Retirement is great. We bought a travel trailer and are exploring National Parks. (Actually, we bought one and sold it and bought a second one better suited to us. It happens...) And I have time to do some woodworking projects and things around the house.
We decided to take an August trip to the east side of the Sierra Nevada mountains to see some places that were still snowed in when we last tried to visit 7 years ago in May. We camped at New Shady Rest campground near Mammoth Lakes, visited Devils Postpile NM and Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest, and then we camped at Toulumne Meadows on the nights that were the peak of the Perseid Meteor Shower.
Devils Postpile is a volcanic formation where the cooling of the lava caused hexagonal columns to form. Many of them have fallen off the formation and piled at the foot of it, hence the name. We walked through the forest to Rainbow Falls which was about 100 feet high, and flowing nicely. I wonder what it looks like when it isn't a drought.
Jenn looked for a spice rack to add to our trailer. After her online search, we felt that the available racks didn't fit well, or wasted too much space. So I designed and built a spice rack to fit inside the door under the sink. I measured a number of our jars of spices and found that they were consistent in size, so I designed a rack that will hold up to 14 jars of spices in two rows. I built it from oak to match the existing wood of the trailer. I found some 1/4" and 1/2" thick pieces of oak at Home Depot, and cut them to size and glued the rack together.
We spent three nights at Lassen NP. We stayed in Manzanita Lake campground. We drove around the park every day as we explored it. We hiked the three mile out and back to Bumpass Hell, and also to Mill Creek Falls. The trail to Kings Creek Falls was closed for repair. We enjoyed all of the volcanic related features. The park has all four types of volcanoes and some obvious evidence of volcanic activity.
The park is actually McArthur-Burney Falls Memorial State Park. The highlight of this state park is Burney Falls. It flows in two parts: over the falls, and through the rocks behind the falls, which gives it the unique curtain-like appearance. This is because of the rock structure behind it. This time of year, June in a dry season, the falls flow just fine but the stream that feeds it is completely dry a mile upstream from the falls.
In June, 2015, we met my three sisters in Bandon, OR / Bullards Beach State Park for three days. Bandon is just about half way between Seattle and Santa Rosa, and on the Oregon coast so it seemed like a good choice. Our original choice was Umpqua Lighthouse State Park because they have "deluxe yurts" but they decided to repave the park and close the whole place! So it was off to Bandon.'
Blanquillo is home. We picked her up on May 28 as scheduled, and went from Chilliwack, BC, to Larrabee State Park in Bellingham, WA, where we visited Jennifer's college roommate, Gayle. Then we went to Camas, WA, where we spend two days with my sister, Susan, and also saw my other sisters, Anne and Linda.