A Field Trip to Sequoia

Posted by on Mar 8, 2017 in Going Places, Sources of inspiration | 6 Comments

Today I begin refreshing the largest Mineral King mural in Exeter (North of Pine, West side of E Street, South side of Capella Coffee)

Tomorrow I’ll show you today’s work on the mural.

Meanwhile, you can enjoy some photos of a recent half-day field trip. Trail Guy and I went to Giant Forest in Sequoia National Park for a little cross-country skiing. It was the day after a cold storm, and it was clear, cold, and beautiful.

 

View out the window of the dining room at Wuksachi Lodge

View out the window of dining room in Wuksachi Lodge

Front porch of Wuksachi Lodge, Sequoia National Park

 

Field Trip up the Mineral King Road

One day while I was painting the Oak Grove Bridge, Trail Guy said he wanted to drive up the Mineral King Road and see how things looked. I put down my brushes and put on my boots.

The bridge was the first stop.

The bridge was the first stop.

All that muddy water obscured the boulders and rock formations that I have been struggling to decipher in the photos.

All that muddy water obscured the boulders and rock formations that I have been struggling to decipher in the photos.

Through the windshield after the we reached the snow.

Through the windshield after the we reached the snow.

Lookout Point, through the windshield.

Lookout Point, through the windshield.

I got out of the truck to lock the hubs. Glad I wore those LLBean boots.

I got out of the truck to lock the hubs. Glad I wore those LLBean boots.

Lookout point after I locked those hubs.

Lookout Point after I locked those hubs.

We didn't make it very far. This is at the asphalt pile turnout. The snow was about 3" deep there.

We didn’t make it very far. This is at the asphalt pile turnout, maybe 10 miles from the bottom of the road. The snow was about 3″ deep there.

Trail Guy closed the lower gate. Bit of a slide there, but it is easy to drive around.

Trail Guy closed the lower gate. Bit of a slide there, but it is easy to drive around.

This is Squirrel Creek, near Lake Canyon, AKA Mitchell Ranch, AKA Sweet Ranch, AKA Way Station. It goes dry in many summers.

This is Squirrel Creek, near Lake Canyon, AKA Mitchell Ranch, AKA Sweet Ranch, AKA Way Station. It goes dry in many summers.

 

Time Off to Take in the Views

This week I will post several different subjects, all unrelated to art work. These could be titled “Sources of Inspiration”, although I don’t know if they will result in paintings or drawings.

Subject #1

Trail Guy took the Botmobile to a secret location with a great view of the High Sierra. The mountain range is the Sierra Nevada, and it is only people from Southern California who say “the Sierras”. Those of us in Central California generally know better in spite of being uneducated, poor and fat.

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I wasn’t there because I was finishing the mural, not goofing off. Yet.

Can you pick out Sawtooth?

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Here – have a slightly closer look.

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Subject #2

The Captain decided that this rocking chair, more of a glider, a beautiful piece made by the Amish, no longer suits her. Together we figured out how to fit it into my car, and voila! It looks just right in this corner of our living room.

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There used to be plants on that table, but Samson thought it was his personal jungle. Now there is a squirt bottle handy to remind him that our hands and feet are not his chew toys.

The view out the window looked like this:

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Hey, this isn’t complete. We should be seeing Moro Rock to the left of Alta Peak. Time for some yard work.

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Alrighty then. Life in Three Rivers for this Central California artist and her husband, AKA Trail Guy, seems to be about views.

 

Long Fast Walk

Posted by on Oct 12, 2016 in Going Places | 6 Comments

One last post not about art or Mineral King. We’ll resume our normal broadcasting schedule topics tomorrow.

There are many ways to participate in the multiple events of the Lake Tahoe Marathon weekend; walking partner T and I chose to walk the 1/2 marathon on Sunday, October 9.

We’ve been planning and training for awhile.

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The bus took us from Stateline to Emerald Bay.

The bus took us from Stateline to Emerald Bay.

We walked 1/2 mile down the road to the starting point, following a bagpiper.

We walked 1/2 mile down the road to the starting point, following a bagpiper.

Our view as we waited for the start time was quite beautiful.

Our view as we waited for the start time was quite beautiful.

Marathon runners passed us as we waited for our start time.

Marathon runners passed us as we waited for our start time.

T and I were cold, excited and ready!

T and I were cold, excited and ready!

We were immediately passed by all the runners.

We were immediately passed by all the runners.

It didn't take long for the crowd of 536 to spread out on the road.

It didn’t take long for the crowd of 536 to spread out on the road.

It might have been 3 miles of downhill, following the lake from the road above. We were walking very very fast.

It might have been 3 miles of downhill, following the lake from the road above. We were walking very very fast.

This was the only time I spotted good fall color along the route.

This was the best fall color along the route; not all the aspens had turned yet.

We left the road and moved onto a bike trail.

We left the road and moved onto a bike trail.

After meandering through some neighborhoods, the route took us along a busy boulevard, first on this trail, and then just along the road on a cracked narrow sidewalk. It wasn't pleasant for the last 5 or 6 miles.

After meandering through some neighborhoods, the route took us along a busy boulevard, first on this trail, and then just along the road on a cracked narrow sidewalk. It wasn’t pleasant for the last 5 or 6 miles, our feet hurt and there wasn’t anything to photograph.

We were along the lakeshore for a brief span near the end.

We were along the lakeshore for a brief span near the end. Fast walking makes for crooked photos!

T and I finished the 1/2 marathon with an average pace of 4.1 mph. This placed us at numbers 513 and 514 out of 536 participants. It was 3 hours and 15 minutes of very fast walking. My Garmin showed the distance to be 13.39 miles instead of 13.1.

Worth it? Yes, for the friendship factor. No, for the way I felt afterward and the amount of hassles to go there and back. Shoot, our motel was so cheap there wasn’t even a coffee maker in the room! But oh my, T is so much fun, and we laughed and laughed and talked and laughed for 2 days straight.

 

More Road Trip, Part Six

Posted by on Oct 11, 2016 in Going Places, Personal | No Comments

Yes, I know this isn’t about art or Mineral King. I hope you enjoy it anyway!

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Southern Idaho is rolling, rural and beautiful.

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Below us on this vista point we could see the Snake River through Lewiston; we chose the snakey road down rather than the highway.

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Whatever remains after harvesting gets burned.

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After a long driving day, this simple motel looked very inviting. The sign shows a sense of humor and attention to detail in Cambridge, Idaho.

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We crossed unnamed “creeks” that were much larger than the Kaweah in Three Rivers.

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Nevada or Nirvana? – the perfect state of nothingness.

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Miss Kitty was waiting to greet us at our destination in South Lake Tahoe. I hate being catless, but that state will change soon. Please don’t offer me any kittens – I am very weak because of my Cat Disorder, but we do have a plan. I will hang on by my fingernails until then.

 

 

Last Day There, Part Five

Posted by on Oct 10, 2016 in Going Places, Personal | No Comments

Yesterday I walked the Lake Tahoe 1/2 Marathon. I’ll tell you about that after I finish going on and on and on about our very long road trip. Today is more about Sandpoint. These could all be considered sources of inspiration, because an artist needs to be continually on the lookout for subject matter and ideas.

I had to do a 10 mile walk while in Sandpoint in preparation for the Lake Tahoe walk. It was very difficult without my walking partner, but the scenery helped as did the level bike path. (The 11 mile bike ride on the previous day probably didn’t help.)

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img_4466img_4467img_4469img_4476img_4474 Never eat white berries, according to our friend’s dad.

We had planned to do this road trip last spring so that Trail Guy could ski at Schweitzer Mountain. It didn’t work out for the spring, so we rescheduled. During this late summer trip, we visited Schweitzer.

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Fancy place, that Schweitzer. And such a view of Lake Ponderay! (Nope, I am not French, can’t speak it or spell it.)

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The last morning in the Sandpoint area, we went touring on foot around our Very Very Nice Neighborhood in Dover Bay.

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The little wire cage dealio is an elevator down to the docks. This is NOT the house where we were staying; our place was nice, and this was extravagantly nice.

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A church and community center with fake flowers in the window boxes.

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Firebush? AWESOME and definitely not fake.

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These people were sneaking apples. Trail Guy and I did too, but I don’t know if we appeared quite as furtive. We actually had permission, since the trees were on the railroad right-of-way and not in anyone’s yard.

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img_6761img_6767img_6769img_4492 Bye-bye, bicycles. Bye-bye, Seattle friends. 8-(

 

There, Part Four

Posted by on Oct 7, 2016 in Going Places, Personal | 4 Comments

Another personal post not about art or Mineral King.

We took a bike ride into Sandpoint. Turned out to be about 11 miles round trip. Not bad for the first time on a bike in several years. Probably the last time on a bike for several weeks. Ow.

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The catalog company Coldwater Creek used to be located in this covered bridge. We went there in 2001, so it was fun to see it again. It is now little shoppes. There are many shoppes and shops in Sandpoint, including at least 2 that sell yarn. (My severe yarn diet was on vacation; besides, if I buy yarn for someone else, it doesn’t really count.)

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We rode along this path by Lake Ponderay (nope, not spelling it the French way). The blur is the result of taking a photo while riding.

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Still following those bikes. . . such great bike paths in Sandpoint! And everything is flat. Whenever I ride in Tulare County, I am just sure that every place is uphill and against the wind, but Sandpoint was perfect in every way for bike riding.

There were many berries. Our friend told us that his dad taught him that if berries are blue, they are usually safe, if red they are sometimes safe, and if white, NEVER safe to eat.

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These blue berries (look carefully) are actually Oregon Grape. Couldn’t prove it by me – looks like holly.

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There, Part Three

Posted by on Oct 6, 2016 in Going Places, Personal | 3 Comments

The long way was behind us once we reached Sandpoint. This was the view from the porch of the Very Very Nice House where we stayed, actually located in Dover, just three miles north of Sandpoint.

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img_4432 The house next door was very similar to the place we stayed. This might make a nice drawing with the flag in color. It might make a nice oil painting.

Since I am in training for the Lake Tahoe 1/2 Marathon (October 9!!), I took a fast walk around the neighborhood. I had to retrace my route the next morning with a camera in my pocket, because it was so very beautiful.

Any one of these would make a nice oil painting. Does that make this a business trip?

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Long Way There, Part Two

Posted by on Oct 5, 2016 in Going Places, Personal | 3 Comments

Another entirely personal post, not about art or Mineral King; however, several of the photos shown could possibly become oil paintings or pencil drawings.

The third day of the very long road trip took us from Salem to Seattle. Seattle has a traffic problem. There is also a signage problem south of Tacoma – the freeway splits into 2 parts without warning or explanation; if you stay left, you can see a sign off to the right that says I-5. This is worrisome if you wished to remain on 5 but find yourself in the lanes going left. This worrisome condition continues for several miles without any reassurance whatsoever. Eventually, you are gifted with the knowledge that you are still on I-5, in spite of the signage showing that I-5 went right. It helps to maintain a sense of direction, and hope that everyone speaks English should you need to ask for directions. A working steering wheel also provides a sense of control during these times of freeway construction and confusion. Maps would help if you had any idea which freeway you got dumped onto.

In northern Oregon or southern Washington, I am always struck by the trees with no branches on their lower trunks.

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Here are a few photos of the place we landed, once we arrived at our destination for that day.

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If you want to watch Penny go nuts, just say “SQUIRRELS!”

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Fantastically beautiful backyard. It must be awesome to live without deer, gophers, bugs, excessive heat and a lack of water.

We left the next day for Sandpoint, Idaho, caravan style with our Seattle friends. Had to wait until 10 a.m. to avoid traffic. We may have deer, gophers, bugs, excessive heat and a lack of water, but we can leave on a trip whenever we want without considering traffic.

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It poured while leaving Seattle and its nasty traffic.

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This isn’t considered to be “traffic” when you live in or around Seattle. As long as we could see those bicycles, we knew we were on the right road.

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Eastern Washington, still following the bicycles.

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Eastern Washington and southern Idaho are open, without excessive traffic, but with lots of ag and the occasional train.

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Yes, I juiced up the colors a bit. So much rural scenery, so much open space.

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Crossing the Ponderay River into Sandpoint with another bridge and a train in the distance. (I know that’s not the correct way to spell Ponderay, but it is actually spelled that way a few times in the area for the non-Frenchies.)

Long Way There

Posted by on Oct 3, 2016 in Going Places, Personal | 2 Comments

This post will be entirely personal, so feel free to skip it if you only come for art or Mineral King.

Did you know that Israel is 236 miles from north to south?

Recently, Trail Guy and I drove the equivalent of that distance 11 times over, and we only saw parts of 5 of our 50 states.

We live in a HUGE country, people. HUGE.

The first day of the road trip took us up Interstate Five. The further north we went, the easier the traveling became, due to diminishing traffic. (We avoid 99 because it seems as if everyone on that road is trying to kill us.)

The most interesting thing we saw that day was just south of the weird town of Weed: a lot full of rainbow colored water trucks. It is so remarkable that I looked it up online. They don’t have a website, but I found that their name is Truck Village. You can see a photo here.

Weed is quaint. It was named after Abner Weed, not after pot. Mount Shasta dominates the town, but I don’t have photos because the sun was directly over it when I took my morning walk. Here are a few photos showing the quaintness:

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Our second day driving took us to our first real destination of Salem, Oregon. That leg of the trip was the shortest driving day and the prettiest. We saw wind machines in a few orchards, something we only associate with citrus in the Central Valley. So, we went exploring to see what needed frost protection, and this was the surprising answer:

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Then we detoured to a landmark that I have been enjoying for years as we burn up the petrol along I-5.

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It is called “Grave Creek” because of something sad a very long time ago, not because people are serious here.

Salem was all about Golden Delicious apples and making fruit leather. Had to do something while it rained; we had a very enjoyable time with family and apples.

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The day after tomorrow I will continue to show and tell about the very long way there, and where “there” is.