I Will Freeze You Out … Things You Should Know Thursdays

Mt Whitney - Things You Should Know Thursdays TYSKT

I love to be cold. LOVE IT. I know, really ironic that I live in Houston, isn’t it?

I sleep best when it is cold in my house. Which means that when winter comes to Houston, I don’t turn on the heat for as long as possible. If it is 62 degrees in my house, I am happy. I can bundle up in my handknit socks, layer on the blankets, and be all snug and cozy. I only turn on the heat when it is risk that the pipes might freeze so it needs to be warmer in the house.

One of the things you should know about me if you’re going to be my BFF is that if you come to my house in Houston in the winter? I am going to freeze you out. You don’t get to do that most of the year in Houston, so be warned. I’ll be sure to offer you a snuggly blanket to keep you warm!

Photo above at Mount Whitney, California, on the Whitney Portal Road. Mount Whitney is the highest point in the contiguous United States.

Things You Should Know Thursdays was inspired by a Vivid & Brave journaling prompt. If you share a thing I should know about you, be sure to come back here and leave a comment so I can link to you too! The hashtag for social media is #TYSKT.

Life Lesson #457: Be Flexible…

St Mary Lake - Mammoth Lakes, California

You would think I would have learned by now, but noooooo… I never do. If I post in advance about my plans, my plans never turn out that way. Oops.

I thought I was going to make it to Death Valley by last night. This trip has taught me though that sometimes, I just need to be flexible. Things will work out the way they are meant to be.

I was in Mammoth Lakes, so I did need to actually SEE the lakes before I left town. I drove up to St Mary Lake, took the photograph above, and then savored the view from the toasty warmth of my car. I didn’t drive beyond the first lake to see the others as the road had not been plowed. Then I went back down the mountain and off to Bishop, California.

Fall Colors in Bishop, California

While I was up at the lake, another storm had come in, so the rest of my afternoon was spent mostly under clouds. The fall colors in Bishop were stunning though, and I couldn’t resist their charm.

Then it was off to the south, with the intention of still making it to Whitney Portal. Until I saw the sign. “Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest” – just off to the left. I had forgotten that the oldest trees in the world are right here in California. Trees as old as 4750 years old.

How could I pass up seeing the oldest living trees? You’re right. I couldn’t. So I headed up in to the White Mountains.

It was sunny when I turned on the highway to get there. As I started to go up in elevation, the sun left and the clouds took over. By 7000 feet, there was light snow coming down, although it wasn’t staying on the road. By 9000 feet, the snow was thick and heavy. Beautiful fluffy snowflakes, with patches of it gathering roadside. I was within 2 miles of the forest, and by that point I was not turning back. I went as far as the visitor’s center parking lot. I saw the trees that are right there, but I did not go on a hike to see the Methuselah Grove where the Methuselah tree is – 4750 years old. I didn’t see the oldest tree in the world, but it was still amazing to see these ancient trees.

Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest

Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest, Inyo Forest

I did not stay for long though, as I knew the snow was picking up, and I wanted to get down off the mountain.

White Mountains at the Start of Sunset

The sun was just starting to set over the White Mountains to the east and the Sierras to the west. I drove on to Lone Pine, California to spend the night. Today, I will be heading off to Whitney Portal, which is about 15 minutes away. Then on to the Lone Pine Film History Museum and off to Death Valley.

My plans may have not turned out as expected, but I have no regrets. Being flexible allows me to experience some truly incredible things.

Sunset over White Mountains and Sierras, California

The Highest Highs and the Lowest Lows…

After being stuck in Mammoth Lakes, California for a day thanks to a lot of snow, I’m about to head out back on the road towards home. I lucked out on Sunday night when I stopped to find a hotel; the wind was picking up – eventually raging with gusts of 60-75 mph, which I dubbed a snowicane – and I didn’t want to drive in the dark. The internet led me to Juniper Springs Lodge here in Mammoth Lakes, and it was perfect for watching the snow come down. My hotel room turned out to be a small apartment, complete with a full kitchen, a living room area with a fireplace, a wonderful and much needed hot shower, and a comfortable king size bed. The staff was so friendly, they even offered to take me down to the Vons grocery store in town to get groceries. (I had my “camping food” with me, but I was craving fresh veggies that I could roast!) The roads were covered in snow, and it was still coming down quite heavily, so I gladly accepted the ride!

Juniper Springs Covered in Snow

My patio view as the snow came down.

Juniper Springs Lodge - Sunshine!

My view now that the snow has stopped and the clouds have parted.

Today I will see the highest point in the lower 48 states, Mount Whitney. 14,505 feet up to the top, not that I’m climbing it! I do plan to drive up to the Whitney Portal if the road is open. Then a short time later, I’ll be in Death Valley and at the lowest point, 282 feet BELOW sea level. So crazy that these two places are maybe 100 miles apart.

I’m most likely camping in Death Valley — no, I will not DIE, in spite of the name. Not sure how my body is going to react after a week at 6000-8000 feet of elevation to be back at or below sea level so suddenly. I have a long list of places to see there, and I’ve been told repeatedly how gorgeous it is, so I can’t wait!

I’m Camping Today — and there is no Tent! I’m at Camp Mighty!

Heading to Camp Mighty

I’m camping today – at Ace Hotel in Palm Springs, and just being on the property made the stress of that never-ending road trip melted away quickly. I made it to my room, and spent a delightful evening with my roommate, Elizabeth of Flourish in Progress.

Now we are off to a day full of Camp Mighty goodness, and not a single tent is involved! (Mine is in the trunk of my Mini Cooper which is parked nearby in case I need it. You never know, there could be a tent-requiring emergency!) I can’t wait to share what I learn and plan for the future and making things happen on my Life List!

Things You Should Know: I Will Drive for an Amazing View…

Cannon Beach, Oregon at Sunset

One of our recent prompts that we gave to our Vivid & Brave group was asking, “Things You Should Know About Me If We’re Going to Be BFFs” and it got me thinking. I struggled with this prompt at first, but now that I’m aware of it I keep thinking about things I want to share — so I’m kicking off Things You Should Know Thursdays! #TYSKT

(I was going to put “about me” in there too, but then the hashtag got too long. Since I’m writing them, you know they are about ME, right?)

Things You Should Know if we’re going to be BFFs

I will drive an hour and a half, each way, for an amazing view and some time in the environment there. I do not consider this time wasted, because soaking it all in fills me up and makes me energized.

I delayed leaving Portland by a day because the forecast for Cannon Beach, Oregon was sunny on exactly one day this week – yesterday. I just had to go there and see Haystack Rock and the Pacific Ocean and hope for the best when it came to the sunset.

As you can see, it did not disappoint.

I’ve driven out of the way several times on this road trip, and never once have I regretted it. It has been worth it every time. Watching this sunset yesterday made my heart soar!

Mini Meets the Pacific

What are things I should know about you?

Join us in sharing things we should know about YOU! If you write a post on your blog about this, leave a comment so I can check it out! I’d love to learn more about you too! This prompt was intended to be lighthearted and fun, but if you want to be more serious and in depth about it, your call. If you post about it on social media, be sure to use the #TYSKT hashtag!

Other People You Should Know about…
– My friend Ashley, who is one of the Vivid & Brave women.
– Another Vivid & Brave woman I’ve met thanks to our group, Tammy Smith – a woman after my own heart!
– My fellow Team-Xer, Patricia Knight, shares one thing you should know about her.
– I will be heading off to Camp Mighty in a week with Erica of Baubles & Bites, so it was wonderful to learn a bit about her before we get to camp!