I love getting the chance to look back on adventures and ruminate on some of the memories for awhile...I haven't written for some time and thought I would share some of those hindsight-thoughts with you:

One of my biggest highlights was overall getting the chance to go on a several-week long road-trip  with Jason.  Definitely one of the most priceless things in the world to me.  Even with being frustrated that our tire was making an awful noise or that smoke was billowing from the dashboard (yes billowing) to being ecstatic about our posh hotel room on the beach or seeing whales for the first time, I loved being able to experience all of that with Jason.  I hope that all of you get the chance to feel what I felt with the loved ones in your life.  In a profound way, it makes life incredibly meaningful.

While sitting passenger for hours and hours, watching the miles roll by, I had lots of time to think!  There was so much to look at...I was constantly thinking "Wow..look at that!"  or "Ohhh, that's so pretty"  or "My gosh, they should clean that up", etc. My list of inspiring images:  flowers in bloom, waves that crashed onto the seashore with reckless abandon, animals that were living in their own unique habitats, endless miles of incredible landscapes, many beautiful homes and gardens...All of this made me question "How can I surround myself with the things that I love most, and make a living out of it?"  You see, my future doesn't seem like much of a future at all if the majority of my time isn't spent doing what I love most.  I've see time and again, people be the greatest of blessings to others when they're serving in the areas that they love most.   

I want my joys and gifts to be shared with others, and what I mean is that I love to cook, and I'm most happy when I can cook for others.  Especially those who really need it!  And I love growing a garden...Watching someone pick something off of a plant and enjoy it themselves like I enjoy it, makes me smile.  I like to decorate and make spaces cozy and beautiful, and it's the best when I can watch others relax there and enjoy that space as well.  I've played the violin ever since I was in third grade and it wasn't until I started to play along with a worship band at church that I realized just how much I enjoyed playing so that others could enjoy the music. There's a bit more, but what can I do that involves all of this stuff....?  Own a hostel and play in a local orchestra?....
5/18/2010 11:13:58 am

I've been watching you guys...most people hike the crest trail from south to north so they can start early and end up in Washington in the early Fall before the snow...hope you know what your doing....still got your surf board...miss you both lots. This August as you pass south of Mono Lake area, think of us...we will be in our RV at Mammoth Pool reservoir just a few miles west of the crest. Our hearts and prayers are with you as always.

5/19/2010 03:15:34 am

Hi Daryl! It's good to hear from you...but don't worry about us going south-we're as prepared as we can be ;) Where is Mono Lake? It would be nice to see you and Randi-it's been so long!

Heather Darnell
5/19/2010 03:30:29 pm

Your answers made me smile - thanks so much!

Thought of another question - this time about bears.
Have you ever encountered bears? I did once at Mount Whitney. He just rummaged through our camp. My food was in my trunk, but someone else had left something on a picnic table :(
Anyway - a friend told me I could tie bells on my pack.
What are your thoughts or experience with bears?

5/22/2010 02:39:12 am

Hi Heather!

Sorry it's taken me so long to respond-I've been finally packing our food lately :)

You know, I have never run across a bear while hiking, which is actually an upsetting truth to me...I just love wildlife so much! I have a respectful fear of them, but really I'm not too worried about any harm that they might do to me. I guess I just think that they'll somehow know that I'm a friend and not a threat ;)

On a past backpack trip in the Cascades, when a group that I was with encountered a bear (I was in the back of the group and missed him), and when I've gone running in a place where I've known that a bear has been seen, both times I, along with everybody else, have just tried to make noise...Bells on the pack would work I would think...You might get annoyed by the noise yourself, though ;)

I think hiking with someone is especially handy when it comes to animal protection. I've had daydreams of a cougar confronting my husband and I, and what I would do is climb on Jason so that we looked like we were some huge creature...I would think the cougar wouldn't want to mess with such a creature!

Heather Darnell
5/22/2010 09:21:56 am

That is GREAT about the cougar!! And I am glad you mentioned I might get tired of my own bear-deterrent noise. My friend carries "bear spray"?! (Like mace, i guess!

6/14/2010 04:37:14 pm


Great musings...there is much to consider about happiness...here is a great talk about memory vs. experience:

You are a sister after my own hear! Its difficult to express the joy that comes from even growing and cooking for someone nourishing food and the joy of sharing that experience...its where all of life (or death) begins...
Check out my new website under my "Kitchen Garden" services page, you'd like it...

May your adventures of life be filled with danger and opportunity...for you really aren't living if you aren't risking and learning something.


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