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Oromendur: Misty Mountains


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“I want to see mountains again, Gandalf — mountains.” ~Bilbo (J.R.R. Tolkien, LoTR 50th Ann Ed, p. 32)

 

Greetings all! I’m sliding in here late, on the last day of Week Zero (yes, I know, the challenge has already started for most, but my challenges start on MONDAYS dammit). My previous few challenges have been focused around trying to establish home routines that support my current reality of post-grad-school unemployment, and I’ve had a bit of success, I guess. I had planned on continuing that for this challenge, but, well, life happened, and I now find myself at the beginning of a quite unexpected adventure :)

 

Spoiler for the (kind of long) story:

Spoiler

 

Back a little over a year ago, I used some timeshare trades to book an absolute blowout Disney vacation in Orlando — friends were going to fly over from England with their daughter, and my sister and her whole family were planning to come down, and my brother-in-law’s sister and HER whole family were also involved, and we were all going to spend two full weeks at a lovely Hilton property enjoying a once-in-a-lifetime joint vacation — in April of 2020 :( Of course none of that happened, and I ended up stuck with a bunch of reservation and exchange fee credits, all expiring in May 2021. So I was idly poking around the RCI website, trying to see if I could scare up a staycation in San Diego at one of the beach resorts or something before May, and lo and behold some availability at Lake Tahoe popped up. In February. On the holiday week. In the middle of the ski season.

 

I can *never* score a timeshare in Tahoe during the ski season...

 

In a fit of rebellious unwisdom I booked it. And then I booked another one for two weeks later in the Incline Village area on the north shore that subsequently became available. And then I found a nice resort in the Western Sierra foothills (Angels Camp, sort of in the general Yosemite area) to bridge the gap. And, well, that’s how I ended up driving nine hours today to start a completely unexpected three-week trip :D It was a beautiful drive, up the 395 between the eastern slope of the Sierras and Death Valley. Winding my way from the desert up into the mountains was every bit as beautiful as I remember. I’ve now landed at a nice cozy room in a busy resort across the street from the Heavenly gondola in South Lake Tahoe — and here I am, desperately trying to get my challenge up before Monday morning arrives with all its crazy energy.

 

I do live a strange life sometimes :P

 

Since instead of puttering around my hobbit hole I am going to be enjoying my version of the beautiful mountain valley of Rivendell, the many detailed routines characterizing my life back at Bag End feel kind of far away. For the first three weeks of this challenge, then, I plan to simply embrace the spirit of adventure that landed me here in the first place. I’ll save tending the routines for the last two weeks, when I will be back at home and in need of some structure to recover from whatever frenzy this current madness creates in my life.

 

Spoiler for discussion of my goals for the first three weeks:

Spoiler

 

PAI: This needs to be a constant. I was doing fairly well last challenge, but whenever it isn’t an explicit goal (like during the past Week Zero when I didn’t have a challenge active and I didn’t meet my goal even ONCE, ugh) it’s far too easy to let it slip. So I will commit to keeping it over 100 every day. Hiking (and possibly skiing or boarding a bit if I can find some deals) should make this a slam-dunk, but I will have to get out and DO something.

 

Work: This does need to be a working vacation. I am one editorial board meeting away from a book contract (with an academic press interested in a book based on my Tolkien dissertation) and I do NOT want to [BLEEP] this up. I have some reading to do, and some writing, and more revising, and I need to spend at least an hour every day without fail to keep the momentum going. 

 

Adventure: It would really be a shame not to take advantage of the massive opportunities for adventure up here in the mountains. I will report here on at least three adventures a week. These are likely to be mostly hiking, or possibly skiing or snowboarding. (To be honest, though, the fact that I don’t have an active duty military ID card anymore is kind of cramping my style. The last few times I came I was able to take advantage of some very generous military deals and basically ski and ride free; now that I have to actually, you know, PAY for my lift tickets, it really changes the calculation for someone living on savings. Not to mention the fact that resort COVID protocols are limiting capacity on the mountains and requiring reservations, which is great because it’s keeping people safe, but it means considerably more forethought and planning are necessary than I usually would exert on an impromptu winter sports holiday). Anything that gets me outside in the mountains will count — but the outside bit is important. Not only is the plague still a significant factor in deciding what is safe to do, I really didn’t come all this way not to play in the snow ;) 

 

Skeleton routines: Although I have no intention of pursuing the multiple multiples of tasks that usually characterize my daily routines, there are some things I don’t want to lose. So each day, I will do my morning HRV measurement (5 mins of meditation at the same time is a plus), do at least one set of at least five twisty pushups (I took advantage of the fact that this is a car-based adventure to pack a LOT of extraneous things, including my twisty pushup handles), complete at least one lesson on Duolingo (Il fait que j’étudie mes leçons de français), and spend a few minutes every evening writing down at least one thing that happened that day for which I’m grateful. I will grant myself an extra credit point for this ‘routine’ task if I post here or on IG about something which delights me (I really want to get back into the habit of noticing and capturing when I’m happy, which should be plenty often, up here in one of my favorite places on the planet).

 

For the last two weeks of the challenge, I will plan to return to my routines as tracked in my previous challenge, with some possible tweaks to be determined once I think about it some more. I will edit this post with further details later; I don’t want to delay getting this up any further, but I also really don’t want to waste any energy dealing with something beyond beyond this current madness.  

 

Right. There we are. I got something up, and I’m here! I’m late, but I’m here...

 

Good luck everyone on your own adventures!

  • Like 3

hröa Periano, sanar Eldaro, fëa Núnatano

(body of a Hobbit, mind of an Elf, soul of a Dúnadan)

Memories of a former Age [ 1 |  2 ]  ~  Return from Mandos [ respawn ]

Recent sojourns in Middle-earth [ 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | 21 | 22 | 23 ]

[ Current: The Last Homely House ]   ~   [ Tracking spreadsheet ]   ~   [ Instagram ]

The warrior and the artist live by the same code of necessity, which dictates that the battle must be fought anew every day.  ~ Steven Pressfield, The War of Art

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21 hours ago, Ann of Owlshire said:

You are such #adventurergoals.

 

This from the girl who literally moved halfway around the world and had her first child in a foreign country away from her entire family and support system — and is currently cultivating her newly-purchased Shire smallholding while simultaneously getting paid to do creative writing in the form of narrative game design? I shall consider it a grand compliment from someone who knows whereof she speaks :)

 

You’re too kind, actually. It’s not really difficult to entertain the odd random adventure when the only person I have to worry about is myself (shrug) When someone doesn’t have a family, or a job, or really anything resembling what most people would call a life, it’s probably a fair tradeoff to be able to take the odd impromptu trip upstate to the mountains. And you yourself are totally #familygoals and #writergoals and #livingintheShiregoals, so the mutual admiration society is mutual :D

 

21 hours ago, Ann of Owlshire said:

Good luck with the book contract

 

Thanks! Fingers crossed for a good meeting and swift approval. Both of the reviewer’s reports were fairly positive (one more than the other, but that’s to be expected) and the editor was apparently very impressed with the fact that I sent a spreadsheet with my responses to all of the reviewers’ comments and the resulting list of tasks. You know, basic planning stuff. (Evidently it’s unusual enough in the academic writing world to warrant a specific email thanking me for my “very detailed, organized approach.”) While I wait, I need to read a bunch of newer scholarship published since I wrote that monster of a dissertation, and then if they actually send me a contract I’ll have a bunch of revision to do. But it is definitely exciting to have an honest-to-goodness real-world project to work on!

 

21 hours ago, Ann of Owlshire said:

enjoy those beautiful mountains! It sounds like a fantastic way to make up for that lost adventure last year.

 

I certainly hope to! I really love this whole area (although this is my first time in South Lake and honestly I think I prefer the vibe up north). I intentionally gave myself a lazy day today, and the fact that I’m still feeling a little altitude-icky at bedtime means that was probably a good thing. There WILL be adventures tomorrow though!

  • Like 1

hröa Periano, sanar Eldaro, fëa Núnatano

(body of a Hobbit, mind of an Elf, soul of a Dúnadan)

Memories of a former Age [ 1 |  2 ]  ~  Return from Mandos [ respawn ]

Recent sojourns in Middle-earth [ 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | 21 | 22 | 23 ]

[ Current: The Last Homely House ]   ~   [ Tracking spreadsheet ]   ~   [ Instagram ]

The warrior and the artist live by the same code of necessity, which dictates that the battle must be fought anew every day.  ~ Steven Pressfield, The War of Art

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I think you underestimate yourself. The circumstances to do something adventurous vs actually doing it stands between a lot of people. So while I do fully accept that I am #livingthedream, that doesn’t mean you aren’t also #adventurergoals. ^_^ There are many dreams and many goals, and all are impressive.

 

(Also, I sort of think of myself as a retired adventurer since we’re trying to settle and grow roots ^_^)

 

The vibe of the place may also be a bit different due to pandemic restrictions. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • Like 1

Druid and Adventurer

The Wye/Dean, UK

Current Storyline: Tales of Owlshire | 0 | 1

Previous  Storyline: The Entwife’s Heart | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4

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I HAD A HUGE UPDATE IN PROGRESS HERE BUT THE FORUM IS [BLEEP]ING UNUSABLE ON AN IPAD AND EVERYTHING GOT BORKED AND I AM TAKING A BREAK BEFORE TRYING AGAIN

 

Grr

 

Here, have a kitten gif...

 

tenor.gif?itemid=15917800

  • That's Metal 1

hröa Periano, sanar Eldaro, fëa Núnatano

(body of a Hobbit, mind of an Elf, soul of a Dúnadan)

Memories of a former Age [ 1 |  2 ]  ~  Return from Mandos [ respawn ]

Recent sojourns in Middle-earth [ 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | 21 | 22 | 23 ]

[ Current: The Last Homely House ]   ~   [ Tracking spreadsheet ]   ~   [ Instagram ]

The warrior and the artist live by the same code of necessity, which dictates that the battle must be fought anew every day.  ~ Steven Pressfield, The War of Art

Link to post
Quote

We are plain quiet folk and have no use for adventures. Nasty disturbing uncomfortable things! Make you late for dinner! I can’t see what anybody sees in them.    ~Bilbo Baggins (J.R.R. Tolkien and Douglas Anderson, The Annotated Hobbit, p. 32)

 

Week One of my unexpected whirlwind adventure has turned out to be as crazy as I thought it would be. South Lake Tahoe is a crowded and busy sort of tourist destination, and I was staying in the very center of touristdom, and it showed in all of the little things that annoyed me all week. 

 

Spoiler for annoyances: 

Spoiler

As expected, pools and hot tubs were closed due to COVID and I knew going in that the room didn’t have a bathtub, so while I can’t really blame anybody for the lack of aprés-exertion hot soaking opportunities, it was still annoying. Parking at the timeshare condo (read: badly converted motel) was absolute shit. They had shut down their laundry room, ostensibly also due to COVID (?? how exactly the laundromat down the road to which they directed me was permitted to offer the service was left unclear). The walls were paper-thin and the several iterations of wall-sharing neighbors I had were all loud. Traffic noise was unpleasant all day and night. The room itself was cramped. The bed was AWFUL (and made me grateful I’d thrown a bunch of my back-massage stuff in the car at the last minute). There was no oven (how on earth can a place characterize two electric burners and a microwave as a ‘full kitchen?’), which seriously messed with my eat-cheap meal plan. The windows looked out onto an ugly parking lot towered over by the casino looming from just over the Nevada state line, which I probably could have hit with a thrown rock if I really exerted myself. And then, as a final affront, high winds prevented the Heavenly gondola from running most days — and the only reason I had convinced myself to put up with what I knew was going to be a shitty South Lake resort in the first place was the fact that I would be able to walk to the gondola (sigh)

 

But oh, the lake, and oh, the mountains, and oh, the pine trees with snow on them ❤️ The way squalid crassly commercial city ugliness gets built up around enjoying stunning natural beauty (cf Niagara Falls, NY) makes me despair of America sometimes, but that mild despair had nowhere near the power to resist the breathtaking, snowy-but-pleasantly-temperate blueberry-sky winter wonderland that is Lake Tahoe in February. And, although SLT has a unpleasantly busy vibe even in pandemic times, I have to admit that the associated access to services was a plus (it was nice not to have to drive to Reno for every little thing, as is often the case up in the North Lake area). So I more or less got over myself and concentrated on enjoying the mountains :) 

 

Here’s the [WEEK ONE UPDATE]:

 

PAI: 7/7, 100%. As expected, exertion at altitude was wonderful for my numbers, even before you add in the skiing and hiking I managed (see Adventure section below for details and photos).

 

Work: 2/7, 29% This task was an abysmal failure. I don’t know if it was all the annoyances piling up, or the fact that I am dreadfully out of shape, or just basic Resistance getting in my way, but I really struggled to find the mental energy for any real work this week. This is a Very Bad Thing™ and I am going to have to do better in Week Two. Spoiler for some musing on this:

Spoiler

I think, contrary to my perfectionist impulses, I need to be flexible about what counts as success for this work task in order for it to be useful. At least twice I had a bit of space of an evening, and I thought about sinking into work — but I didn’t, because a whole hour was too high a hill to climb for the energy and time I had at that point. As I’ve said before, it’s more than a bit silly when the structure of your challenge prevents rather than encourages doing what you say you want to do... I set the requirement there because that really is the general estimate of how much work I have to do. I did spend several hours on each of the two days I did manage to get work done, so I’m actually not TOO far behind, but those were (probably not coincidentally) the days I didn’t go out for any strenuous adventuring. This is yet another annoyance. Seriously, it was not so long ago that I had no real issues skiing every morning and working on my dissertation all afternoon, usually with enough energy left over to enjoy a nice dinner in the evenings. I’m really not much older than I was then — do a few years make that much of a difference? Am I that out of shape? Surely I’m not still recovering from surgery last spring. Am I sick? Mildly depressed? Just lazy? I seriously don’t know what’s wrong with me (sigh) I think for Week Two I will lower this bar down to the ground; reading at least one book chapter or journal article will be enough, however much (or little) time it takes, and *any* forward progress in writing will count.

 

Dailies: 100% across the board. Having a smaller number of fairly trivial requirements makes it more likely that I will do them all, apparently, and knocking out five pushups of a morning is definitely getting easier.

 

Adventures: 3/3, 100%. I skied at Heavenly on Tuesday, skied at Sierra-at-Tahoe on Wednesday, and hiked to Echo Lake on Saturday. It was, well, heavenly :)

 

Spoiler for purple prose and (individually sub-spoilered because the internet is stupid and there is apparently no [BLEEP]ing way to resize images on an iPad) picspam:

Spoiler

 

Tuesday: The Heavenly gondola wasn’t running (grr) so I had to drive over to their California Lodge location and park a hundred miles away and schlepp everything uphill both ways in the snow (well in the snow anyway), but once I finally got up on the mountain it was nice. I had never actually skied Heavenly before; it turned out to be Tahoe’s answer to European Alpine resorts, with several peaks’ worth of sprawling runs and lots of nicely-located (and unfortunately mostly COVID-closed) little huts where you can find a brat and a beer.

 

I let the mountains work their magic on me as I got my skis back under me for the first time in a while, and I really just enjoyed drinking in the views. 

Spoiler

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COVID had closed all the mountain lodges and dining venues, but the open-air places were still open for socially-distanced outdoor dining, so I still managed to score a brat and a beer for lunch, albeit outside in the snow.

Spoiler

 

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As mentioned, though, I’m really out of shape, which fact came home to me as I struggled to get myself down the mountain after lunch. Partway down the three-mile narrow cat track I foolishly chose to ski down instead of downloading the lift like the other out-of-shape old people, I acknowledged that — while the views were undeniably nice — I really wasn’t having fun anymore... 

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When I finally made it back to my unpleasing condo, I saw that they had finally started up the gondola early in the afternoon :rolleyes: So, despite my exhaustion, I forced myself to walk over and use my lift pass (which was only good for the day) to ride the stupid thing so I could say I did. The views were absolutely INCREDIBLE and I was very glad I made the effort :)

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(You can’t see it, but I’m smiling in this one :) )

 

That evening I was so sore and beat up that I tried to shift my pre-booked reservations around in an effort to give myself a day off. I was able to get a refund for my Thursday plans, but it turns out that Sierra-at-Tahoe is pretty inflexible with their ABSOLUTELY NO REFUNDS OR EXCHANGES YOU PEON policies. This meant I was going to lose money I couldn’t afford to lose if I didn’t go skiing the next day. (What was I thinking when I booked three days in a row right up front, you ask? An excellent question. I have no idea. Perhaps I was thinking I was still the functional human being I used to be.) So instead of cooking the dinner I’d planned (I mean, it’s not like I had an oven anyway) I scarfed a sandwich from the grocery store across the street and face-planted into bed.

 

Wednesday: I was still sore and exhausted, but money is money and, grumbling, I forced myself up and out. Spoiler: it turned out to be a really good day on the mountain. Sierra-at-Tahoe doesn’t have the splendid lake views that Heavenly does — but what they do have is gorgeous, wide, steep groomers for DAYS, which is totally my jam when I’m skiing on my own, and the crowds were much more subdued than at the glitzy Vail resort that is Heavenly. I just did laps on fast runs until my legs fell off.

Spoiler

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As a San Diegan, I was quite amused by the Baja vibe of the place I had lunch — questionable fish tacos and Negra Modelo, outside in the snow? Sure, OK :)

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Driving home I was actually really grateful I hadn’t bailed — but I was also really REALLY grateful that I had Thursday off ^_^

 

Thursday’s small outing doesn’t really count as an adventure, because I basically drove to the parking lot and walked to the vista point with all the other tourists, but here’s some picspam anyway because Emerald Bay is one of the most photogenic spots I know, even on a dismal grey day.

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Saturday: This was the week’s real hiking adventure, when I strapped on my YakTrax and went looking for Echo Lake. Random experts on the interwebs told me this place was reputed to be the best effort-to-reward ratio available for winter hiking in Tahoe. I had some misadventures getting to the trailhead (read: I couldn’t actually find it, and ended up in some weird places trying), but through some Zen-navigation or Tao-surfing or whatever you want to call it, I finally managed to put my chained boots onto the path (which had been conveniently packed down for me by better-equipped adventurers on cross-country skis and snowshoes, so the going was fine).

 

It was everything I ever wanted in a winter hike (happy sigh) Not too cold, not very crowded, bright blue skies over snow-draped pine trees, the occasional glimpse of Lake Tahoe — it was totally worth all the pre-trip stress.

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I made it to Echo Lake, tiptoed my way across the less-stable snow around the boat dock, perched on the edge of the frozen lake, broke out my lunch, and drank in the views. While I was eating, a pair of snowshoeing backpackers came through. I munched fudgy cookies and watched them head off into the distance towards adventures more extreme than mine.

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The quiet peace of the walk home reminded me why I’d tossed myself headfirst into the deep end of this adventure in the first place. Days like this are why, EVERY SINGLE TIME I come to the Sierras, I look at real estate. (I will neither confirm nor deny that I surveyed the [sadly dismal] rental situation in the Lake Tahoe over dinner Saturday night :D

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On Sunday it was time to say goodbye to grimy South Lake and make the several-hour drive to Jumping Frog country for the next adventure. Watch this space for reporting from Calaveras County :)

 

Now Monday has arrived, and with it the beginning of Week Two, and a new place to be and explore. The timeshare property here in Angels Camp is a LOT nicer, spacious and well-appointed with a lovely kitchen — but after the glory of the high places, the sere foothills are sere, and I find myself kind of counting the days until I can go back to my beloved mountain lake.

 

In the meantime, well, I have work to do :)

 

Hope everyone else had a great Week One!

  • Like 2

hröa Periano, sanar Eldaro, fëa Núnatano

(body of a Hobbit, mind of an Elf, soul of a Dúnadan)

Memories of a former Age [ 1 |  2 ]  ~  Return from Mandos [ respawn ]

Recent sojourns in Middle-earth [ 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | 21 | 22 | 23 ]

[ Current: The Last Homely House ]   ~   [ Tracking spreadsheet ]   ~   [ Instagram ]

The warrior and the artist live by the same code of necessity, which dictates that the battle must be fought anew every day.  ~ Steven Pressfield, The War of Art

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Tuesday already? Oops... I guess that means I’m late with my [WEEK TWO UPDATE] 

 

PAI: 7/7, 100% Yay mountain adventures! Even in a relatively lazy week this was trivial to achieve. It’s nice, but the ease of success is also a fairly sober reflection on how sedentary I am at home (sigh)

 

Work: 4/7, 57% Not a passing score yet, but 4 is better than 2 and something is better than nothing. The reading I’ve been doing hasn’t been all that helpful for my current project, honestly, but it is sparking other ideas for articles, which is all to the good (assuming I ever actually, you know, write them someday).

 

Dailies: 100% across the board. This number and level of tasks seems to be pretty close to the right level of achievability for me; it gives me just enough of a nudge to help me make good choices when I don’t want to, but it isn’t such an overwhelming number of green boxes that’s easy to rationalize skipping one. I think that when I get home I should probably re-evaluate my home routines to take advantage of this insight.

 

 Adventures: 2/3, 67%. I ended up not skiing this week at all. I’d burned through way too much of my limited money in Week One, and the one resort reasonably accessible from my location  was too expensive and too far away, and anyway I was feeling lazy. I did manage two hiking-focused outings, one on Wednesday and one on Friday.

 

Spoiler for travelogue and [further spoilered] picspam:

Spoiler

When I booked this timeshare, it looked on the map like the area would be close enough to the mountains to give me what I was looking for. It wasn’t, really. In central California, there’s an elevation line above which it’s all grand pine trees and craggy peaks and below which it’s rolling brown foothills and pin oaks. Angels Camp, all its grand claims to being in the ‘Yosemite area’ notwithstanding, falls in the latter. The fact that the weather was dislocatingly close to the climate of my SoCal home kind of threw me off, and the inside space itself was lovely and open and pleasant to be in, so I wasn’t really inspired to do much. For comparison with all the snowy glory, here’s the golf course view from my window:

Spoiler

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Wednesday: To be fair, Angels Camp is geographically much closer to mountain glories than San Diego is. From the condo it was only half an hour up the road to Calaveras Big Trees State Park, where I found some perfectly suitable winter exploration. When I got out of the car, I realized I’d made a rookie hiking mistake: I hadn’t dressed properly. (Always check the weather at the destination. ALWAYS. And then check it again.) But it wasn’t THAT cold, and I decided some vigorous exercise would keep me warm enough. I asked the ranger in the welcome center about the ice conditions on the trails. He said some folks had been walking in plain boots but suggested I should wear microspikes if I had them (which I did, thankfully). He also mentioned that only a few weeks ago I definitely would have needed snowshoes. Insufficient jacket zipped all the way up, YakTrax on, I headed out to marvel at the giants. Then came rookie hiking mistake #2: I veered off the well-packed-down flat route up a less-traveled trail which promised an overlook of the grove. It was pretty and all, but the trail was fairly difficult to spot under the snow, and the number of times I crunched through the crust to sink thigh-deep in wet ice crystals (in my light hiking gear instead of my waterproof winter stuff) made it clear I would have probably been better off with snowshoes that day too :rolleyes: 

 

Spoiler

 

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Anyway, it was fine, if a bit of a struggle. I was going very slowly, so the injury risk was minimal, and I was never out of sight or earshot of the main loop trail so I could have floundered my way to safety at any moment. Stubbornly I persisted, and overall it was more good going than bad. It ended up being a lot of fun (with a bonus of absolutely nobody else on the trail so I could leave my mask down most of the time). I got to get up close and personal with a bunch of lovely big trees ❤️

 

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Friday: I had a general idea that I might try to visit Yosemite while in Angels Camp, but the idea proved more difficult than expected in practice. At first I didn’t really understand why the NPS was requiring advance reservations to drive into the park. I’d been checking throughout the week, and there were no slots available; I even woke up early one morning to catch when they posted at 8 am, but by the time I managed to fight with the wifi and get logged in at 8:15, they were all gone. But on Wednesday evening I was idly reloading the tab over dinner, and to my surprise a single slot opened up for Friday. I quickly weighed the cost of nearly five hours round-trip on windy mountain roads with the chance to visit one of my favorite places of all time and decided to grab it. Spot secured, I started browsing the site, and it eventually occurred to me why they were limiting entry: it was firefall season :) Of course I had to go see it, since I had a slot and all — but that meant that my out-early-and-home-before-dark plan wouldn’t work. I knew the day would be a VERY long one, and I would still have to pack up and head back to Lake Tahoe on Saturday :wacko: Oh well, YOLO and all. I went for it.

 

Early Friday morning I steered onto the winding Priest Grade along Hwy 120 and entered the park at Hetch Hetchy. It was a beautiful drive in the blue sky sunshine, and I was reminded of how truly gorgeous Yosemite can be. I parked my car in one of the closest available spots to Horsetail Fall, and headed east through the valley to visit some old friends.

 

Half Dome:

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Yosemite Falls:

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Half Dome and Liberty Cap:

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The Mist/John Muir Trail to the Vernal Falls overlook (yes, there is a waterfall in the center of the last photo, it’s usually MUCH more impressive but I guess in wintertime much of the water is locked up in snow):

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Normally I’d seek to escape the valley crowds by hiking to the top of Vernal Falls, and maybe to the top of Nevada Falls (and I’ve even gone overnight a time or three, either up the Panorama Trail to Glacier Point or through to Little Yosemite Valley and the Half Dome cables), but that evening I had an appointment with a different waterfall — so I just turned back with the rest of the tourists and perambulated along the south side of the Valley Loop Trail. I had originally planned to do the whole 11-mile loop, with my return timed to arrive at at El Capitan about sunset to watch the firefall. Unfortunately, after the more-strenuous-than-expected adventures of Week One, my ankles, knees, and back had other ideas (sigh) I stopped at a few iconic spots, snapped a few iconic photos, and then limped back to my car to take a break :rolleyes: All the parking areas were full to bursting at this point and — pain notwithstanding — I was glad I’d come early, parked early, and walked the valley instead of driving it. I sat under the open back hatch of my car, charged my phone, ate lunch, and waited until the afternoon advanced far enough that I was willing to go stake out a spot in the cold to watch the sunset. 

 

While I’d been out hiking that morning, the NPS had actually blocked off a lane on Northside Drive to give the stream of people heading towards the firefall room to socially distance (which I thought was quite excellent). I avoided the crowds on the road and instead took the Valley Loop Trail again, which was snowy and therefore much less popular. To give myself the best chance of finding some space, I kept going past the overcrowded main viewing area where dozens of photographers with tripods clustered, shivering in their camp chairs. A bit further down I found a spot that promised a clear view of the show, even if the tree blocking the nose of El Capitan did ruin the perfectly iconic Instagram-worthy vista. 

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I climbed over a fallen log and sat down. In doing so I partially obscured myself from the trail behind me, and the big crowds on the road were partially obscured by the brush and low trees ahead of me, so — while I certainly couldn’t pretend I was enjoying wilderness solitude or anything — at least I wasn’t closely rubbing elbows with strangers during a pandemic. And the view definitely didn’t suck :wub:

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It was a long, slow sunset. The crowds got bigger. A few other people (including an Asian couple who turned out to also be from San Diego, strangely) joined me in my quiet little off-trail spot, but everyone was wearing masks, thankfully, and there was plenty of room to spread out. The light changed imperceptibly. I took a MILLION pictures. 

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When the time finally came, it really did look like a thin stream of lava was flowing over the cliff. 

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I took a million more pictures. I’ll spare you the rest :)

 

The trip back to the car was crowded and cold, but on the way I did capture Sentinel Rock getting in on some of the sunset color action, and managed a nice evening shot of Half Dome.

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The two and a half harrowing hours it took me to drive home in the dark made me profoundly grateful that Hwy 120 (in that so-beautiful Priest Grade section especially) had been recently resurfaced. It was a very good road, and that was a very good thing! I dragged in late, reheated leftovers, left everything a huge mess, and collapsed into the lovely bed.

 

Saturday was a stressful whirlwind of packing, but I got out in time, and made my way back up into the mountains to Incline Village on Lake Tahoe’s north shore. I spent Sunday settling in and getting ready for more skiing adventures in Week Three.

 

So here I am, back amidst the snowy pines of Lake Tahoe, bemusedly enjoying the solid ‘70s vintage decor of my very dated split-level timeshare townhome (which, while a bit grubby when set against the brand-new standards of the glitzy WorldMark in Angels Camp, is oceans better than that crappy converted motel in South Lake). I’ve carved out a slim time-and-money budget for two more ski adventures this week, and then it’ll be time to head home on Saturday to the sadly mountain-free existence of my quirky SoCal hobbit hole. 

 

Good thing — because, have I mentioned, I have work to do? :) 

 

Quote

Shadows had fallen in the valley below, but there was still a light on the faces of the mountains far above. The air was warm. The sound of running and falling water was loud, and the evening was filled with a faint scent of trees and flowers, as if summer still lingered in Elrond’s gardens.    ~J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings 50th Anniversary Edition, p. 226

 

 

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hröa Periano, sanar Eldaro, fëa Núnatano

(body of a Hobbit, mind of an Elf, soul of a Dúnadan)

Memories of a former Age [ 1 |  2 ]  ~  Return from Mandos [ respawn ]

Recent sojourns in Middle-earth [ 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | 21 | 22 | 23 ]

[ Current: The Last Homely House ]   ~   [ Tracking spreadsheet ]   ~   [ Instagram ]

The warrior and the artist live by the same code of necessity, which dictates that the battle must be fought anew every day.  ~ Steven Pressfield, The War of Art

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On 2/26/2021 at 11:41 PM, Ann of Owlshire said:

the inability to resize images on iPad is why I always post MONSTER SPAM PHOTO POSTS XD

 

It sure seems to me I solved this problem once before, using a shortcut on the Bluetooth keyboard, but for the life of me I can’t remember what I did (or perhaps an IOS update changed things to the point where it doesn’t work any more — either way, all of my desperate key-bashing has thus far proven fruitless). I suppose I could embed SmugMug links, or something, but it’s just such a pain :angry:

 

On 2/26/2021 at 11:41 PM, Ann of Owlshire said:

It looks beautiful!

 

I looked at real estate again on Sunday night (sigh)

hröa Periano, sanar Eldaro, fëa Núnatano

(body of a Hobbit, mind of an Elf, soul of a Dúnadan)

Memories of a former Age [ 1 |  2 ]  ~  Return from Mandos [ respawn ]

Recent sojourns in Middle-earth [ 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | 21 | 22 | 23 ]

[ Current: The Last Homely House ]   ~   [ Tracking spreadsheet ]   ~   [ Instagram ]

The warrior and the artist live by the same code of necessity, which dictates that the battle must be fought anew every day.  ~ Steven Pressfield, The War of Art

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Well, poop. It's already Tuesday? Of Week Five? Ugh. That means I totally missed my post-adventure update window (sigh)

 

I guess it works out better to do a [WEEKS THREE AND FOUR UPDATE] anyway, because Week Three (skiing in Tahoe) was much more interesting than Week Four (back at home in my unseasonably chilly and inconveniently unheated home surrounded by the unorganized detritus of my loop-stuck life).

 

Week Three

 

PAI: 7/7, 100%. Travel might not be great for my bank account, but it's brilliant for my exercise!

 

Work: 5/7, 71%. Steady improvement here let me squeak into passing territory -- and good news from the KSUP (the editorial board approved my project! Yay! Now waiting on the editor to send me a contract...as of this writing she's a week and a half later than she promised...and counting...) kept me motivated to continue. I'm running out of reading to do, though, and I'm hesitant to start any major surgery on the manuscript without a contract. <drums fingers on desk impatiently>

 

Dailies: 100% across the board again. I'd be tempted to say I set this bar too low, but I do tend to have to argue with myself every day about the pushups and the Duolingo, so despite meeting the standard fairly easily it still feels like success (and I really do need a bit of success in my life right now).

 

Adventures: 3/3, 100%. Sugar Bowl Monday, Squaw Valley Wednesday, Alpine Meadows Thursday. I ended up with a bonus ski day! Details in spoilered travelogues below (with further spoilered pictures because I'm an obsessive and everything in a single challenge document MUST BE CONSISTENT...don't ask...).

 

Monday:

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Being in North Lake, I now had access to my preferred ski resorts --in fact, my condo was a mere six-minute drive from Diamond Peak, where I have enjoyed many a lovely lakeview day. Sadly, it turned out they wouldn't give me their military deal because they didn't like my Reserve ID card -- and, while I like the place, it's small, and I couldn't really justify $109 for a single day encompassing a few hours of skiing. BUT Sugar Bowl, up in the Donner Pass area, WOULD give me half off a lift ticket with my Reserve ID card, and $66 was a much better value proposition for a day's adventuring, so I went there instead. It was an AWESOME day. I'm totally adding this resort to my favorites list.

 

Sugar Bowl had splendid views of Donner Lake:

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They also boasted a Disney-themed lift area with wonderful fast groomed steeps (and where I was basically the only one on the mountain most of the day):

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The Donald Duck run was my absolute favorite :D:

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Their tiny four-person-if-they're-close-friends gondola was seriously, adorably, OLD SCHOOL:

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Wednesday:

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I'd planned my big indulgence of the week for Wednesday. Based on my experience having my ID card turned away at Diamond Peak, I pre-booked online (and paid full price for) a Squaw Valley/Alpine Meadows lift ticket so I could attend their weekly women's clinic at Squaw (which, in passing, is a *superb* deal for a group lesson, and I highly recommend it if you happen to have [or can pass as having] two X chromosomes). But I got there early enough and the window line was short enough that I thought, hey, why not give the military thing one last try?

 

The earnest young lady at the ticket window was great. She said she wasn't sure if Reservists counted for the discount or not, but without recourse to any managers or anything she just decided she'd be happy to sell it to me regardless. She refunded my lift ticket, used the money to cover a military one (about 1/3 off), and offered to apply the balance to another day ticket if I wanted one. For about $40 more than I had (reluctantly) been willing to pay for one day, I would get two days AND a lesson -- you bet I wanted one!

 

I actually didn't take any skiing pictures at Squaw; the weather was overcast and dreary, the lesson was challenging and tiring, and my feet hurt too much to think about much of anything by the end of the day. Once I got the [BLEEP]ing boots off, though, I was able to capture my celebratory outdoor lunch in their excellent base village area:

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Thursday:

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Courtesy of my shiny new unexpected Squaw/Alpine military ticket, I headed over to my absolute hands-down favorite Lake Tahoe ski resort: Alpine Meadows. I had SUCH a wonderful day on the mountain :wub: The skies were blueberry Tahoe perfection, and there was hardly anyone there:

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I screamed down fast icy groomers in the morning:

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Got a random guy taking pictures of the lake to take one of me in front of the lake at the top of the Lakeview lift:

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Headed over to the backside for some more lake views:

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Actually went off-piste on purpose (I almost never do that, but the conditions were nice and there are some lovely less-steep areas at Alpine where it's not quite so scary):

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Had the obligatory brat-and-beer for lunch at their on-mountain Swiss-inspired chalet:

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And then, to end the day, I did laps on my favorite steeps until I couldn't feel my feet anymore:

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A day at Alpine was such an unexpected treat and I went to bed a very happy girl :)

 

Friday:

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Friday's outing doesn't count as a proper adventure because it was another one of those park-and-stroll deals, but here's some pictures anyway because it was GORGEOUS. If Emerald Bay is the pride of the California side, I have to give Lake Tahoe State Park the Nevada prize. I ambled gently along the lakeshore for a mile or three and took So. Many. Pictures. To he honest I was delaying the inevitable -- Friday's main task was to do laundry and pack, because I that long drive home on Saturday was looming unpleasantly :(

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Saturday:

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The drive on Saturday was long (and a little sad), but uneventful. I listened to the Deep Work audiobook by Cal Newport (shoutout to @Ann of Owlshire for reminding me this exists; I thought I'd read it, but I hadn't, and I certainly should have done), and watched the landscape shift.

 

I started on the snowy backside of the Sierras in Carson City:

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meandered past the alkaline serenity of Mono Lake:

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descended through the last gasp of picturesque pine-trees-and-snow-peaks near Mammoth:

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skirted the western fringes of Death Valley:

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headed straight for hours among the unearthly Joshua Trees of the Mojave:

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and zipped past the sunset palm trees of San Bernardino announcing my return to Southern California:

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I got in well after dark on Saturday, and I'm not actually sure what I did on Sunday but I'm pretty sure I was in my pajamas all day :)

 

Week Four

 

I decided not to make any significant changes to my challenge tasks for the last two weeks; to be honest, I didn't really have the energy necessary for sensible restructuring, and since I was having such good success with my pared-down routine I figured I wouldn't fix something that wasn't broken. I did change the Adventure task into a 20-minute cleaning one, with predictable results :)

 

PAI: 7/7, 100%. All my lovely residuals from my mountain adventures ran out on Thursday, but my good PAI streak was enough to motivate me and I decided to make it happen. I actually ran three miles in a row for the first time in...well...I can't actually remember but it's been more than a couple of years. (The reason for this rather inadvisable choice is complicated, and discussed further in the spoiler below.) The results were, ah, unimpressive. I did barely squeak in under the minimum time for my age group, but because the Marine Corps is extra that doesn't actually guarantee a passing score. Still, it didn't go as badly as I feared, and I could still walk the next day, so I had that going for me.

 

Work: 7/7, 100%. My first perfect work score of the challenge -- yay me! I even got some fiction work in on Saturday, which was really nice.

 

Dailies: 100%. Easy wins are easy -- but they're also wins, and I'll take them.

 

Cleaning: 2/3, 67%. I tasked myself to replace my adventures with at least three UFYH 20/10 sessions in the week. This is a pretty trivial goal, and I did manage to knock out two, but not even the promise of my very first perfect week was enough to get me to do a third (sigh) Although I did stay on top of the dishes, which I'm not counting because that's supposed to be a daily habit and not an unf*ucking of anything, so I wasn't totally hopeless.

 

Spoiler for some discussion of a decision I made early in Week Four about which I feel somewhat ambivalent:

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Over the weekend at the start of Week Four I received an email advertising a one-year Reserve military billet for which I was qualified, and which I thought I wouldn't absolutely hate. I dithered about it for several days. Ultimately I decided to respond to the email with my paperwork, expressing interest in the position. I now wonder if that was the right choice...

 

I was honestly planning to drop my retirement papers this summer. I managed to (barely) squeak out the requirements to retire at my current grade as of last May, and I had been very hesitant to sign up for anything involving participating in foreign policy under the previous administration anyway. But this billet -- it's only a year, and it isn't overseas, and there's a new President, and while it's hardly something that excites me it would pay VERY well, and I sort of need the money. I mean, I'm managing with some Frugalwoods-style extreme frugality to have an OK life based on a slow selling-off of my still-stable retirement assets (indeed in some ways a very good life, considering my ability to just up and head off to the mountains for a few weeks). But all my recent grand adventures have basically left me eating out of the freezer* until my next (long-planned) travel adventure to visit with my sister and her family on 1 April.

 

But, here's the thing: I don't WANT to be a military officer anymore <throws teddy> Twenty<mumble> years is [BLEEP]ing ENOUGH. It was more than ten years ago that I groused about how the Marine Corps, particularly on the Reserve side, was much like the mafia -- just as you think you're escaping, you find yourself drawn back in. Instead of going to grad school in 2010, I went to Afghanistan. Twice. Then I finally made it to grad school, and then I hit 20 years, and then I thought I was free, and then they promoted me...and I had to stick around another three years to earn the retirement at the higher grade... And then I reached THAT milestone last year, but I failed utterly in finding a job despite my shiny new PhD (never mind my two decades of operational experience). And now they're like "here's a year of relatively easy work for a lotta money, you in?"

 

Anyway, that's why I ran the three miles, because if they say yes I'll have to move to Quantico for a year, lose 10-15 pounds, and pass a PFT. And -- we can talk about how hard it is to admit this on a fitness website, but truth is truth -- avoiding those last two is actually a factor in my decision (sigh). This disgusts me, but disgust isn't exactly the best reason to force myself to do something like this either.

 

I need to process this more, I think. Maybe they won't choose me, and it won't be an issue. Plus, if they do choose me, until I actually accept the orders I can still say no. But UGH why can't I just get my shit together and figure out what I want? (And how did I get so fat and out of shape anyway??)

 

*In passing, I want to acknowledge the huge difference between my situation and real poverty. Not only do I have plenty of food squirreled away, I have credit cards and assets, I am in no danger of going hungry or losing my house, and if those dangers were to come I would enjoy many social and cultural privileges to help me deal with them. I'm choosing to live like this right now. I acknowledge that people without my privileges don't necessarily have a choice, and I want to make it clear that I recognize that fact.

 

Anyway, here we are at the end of the challenge, one last week to go. I expect the book contract from the editor any time now, and I'm really looking forward to the official beginning of THAT new adventure anyway :)

 

Everybody hang in there in Week Five!

 

Quote

But they came to that high point at morning, and looking backward they saw a white sun shining over the outstretched lands. There behind lay Mirkwood, blue in the distance, and darkly green at the nearer edge even in the spring. There far away was the Lonely Mountain on the edge of eyesight. On its highest peak snow yet unmelted was gleaming pale.

 

“So comes snow after fire, and even dragons have their ending!” said Bilbo, and he turned his back on his adventure.   (J.R.R. Tolkien and Douglas Anderson, The Annotated Hobbit, p. 354)

 

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hröa Periano, sanar Eldaro, fëa Núnatano

(body of a Hobbit, mind of an Elf, soul of a Dúnadan)

Memories of a former Age [ 1 |  2 ]  ~  Return from Mandos [ respawn ]

Recent sojourns in Middle-earth [ 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | 21 | 22 | 23 ]

[ Current: The Last Homely House ]   ~   [ Tracking spreadsheet ]   ~   [ Instagram ]

The warrior and the artist live by the same code of necessity, which dictates that the battle must be fought anew every day.  ~ Steven Pressfield, The War of Art

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On 3/2/2021 at 8:36 PM, Ranger Hal said:

The pictures are amazing! I might be a little jealous. Well, maybe more than a little.

 

The Sierras are seriously one of the most photogenic places in the country. If you ever get the chance you should definitely visit so you can make people jealous too :)

 

I saw in your thread you've been achieving some serious hiking goals yourself -- congrats!

  • Like 1

hröa Periano, sanar Eldaro, fëa Núnatano

(body of a Hobbit, mind of an Elf, soul of a Dúnadan)

Memories of a former Age [ 1 |  2 ]  ~  Return from Mandos [ respawn ]

Recent sojourns in Middle-earth [ 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | 21 | 22 | 23 ]

[ Current: The Last Homely House ]   ~   [ Tracking spreadsheet ]   ~   [ Instagram ]

The warrior and the artist live by the same code of necessity, which dictates that the battle must be fought anew every day.  ~ Steven Pressfield, The War of Art

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9 hours ago, oromendur said:

The Sierras are seriously one of the most photogenic places in the country. If you ever get the chance you should definitely visit so you can make people jealous too :)

It is on the list of places I'd like to go at some point. I know my dad did some backpacking there (before I came along) and even before seeing your pictures, I thought it would be fun to visit (even though I have no idea exactly where he went).

 

9 hours ago, oromendur said:

I saw in your thread you've been achieving some serious hiking goals yourself -- congrats!

Thanks!

Challenges: #1, #2, #3, #4, #5, #6, #7, #8, #9, #10, #11, #12, #13, #14, #15, #16, Current

Walk to Mordor (2021)

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Addit: BOOK CONTRACT HAS ARRIVED. It's not awful -- they're not taking everything from me to pay for the privilege of publishing my academic work, and I should come out of it with all arms and (imaginary) firstborn intact -- but if my rather obsessive ecocritical book on Tolkien and wilderness sells more than 200 copies I just might make enough to buy a celebratory glass* of champagne (sigh). But still, it's a contract. With this on my CV I might even have more of a chance finding an academic position. We'll have to see.

 

Now I *really* have work to do...

 

*Not quite a bottle, not of nice champagne anyway

  • That's Metal 1

hröa Periano, sanar Eldaro, fëa Núnatano

(body of a Hobbit, mind of an Elf, soul of a Dúnadan)

Memories of a former Age [ 1 |  2 ]  ~  Return from Mandos [ respawn ]

Recent sojourns in Middle-earth [ 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | 21 | 22 | 23 ]

[ Current: The Last Homely House ]   ~   [ Tracking spreadsheet ]   ~   [ Instagram ]

The warrior and the artist live by the same code of necessity, which dictates that the battle must be fought anew every day.  ~ Steven Pressfield, The War of Art

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Gah. The challenge is over? Yeah, it's over. I guess that means I really do need to come up with something more useful than the remnants of a pattern I half-assed for a temporary trip (sigh) Before I worry about that, though, let's do the [WEEK FIVE UPDATE] and get it over with.

 

PAI: 7/7, 100%. While this looks good, it's actually kind of an illusion. Thursdays are apparently now the day I run three miles because my PAI residuals run out and I get thoroughly disgusted with myself (sigh) At least said run was somewhat less unimpressive this time around; the last week I had less than thirty seconds between me and the minimum score, but this time I had a solid nearly two-minute cushion. It was also a LOT harder, more so than the marginal increase in effort could have accounted for. I think I'm going to blame the COVID-19 shot I got last Monday.

 

DID I MENTION I GOT MY FIRST COVID-19 VACCINE SHOT?? I am actually unreasonably excited by that. I didn't expect the VA to get around to me this quickly, as I'm in pretty much the lowest priority population matter how you look at it (no essential worker status, no medical conditions, live alone, much younger than the typical VA patient, etc., etc.). But they sent me a text asking if I wanted an appointment! I most CERTAINLY did. AND the appointment for the second dose is already scheduled so I'll be fully vaccinated by mid-April and maybe...just maybe...I will make it to the UK later this summer as I'd hoped...fingers crossed...

 

But I digress.

 

Work: 6/7, 86%. I was pretty generous by the end of the week (crafting carefully-worded emails for contract negotiations counts as work, doesn't it? Sure it does!) but not even my lax accountability could have found anything resembling work in what I did on Sunday.

 

Dailies: 100% across the board (and I'm up to six pushups a day, yay).

 

Cleaning: Cleaning? What cleaning? I had a cleaning task? Oh. Um, yeah. No. 0%. Fail.

 

As a challenge retrospective, I suppose I'm not too unhappy with how it ended up. The adventures were delightful, and I'm glad I went (and my long-present but tentative and ridiculously aspirational life goal of 'move to Lake Tahoe' has actually become somewhat more serious than it used to be). But the juxtaposition between mountain adventures and Bag End auction has really just highlighted what a mess my 'normal' life is, and I hate the way that makes me feel. Still, I did what I said I was going to do a vast majority of the time this challenge, which puts it much higher on the success list than some. This is worth celebrating.

 

I'm still a bit torn on whether lots of small goals or a few bigger ones is better for me; this challenge was a few small goals, which I more or less knocked out of the park, but the stuff I didn't want to do (hello, UFYH!) just really didn't get done. I think I'll need a few days to noodle through this before I'm ready for the next one. The green boxes are still enough to motivate me to do my Duolingo lessons when I don't want to, and they do give me just enough of a nudge to keep me doing the pushups every morning and writing out my gratitude list every evening, but they're more or less failing as influences for both doing real work and doing anything at all to improve my living situation. Of course those things are much harder in the first place, so...

 

Anyway. I'll see all of you squared-away and motivated overachievers over on the new challenge boards in a few days once I manage to scrape all of my crap into one sock ^_^

 

Onward!

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hröa Periano, sanar Eldaro, fëa Núnatano

(body of a Hobbit, mind of an Elf, soul of a Dúnadan)

Memories of a former Age [ 1 |  2 ]  ~  Return from Mandos [ respawn ]

Recent sojourns in Middle-earth [ 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | 21 | 22 | 23 ]

[ Current: The Last Homely House ]   ~   [ Tracking spreadsheet ]   ~   [ Instagram ]

The warrior and the artist live by the same code of necessity, which dictates that the battle must be fought anew every day.  ~ Steven Pressfield, The War of Art

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