Hiking Paulina Peak

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Mt Bachelor and the Three Sisters in the distance, Paulina Lake in the mid ground, and the way up on the left.

Near the peak.

Near the peak.

Bit o trail gorgeousness.

Bit o trail gorgeousness.

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Paco hits the peak, not bad for an old dog.

Paco hits the peak, not bad for an old dog.

It's a ways down.

It’s a ways down.

Lovin' me my new Deuter pack n quick as hell Jet Boil!

Lovin’ me my new Deuter pack n quick as hell Jet Boil!

A very dignified Pockington Bubbles holding down the fort.

A very dignified Pockington Bubbles holding down the fort.

Lil wave o lava flow.

Lil wave o lava flow.

Hiking down, Paulina Lake on left, East lake on right and pumice covered obsidian flow between.

Hiking down, Paulina Lake on left, East lake on right and pumice covered obsidian flow between.

Far side of the flow looking back toward Paulina Lake.

Far side of the flow looking back toward Paulina Lake.

So, first off, I’m not really sure how far we hiked except that it’s likely it was 11-12 miles, split into a shorter, steeper first day and a longer, more downhill/skeeter ridden second day. I’ll admit it kicked my hiney a bit, not having done much elevation-wise forever, plus next time, Paco can carry his own food and water!
It was still super fun, though I continually have the issue of elderly folks not reading, or not paying attention to my hat which clearly states, “Don’t hassle me, I’m local.” It’s my favorite travel hat…love to wear it when I go somewhere I’ve never been, hehe. So it makes it really funny as we head up the trail with camping gear on board to have a man of advanced age stop us to ask if we’d been there before and whether we knew that it plateaued out up ahead. Maybe he was trying to be reassuring, cause my instinct was to say, “I should bleepin’ hope so, after this wheeze-inducing death march!” Haha, just playing. We took the time to enjoy a lookout with a Descender (wishful thinking) IPA and a custom jay.
Then a younger lady heading down with the statement, “the incline never seems to end.” Wasn’t sure what to make of that as she was on the decline, but I knew my knees would thank me for taking the longer route down.
We camped a ways off trail, outside the actual Deschutes Nat’l Forest, since they only want you to camp in the designated camp sites next to one of the lakes if you’re within the forest here. Lots of mountain bikers cruised past in the early morning, but Paco had decided we were far enough away, he could remain silent, and most were unaware we were there.
That was an enjoyable part for us, being far enough away from most people and other dogs that he could cruise off leash. He stayed close and handled himself so well!
The swimmers’ itch I got into from my poorly-thought-out swim in Crane Prairie (oh,so warm!) Reservoir a week or so ago was just starting to mellow when we were headed out. I mention this because on this portion where we circle the flow between the lakes and come close to some ponds, there’s less of a breeze and the skeeters are thick and hungry. The giant welts I got despite doing the slap and run dance made my legs and forearms look deformed. Poor Paco got them on his muzzle and I had eight bites just on my right shoulder. We were running low on water by this point and had considered filtering some from one of the ponds, but thirst was a poor motivator compared to “I need to get the f* outa this mosquito hive, right f*ing now!” I was surprised at myself running near the last leg of the hike, when I was surely tired, but tired just didn’t matter.
We made a detour to group camp by the lake to obtain some water, then hiked back out through horse camp. All in all, it was a great way to see the area, and I’ve already stocked up on Skeeter Beater, a local sweetly scented spray that should make the next still water trip more bearable.

Crackin’ Cabbage Salsa

I'm totally gonna dominate this deliciousness!

I’m totally gonna dominate this deliciousness!

1/2 head of cabbage
1 carrot
1 habañero, deseeded
2 dried chili peppers
Handful of sautéed garlic scapes
Rice vinegar
Salt
Pepper

Place the roughly chopped veggies in a food processor and spin til minced. Put in a bowl with enough rice vinegar to wet, season w salt n pepper. This is good to have next to your favorite salsa to dip chips in, or put it liberally on quesadillas or huevos rancheros.

The Queen is Humbled

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There’s been a fair amount of activity swirling me up in its nexus of late…
The Franti/Spearhead/Soja/Brett Dennen/Trevor Hall concert was excellent and I met another wild dancing fool to bust some moves with; she and I just went for lunch and a drinky-poo yesterday. I whiled away some time in my old stomping grounds in Bellingham on my way up to visit my sis in Vancouver for my birthday. This obviously included a trip to the ever tasty Casa Que Pasa, replete with a scrumptious burrito and margarita. I found a couple sweet items to indulge myself in from the Mad Hatter vintage clothing store and chatted with a local street rat studying to become a hairdresser.
My trip to Vancouver was stellar, although if you’re not careful, the rain can get you down…wah, wah, wahhhh! The cultural influences are diverse enough that signs help one figure how to properly use the facilities!
All the rush and hullabaloo of consecutive trips, my 40th, and the odd happenings here since I’ve been back, including a health scare, have made me consider just how much I still have to learn. Sometimes I realize that this maturity that I expected to reach is not an absolute, and at times I have to seek it.

Kickass Wedding and Camping Road Trip

On the road to burritos for freedom!

On the road to burritos for freedom!

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A tangle of madronas.

A tangle of madronas.

Twisted tree trunk.

Twisted tree trunk.

The "Mad" River

The “Mad” River

Is this an Indian Paintbrush?

Is this an Indian Paintbrush?

I just returned from a week long road trip to San Francisco and back. It was primarily to see my little step bro get married, but we thought we’d throw in some camping on the way back up. It was really odd packing for such diverse events, but my sweet new Deuter backpack handled everything but the dress and shoes I wore to the wedding.

As soon as we arrived in the area, we hit up the deliciousness that is Freebirds World Burrito, where the first two pics were taken. Organic, grass fed and all that good stuff! Side note: I had such a major crush on Peter Fonda when I first saw him in Easy Rider, which you should totally see if you haven’t.

We then spent 3 nights at the Crowne Plaza in Concord, which has koi, an arboretum, pool, hot tub and an airstrip right off the parking lot! We had lunch with my folks at a Salvadoran restaurant, an unbelievable lasagna dinner at my sis and bro-in-law’s in Tiburon, and saw family from Washington at the wedding in Moraga. It was a blast, then we headed up Hwy 1 up the coast.

The drive was on incredibly curvy roads, and I’m just sorry I didn’t get any pics of the cliff-dwelling cows that blocked the road at one point. We spent the night in the redwoods next to the water at Gualala Campground and ate breakfast at Queenie’s Roadhouse Cafe the next morning…omg, the food was Amazing! We found a glass beach that had cool tide pools and tons of tiny treasures before we decided to bag Hwy 1 and head east across the equally curvy and elevation-changing Hwy 36 toward Hwy 97.

We finally stopped after a harried and long drive by yours truly at a nearly empty Mad River campground, popped open a couple Eel River IPA’s (a wee disappointing) and chilled next to the fire and the madronas. We made it home by nightfall Tuesday, I worked yesterday, then on my way to my favorite brewery, I saw Michael Franti cross the road in front of me, then the road to my left! He was walking in the rain wearing a camo North Face jacket and was with a blonde dressed all in black. I had no idea he’d be in town so soon for his concert this Saturday. I get to go! This could be the peak of my summer, so excited! 🙂

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A corner of the wedding venue in Moraga, CA.

A corner of the wedding venue in Moraga, CA.

Awesome seed bank in Petaluma.

Awesome seed bank in Petaluma.

Some Hwy 1 beauty...

Some Hwy 1 beauty…

Who gulls there?!

Who gulls there?!

Beachy Keen!

Beachy Keen!

Local beer next to the campfire at Gualala.

Local beer next to the campfire at Gualala.

Redwoods at Gualala Campground.

Redwoods at Gualala Campground.

Impressionism in the water next to our campsite.

Impressionism in the water next to our campsite.

Simplausible Pesto

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This is the amazing, fresh-tasting pesto I made with the rest of the fava bean greens I had. I have a whole new respect for the simple deliciousness of making one’s own edibles. Buy local! Sooo fresh n tasty!

Just blend these ingredients to taste in a food processor:

Fava bean greens (just leaves, no stems)
Garlic cloves or garlic paste
Olive oil
Pine nuts
Shredded Parmesan Reggiano
Salt

And you’ll experience yum!