• Adventure,  Lifestyle,  Travel,  Writing

    2016 in review

    I had some big goals for 2016. Most of the goals were reasonable, but still some entirely unreasonable ones snuck in. These were the goals I wasn’t going to hold myself to because I had no control over other people’s actions, but I couldn’t help but keep these outlandish expectations as a yardstick. Maybe I watched too much Parks & Rec because I made a binder for my Writing Year, made quarterly goals, and decorated it with stickers. Some of my goals I now see as unrealistic (like blog 4 times a week. Who has time for that?), and some of them I forgot to write down, because I didn’t…

  • Happy Hour,  Lifestyle

    Holiday Spirits

    I love a nice cocktail: the kind with quality liquor and good balance. As big as the cocktail revolution has been in the past few years, it is surprising to me that while there are plenty of “fancy” drink recipes out there, many are sticky-sweet and faddish, lacking the depth of real “spirits.” Dare I say, Holiday Spirits? I’m not saying that every cocktail has to be made with Top Shelf brands, but some nuance of flavor is nice.  While a chocolate martini is fine and dandy, I prefer the ones that make me feel like I’m indulging in a high-end dark chocolate truffle, not smearing my face with squeezable Hershey’s…

  • Red Rocks
    Adventure,  Lifestyle,  Travel

    Red Rocks

    Red Rocks is an incredible formation of sandstone 15 miles outside of Las Vegas. One of the best things about a trip to Red Rocks is that all of the gambling and drinking of Vegas tourists subsidize the inevitably less expensive food and lodging of a climbing trip. We stayed at an AirBnB on the West side of Vegas, near Red Rocks, big enough to have plenty of room for four people. Though only 15-20 minutes from the Las Vegas Strip, we were also 15 minutes from the garage to touching sandstone rock. The first day we arrived, Andy ran up Mount Wilson (I do not use the word “run” in…

  • Adventure,  Lifestyle

    Hurricane Matthew

    The Savannah Film Fest was this last week: an eight-day film extravaganza in the always quaint downtown. This same town which rolled out the red carpet despite having weathered Hurricane Matthew only two weeks prior. While our house (built in 1936) managed the storm just fine, I wanted to post images of what my neighborhood looked like once we were allowed back after the evacuation. Downtown was hit much harder than we were, though we were without power for four days. Please note that I am not a photographer. When I took these photos, I was sending them to friends who had not yet returned, who wanted to see the conditions they would…

  • Adventure,  Lifestyle,  Travel,  Writing

    Big Climb Prep

    In a few weeks, we are going to Red Rocks outside Las Vegas to climb. Not much for gambling, we will be subsidized by all the people do: cheap flights, cheap places to stay, easy food. I have to admit something too–I am not a great climber. Nor particularly good. Aaaaand I don’t really climb very often. (There is a sincere dearth of elevation near Savannah). For the past week or so we’ve been practicing for my benefit. I have my own rope length to practice my knots, and while I watch TV or listen to podcasts, I tie and untie my handful of knots.   I keep all of my…

  • hiking and camping
    Adventure,  Lifestyle,  Travel,  Writing

    3 Sisters: Day 6

    I had not slept well. The first few nights of sleeping on the ground were great, straightening out my back in ways I didn’t know it was crooked, but the last night was painful. My side of the tent was on a gentle slope, so I tended to slide to the edge of the tent, waking every few hours, pressed against the canvas. My right shoulder hurt from my fall, so I couldn’t put my arm over my head if I laid on my stomach, and I certainly couldn’t lay on my right side. Andy got out of his bag first that day. The next water wasn’t for another two and…

  • Obsidian Limited Use Area
    Adventure,  Lifestyle,  Travel,  Writing

    Three Sisters: Day Five-Part The SECOND

    ***Continued from yesterday’s blog, where Katie and Andy had made it through the Wickiup Plains, Katie had fallen with her pack on, and they had encountered a pixie-ish couple from Seattle who had lost some clogs… Leaving Team Seattle behind us, we continued our slow but steady pace outstripping a few other hiking teams. I was proud of us, even though I know it wasn’t a competition. There was a small, unnamed lake that we were on the lookout for, a site we had thought to camp yesterday if we had energy after summiting South Sister (no.). So far, my knee was holding steady. We blew past the lake, small and filled with debris. Satchel…

  • Wickiup Plains
    Adventure,  Lifestyle,  Travel,  Writing

    Three Sisters: Day Five

    For the first time, we slept in. I had doctored my knee as best I could the night before, using anti-inflammatory cream and sleeping in a compression sleeve lined with voodoo. As usual, I was out of my bag first, sweating on the backs of my knees and on my scalp, while Andy looked snugly content in a beanie cap and light fleece tucked into his bag. I made a cup of tea on our camp stove, looking out over Moraine Lake. I watched as a few hikers made their way up to South Sister. After replenishing calories the day before, having a long talk over a card game about…

  • Lake Moraine
    Adventure,  Lifestyle,  Travel,  Writing

    Three Sisters: Day Three

    Again we woke at dawn, the dim light visible through the tent’s screened panels. The wilderness area averaged less than half an inch of rain in the month of August, so we weren’t worried about again leaving the fly off the tent. My sleeping bag was rated to 40 below, and we referred to it as the Thermal Nuclear Blanket because it doesn’t matter the temperature outside, the person inside remained warm. The nights weren’t getting that cold, dropping to temperatures in the fifties, I think. But by the time morning came around, the Thermal Nuclear Blanket had done its work, and I was ready to get out of there. Andy…

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