Sunday, February 3, 2013

Because it's Never Too Late for Christmas!

I think it's time I posted the second half of how I spent Christmas.  But it's already February you say?  Shut it.  I do what I want.  Which means I'm simply copying a few journal snippets I drunkenly scribbled down along the way, accompanied with a shload of pictures.  Because I like pictures.  

Sometimes Erik does what I want too.  This was our third Christmas together.  Kind of a big deal for me seeing as how I don't have the best track record for sticking with things.  People included.  I wanted to celebrate by sending out Christmas cards of my makeshift little family. 

Yeah, her name is Kitten.  When she adopted Erik, he never expected her to stay and 7 years later still hasn't named her.


Saturday December 22, 2012

Erik and I are back in Valley of Fire, NV.  He went off about an hour ago to shoot the stars.  I've stayed behind to keep the fire going.  Which really means, to drink the wine.  While sitting here staring at the fire, I saw a shadow moving about 5 feet away from me.  I assumed it was a squirrel.  I turn on my headlamp and shine it on the biggest mother-loving squirrel I've ever seen.  

I don't know what the hell this thing is and I'm scared.  So naturally, I jump up and aggressively stagger towards it.  My stagger isn't nearly as intimidatingly aggressive as I assume because this creature doesn't budge.  Just stands there watching me until I lose the game of chicken and stop about a foot away.  

It blinks at me once and I realize it's a fox.  It realizes I'm a ridiculously inept human and runs off the way it came, probably worried that I would infect it with rabies.  

Erik still isn't back.

Sunday December 23, 2013

Badwater Death Valley, CA

As desolate as I remembered.  
Only this time, it wasn't under water due to a fluke flooding.  And although it was just for a day, the world was my own personal salt lick.  

Since there are rarely other people around to snap a photo for us, we don't take many shots of the two of us together.  It's cool though.  I got it covered.  
Guess who got bored?
But then the sun FINALLY rose...
And it was phenomenal. 
 Erik told me he had a nightmare last night.  He dreamt that I'd left him.  Broken up with him.  He said he was wandering around somewhere and feeling this tragically sad, lost emotion.  Lonely, he said.  And like he'd never be able to love anyone again the way he had loved me.

Which explains why, in the middle of the night last night, I woke up because he scooped his arm over me and snuggled me in.

It made my heart ache.

 Monday December 24, 2012

So here we are.  Christmas Eve.  80 miles from civilization on a desert playa where rocks move of their own accord which scientists have yet to explain.

Our only neighbors are a Dutch couple in an FJ Cruiser listening to what sounds like Eddie Vedder on a ukelele.

It's currently 10:15pm at The Racetrack, Death Valley. 



 I'm not sure if I've posted the picture below before, it's one of my favorites that Erik's ever taken.  It was a sunset shot and he wanted to try to get another one with different lighting of the two rocks he had named "The Twins".


The two of us searched the racetrack for over an hour trying to find them.  After lining up the horizon and heading in the right direction, this is what he finally found...

Some shitty tourist decided they wanted a couple of souvenirs to take home to collect dust on their mantle until they tired of them and tossed them out.  Please, people, when you go to National, State, or any other kind of park, take photos, admire the beauty around you but for the love, DON'T BE A SHIT FACE AND LEAVE IT AS YOU FOUND IT!!!!!!  Thank you in advance for your cooperation.  

Wednesday December 26, 2012

It's the day after Christmas and we woke up in Alabama Hills to a few inches of snow.  It was stunningly beautiful and simply breathtaking. 

As beautiful as the scenery is, something even more beautiful has transpired this morning.  For the first time in my 36 years, I've pooped in the wilderness.  It felt so incredibly liberating and ohhh the sweet relief.  I was so excited I ran back to the camper to get my camera.  I took a picture then hiked out to where Erik was shooting.  He did not appreciate it like he should have.  He glanced at it, made a face and his only comment was, "You need more fiber".  

I was not to be deterred because it was GLORIOUS.  Like a perfectly formed dollop of chocolate soft serve with a cute little peaked top and all.

Behold it's glory!!!  Side note, I made the picture as small as I could.  For that, you're welcome.

We've worked our way to Bishop, Ca where, after 5 days of filth, we were able to pay $5.00 to wash off in this shady little plastic contraption they tried to pass off as a shower.  

As I was frantically lathering up before the hot water ran out, the thought crossed my mind that there were probably hidden cameras that I'd neglected to check for.  At this point, I was so tired of my greasy hair being plastered to my skull, I didn't care if an entire tribe of Paiute dudes enjoyed a circle jerk thanks to my debut as an unwitting voyeur star.  

I'm clean.  I have a newly opened bottle of Merlot, and Erik is making us braised beef with red potatoes for dinner.

Life is good. 

The last time Erik and I went to Bishop, he took me on a hike to see ancient Native American petroglyphs and I refused to tell anyone how to get there.  THIS IS WHY!!!!

Luckily, there are more they didn't get and Erik braved the frigid night air to capture this amazing shot.


Friday December 28, 2012

Now we're at the Eureka Sand Dunes.  The only thing of any consequence that has happened today is seeing a fighter jet zoom by overheard a couple of times.  It was flying lower than the 700 ft. sand dune.  The pilot banked hard and we could actually see him.  Erik steadfastly refused my encouraging suggestions to moon him. 




  
My excitement for camping is definitely waning.  I'm getting pretty sick of squatting in the desert to pee and not being able to wash my hands.  Isn't this how half of Europe was practically wiped out in the 40's?  Or maybe I'm thinking of Hitler.  

Maybe I'll feel better after dinner and some wine.

Because unlike Hitler, wine makes everything better. 


57 comments:

  1. First of all dear friend, I am replying to a comment you left for me about a comment I had left on someone else's post (Pickalope?) about leaving the hammock (is that confusing enough for you???). To answer your question, yes. Yes, I have. I had been contemplating it for a while, and it was just time for me to step back and do some writing in a more private venue for a while to see if I can recapture my 'voice' and refocus. I'd been at the hammock for about 4 years, and it felt like it was time to take the writing to a different level. I've also been having challenges keeping up with it all these days with work, so there's that. The hammock is still there, scaled down some but drifting in the webosphere trees. Who knows? I may hop back in one day. Time will tell!

    I am still checking in on my favorite blog peeps (you are one of them!) and if you are inclined, I am keeping in touch with some via email, so if you want, email me: ernie89us@yahoo.com. Would love to hear from ya!

    So now to this post - OH MY GAH, Erik is incredibly talented and wow - what an amazing way to spend Christmas! That looks like my kinda holiday - stars, wine, desert vistas...wine. Perfectly lovely. AND it just hilarious that there are these amazing shots of his of stars and sunsets and then your 'contribution'.........poop. This is too funny, AND probably a first. I dare say, I haven't run across anyone who's ever posted a pic of their dump. You crack me up.

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    1. You know, I actually spent about 30 minutes trolling around trying to remember where I had asked you that to see if you'd responded. So thank you for answering and I hope the break helps you accomplish what you're hoping for. I'll definitely be checking in with you!

      He really is talented. I'm always amazed with the shots he brings home after a trip.
      And this particular trip, I was amazed at what I left behind. XD

      Delete
  2. Those shots are absolutely amazing. I absolutely agree with you when you strongly recommend to people to leave places like you found them. It's like when I see people leave the beach with their hands filled with shells. It's a selfish impulse that makes me more and more cynical. Because how freaking beautiful were those rocks making tracks? How could someone think it okay to steal those?
    Also, I had a baby for 17 years named "Child". No, that's not true, but I did have a cat we only called "Cat."

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    1. Erik was actually REALLY upset about it. He was pretty bummed the rest of that day.

      I just read him your last two sentences and he burst out laughing. Well done.

      Delete
  3. I absolutely loved this post! I am so glad you posted your Christmas :) The pictures, of course, are stunning, and your narrative is funny.

    I can't believe I actually felt sad about those rocks getting stolen. I felt like they had stolen wild creatures from their habitat. Which I guess is true. Now those rocks can't make tracks! And what if they're not togther??

    The story about Eric having that dream and snuggling you in close touched my heart. So sweet.

    And the poop! The poop!! Awesome picture :)

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    1. Yay! That makes me happy that you liked it!

      Seriously!! Evil tourist rock traffickers most likely separated them and are making them sit still and NOT happily slide around on a desert playa.

      He has his moments.

      I was a proud pooper that day. :)

      Delete
  4. I don't see any pictures of your beloved, did you eat him in desperation?

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    1. Actually, he's in exactly 4 of the pictures above. He prefers to be behind the camera so I have to be sneaky if I want any shots of him.
      Temperamental photographer!

      Delete
  5. Lol wait a second. Is that really your poop?!?!?! Okay, I'm done being amazed by your dollop of poop. How disgusting of me.

    and what jerks for stealing the rocks. Seriously.

    Oh, and your Christmas card rocks.

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    1. How disgusting of YOU? I'm the one who scurried back to the scene of the crime to document my desert transaction with photographic proof.

      Agreed.

      Thanks yo. It makes me smile.

      Delete
  6. Ah love, your Christmas card kicks ass! These pics are stunning, such talent. I adored riding along side of you through your trip memories, what a lovely holiday. :)

    ps. your poo pic cracked me up totally...

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    1. Thanks Lady, it was fun to make. Yep, he's a very talented S.O.B.
      I'm glad you came along for the ride! I'm constantly amazed and grateful that people DO read and actually comment. :)

      P.S. I'm glad it didn't make you vomit.

      Delete
  7. That is such lovely photos. Okay, maybe not the poop, but the others :). And it never is too late for sharing Christmas stories of any kind.

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    1. BUT! As far as poop photos go, you have to admit, it's pretty damn lovely, no?

      Delete
  8. I think your poop has left me too stunned to comment. And I disagree, I think you are getting enough fiber.

    This was gold. I've come back to read it three times.

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    1. That's what I thought!!! I actually googled it and apparently fiber helps give it more...uh, structure.

      I just gleefully laughed like a hyena. The fact you read it once makes me happy.

      Delete
  9. Your Christmas card is brilliant and your photos are incredible! I am slightly disturbed by the fact that I actually considered your poo photo to really be something you nicked off a fancy boutique fudge company's website...poo should not look that edible!

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    1. PCP- I have SO much catching up to do. Are you still in Ireland or have you moved to the UK? Your use of "brilliant" and "nicked" made me smile.

      Until I got to the end...then I gagged.

      Delete
    2. I haven't been around as much so I have a bit of catching up to do as well! Still in Ireland which oddly makes me sound more like someone from Minnesota (not my favorite accent in the world) and yes, I've pick up a lot of different terms for things...and an actual liking of beer! I still prefer whiskey though ;)

      Delete
  10. What beautiful photos! Ok so all of them but one... Well maybe that could be considered art in some circles even if it was dropping a choco-crap soft serve scoop in the middle of nowhere.

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    1. Choco-crap soft serve scoop! HAHAHAHA!

      Gross.

      I mean, art. That was totally art.

      Delete
  11. I need to start keeping a journal!

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    1. I swear it's how I've remember half my life.

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  12. You are so delightfully weird.

    :-)

    Pearl

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  13. Those are awesome pics! All of them, even the one. And you didn't let me down - tongue somewhere it shouldn't be yet again.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Told ya you could count on me. I don't make promises I can't keep.

      Except when I do.

      Delete
  14. Wow... such beautiful pictures. Exactly where you were is on my bucket list. The pictures make me feel a pull to go do some exploring! Also, I concur that your "contribution" is hilarious. Love your Christmas card :)

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    1. Death Valley is on your bucket list? I hope you get there! It's such a bizarrely beautiful place that I never would have thought to spend Christmas at.

      Delete
  15. The Perfect Shit, it had to be documented !

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  16. You two look like you're about to eat the cat :)

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  17. Just the fact that you were so enthusiastic about your poop that you photographed it and posted it to your blog makes me think that you and I are kindred spirits. Congratulations! It was a masterpooce. :-)

    Now I want to visit Death Valley and see what fun I can have.

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    1. A masterpooce!!!! Yes!

      You should if you ever get the chance. It's a strange strange place.

      Delete
  18. Oh...My...Gosh... When you texted me that picture I thought it was random dog poo or something. Sending you pics of my kids poo is WAY different then you sending me pics of your OWN poo! That's just gross. Oh and I thought Erk was peeing at first in the picture of you guys together. you should be a couples photographer. Hey! V-Day is coming. You could make some quick cash. Just sayin..

    ReplyDelete
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    1. OH yeah, that's TOTALLY different. O_o

      I actually have a whole file on my computer of pictures I've taken of Erik peeing. On the rocks at Laguna Beach, off a cliff at the Grand Canyon, on a tumbleweed in Death Valley...you get the idea. I've never asked but I'm pretty sure he would not like me to post those.

      I would be the best couples photographer EVER!!! You're a genius! Unfortunately, I'm too busy facebooking to leave the house.

      Delete
  19. Brilliant Christmas card! And amazing photos throughout the post!

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    1. I don't think my parents were impressed with it as I was but it still makes me happy.

      That Erik's got some talent.

      Delete
  20. I have been taking baby bears from Yellowstone for a while. I guess I should return them?

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    1. Uh nope. If they're fully grown, you can keep em. You ARE however, going to have to find some more babies to replace the baby bears you've stolen.

      Try ebay.

      Delete
  21. Well at least you finally updated us even if it was a month late. :P

    And I'm glad you enjoyed your camping trip. It's really not for me. :P

    ReplyDelete
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    1. I'm hoping to have my Valentine's post done by Halloween.

      It's really not for a lot of people. Although I don't understand why. Who WOULDN'T want to pee in the desert for a week straight?

      Delete
  22. Man, am I jealous. I have always wanted to go Death Valley! The photos are amazing. That's some poop!

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    1. And you, lady, seem to know your poop.

      If you ever get the chance you should definitely go. It would never be my first choice for vacation destinations but I'm glad I've been lucky to see it.

      Delete
  23. THAT looks AWESOME!!!! Plus, those pics are amazing!

    P.S. The Christmas card is epic. The Scribe even said so ;)

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    1. It really was. :)

      That makes me happy. The Scribe has good taste!

      Delete
  24. I routinely try not to be a shit face, but often fail. On the upside, I am yet to harm a national park (note: not national monument) given that I am scared of nature. You'll have to forward me a Smokey the Bear handbook. Your pictures are lovely though, the type that seem, well, unbelievable.

    A
    http://thingstoholdandstir.blogspot.com/

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    1. I fail on a regular basis at not being a shitface but I succeed at being consistent. Gotta look at the positives. Or so I've heard.

      Delete
  25. amazing, amazing pics....

    man, that is somewhere that i would LOVE to visit someday...

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  26. Did I really just see a picture of your poop? Really?
    Omg- you are crazy and I love ya.
    :)

    ReplyDelete
  27. Haha. you're last sentence is simply great. Love it. Thanks for visiting my blog and give me the chance to explore yours. I'll come back!

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  28. You've put me off DQ dipped cones for life. Thanks.

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    1. Just add some sprinkles and there is NO resemblance!

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