Monday, June 30, 2003

My Trinity Alps camping trip was great. We left the SF bay area at 10 a.m. and made the 6 hour drive to Trinity Alps. It was a hot drive but not as bad as we expected with the weather forecast for a heat wave. It was good to get to our campsite where it was cooler. We camped in a tent only site on Lewiston Lake. From our tents we could see the lake. That was cool however it did mean we also had mosquitos to deal with in the evenings at dusk. The bugs were not too bad but we did have to fish out mosquito repellent and we both were scratching at several bites at the end of the trip. We had a couple of deer who would visit us by the lake each night. We also saw a little frog under our picnic table and a squirrel ran around with a great big bushy tail. On Wednesday and Thursday nights we did not have any neighbors in the campsite so it was wonderfully quiet and beautiful. Friday night a big group of folks arrived with tons of coolers, fancy camp chairs, big tents, hammocks, boats, and fishing gear. They arrived around 10 p.m. and made quite a lot of noise which was annoying. Oh well, we had two nice quiet evenings.

On Thursday we went on an awesome day hiking to Canyon Creek. We hiked next to the creek and gradually ascended to see some wonderful waterfalls. We had a nice lunch just past a small water fall. After lunch we carried on and saw the middle falls which were awesome. We hiked along the creek some more and found a wonderful swimming hole and decided to take a dip. It was very cold but refreshing. As we were finishing up a woman stopped by and told us that the upper falls were very impressive so we decided to go take a look. They were indeed awesome but hard to see through the woods and hard to get close to to get a better look. We turned around at 7 miles up the creek to return back to the car. The hike down seemed much longer. That seems to happen often on there and back hikes. On the hike out you are all excited and energetic and time and distance flies. On the way back sometimes the energy is gone. We finished up our hike at 6:30 p.m. We drove back to the campground. On the way back, L. suddenly stopped the car. She then pointed out a family of skunks on the side of the road. It was a Mom with her three kids. It was a very cute sight. The little skunks waddled along sticking to Mom's side. We were jazzed to have seen the skunks.

On Friday we went hiking on Blue creek. It was a long drive there and we got lost so added in a few extra miles. BUT, as we turned around to head back to the right road we got to see a bear lumber on to the road. It stopped when it saw our car and headed back to the woods but we got a great view of it. L. was really excited as she is a native Californian and had not yet managed to see a bear in the wild. After losing sight of the bear we headed back to the right road to the trailhead. It was a very small bumpy dirt road. The trail head was about 4 miles in at the end of the dirt road. We got started on the hike to go to Tangle Blue lake. It was 11 a.m. and the first couple of miles of trail were on fire roads being baked by the sun. We were in grumpy moods about that. We finally left the fire road and came to a wonderful meadow with Blue creek running through it. There were wonderful tall Cedar trees and very green swampy areas. We had lunch in the meadow. After lunch we discovered we had to make a stream crossing. I delicately wandered out on a log and lept the last 2 feet to the bank. L. was not up to that so took off her shoes and waded across. We continued on and ran into another possible stream crossing. I shed my day pack and wandered around trying to find the trail to be sure that we did have to go across the stream. I shimmied across a big log over the creek and wandered around and found the trail. But when I came back to fetch L. we both decided we wanted to go back to the meadow and not bother with the stream crossing and seeing Tangle Blue lake. When we got back to the meadow, L. left the trail to check out a yellow flower she saw in the swampy area. She was very excited to discover it was a Pitcher Plant. She had never seen them in the wild before. It was fun to share her excitement over them. We took lots of pictures of them and then continued on through the meadow and back on the fire roads to the car. L. declared the hike on the fire roads worth it to see the Pitcher plants. L. does not stand up well to very exposed hot uphill hikes. That describes the hike on the fire roads! After the hike we stopped at the Country Store and I got some ice cream and L. got orange juice poured over a tall glass of ice. It was great to sip on cold drinks after a hike. We had another nice evening in camp.

Saturday, we went hiking to Eleonor Lake and Shimmy Lake. We had another long windy drive on dirt roads to get to the trail head. It was a hot day. The first part of the hike was nice. We got to Eleonor Lake soon. It was a delightful little lake half covered with Lily Pads with marvelous white pinkish bushes of flowers bordering the lake. It was so very green. At the end of the lake we saw more Pitcher Plants. Then we continued on to Shimmy Lake. It was not a very nice hike. It was often exposed, there were quite a few uphill slogs, and it was hard to find the trail route. It was marked with red flags and cairns (piles of rocks). At times we had to wander all over to find the next cairn or ribbon. The last bit of the hike before Shimmy Lake was shadier and much nicer to hike on. We finally reached Shimmy Lake and renamed it Shimmy swamp. There was hardly any water in the lake. It was still beautiful but I didn't get the swim I was rather looking forward to. We dawdled around at Lake Shimmy for a bit and then headed back. On the way back we got lost because we followed the wrong flags. We found a fire road and wandered around on it and to our relief found a cairn. We followed the cairns and soon discovered that we were heading back to the lake so we turned around and continued on the trail being real careful to follow the right flags and the cairns. We got back just fine but were pretty tired and hot. It was a very hot day. Phew. We had another stop at a store for cold drinks on the way home. About half way home, L. suggested we drive home that night instead of on Sunday to avoid the 100+ temperatures in the Sacramento valley and to get away from our noisy neighbors. We mulled it over and discussed it and saw our last wild life of the trip. We saw a fox run across the road. We were amused that most of our wildlife spotting happened in the car. Any how, we did decide to leave that night. It was a good decision. We avoided the 100+ degree temperatures the next day. I also was tickled to get to sleep in Sunday and have the day to get some stuff done.

Monday, June 23, 2003

The tummy virus seems to be gone today. Thank goodness. I did feel OK enough on the weekend to have fun hiking on both Saturday and Sunday. Both days I just had a faintly quesy stomach after eating.

Saturday I did a 7 mile hike at Calero County Park with OAW. It was a fun group. Everyone was being very goofy and cheerful. The weather was great and we ate lunch while being serenaded by bull frogs. Towards the end of the hike we saw a young coyote ambling down the hillside. After the hike we had an early dinner at a Sweet Tomatos restaurant (salad bar place like Fresh Choice).

Sunday I scouted a hike at the Coal Mine Ridge area of the Portola Town Trails system with L. We had only one map and it was way out of date so we spent a lot of time exploring trails looking for the route I had picked out. We didn't succeed in doing the planned route but I do have a new route planned for the actual OAW hike. When I got home from the hike, I finally managed to find a good map on the web and figured out where we had gone.

Friday, June 20, 2003

For a good laugh, check out

I'm slowly recovering from this awful stomach virus. I have been back at work for 2 days now. My stomach still feels ever so slightly quesy and on occassion hurts a little. I do feel well enough to be working though. I hope I feel better tomorrow for the Calero hike.

Sunday I'll probably go hiking with L. but also get ready for our camping trip to Trinity Alps. I need to stop by REI and get some fuel cannisters for my stove. While I'm at L.'s I need to find out if she wants her tent back or not. If she doesn't, I'll use it. If she does, I'll ferret out my old stand by dome tent I use for car camping. I'm taking off WThF next week so I will only have a 2 day work week. Hurray!

Wednesday, June 18, 2003

Oh my goodness did I get sick when I got home on Monday. I had no more "choice" about whether I would throw up or not. I threw up right when I got home (thank God I didn't have to jump off my bike and throw up on the way home from work). Then I was trying to sip water most of the night so I wouldn't get too dehydrated but unfortunately I just about threw up all the water later in the night. I have been home the past two days. I haven't thrown up (YAY) since Monday but I have been feeling quite quesy. If I move around a lot it gets worse. I am just not in shape to be at work. It bites that I am having to use up Paid Time Off on being sick. Oh well.

Monday, June 16, 2003

I'm not feeling well at all today. I am having a really hard time staying awake and I feel like I could throw up if I let myself. Put it this way ... eating is not appealing to me right now. I was feeling OK this morning at breakfast, but then I rode my bike to work and when I got here started feeling wretched. I am not looking forward to having to ride home feeling like this. I'm hoping by 4 p.m. I'll feel better. I have gotten some work done this morning but its slow going when my eyes keep drooping shut. My mind is not sharp when I'm this tired.

I did have a nice weekend. Wen's graduation was hot but fun to watch. We sat out in the sun for quite a while listening to speeches and watching professors hood all the graduate students. Wen had to kneel because her advisor is so short. I hung around a little at the reception following but passed on the department party. Saturday I led my hike to Montara Mtn. There were four of us in all so it was a very easy trip to lead. L. showed up and two new folks, K. and Y. I think they had a good time on the hike. The views on the way up were awesome. On top we had fog so there wasn't much of a view. It was blowing in and out so we did manage to see the San Mateo Bridge once while we were on top. We moved down lower than the peak for lunch. We found some sunshine and investigated this rusted out old truck. The hike down was nice too. It was a good trip. Sunday I slept in and then at noon headed over to L.'s house. We went hiking at El Sereno Open Space Preserve. Its up above Los Gatos. We saw nice views of the Lexington reservoir. The trails were pretty much all fire roads and it was quite an exposed hike. We only did about 4 miles or so. It was pretty and about the length we wanted. L. was checking out the new light weight boots she bought at REI the day before. This park wouldn't be very good for a group hike though as the parking was quite limited.

Oh geez ... I need to lean back and catch a cat nap in my chair. Adios.

Friday, June 13, 2003

I'm at home right now. Pretty soon I will be driving to Santa Cruz to attend Wen's graduation ceremony. I put on my Columbus, Ohio sweatshirt in honor of her parents who are from Ohio. I got my padded portable seat thingy for sitting on the hard bench to watch the ceremony. And I threw in some water, a book, and sun screen in my fanny pack. So I'm well prepared for graduation watching and amusing myself if I get there early (which is highly likely). I wonder if I still have my graduation cap. Might be funny to show up in it with my tassle hanging on the already graduated side.

They seem to have updated Blogger Basic although it works much the same as before. It looks cleaner in the journal entry portion and they put a Blogger help screen to the right in its own frame.

I'm leading a Loma Prieta GLS hike tomorrow to Montara Mountain. I'm competing with P.L. who is leading a hike the same day for Ventana GLS. Oh well. I have gotten two inquiries so far for my hike but not one "I'm coming for sure" commitments. I hope at least one person shows up so I can do the hike again. I scouted it with L. and its a fun hike.

Tuesday, June 10, 2003

This googlism page is fun. I plugged in Kieren, Wen, and Cathy. Here are some of the results that made me laugh for some reason:

kieren is the miner for the wob guild and she lives in the town of delucia where she mines the mountain range

wen is the glue that keeps the word "consistent" in our drunken vocabulary

cathy is perpetually single

A fun web site to play with Googlism that I saw on E's live journal. Here are the results on my name:

cathy roberts is an environmental scientist working within sulfide solutions business unit
cathy roberts is a 7th grade
cathy roberts is in her fourth year as associate athletic director for facilities and operations
cathy roberts is with them
cathy roberts is a cinematographer/operator with experience in the camera department on over 250 dramatic tv episodes and numerous documentaries
cathy roberts is a cinematographer/operator with experience in over 250 dramatic tv episodes and numerous documentaries

I like "cathy roberts is with them". Rather mysterious don't ya think? The typo on the 7th grade one makes me giggle. I am a 7th grade. That's one tiny school.

Monday, June 09, 2003

I have to head over to the library after work today and select books for Rhoda. The selection deadline date is tomorrow. I'll probably get myself some books from the library while I'm there. I'm reading the novel "Tipping the Velvet" right now. I bought it for myself with an Amazon gift certificate I got recently.

It was a tiring weekend for me -- emotionally tiring that is. Parties wear me out and I went to both of Wen's graduation parties. The small one didn't tire me out too much but the big one definitely filled my "being around lots of people" quota for the month. I also sat in the GLS booth at SJ pride for 2 hours on Saturday afternoon being social and talking up GLS. That was tiring. Sunday was not so tiring. I went on a small hike with Bob that was very relaxing and enjoyable. Then I had the whole afternoon and evening to myself. I napped. I watched Annika Sorenstam win the LPGA championship in a playoff against Grace Park on TV. She did a lovely little hoppy dance when she won the playoff! I also spent some more time fiddling around with the OAW web pages.

Friday, June 06, 2003

For Dr. Wen -- more horoscope like predictions to look at. *wink*: Angel Voice

Mine today ---> FIRE ELEMENT: Aries, Leo, Sagittarius

Your Guiding Angel today is: The Angel of Balance. Angelic Advice: It is time to allow - and enjoy - the natural inner balance of the personality and the soul. When you allow these energies to flow naturally, you can expect positive changes to happen. Picture your essence as a clear running stream - and follow the flow today. You will seek the right level. Your angels wish you joy in: Allowing yourself just to BE

Wen's today --> AIR ELEMENT: Aquarius, Gemini, Libra

Your Guiding Angel today is: The Angel of R.O.I. Angelic Advice: R.O.I. means Return on Investment. How are you investing the moments of your days and nights? Are you creating a return of great value? To have wealth that you value, you must first know what you value. Your angels wish you joy in: Value Clarification

The Angel of ROI???? Now thats a weird angel. Angel of Balance sounds more normal. I like the thought of "allowing myself to just BE"

My cold is almost gone. Instead of coughing, I keep clearing my throat to get the last little bits of guck out of my respiratory system. My nose isn't stuffed anymore, HURRAY. I am finally getting back to walking to work MWF and lifting weights on TTh now that the cold is almost gone and my achilles tendons are pretty much healed.

I wonder what my horoscope says today ... get ready ... here it comes, the Yahoo horoscope.

Communication with those closest to you might prove difficult today, dear Aries. You might end up playing endless games of phone tag. This can be a bit distressing, because you're feeling especially warm and loving toward them right now. You might even worry that perhaps they're angry and don't want to talk to you. This isn't the case. Keep trying, and you'll eventually reach them and receive the response you want.

Hummm. I hadn't planned on making any phone calls today so I seriously doubt I'll play phone tag. I am going over the hill to see Wen, Ki, and the rest of the usual gang. I hope everything goes smoothly for that trip over the hill. I'm glad to know that those closest to me are not angry at me and want to talk to me. Phew. OK, well really, that sort of hits home for me. I'm forever worrying that folks are mad at me and don't like me much. I know its my mental illness talking but it is nice to get reminders every once in a while that this is rarely the case.

OK lets check out's horoscope:

Wait for someone's response to your moves. What you're about to learn could be revolutionary. A sudden change will probably shake things up for those who are happy with the present situation.

Well that's pretty vague. It is intriguing to think I might learn something revolutionary.

Caffeine, Sugar, Caffeine ... Zoom Zoom Zoom! I seem to have a sweet tooth and coffee addiction this morning.

I had fun yesterday playing around with redesigning the OAW web pages. I still have work to do on them. I want to throw in some cool backgrounds and see how it looks. I also need to understand why it doesn't look so good with Netscape on the SGI work station running IRIX. I found a web site where you can register for free and make yourself forms, I made one for OAW leaders to submit trips. I must confess I got so into the technical things that I didn't make a lot of progress on improving content or the visual appearance of the web pages -- just a nerdy techy dyke at heart.

Wednesday, June 04, 2003

A cute joke:

"An old cowboy sat down at the bar and ordered a drink. As he sat sipping his whiskey, a hot young woman sat down next to him. She turned to the cowboy and asked, "Are you a real cowboy?" He replied, "Well, I've spent my whole life on the ranch, herding horses, mending fences and branding cattle, so I guess I am." She said, "I'm a lesbian. I spend my whole day thinking about women. As soon as I get up in the morning, I think about women; when I shower I think about women. When I watch TV I think about women. I even think about women when I eat. It seems that everything makes me think of women." The two sat sipping in silence. A little while later, a man sat down on the other side of the old cowboy and asked, "Are you a real cowboy?" He replied, "I always thought I was, but I just found out I'm a lesbian."

Tuesday, June 03, 2003

My Lost Coast backpack trip was awesome. We had great weather, great wild flowers, great conversations, and interesting things to look at.

We had a nice lunch at the Mateel Cafe before we started our trip. After lunch we drove to Shelter Cove to the Black Sands beach parking lot and the start of the Lost Coast trail. The sun was shining and we were all in good spirits. That day's hike was over mostly sand. It was tough hiking through sand with a heavy backpack. We also had to do a couple of challenging stream crossings that challenged our rock hopping skill or challenged the water proofness of our boots! We saw a beached boat on the way to our first campsite. A woman informed us that her boy friend had to beach it due to bad weather and she was there to keep an eye on it. They hoped at high tide to get it off the beach. It was pretty darn full of sand though so it looked like it wouldn't budge even with high tide. After leaving the boat we saw a sad site. A little baby sea lion was sitting on a rock looking sick. It did not move when we edged forward to look at it. There wasn't much we could do so we just continued on. We arrived at Buck Creek at 6:30 p.m. and decided to camp there rather than try to get to Shipman Creek as planned. The tide was getting high and the next section of trail was impassable at high tide. Also we were all pretty tired. We had to share the site with four teenagers who decided to skip their prom and camp out at Lost Coast instead. We all thought that was way cool! We got camp set up and dinners cooked before dark. While we were cooking we were visited by a couple of deers. They were about 30 yards away from us. They were getting their dinner too! We all headed to our separate tents as it got dark. I slept like a rock that night.

Day two we got up around 7 a.m. We ate breakfast and broke camp and were on our way by 9 a.m. J. and I (co-leaders) were a bit concerned that we hadn't left early enough to hike on the trail as the tide was rising. It turned out we were fine but we did have a few cases where we had to scurry around a big rock as the waves receded. The rising tide did give us incentive to set a fast pace. At around 10:30 a.m. we reached the part of the beach where the trail climbed up a hill to weave along a bluff looking over the beach -- no more tide worries! It was also nice to be hiking on solid ground for a while. We did have to start watching for poison oak at this point. It had smaller leaves than I'm used to and blended in with other plants rather well. You had to keep a sharp eye out to stay out of it. So far it looks like I avoided getting it. P. did end up with some poison oak (on her ankles and, shudder, on her left eyelid). We reached Big Flat at noon and J. suggested that we camp at Big Flat rather than Big Creek (another 3 miles north up the beach). This was so we wouldn't have to get up super early to beat the tide the next day. We set up our tents. Mine was quite exposed but on nice soft sand. I was careful to put rocks inside my tent and to put heavy rocks over the tent stakes also. This worked out great and my tent stayed in place even when the late afternoon winds blew up. After we set up camp and had some lunch we day hiked to Big Creek. It was a pleasure to get rid of the packs. Big Creek was beautiful. I was curious to see if the camp site I camped in with W. and K. last summer. I was amazed to discover that the site had been totally filled with big bits of drift wood and essentially no longer existed. I took a picture of it so I can compare it to last year's picture of the camp. We had a nice rest break at Big Creek. J. went off to explore Big Creek while the rest of us headed back to camp. We reached camp around 5 p.m. and started our dinners. It was a bit tricky getting the stoves to light because of the wind. I finally gave up on my blue tip matches and used one of my wind proof matches to get my stove lit. Everyone else got their stoves lit one way or another. While P. and I were starting to cook we saw C.P.'s tent be picked up and flipped over by the wind. We ran over to it to make sure it didn't blow away. C.P. saw the ruckus and ran over to restake the tent and put rocks inside of it. Then a half hour later, C.S.'s tent blew over. She decided to just put the tent away and sleep out in the open. After the excitement of the tents we settled down to enjoy dinner and good conversation. I got in my tent at 8 p.m. as I was getting chilly. I got in my warm sleeping bag and pulled out my book "Daughters of the Amber Noon" by Katherine Forest. I had a wonderful half hour of reading. Then I looked up and saw the sun setting. It was a great sun set. The sun was a big red ball in the sky and sunk down below the ocean. It was awesome.

Day three we got up around 7 a.m. again. This time we were ready by 8:30ish. Worries about the tide made us keep a fast pace again. We were now retracing our steps from the day before. We reached our last campsite, Shipman Creek, at 10 a.m. We got the site to ourselves. That was cool. We took the site with the driftwood shelter. We made it our commisary. It also turned out to be a great place to hang out in and read or talk as it created a nice bit of shade and Sunday was a hot day on the Lost Coast. We set up camp real slow and then ate lunch. Everyone but me then went to explore upstream on Shipman Creek. I was feeling tired from still fighting off my cold. I took a nice nap while they explored. They returned by 3:30 p.m. Then we had a very mellow late afternoon of conversations, reading, meditating (just C.P.), and ambling down the beach to look at the sea lions on Sea Lion rock. We all cooked dinner together around 6 p.m. Then more relaxing into the evening. We didn't get an awesome sunset this time as we were in a canyon and the sun popped under the canyon wall before we knew it. I think J. might have hiked down the beach a bit to see if he could see the sun set over the ocean. The chill in the air after the sun set again seemed to drive us to our warm sleeping bags. I had another wonderful night's sleep. I loved hearing the waves crash all night and looking at the stars when I stirred a few times during the night.

Day four was our hike back to the cars. We were all up by 6:30 a.m. and we headed south towards Black Sands Beach by 8:30 a.m. We had a very pleasant walk on the wet sand as the tide was low and there was lots of firmer wet sand to hike on. We passed by the sick sea lion cub again and were saddened that it hadn't moved since we last saw it. We also passed by the beached boat again. It was even fuller of sand and no one was around watching it. It looked like the couple gave up on trying to extract it at high tide. The stream crossings on the last day were easier because of low tide giving us a shorter crossing option and not a lot of rock hopping. We got to Black Sands beach at Shelter Cove at noon. We hiked up to the trail head parking lot and happily used the restrooms there and changed into clean cloths we had left in the cars. Then we finished off our trip by having lunch at the Mateel Cafe again. The hamburger I had tasted so good after three days of backpack food! It was a great trip.

Check out pictures from the trip at my webshots page in the lostcost2003 album.