Chris' brother Scott has a new cabin in the Western Sierras between Lake Tahoe and Yosemite, and he invited us up to check it out. But first we had to get there from Southern California. Road trip!
We passed this wildfire in Wrightwood, California on the way
Interesting sight at a truck stop
I had to pee in the middle of the Mojave Desert, so we pulled over and I did my business in the shadow of this discarded sewer pipe. Coincidentally, a street artist had painted the words "You go, girl!" on the side...so I did! :-)
Wind farm and entrails
Many folks consider the drive between northern and southern
California drudgery, but there is beauty if you look...
Thousands and thousands of oaks
Soon, we arrived at Scott's cabin in Arnold, California. It's right
in the middle of the the Stanislaus National Forest, so we went for a hike.
This section of the Western Sierras is a lovely combination of pines and blooming dogwoods
Brothers sharing a laugh and catching up
Happy to be here
Not bad for a backyard, huh?
My feet after the hike on the dusty trail
That evening we relaxed after the hike with some Texas Hold 'Em.
Scott's wife Sachiko deals us in.
Only 3 miles from Scott's cabin is the Big Pines State Park,
home to one of the few groves of Giant Sequoias on the planet
The Giant Sequoias are a must see.
My nephew Ronald REALLY WAS glad to be there. I promise. :-)
There's an easy one mile trail which weaves through the park
Wild berries! Wow! Free food always excites me. :-)
Looks like a brown bear may have been here first
Dogwoods bloom amongst the Sequoias
These roots of a toppled Sequoia are hundreds of years old
Being amongst such grandeur in nature is
conducive to major mother/son bonding
A tiny burst of red leaves reminds us that autumn is just around the corner
Men amongst trees
Next on the agenda, we headed to Scott's home on the San Francisco Bay.
The next morning, we took the ferry under
the Oakland Bay Bridge and into the city
It was a typical foggy, cold morning in San Francisco.
Hard to believe it was August!
Not too many people were taking advantage
of the bikes for rent in San Francisco
OK, normally I'm a big proponent of promoting bicycles in cities.
But in San Francisco?
Uh.....I don't think so.
These impatiens helped brighten the foggy day
So, one guy builds a wall to display a poem...
and then another guys plant trees in front of it...
Sigh. Sometimes I have to wonder if anybody is in charge.
A San Francisco free spirit
Next stop, our ultimate destination: America's Cup Village!
We were a bit bummed because there was no racing planned for the day.
But we didn't let this minor detail spoil our fun!
It was pretty cool just being there
Not long ago, one of the boats capsized, and a sailor drowned
Tom Cruise was here racing with Team New Zealand a couple of weeks ago.
Note the SCUBA regulator on the shoulder of the Team NZ sailor.
This was added for safety after the drowning death.
We had fun at the Team New Zealand racing simulator
These New Zealand Airways stewardesses flirted
shamelessly with the boys
These same stewardesses were flirting with Tom Cruise here at the
Village not long ago. By the way, take a close look at the photo.
Um...Tom seems really happy to be there, yes?
Well, Tom is a bachelor again, so I suppose stewardesses
are fair game for this superstar.
There were all sorts of million dollar yachts tied to the America's
Cup Village dock -- and most of them flew these Cayman
Islands flags for the tax exempt status.
Disco America's Cup!
We did get to see Oracle and Team New Zealand practice
out on the water, so it wasn't a complete bust.
But in the end, the best view we got of the racing was this
America's Cup movie they showed at the Village.
We took the Ferry back to Scott's house for a final evening
with family before heading home the next morning.
Brother #3 Kevin came up from Silicon Valley, and a brotherly jam session ensued
We headed home to Green Valley Lake the next day.
Big boats, bigger trees and a giant chunk of family.
Not a bad way to spend a long weekend. :-)