Friday, August 22, 2008


I love Amazon, and have been a loyal customer since 1999. I've bought way too many books (John could attest to that). So I was so excited the other day, when I found some of our paper plate collections there. When I first started working as a graphic designer, I got a thrill out of seeing my work in print for the first time. Also, when I started off in the Licensing world, I was ecstatic to see my illustrations on cards. But it has been a secret wish of mine to see my work on Amazon. It's just a little thing, but it made me do a happy dance.

Monday, August 18, 2008

We have Bees... our bedroom, in our apartment in Brooklyn. We have no idea how they are getting in. We slept in the wilderness for 6 nights on vacation, and not one critter bothered us. I took a nap the day we got home, and I got stung by a bee in my bed. I'm wondering if there is a beehive in the tree outside our bedroom window. Or maybe the tenant below us has become a secret bee keeper? Right now it is a mystery.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Zion - Day 7

On the last day of the trip, we headed out for an 18 mile bike ride through Zion. There are no cars allowed on the main road, so we only had to pull over for an occasional shuttle bus. The only other traffic we encountered were herds of wild turkeys. It was a clear road, on a perfectly sunny day, just our small group, and the beauty of Zion. The ride that morning was pretty flat, so we were able to enjoy the view without being exhausted. John spent a good part of the ride looking back for me.

At the end, we were sad that the trip was over, even if John was looking forward to a real bed. Spending time in nature does wonders to your soul. There is nothing like what mother nature created. It can all make you feel so small, and so expansive all at once. We are so happy we finally headed out to see that part of the country.

Zion - Day 6 cont...

We 'hoodood' all the way up the mountain, and everyone was still smiling. The soaring heights of Zion were breathtaking.

When we finally made it to our destination, John laid down for a well deserved rest.

Zion - Day 6

A big part of our trip was the camping. Neither John or I had ever camped before (other than backyard camping). By the end of the trip John had decided it wasn't for him (because of his back). This little tent was our traveling home for 6 nights...

Day 6 in Zion was the big hike to Angel's Landing. I have a fear of heights, that is getting worse as I get older, so I had already decided that I would not do the last (scary) part of the hike. The hike just to get to the start of Angel's Landing was stunning on its own, and quite steep.

Zion - Day 5

On day 5, it was time to pack up camp again, and head off to our final destination, Zion National Park. From the National Parks brochure: "Immutable yet ever changing, the cliffs of Zion stand resolute, a glowing presence in late day, a wild calm. Melodies of water soothe desert parched ears, streams twinkle over stone, wren song cascades from red-rock cliffs, cottonwood leaves jitter on the breeze. But when lighting flashes waterfalls erupt from dry cliffs, and floods flash down waterless canyons exploding log jams, hurling boulders, croaking wild joyousness, and dancing stone and water and time. Zion is alive with movement, a river of life always here and always changing." No wonder Zion was John's favorite. "All this is the music of waters." John Wesley Powell, 1895.

On our first day in Zion, we headed out for a hike in 'The Narrows'. The Virgin River is usually pure, but there was a flash flood warning the day we were there. The muddy hue to the water is all the sediment washing into the river.

Grand Canyon - Day 4

Our big hike at the Grand Canyon was the Kaibab trail. We were hiking into the Canyon, so we knew the hike out would be longer. We were outfitted with 3 bottles of water each, and as much Gorp as we could carry (Gorp I learned is an acronym for taril mix, and it stands for Gold Old Raisins and Peanuts). On our way down we passed two groups of people on their mule rides. Mules are surprisingly big animals, and less surprisingly, very stinky. The smell they left behind will never leave my memory. We made it to our destination, and after filling up on Gorp we headed back up.

Hiking back out of the Canyon was exhausting, and we all laughed after we saw (from looking at the map) that we had not even covered 1/4 of the trail into the canyon. The hike down is 14 miles. We left that for another time, and another adventure.

Grand Canyon - Day 3

We all piled into the vans on Day 3 and headed off to the Grand Canyon. We would be visiting the lesser frequented North Rim. 90% of tourists visit the South Rim, and I guess that's where most of the pictures come from. I was expecting a flat dry landscape, and was very surprised to see so much green.

From the National Parks brochure: "The Grand Canyon, one of Earth's most powerful, inspiring landscapes, overwhelms our senses. Its story tells of geologic processes played out over unimaginable time spans as a unique combination of size, color and dazzling erosional forms. Grand Canyon National Park is a gift presented to us. Our responsibility as good stewards is to pass on this gift, pristine and preserved, to future generations."

Bryce - Tour de Force

Our second day in Bryce was packed with activity. We did the morning hike with the group into the canyon, and then we did the extended hike with two other members of our group, and our leader. Walking through the hoodoos, instead of looking down at them was a whole new perspective. After our long hike, we had lunch, and decided to join the group for the 32 mile bike ride. This is were my headline comes in. Bryce is not flat, and a hilly 32 miles is a long way to go. John and I completed 2/3 of the ride, and could have gotten in the van (which is available at different parts on the ride) but we couldn't give up. So despite the rain, high elevation, and exhaustion, we finished our Tour de Force.

PS - These pictures are not from that day, because I could hardly hold my head up, much less a bike. We took these the next day, after the best, most fun bike ride I've ever been on. It was a roller coaster ride through red canyon.

Bryce - Day 2

From the National Park Service brochure: "At Bryce National Park erosion forms an array of fantastic shapes we know as hoodoos. Surrounded by the beauty of southern Utah, hoodoos cast their spell on all who visit." They definitely cast a spell on me. Bryce was my favorite park, for its sheer beauty. The hoodoos are like nothing I've ever seen, and the colors were mesmerizing. I truly felt like I was on another planet.

'Hoodoo' is such a funny word, and it became our call for the entire trip. When our group was separated we'd call out 'Hoodoo' into the distance, and get an echo back that let us know everyone was alright.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Bryce - Day 1

After leaving Las Vegas, we met up with our group in St George. We would be traveling with a group of 10 guests, and two fearless leaders. After all of the introductions, we set out for our first destination, Bryce Canyon National Park. This was our first look at Bryce...

Vegas Baby

We just got back from a wonderful 10 days in the Southwest. This was our biking, hiking, and camping trip that we were in training for. We had to fly into Las Vegas, and since we had never been, we planned to stay two nights. Las Vegas is hot, and in August it's HOT. It was 107 both days. We made the mistake the first day of going out while the sun was still up. The cooling station (other than our pool) was the best thing we ran into. To do Vegas right, you have to wait till the sun goes down.