Saturday, August 16, 2008

The Honeymooners

The Husband and I are FINALLY taking our honeymoon, only 13 months late. We're both masters of procrastination, so of course we just never got around to it last year. However, this time we're roadtripping to Colorado and spending 10 whole days together. Just us. No laptops. Really - I can do it.

I've learned from past experience that even the most fabulous of roadtrips don't always translate well to written entertainment, so I'll spare you the gory details of singalongs to "Paradise by the Dashboard Lights", profound exclamations of "OMG, this is so awesome", and fun road signs like "Prison Nearby - Do Not Pick Up Hitchhikers". Okay, maybe just a few, but that's it - promise.

Day 1
Left Santa Barbara, CA, around 7pm-ish
Starbucks pit stops: 3
Full moon: 1
Shooting stars: 5
Critters: 1 coyote
License plate game: Alberta, AZ, British Colombia, CA, CO, IA, IL, IN, KS, Manitoba, NC, NE, NV, OK, Ontario, OR, TN, TX, UT, WY
Arrived in St. George, UT, around 2am-ish

Day 2
Left St. George, UT, around 11am-ish
Critters: 2 chipmunks, 1 prairie dog, 1 deer
License plate game: AR, DE, FL, GA, Government, ID, KY, LA, MI, MN, MO, MT, NJ, NM, NY, RI, WA
National Parks: Cedar Breaks, Bryce Canyon
Arrived in Avon, CO, around 2am-ish

Cedar Breaks National Monument: Ever wonder why it's called Cedar Breaks when there are no cedar trees around? Okay, maybe not. But you know I'm going to tell you anyway. Early settlers mistook the Utah junipers for Cedar trees (and they obviously didn't have Google back then). When the area was named by the early pioneers it was common to call badlands "breaks" and thus, the name Cedar Breaks was given. Millions of years of sedimentation, uplift, and erosion are carving out this giant amphitheater that spans some three miles, and is more than 2000 feet deep. The highest point within Cedar Breaks National Monument is 10,662 feet above sea level. (Click images to enlarge.)

Bryce Canyon National Park: Erosion has shaped colorful limestones, sandstones, and mudstones into pinnacles called "hoodoos". A legend of the Paiute Indians (who used to live here before we stole their land) claims the colorful hoodoos are ancient "Legend People" who were turned to stone as punishment for bad deeds. Supposedly these hoodoos cast their spell on all who visit. (Click images to enlarge.)

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

I Hate to Do This, But.....

I'm using this forum for solicitation. Of money, that is.
One month from today, on September 13th in Los Angeles, I'll be participating in AFSP's 2008 Out of the Darkness Walk to benefit the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. As most of you know, this is a cause very near and dear to my heart. My sister died by suicide 14 years ago and our family has never recovered. If AFSP can help one family from having to go through the same nightmare, I will gladly help them any way I can. Since I usually walog (walk/jog) for free, I decided to walog for money this time, which is why I'm doing this 5K and asking for contributions for the cause. I figured if everyone I knew gave $10 each, plus passed along this message to a friend who might know a friend who might know a friend who might know a friend (kinda like the "telephone" game), I'd be able to raise tons of money. I also figured this is payback for all the wrapping paper, greeting cards, candles, popcorn, cookies, etc, I've bought from my friends' kids and students over the years. :)
I really, really hope you will consider supporting my participation in this event or passing this along to someone who may be interested. Any contribution will help the work of AFSP, and - bonus - all donations are 100% tax deductible. You can donate online; it's safe and fairly easy. Click here to go to my fundraising page.
Of course I'll post pictures after the event, so stay tuned. Also, I found out that Daniel Goddard (Cane Ashby on The Young and the Restless) will be there, so of course he'll remember me from the Daytime Emmys back in June.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Straight From the Lizard's Mouth

We went on the greatest hike this weekend at Lizard's Mouth in the Santa Ynez Mountains. Not exactly sure why it's called Lizard's Mouth, but we did see lots of lizards, which is always a better sighting than snakes or mountain lions. Our adventure started out as a hike, but there aren't really any trails - just tons of rocks and caves - so it ended up as a rock-climbing experience. There's also a shooting range nearby, so we had to be careful to go in the opposite direction of the gunshots. As some of you know, my idea of fun involves being dirty at the end of the day - yardwork, beach, running, hiking - so of course this fit since we were actually crawling around on the rocks. Check out these pictures. (Click images to enlarge.)
This was our "path"...
View from a cave
Skeleton head rock
Fire damage
A burned Manzanita tree, aka "Mountain Driftwood". These trees burn at really high temperatures so they survive fires.
One of many "Thank You, Firefighters" signs at the end of someone's driveway. Look how close the fire got to the driveway - right across the street.