Monday, May 28, 2012

Week 5 of 6 on the CA Adventure

Sunday started out in Mammoth Lakes with a wonderful breakfast provided at the Cinnamon Bear Inn B&B.

Duncan got the idea to try and be at the highest and lowest points possible by vehicle and since Mt. Whitney and Death Valley are within the days driving distances, he added this to our itinerary.

The Forest Service Ranger had recommended a look at the Bristle Cone Pines, the oldest trees on earth. This was up about 10,000'. We did a short walk to get to these two 'Sentinel' trees.

Amazing how they just continue to grow after thousands of years.

We then went to Manzanar --a memorial to the Japanese Internment Camps that happened during WWII. They had quite a 'city' within the camp.

We drove further south and then up the mountain to Mt. Whitney Portal. The furthest you can drive towards the tallest mountain in the continental US. Now listed at 14,505 feet. (yes it keeps changing as technology gets better to do the measuring). There was a beautiful waterfall at the trailhead (end of the driving capability) but it is only about 8500 feet.

Next we headed towards Death Valley.

Here we are at Badwater Basin at 282 feet below sea level. The salt formations are behind us in the upper left portion of the photo. The sign mid-way up the hill (photo below right) is sea level.

In my quilts I find a variegation of colors very appealing. I tried to capture this photo as we headed out of Death Valley. The mountain side variegates in color through the different soils. The variegation continues around the curve but you can't see it in this photo. This all reminded me of my quilting!

To say it was HOT is an was 112 degrees Fahrenheit.
Using our 'Gas Buddy' app found a gas station that appeared to be much cheaper, but we were nervous if we'd make it or not. Duncan coasted down several long grades of freeway to conserve fuel. Upon arrival at the gas station we discovered it was ONLY diesel. So much for accuracy on the app! :-p Fortunately there was gas just down the block even if it was more expensive. For the weekend we clocked over 1000 miles.
Exciting to work on details this week to confirm that my husband will come along with me to Ireland. I so wanted this to happen, but logistics didn't seem possible in the original planning. But, now we can! YEAH!!
I also got some personal quilting projects worked on (blogged about earlier) and met up with Pam Tarango a classmate from high school. Had lunch with my mother's roommate from college who has orchestrated our accomodations. What a blessing this has been, and I even got a girls night out with Lollie.
One of the teachers at BAA served in the Army as a chaplain and I believe is still in the Reserves. He was able to arrange for a Blackhawk Helicopter to come in honor of Memorial Day. The school put together a little program, honored veterans in attendance, etc.

A local quilter that I met at the Kern County - Cotton Patch Quilter's Guild meeting last week, invited me to go to the local quilt shops. I was in need of a few extra fabrics to put the backs together I was working on, so I called her to take her up on her offer and make the rounds. Got to Threads and Bolts, Strawberry Patches and a stop at Beverly's too. She even took me to her home and showed me her quilts and current projects as well. Thank you Sandy! I look forward to seeing her again when she comes through Walla Walla to see her friend on her trip to Canada. She knows all about Stash and visited it before they moved to the Main Street location. I got to see a quilt that she had made from fabrics she purchased there. Small world!
Several of the days this week have felt like my own personal quilting retreat. I'm getting lots accomplished. My trip to the fabric stores has yielded me fabrics so I can finish up a couple of projects and continue with another. No Moda Terrain fabric in this town though, so will have to wait until I go home and hope I can find the remaining bits that I need. I'll report on all of this progress next week on Monday and Wednesday blog posts.

Duncan has finished up the final week of regular classes. Next week is final exams.

This weekend we celebrate my cousin's graduation from University of Redlands. Joe is the youngest of my cousins (my father's half sister's son) and is getting a Bachelor of Science in Business. He was also inducted into the Whitehead Leadership Society. My parents came over from Arizona for the occassion as well. We're all very proud!

Here he is being congratulated by the President of the University of Redlands (under the 2nd facing flag set from the left)

Coming back to his seat.

Congratulations Joseph Edward Hewes!
Sunday included an open house at my aunt's home. Here are a few photos from that occassion.
Joe with girlfriend Janae

The Hewes Family (Gordon's father ..also Gordon...sitting)
Ronnie, Nathan, Diana Hewes Ortiz--proud sister and her husband and son; Joe; Gordon and Jean--proud father and mother

The weeks have clicked by fairly quickly. Just a few days left and we'll be headed home.

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