As of late…

Things have been a bit busy, crazy, hectic, ridiculous…

I have been home for only 22 days since the 10th of April…and I’ve taken 7 different trips…most for work, 1 to Salt Lake to see Liam and Rory’s new restaurant, and 1 to Savannah, GA for a wedding.  It has been hectic, but also very good.  I’m really loving my job, teaching Wilderness Medicine Courses.  The locations have been fun, the people I work with have been great and the work is constantly challenging and the students are inspiring!  My travel is not done yet…in fact, tomorrow I’m headed for the Bay area to teach a re-certification course, and then lead a backpacking trip for Big City Mountaineers in Yosemite!

Here are some moments from the last couple months!

I worked a 10 day course in San Francisco.

It’s hard to complain when this is what your office looks like!

While I’m gone, Woody texts me photos of our ridiculous dog! (Who sleeps like this!?!)

I had an extra day and drove around exploring…Golden Gate Park, Sutro Baths, China Beach, and Ocean Beach!

I had some beautiful weather!

Cleo found a peacock in our neighbor’s yard.

I taught two courses in Portland…

Some rain, some sun, very pretty!

Super fun to see Avery & Eloise and spend some time with Ciaran and Kate!  Looking forward to my next course in the area!

Judy and Laura came for a visit…we packed in quite a bit into two days!  LACMA!

Woody’s favorite piece of art…

We took a quick weekend trip to Salt Lake City to see for ourselves, Liam, Rory and Andrew’s new venture, Avenues Proper.  I am so proud of my brothers!  From an inkling of an idea a ways back…to an open and functioning restaurant and brewery – amazing!

Looking forward to my next trip!

We managed to make it up to Heber to see the horses!

And of course, we watched as much Game of Thrones as we possibly could and played a lot of Excite Truck – a special request of Liam!

Neither of us had seen Utah’s new Museum of Natural History.

Call me impressed!

The views are gorgeous!

A trip to Salt Lake would not be complete without a stop here…

and of course the Mole Sampler!

Back to southern California…and I headed to Lake Cachuma to teach a weekend course.  It’s halfway between Santa Barbara and Los Olivos!

I squeezed in a pre-birthday dinner with this lady!  Love her…and love me some chicken and waffles (Liam – your version is better!).

Next, we were off to Savannah, GA for the wedding of our friends Jon & Sara.

Saw some thunderhead’s building up over the middle of the country.

Explored the moss-covered trees and parks in the historic district!

Spotted a mode of transportation that NEEDS to be in my future.  I’ll be driving the scooter and Woody will ride shotgun!

Lots of fun catching up with friends from Harvard!

And ogling the crazy super-yachts and sailboats docked on the river!

These two are so cute and so in love…and they share the same birthday…Valentine’s Day.  I think I just threw up in my mouth.  Just kidding…I love ’em!

The ceremony was perfect and the basil gimlets were delightful!

On our flight home, Woody sat across the aisle from Ernie Hudson – one of the original Ghostbusters!  This is my stealthy photo!

Flying back from Savannah was the start of too much time in airports…which included Savannah, Houston, LAX, Burbank, SFO and Chico…all within 24 hours.  SFO is where I spent 13 unplanned hours…after multiple flight delays and a cancelation…I finally arrived at my hotel in Chico at 3:15 am.

Don’t worry I managed to get almost 3 hours of sleep before I was up again and getting ready to teach 30 students for 10 days straight!

My co-instructor and I made a point to go on the Brewery tour at Sierra Nevada.

They have an impressive facility, which they’ve built over the years!

They have (one of?) the largest privately owned solar arrays in the country…and plenty of sun!

The tour ended with a tasting, many of the beers I had not tried before!

Then there was more teaching.  We employ very creative teaching techniques…here, my co-instructor Liam is acting out a patient with cardiac issues as I run through a patient assessment!

Also…it was hot!  (did I mention this?)  It was REALLY hot!

Also, really beautiful!

I arrived home…for 5 hours…and found some presents waiting for me!!!

Love the clutch!  Thanks Giselle!

And then I opened the clutch to find this…

“For those of you wondering where my beard went: fret not it is still around, just not on my face. Liz has it.”

-Mark Fischer via Facebook

Home for a couple hours…and then I was off to drive north of Malibu, where I taught a weekend WFA course at a camp near Leo Carillo State Beach.  I was making a phone call and turned around to see this little guy.  Actually, he wasn’t so little!

More teaching!

I got back Sunday…cumpled into bed exhausted and spent Monday putting my life back together as my time at home is short once again.  Monday night we put my latest birthday present from Woody, a baking steel (kind of like a pizza stone but made of pure steel) to the test and had two delicious pizzas!

Tuesday was a blur…and this morning, WOody and I were up before 5 am to get him to the airport with his Watermaster raft and all his fishing gear for a week of fishing near the Henry’s fork of the Snake river.

I returned home after a stop for some coffee and took Cleo for her morning walk.

June Gloom has set in full force…but who can complain when your trees shower the sidewalks with purple flowers!

Back on the road tomorrow…home at the end of June with hopefully some more photos and an adventure or two to share!

Happy Summer!

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This past weekend, we…

…drank coffee

I watched some soccer…

…enjoyed late breakfast/early lunch with this girl at this place.  (delicious huevos!)

…made some progress cleaning up this disaster…

 {I can’t believe I just shared a pic of ‘the room’…although I’m comforted by the fact that I think everyone has one of these…the room/closet/corner/garage where stuff gets stashed away…hidden…never to be spoken of again…hoping that little elves will magically appear and clean/tidy/sort/rearrange it for you!}

Moving on…

I organized my fabrics using these (having seen the idea over here and here)…

We ate pasta carbonara for dinner…

 Dinner was followed by planning for Sunday and watching True Grit…which we enjoyed, but it was certainly not our favorite Cohen brothers movie…and ended a bit abruptly for my taste!

Now Sunday…Sunday – we had a real adventure.

This past Christmas, Woody and I gave each other one of these – a Watermaster Raft by Big Sky Inflatables.  The idea being that we would be able to access a lot more water for fly fishing on our own without hiring a (very $$$$) guide.  Woody has been dreaming of one of these for years…and they finally arrived in February and until yesterday…we hadn’t had the chance to get them out and take them for a spin.

Need I remind you that we live in LA county…and open water (not including the ocean) is a bit hard to come by.  We researched and found this tiny lake just outside of Wrightwood, on the eastern side of the San Gabriel Mountains.  They stock it with trout and there are no motorized vessels allowed.  However…I would classify it as a large pond…lake is stretching it a bit.

This was the first time to set up the rafts….

Just as advertised, very easy…unfold, get out the foot pump, attach it and in a few minutes, half the raft is inflated.

There are two bladders, so if one fails…the whole thing won’t sink.

There is a foot strap so you can pick you feet up.

Everything is very light weight and when the whole thing is packed up, it’s fits in its own dry bag and only weighs 38 lbs.

The raft itself only weighs about 23 lbs., so once it is inflated and ready to go, it is very easy to launch.

 Getting situated…the seat needed some adjustment.

It comes with flippers as well…and was very maneuverable both with the oars and the flippers.

Very easy to paddle…and on a flat pond with little wind and no current…almost a bit too maneuverable….which bodes well for moving water.

Despite what the pictures might portray, we were not the only ones at the lake…there were easily 15 people already fishing from the shore when we arrived and probably closer to 35 people by the time we left…including a lot of children and families.  Also…this lake was stuffed with goldfish…big goldfish, and goldfish that hung out in the shallows only to be taunted by boys and girls under the age of 7 who tried repeatedly to catch them using anything they could other than a rod and reel.

When we were done, we just hauled the boats out onto the grass, removed the accessories and deflated the bladders and let them dry a bit before folding them up and packing it all in.

We took the long and scenic route home on the 2 or the Angeles Crest Highway.  It was Woody’s first time driving through and the first time I had seen it since the Station Fire swept through the San Gabriel mountains  in late August of 2009.  Click here for an aerial infra-red shot.  Great photos and a map can be found here

(seen from the 10 and the 110 interchange.  The smoke actually created its own weather systems!)

It was amazing to be driving and looking in almost any direction and realizing that everything in view burned.  All of it.  And also amazing to see how it changed the landscape as well.  It is a very different forest now and will be for a long time!

We stopped for some groceries and then headed for an afternoon snack and beer at this place.  This is our favorite pizza…E-V-A-H!

 The Avocado Festival…sounds weird…but it is scrumptious!  The beer…also tasted very good!

Then we headed home and hung out with Cleo…since she felt a little ignored by not being invited on the adventure!

 How was your weekend?  What did you do?