Mara is bottom row, second from right.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Hiking and Paragliding (No, not me...)

Phil had been seeing a zig-zag road up the side of the mountain south of Lone Pine. It was irresistible, so off we went up the Horseshoe Meadows Road. Starting up the hill, we saw a hitchhiker who wanted to go up. Why? He was a paraglider. We gave him a lift up to his takeoff point.

Unfortunately, there was very little wind. Jason hit a gust right away, but his friend had some trouble. The ends of his chute are tangled.

So we waited and waited for a stiff breeze. Phil helped by holding up the chute.

Finally off he went, and we continued up the road to our destination.

We were headed to one last hike in the area - a short part of the Cottonwood Lakes trail, although we didn't go far enough to see any lakes. There was a little snow on the trail.

And a lot of foxtail pines, which I don't think I've ever seen before.

Tree trunks were very twisted. Hmmmmmmm.... Vortexes? (That's what my friend Shirley would say.)

On our way back down the hill, Jason was taking off again. He gave up on waiting for a gust, and just ran off the side of the cliff. No way would I do that!

Here's a very short video of the takeoff.

He had a neat sling gadget where he could lay down while gliding. All in all, an interesting adventure!

Friday, October 18, 2013

The Arches of the Alabama Hills

The Alabama Hills, outside the town of Lone Pine, CA, are home not just to large piles of rocks, but also to some really cool arches. Mobius Arch is a short walk from the parking area, and you can get a nice shot of Mt Whitney through it.

It's a great spot for photos, and I took a shot of Barbara and Ron that you can see here.

Phil got a different shot.

There's also another small arch nearby.

My shot through it the other direction.

Not so easy to get to is Lone Pine Arch. It's not a long hike, but there is no trail, so it requires some scrambling to get up to it.

It's very thin, and that's why it was formed.

You can get a shot through it -

But to get a picture of the mountains through it you'd have to be about 20 feet tall.

Believe it or not, last time Barbara and I were here, someone had left a ladder here!

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Lone Pine Film Festival

From Bishop we moved down to the town of Lone Pine, CA, and parked on the side of Lone Pine Narrow Gauge Rd. It's a seldom used road with a beautiful view.

That's Mt. Whitney, the highest mountain in the lower 48 states, above my trailer in the first picture. The melting snow made some interesting cloud formations.

If you got up early enough, the sun created the same phenomenal lighting we had in Bishop.

The ravens liked to land on the electrical poles outside my window. This one looked like he was carrying a golf ball.

In town is the Lone Pine Film History Museum. Many western movies were filmed around here.

Unfortunately, many of them were done before my time, believe it or not.

But I did remember the Lone Ranger and Tonto, and got to pose with them.

The reason so many westerns were filmed here is because of the rock formations in the Alabama Hills, underneath the beautiful Sierra Mountains.

We were there during the Lone Pine Film Festival, when they put out placards documenting the many movies that were filmed here.

The placards are placed in the exact spot where a scene was filmed.

Sometimes elaborate sets were produced, such as this temple in Gunga Din. Since they are no longer here, you have to use your imagination.

They also had a meet-and-greet with some old time film stars. I didn't recognize anyone, but this is Cheryl Rogers-Barnett, daughter of Roy Rogers and Dale Evans. At least I remember them.

And seated behind the table is Mariette Hartley. She was in some western movies filmed in the area, but I remember her most for her Polaroid commercials with James Garner.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Big Rocks and Old Cars

Our spot on Buttermilk Rd outside of Bishop, CA is very popular with photographers early in the morning. I hope they aren't photographing us - I haven't combed my hair yet...

Oh - that's the big attraction! The colors when the sun first hits the mountains are just amazing.

There seems to be a lot of traffic on Buttermilk Rd and we couldn't figure out what they were going. So we drove down there and found a lot of gigantic boulders. There are also a lot of hippies camping. (No, that's not one of them...)

Barbara and I went up to South Lake to see if we could find any water. The cars on the road were a real blast from the past, due to the car show in town.

A 4X4 Corvette!

We went for a very short hike along the shore, but found that South Lake, or should I call it South Lake Bed, was just as low as Lake Sabrina.

More old cars on the road back down the hill were very colorful -

Along with the autumn leaves. There's a waterfall in there too.

I always think the aspens are watching me...

We did got to the car show in town, where I found this cute little VW Bug camper.

It even had a bathroom!