giving thanks to the birth of Spring: Newroz

Newroz spiritual cleanse

Newroz: 2018 Spring Fling

statement of disinterest: I am totally disinterested in proof-reading this... Beware if you are a non-believer... (what does that even mean? lol) 

Listening to that sound; a few actually. Hyperaware, my ears tune into the drowning background rhythmic real noise we call rain. Rain is most fascinating. Living on the north shore of Maui, I was lulled to sleep with rain. No need this white noise shit to tune out of this mass vibration of a world where nothing quite shuts down- ever... Yea, that's the kinda moody mood I'm in this morning here in (Iraqi) Kurdistan.

Boom: Tosca Suzuki in Dub is my go-to foreground thunder.  The joint-harmony of today's moving picture show greatly amuses my soul.  Soul food literally.


Speaking of soul food... I've been indulging it since about 3 pm yesterday.  Yes, the return of the one-woman show ensued; a development in accompaniment to the official onset of Spring Equinox holidaze.

This annual renewal of spring, this Newroz, is my initiation into KRD life, I think...

Yesterday afternoon I blurted out that it was like a big, spiritual dump. She laughed a laugh that came from deep within. A welling up on feeling that upon release was satisfying- unexpectedly. Perhaps it was my out-of-nowhere exhalation of words that caught them off-guard. Whatever, it was a grand moment of cultural exchange.

Spring renewal: Newroz. With my spring renewal comes the first sips this morning of a new coffee cup! As today was initiation/activation, a wide smile creeps across my face, enjoying the slow traverse across the roadmap of my lips as if the setting sun was thoroughly enjoying the journey across the western sky so much that it was trying to hold off time, just a little bit longer...

Now, I'm a fan of ritual, and making room in life for ritual. It's the little things- truly. Take face-timing family & friends. This world is crazy tech, but often times I'm in awe of it. To express the heart-felt warmth of seeing people that are in your life so very far away and being able to share minutes exchanging with them from all corners of the world- precious indeed.

Newroz. New country. New coffee cup. New (old) tunes playing, messing with my mind- the good way. The way you thirst for in times of drought where you're so caught up with that 'other' (work) life, that you push aside what is innate inside yourself. Yes, body rebels after such a while. Always a good shake-up and recombining of the cells. Yea, I dig it.

I dig it so much that the one-woman party made an appearance last night. Now I know I'm 'home'.


No. No no.  This. THIS is the one...


This is how you purge. This is my initiation into spring rite of passage. Science! How to alter the chemical combination into a frequency that grooves through life. Yea. Spring Equinox Skooling I call it: music, food, yoga, running, mind enhancing- you know, da kine. all.of.it.

Some interesting stuff I'm finding along the way:


So, waking up to rain this morning; my heart sings. What a perfect omen, IMHO, that the goddesses/gods treat us with rain. Renewal and massive vibrational energy to clear away the vibrations of winter and make way for new experiences. The ultimate spiritual dump!!!

Yea, water is the gift of life.

In other purging news, I want to thank Miss MeGra for turning me onto yet another use for Oil of Oregano. Yes, mixed with white vinegar and water it makes a fantastic counter-top cleaner. Magic. I'm adding that to today's spring cleaning purge.

Here's an interesting interpretation of (Kawa and the story of)vNewroz from the Nederlands:


 So yea, this morning can be described as a Nowruz//trip-hop//Chinese medicine//yoga//spiritual dump-kinda round.

Unfortunately, I fear it's too late to get fabric and get to a tailor for a jili kurdi... alas.  Shame on me! How could I let this slip? Well, I have been crazy-busy for the past 2 months (lame excuse). Next time! Perhaps I'll check out the fabric section of the bazaar though and find some hidden gems.

I must say, there is NOTHING quite like walking by a fabric store around these parts! Bahrain was exceptionally amazing for textile discoveries. Oh I've got so many ideas for designs. This is the week to get cracking on my projects (spring renewal). Projects up on deck:

knitting pencil skirt
     window shading needed soon- and fan, and lamp (2), and beach chair (comfy)          (preferably 2), and the low shisha mats for seating on lanais (decks)
 Kurdish lessons
hikes into the mountains

Here's an interesting website for a viewpoint on Kurdish (language) origins.


NOTE: I would whole-heartedly welcome any other interesting links that y'all have about the region here. I am a sponge ready to soak it all up and try to comprehend the nuances. 

I've fallen down a few rabbit holes this morning! Here are some results:


Newroz: special flowers to focus on, special foods, special clothes, pottery to smash, mountains to climb, fires to alight, nature to 'worship', phamily to visit- I'm in!

 ...and a little something-something on the 13-days of Newroz:

pussy willows, pussy hat b/c rain!



This morning's blogposting vibes brought to you by:

 tosca (my musical accompanyment)
the spirit of da kine

Today: A perfect day to hit up the bazaar; moody and fiercely gentle the rain falls. Gotta find some pottery to smash next week!

In conclusion:


street life, downtown walkabout (after a Nepalese food run at the Park...mmmmmm)

Listening to Erykah Badu jam while in bed drinking some dark French Roast here in Suli. She's badass. It's a live stream from a link on FB, and some dude just finished singing Happy Birthday to her, and crowd is going wild, and he shouts out "Wakanda!"

On all matters Wakanda, I checked out Black Panther this weekend with our crew. I'm not sure if all the showings are 3-D, but ours was. 3-D; imagine that it seems so 'old skool' now. Just the cinematic experience in general seems ancient, yet it's still a pleasure every time.

I love the cool, dark vibe of theaters. Popcorn is a staple; I'm usually so hesitant to get some, but thankful after when I'm munching away I've sunk into my chair arriving at that sweet spot and prepare myself to be taken away on a journey. In a journey really.

Black Panther delivers, as anticipated. Killmonger, the antagonist - or not? That's my question. Great job delivering the conflicting identity of Killmonger. As the storyline goes, "Killmonger is not a product of the ghetto, so much as he is a product of the American military-industrial complex."


Onward. Satiated after filling up the reservoir with some cinematic wellness, we headed to Lalazar for a victory (birthday-- no, not mine) gathering. It's a really nice view of the city from there. I find myself mesmerized looking out the windows at active twilight. Sky ablaze with golden warmth fading... The last vestiges of sunset well below the horizon, I watch for the hills to stop glistening as the warm, yellowish lights of the city turn on. The changing of the guard here in Suli, Iraqi Kurdistan. 

There is some drink there A-Gra introduced me to; I like it. From what I can remember, it's a beer with a shot of tequilla in it and salt around rim. There seems to be one more ingredient perhaps, but I cannot recall. I think we called it a Ladino. As an afterthought at the end of the evening, I'm glad I ate dinner there...

As the story continues, we continued on to the Irish pub to meet up w/our larger tribe. Already in full swing, the NGO peeps were holding court. A few of their folk were finishing up their contracts and moving on to their next gig. There's not a lot of expats in Suli, so all our various tribes come to the neighboring watering hole to commune for a few hours along with the kind-hearted residents. That's one thing I love about the Pub, and living in Suli; all our tribes are together for peace and enjoyment. This is the kinda ethnography that a PhD could be made from, IMHO. 

A good evening for all. 

So yea, a shout out to Iraqi Kurdistan here. I am thankful to come to this place and call it home in this chapter. Let's see how the story unfolds! I'm stoked.

Things I've just learned about here that I will be checking out soon:

There is a Chinatown here! Yummmmm Dim Sum? We shall see.
There is a (new) Zoroastrian Fire Temple here. I'm intrigued.

Today, in part, was brought to you with contributions from:





ALOHA FRIDAY Kurdistan-style... and then this old, unfinished post: Hau`oli Makahiki Hou 2018 (Happy New Year)

Hau`oli Makahiki Hou 2018

The lost entry: Back in America, back on January 1st, 2018, back in yet another bed, with another cup of coffee, from another french press, I typed...

It's a fine, brisk, foggy, crisp winter morning here in So.Or. It's a new year, and I'm ready for it. Right now, as I sit here with the kitties and drink my coffee, I'm in preparation mode. A new year equals a new job, and with that new job comes a new country; Iraq- Kurdistan to be more specific. 

The kitties came to America ('Merica F*ck Yea!) and conquered the hearts of friends and family- much to my delight. They can't continue on in this next chapter with me, nor would they want to. The Middle East Beasts are deep in the honeymoon phase of their So.Or. HQ. 

What a journey, this ending of 2017; coming to America from Istanbul and temporarily setting up shop- first in Yosemite working for the NPS. The Yosemite Chapter captivated me. It lured me back into the beauty of America's wilderness. I got to live out that 'mountain high girl' fantasy. 

Integrating back into American life was somewhat challenging, I suppose. I think all expats feel a bit 'weird' at first going back 'home'. It helped to go immediately into a new job (NPS archaeologist) and community so as not to dwell on what I had left behind. A fantastic voyage back into archaeology and the realm of scientific methods were a welcome respite from language teaching; just what the holistic doctor ordered. The heroes and heroines of the Yosemite Chapter are far too numerous, but are etched deep into my heart. I wonder who will be the first to visit me in Sulaymaniyah!!! I have some ideas.

It had been eight years since I left America. What I realize is that 'home' is everywhere. My new 'home' is once again in the Cradle of Civilization. I'm so stoked. I'm so ready. I'm so fortunate that I have love and support from family and friends in these processes.  

FAST FWD 6 weeks and here I am in my bed, drinking my (french press) coffee, burning Nag Champa incense w/da kine on a moody Friday morning here in Iraqi Kurdistan. All I can eek out so far this morning is... oh what a night... We were all on point last night, our theatre troupe. That is all.

It's a moody morning. Solid waves of graydation interrupts the apartment buildings interrupting the Suli skyline. Luscious cashmere cocoons me in this perceived 'chill' my body is experiencing. Still, I stand strong; bare feet explore the wood floors- always.

Bare naked feet shuffling to and fro the hallway, into my living spaces. Oh the luxury. Toes spreading flat, walking my yoga-walk- trying to spread every toe up, down and out with each step- with some sort of consciousness. The toes knows; freedom. FREEDOM.

They pull on my body to enter THAT room. Yea, the one with the yoga mats; La Stanza nota come Studio di FORMolo. Funny, true story about Studio di FORMolo. Two evenings ago, after a long, successful week of work my feet bring me home. Seeking out the yoga mats, they set about into action. Unfortunately I stopped them from attaining total FREEDOM by first diverting them into the kitchen for a low ball glass of ice, tonic water, and a fresh lime. At this point said feet knew exactly where to trot off next; you guessed it- the bar, which also happens to be part of the open-air (of sorts) floor plan of Studio di FORMolo, which also moonlights as both a workspace and living room. Yea, give me some of that Sapphire gin (secretly pining for Hendricks). 

A friend calls & joins me for  pau hana cocktails (finish workweek). With da kine and Nag Champa incense wafting, slowly seeping through layers of skin, fighting its way inside cells to cleanse away the filth from the work week, I start to sink into the reality that I have 3 days off! I don't have to work at home  tonight. I don't have to pick up any work whatsoever tomorrow, you get the picture.

Said feet are quietly rebelling the entire conversation. Revolution. Time to draw Holly to the mat. To the mat; a welcome barge of familiar graphemes that always hits me like a mega-namaste-kinda-bomb. A phrase dear to my essence; all this shit that the universe constructed (chaos) and subsequently spit out to deposit into my star matter, back before 'it' mattered... Kinda like spiritual vomit, and I constantly seek out ways to express gratitude for the deposition, and the chance to walk this magical eARTh.

But I digress. Feet float me over and upside down. I'm in Sirsasana (headstand) pose. Headstand Pose, for me, is in the top five- with Trikonasana (Side Triangle Pose) being absolutely number one. One of my first yoga teachers back in Santa Cruz told me Sirsasana was the 'beauty' pose, because you never get the chance in life to maintain proper blood circulation to the head (brain) as you do when in a headstand. Any inversion in general is going to do this, but Sirsasana was my initiation into this school of thought. I love being educated, and am a dedicated student. As well, it's always hard to part ways with your first (yoga pose nirvana) love, isn't it? 

Moving forward, Sirsasana... it was beautiful. Blissed out, I returned to the couch, and my empty drink. Alone again and on the mat. Endorphins = addiction. Sweet addiction. 

I'm honestly not one to drink that much- I honestly think I'm too vain. Or realistic- I get that from my father. Perhaps it just comes down to I'm just too mortal. I likely won't be having a drink and doing yoga again... Something went awry, and I cannot say for sure what it was. There was no (distantly familiar) cacophony of listening to yourself pull a muscle and immediately know you fucked up. Having that happen once in life creates awareness of wanting to be really conscious of never experiencing that sound ever again. 

I recall going to sleep a bit freaked out. I hate fucking up my body. It was all so innocent; Marichyasana D (Sage Pose), which is always thrilling every time I nail it. And, by nailing it, I'm referring to relaxing in it with slow concentration and long exhales every time that mind tries to fuck up the body by trying to convince body that body can't do it. With each exhale body tells mind to shut the fuck up. 

Back to the main point of the story... even the tiniest bit of alcohol is going to favor mind over body.

Yesterday was spent babying the right side of my sacrum. I persevered, because I'm a Formolo foremost, yet I have allowed myself the ability to give in to a softer form of withstanding a sorta dull-yet-constant pain. Yes, I'm talking about taking a prescription anti-inflammatory. A very wise person turned me onto them a few years back. I hardly like to take them, but when shit hits the fan, you already know you have to deal with it, so may as well try to centralize where the fuck the pain is coming from so you can work on it.

Active work included (successfully I might add) liberal amounts of Tiger Balm slathered on lower back, 2 anti-inflammatories, loads of water throughout the day, and a cloth napkin wrapped around the head of a knife strategically placed in pain HQ. I used the 'attack from the hinterlands' method; slowly I worked from outside the enemy territory to the inner sanctum, where all the unrest was aflutter.

As I rest upon my acupressure pillow (this hard plastic square thing with about 500 pokey points sticking outta it- truly a nirvana once you get past the concept of the visual pain and sink into it and let it open up circulation in your blood vessels so oxygen can flow again and start circulating through the body, pumping it full of nutrients) and think I'm pretty fortunate.

Fortunate not just because I didn't really hurt myself, but fortunate for every thing.

It's Aloha Friday everybody!



Kurdish soil: S1E1

scenes from the hood

Touched down onto my new HQ earlier this week. Hitting the ground running, I arrived in the evening and was at work the next morning. Memory-bank auto-activation floods my present moment and steers me back to Tunisia; that first impression. Walking atop Tunisian soil. Eyes wide open. Reflecting on that chapter... ah Tunis, you have my heart. So does Istanbul, though. *all the journeys*

Back to present day... I'm in bed. It's 6:30 am. I've been up since 3:30. It's the start of the weekend after my first week living and working in Suli. I'm unpacked. I'm slightly familiarized with my surroundings. I've checked out some neighborhood cats, one of which was hovering dangerously close to the entrance to my apartment building.

I came upon it again this evening coming in after work. Security was playing with it as I approched the building. We exchanged some niceties, and couldn't really understand each other after that, so I left.  When I got to the grocery store I went up and down every aisle, because I just like to. It's strangely soothing. This supermarket is just okay; this is my first impression, and cats are usually involved in neighborhood first impressions. Fact.

got sidetracked with this:  :)

  1. Semicolon. ————-
Meaning: You're trying too hard.
No one uses semicolons in day-to-day casual writing; it's a literary piece of punctuation, not a colloquial one. So using a semicolon in a text shows you've thought out, revised, and overedited your message. That means you're trying too hard, and there's nothing worse than trying too hard. A semicolon in a text message is the equivalent of putting on makeup to go to the gym


So, yea. I've landed and am taking care of biz. It's best to be logical and just try to keep your shit together and remember to do all the little, unexpected, expected, etc. things you have to do so you can relax and not stress too much while doing them.  Phew.

'The' jetlag hit about 2 nights ago. During the first, I passed out at 8 pm, and woke up at two. Sat and intermittently played on my computer or just sat and listened in the dark to whatever was happening on the outside of my (shut) window- it is quite chilly here right now after all.

The curtains are a bit challenging to navigate. Those cloth-blind thingys... It's frustrating if they don't all turn in unison, and so entanglement ensues. It did give me things to do though during some moments of awake-ness the first night. Somehow I managed to consume 4.5 hours of this heightened activity. Daylight approached- yes it actually did. I saw that sliver of glittering sun peek in thru the window, and through that dangerous crack of cloth-curtain thingy that attempts to destroy my weekend sleep-in mornings.  Must. find. solution. to. this. crisis. IMMEDIATELY. 

Perhaps black-out blinds? A very smart person passed this little nugget on to me on that very first evening. Might be the 1st thing to save up $ for, but my heart was already set on a pressure-cooker. But, a pressure-cooker is a necessity, so this can go to another 'list' of lists I've been constructing since arrival. I simply walk around all day every day with my growing list through the halls, feverously adding to it. It's almost unmanageable at this point, yet I must also include that it's already saved me many times over. I'm really working on my organizational skills in this mutation :)

In conclusion: eyes wide open, with a dreamy-sorta hypno-pompic haze (my scientific mind considers this jetlag(?), whereas my da-kine mind thinks it's just me being me :) Yeah...

Food. I haven't delved into creativity here yet. A colleague walked in the other day and saw my table covered with Cliff Bars and just gave me that look... In that moment I knew I had to start feeding myself properly. Happily, I trotted off to the neighborhood supermarket tonight, after work. I just finished up my culinary survival skills phase to keep afloat during the pre '1-week start of classes' rush to etch into memory banks all the IT stuff with new computers/programs, passwords, etc. Yea THAT phase; it's a large learning curve for my mac-user brain. I did manage to sort through most perceived and real challenged that temporarily distracted me from my goal to just fly-like-an-eagle-to-be-free...

currently listening to:

My first odyssey to the supermarket let me out of our HQ. It was my first solo odyssey taking the 'alley', which is a completely properly-sized side road honestly. I felt so cool slipping thru there. Alleys are always fascinating, side roads not so much... I met two new kittis on this odyssey. One was coy, and the other rather brash. We'll see what develops.

currently listening to: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vNG4xKYiLrA

say what you will, but genius, imho

More distractions:
  1. Apostrophe. ————–
Meaning: You pay attention to the little things.
In text land, apostrophes have become endangered species. Youd is just as acceptable at you'd. Id is just as acceptable as I'd. Youre is just as acceptable as you're. (Or, on the Internet, your.)
So when you actually take the time to use an apostrophe, it means something. I like to think it sends a subconscious message that you take the extra time to do things right. And that effort hints that you'd be a real hard-working giver in a relationship – or at least into one extremely memorable sexual escapade.

So, it's 7:30 am, and I'm in a pickle: What to do? Do I suck it up and just get outta bed and make some coffee!!! Yay for blog posts and beds and (new) french press coffee! Seems like old times, just different beds...


do I hunker-down and try to catch some more Zzzsssss

What I do know is that I'm concluding now, and I haven't proofed it... And...SEND!

Decision made: I'm opting for coffee!


Yooper runs & other such niceties...

I'm compelled to write about my running regime up here in the U.P- otherwise known as Yooper Territory in upper Michigan. Yesterday morning was the first snow on the ground since I arrived. It was just a light dusting, but the temperature had dropped steeply from the balmy upper 40s we'd been experiencing since early last week.

I suited up, as usual in my SmartWool garb, but with the addition of my sweet hot pink (cotton) gloves. I've been wearing my Norwegian wool beanie that Nancy-Girl knitted for me 2 years ago. Left without my beloved, magical Hoka One One runners, I found my trusty old Saucony Kinavara 6s. I was ready to go. Brother Tim would follow behind, and Brother Curt would hoof it in a walking gait.

Just getting down the steep-ish road to the main road was precarious enough; the snow wasn't sticking as it fell, but some spots had already iced over and were glistening, revealing their icy secrets underneath. The first near-miss fall and I was over on the edge in the snowy grasses- dangerously close to 'bear territory' as I know it to be (without seeing a single bear there for all the years that I've been visiting the 'rents up here in their original homeland).

Only last winter did I ever start running in snowy conditions, when I was living in Istanbul. I ventured out there in snowy conditions, and it wasn't as bad as I had originally thought it to be. Usually I don't run down to Merriman Road because I think about bears, and there aren't many cars that go to/from that direction- so no one will hear me when I'm screaming bloody murder as a black bear snacks on me... Yes, these are my thoughts as I run up here...

As I descended, I came out of my stupor and drifted from bear mauling to an internal weather update. Thanks to SmartWool, I was toasty; this made me smile. Off I trotted heading south onto U.S. 607. The 607 was ice-free, fortunately. Right away my nose inhaled a healthy dose of cold air. It tickled. It wasn't unpleasant. The woods all around were alive and talking; snow falling from cedars and other flora, water from the plethora of groundwater drainages/swamps, etc. were freezing and cracking- from expanding/condensing when sunlight hits the water/ice. Steady winds whipped up leaves all around me, as if dancing. Delightful, all of it.

I adore looking at all the long driveways, full of unfamiliar things to my eyes; Green Bay Packers memorabilia adorning many mailboxes, large, life-sized bucks used for (what I think) target practice, winter recreation vehicles, etc. People here in these parts sure know how to make the most of winter conditions. Christmas decorations have sprung up in the past 10 days as well so a grand light display is still visible during daylight hours when skies are overcast and agitated, such as the day was shaping out to be.

There is this one part of the run where there are no houses and just open land. This part freaks me out- because, bears. This was a solemn stretch, giving me time to take in the surrounding beauty. Everything seemed so  clear, clean, crisp and exposed to these elements that somehow cleansed my soul- and who doesn't need a soul-cleansing? A large cleaning afforded me a view of a perfectly shaped natural ice-skating rink. I wonder if anyone else thought so. I saw my destination- the treeline at the house of my dads friend. He has since passed as well. As I ran by I thought about how much they both loved their radio-controlled airplanes and flying time. Soon enough I came upon Merriman Road West, my turn-around 2-mile mark.

I was feeling fierce though so continued on to the east. I got a little spooked soon enough as the trees were closing in on me, hiding carnivorous bears... so I gave in and turned around. I was still luxuriating in what seemed to be ideal running conditions and saw one of my brother's trotting towards me. I high-fived as we passed. Further ahead I ran into my other brother, who was walking. I wasn't wanting this time outdoors to end so soon so I decided to walk with him- in the opposite direction, where I had just come from. We headed back towards Merriman Road. When rounding the bend after about a mile, the air became fierce, spitting on us with cold, venomous air that stopped us in our tracks. Knowing better, we turned around after spotting Brother Tim, figuring he'd catch up to us. Headed back, we solved the world's problems, and felt good about it.

Back home and inside the sweat box (mom liked it to be 70º indoors), we delighted in all the cookie dough that needed to turn into fresh baked cookies. It has been a 2-day cookie baking marathon. What I realized was that I was thoroughly insulated, and never did the cold air affect me negatively during my run. It is so nice to run and not be baking hot and sweating- which is my future again when I move to Kurdistan...

I'm excited to have a few more weeks in Oregon, before departure, to continue to cold-weather run. Also, my beloved Hoka One Ones are there, waiting for me. Today is flight day. Curt and I are packed up and loaded with this a cumbersome- sized tote bag of Christmas cookies... Mom and Tim are also burdened with bucket-loads of cookies left behind. It's been a great visit this year. Every day has been filled with wonder, laughing, crossword puzzles, puzzles, MaJong, food, more food, merriment with neighbors, etc.

It's weird 'coming home' when a place has never been your home, but it feels like home- or at least one of your homes... Everywhere seems like 'home' to me. Every home has also been a great run for me. Yea, running is like going home- every time.


'Cember Second

Be the Alpaca

following in brother's footsteps...
ice-cracking on the Menomonee River

llamas llamas llamas!

backyard excursions

prepping for the ski slide stairmaster

shiny, happy people

gobble gobble, the Thanksgiving survivors club in the backyard...

typical day

mom takes on the Christmas Tree

"Holly, when's your birthday"?  " 'Cember second". Apparently that was my answer when asked, which was, apparently, all the time. As the story goes, it's the only other birthday all my other siblings remember except for their own as well as our mother and father...

So today, 'Cember second, I'm in the U.P. of Michigan; Headquarters of the matriarch of the Formolo clan- my mum. It's surreal first because this is only the 2nd time I've ever been in Michigan at this time of year (I've never lived here) so there is so much newness to experience here. For example, the weather. It's actually pretty 'balmy' here at a steady 43º average since we arrived, my big brother and I. I've been running and/or climbing the steps at the infamous Pine Mountain Ski Jump daily in only running tights, a base layer and outer shell- which all happen to be SmartWool clothing.

Okay I'm getting side-tracked, but SmartWool is AMAZEBALLS. As you all know, I've just finished a stint working as an archaeologist at Yosemite National Park here in America. That was lovely, BTW. Part of that loveliness was being able to use my Park email address to apply for all these 'pro' deal accounts with big label sports outfitters like Outdoor Research, Patagonia, Hoke One One, SmartWool, etc. Man I did go a bit crazy with it all, but I'm stocked up- and so is my family (once a year they allow you to give your 1/2 off discounts to your family for the holidays).

I'm discovering here just how amazing SmartWool is to wear when exercising in cold weather. It breathes people! It keeps you warm, seals in the heat, while wicking out the sweat/moisture. I've read about this concept for forever and a few years, but never experienced it. I'm a believer.

It's also surreal to be here because, as I've said before, I never lived in Michigan. All my siblings grew up here together for a time. They all share this collective experience here that I'm not neessarily privy to. It's just interesting.

Last night we all went out to dinner for my birthday- something that we all never did as kids. Anyway, we're at El Capitan Supper Club and reading up on the story of the place, which is over the Menominee River and in Wisconsin. As the story goes, the North Woods were one of Al Capone's trusty hideouts during Prohibition and the Great Depression of the 1920s and '30s. He used to run liquor from Canada through Michigan and Wisconsin and so commonly came through the area. 

So we're reading the local lore, and the waitress is filling in the gaps for us and suddenly mom busts out a little snippet about our long-departed Uncle Ducky and some friend/relative(?) who was of an unsavory sort. I love it when she gets in these moods where she rehashes these sweet anecdotes, recollecting the past. There were two dancehalls right in this neck of the woods, and loads of bars. The Great Depression and Prohibition were lucrative times after all, right? Ahhh I love hearing about 'herstory' of the area!

This is the first 'Cember second that I've been in America in a long time, and likely the only one where I've been here in the U.P. Our days are filled with chatting, knitting, working on puzzles, watching the news, arguing about the news, and eating. My morning runs have been on point. I squeal with glee in terms of my running game. I'm not even wearing my trusty Hoka One Ones... I feel like I'm gliding these days. I continue to experience this 'honeymoon' phase of running- throughout life. I am definitely on a runner's high these days- especially here in late autumn temperatures. 

The Pine Mountain Ski Area stairs are a favorite activity of my family. Every summer we dutifully go up them- all 500. I either do them twice, or after the 1st 500 steps, which takes one to the base of the ski jump, continue to climb up to the top of the ski jump itself. This affords one with an incredible 360º view of Iron Mountain and its environs. Yea, the 'Steps' as they are called are top-tier fun for us.

On Friday we went out for a leisurely drive. Our destination was Norway, and the Alpaca farm there. We've all been here before, except for Curt. It's a house with a huge fenced enclosure for the animals and a store in back where the back porch goes out and you can watch the animals and then walk around and pet them. The store is full of eye-candy: yarn... I get all googly-eyed in there since I've taken up knitting. Mom does too. So did Curt, and Tim. We all walked out with a bag... Family. 

Today I'm on cooking duty. We've all been taking turns making dinners this past week. Today I'm making my famous French omelette for breakfast. It's also Christmas cookie day, and then I'm ending it with a complete Turkish kebab dinner. It's going to be a grand day in terms of cuisine... The weather is even supposed to hold out! Actually, it's going to be in the mid-40s until we depart later in the week. On deck for tonight is a sauna and cold plunge bathtub over at my mom's neighbors. The moon was just full last night- a super-moon on my birthday- so it should be epic.

Okay, it's time to get up from the couch here in the den- my HQ while here.


Down by the River Merced I blog...

Yosemite Valley Rail Road at its terminal in Old El Portal

coming into Old El Portal; a one block wonder Sierra Nevada Foothill town :)

enroute on Foresta Road from Rancheria Flat to Old El Portal- my usual running route. Looking up into Yosemite Valley

WiFI central here at the El Portal Community Center

Saturday Nov. 4, 2017: The Yosemite Files

With an attitude adjustment, I find myself sitting on a ("my") rock in the Merced,  down Abbie Road, in the old NPS trailer court- one of my favorite spots to just stare out into the vastness. One is able to 'step through the portal', 'El Portal' in fact; the door extending, welcoming from where the Sierra Nevada Foothills expand, yet condense into the Sierra Nevada Mountains/Yosemite Valley. I love being a fringe-dweller.

I got up this morning, after a late evening reading, chatting with friends, wandering around the streets of Rancheria Flat in the dark of the night with my co-conspirator, lounging on the benches at the El Portal School, etc. I pondered this: What do you need to do to wake up and dial in your kaleidoscope to fit the initial images of the coming day?  Rain/clouds outside my window this a.m. Coffee comes first- or the ritual of the ceremonial preparations to drink coffee to be thoroughly enjoyed (grinding of beans, aroma, boiling, steeping in the requisite french press, pouring, anticipating, indulging, satisfaction.  That can happen alone, or with Da KineDa Kine pervades all moods.

This morning is akin to the typical feeling that rinses over me when having 3 weeks left in a place that I’ve called ‘home’ for more than a few fortnights. I love this state of mind- in a sense. Everything has been absorbed. I am already missing the place, yet still remain. It's odd & descriptions seen unworthy of this, THIS.

Dreary weather today, as with yesterday- perhaps more so today though- permeates my shell (not my outer layer shell that is shielding me- only me though as my laptop  lays buck naked on my lap, exposing to all the elements bombarding it. Runs like a champ too. I feel this relationship between my keyboard and fingers is very reciprocal- in some way that is unexplainable-  mostly because the absurdity of the words- if you just take them at face value, as only words…

Words-to- actions. Environment has a lot of do that that. Geography. Cultural geography. Mapping a landscape of Homo sapiens’ basic actions (to procure food, shelter, water- to this day, with some additional add-ons, of course). Anyway, how we go about doing this shit… man it fascinates me.

I love pondering these questions- wherever I am. Last night I took out my (still slowly-dying) iPhone to listen to some sound recordings (thanks "Mozart in the Jungle" seasons 1 & 2 for making me fall back in love again with ethnography-of-sorts; you know, for example, when I am out with friends, or solo, and casually make a recording of our conversation(s). All accomplished with respect and prior knowledge, of course. Only wishing to somehow immortalize chunks of my time span here on planet eARTh, solar system of the sun, and listen to them at various, random times- especially while in other countries. There is something endearing about it. The feelings that overcome me. The emotional output & revisiting some depth of beauty in that place. It keeps me close to people. I have that tendency to stray…

I digress… back to the story… wait? Nope. Can’t bring it back… Onward...

A wave of unease floats across my being. Actually it was when I first jumped into my car this am to head up to the El Portal Community Center to catch their free WiFi. Yes, with my roommate moving out of NPS housing  yesterday because her season was over, so went with her the coveted internet router…

I love the productivity of living without WiFi (she says this only 24 hours since WiFi being removed from her instinctual environment at this present time…)  The weather is cold now (just this week arriving), and I still desire to be IN the weather. It’s a good reason to get outside and still hold onto the outdoor experience here. Yes, I sit in my car, or at the picnic table (again, depending on climatic needs) and do my shit- wherever that takes me. This morning it was taking me to ‘the source’ so I could look up a bunch of notes I took while reading (all night) Arab Americans by Gary Paul Nabhan- a Lebanese-American fascinated with cultural landscapes spanning many continents, and their associated words for features. An interesting, whimsical experience in finding this book; it happened at work, in the office. One of my (3 amazing) bosses had let SaGra borrow it- years ago I think. I was in SaGra’s office talking to her one day (olelo hawaii), and noticed it, picked it up, casually read the back cover (while still engrossed in our conversation), and promptly said I was borrowing it. My boss had earlier mentioned that it is a book he buys fairly often- and gives it to people. IT moved him in some way, and I wanted to see that- THAT. I wanted that experience of… you know, when you read a really good book & can’t put it down, etc. It provokes you to ponder things bigger than yourself, and understand things happening contemporaneously, or chronologically as a result of the domino effect that is civilization.

The connection between this book, him, myself, Yosemite area, and the Middle east is an interesting one. He did field excavation/research in the past in...Armenia I think (we discussed the Republic of Georgia & vicinity briefly in the YOSE YAO hall). So there's that, plus being archaeologists with a strong hankering for the cultural background research that goes into the physicality of archaeology itself, me living/working in the vicinity for the past 8 years, them (my bosses) actually reviewing my CV & finding it interesting/unique to give me this chance to come to Yosemite for  5-month stint & share knowledge/love of what we lust in doing. Blah, blah, blah- as the story wanders.

Anyway, the author is Lebanese-American & looked into place names for water features from the deserts of Arabia to the Sonoran Desert of southern Arizona/Mexico. His historical background takes us to The Middle East, the Alhambra in Spain, the expulsion of Moslems from Spain in 1492, and the Crusades, coming to America & settling in America’s southwest & Sonoran area.

Anyway, he weaves this marvelous journey. I am wandering right there next to him, with him. He mentions Freya Stark- my Halloween nom de plume this year., and yes, there is this sort of romanticism’, that people call it, but I don’t have another word that better describes it. I think it is more about the times, and understanding that all the shit of today was still occurring then, but what is the difference? Population controls? Something, and I don’t necessarily know. I only know that I am addicted to see into this past, and with a solid writer providing the backdrop, it is exquisite.

So, my toes are freezing (yes, again no socks. It must be 60º out). My coffee is inside my car, waiting for me. I guess this diversion to go straight from home to the community center to do all this electronic shit was hijacked in the best possible way. I NEED this shit; sitting in THE Merced River on a rock, surrounded by water on all sides, overcast skies, gradations of gray/white blanket the landscape, but these brilliant yellow foothills towering down to the rocks at the river’s edge… OMG the beauty. Pockets of diaphanous fog linger in the shallow canyons, not yet wanting to disappear. The scrub brush clinging onto its yellow edge- damn this is beautiful.

I am somewhere near the old Hennessey Ranch property. I love coming to this spot (usually when running, wanting to do some yoga, or doing my laundry up above) and looking at the land forms and trying to re-imagine the past. I LOVE Sierra Nevada foothill history, honestly. It’s a new love I’ve developed since I arrived. It gives me such pleasure to think that I can still have this bond with America, even though I have given myself to the world- so to speak. Coming back home & experiencing what specifically makes America captivating, for me, gives me hope for our future here. I have hope.

The sun is trying to poke through in the east- in Yosemite Valley. Perhaps this day won’t be as dreary as forth told by the weather oracles. Foresta is towering above, and then the utility lines precariously hanging onto the cliffs edge- heading down to the chain link fence area above Rancheria Flats. I will think about this view often.

What a day it's been. I didn't yet post this blog. I was wanting to go for a run in this weather, so I did. I went down Incline Road- my favorite run here. As I rounded the corner and Dry Gulch Campground came into view, I was happily accosted by some trailer park girls! Soon enough in an alternate universe (you know the one- exactly opposite as the one I was on moments before- being in the running zone and all the endorphins that come with that, making it an exceptional experience that one always wants to experience), complete with a Bailey's and coffee and sweet chatter. I am envious, a bit; they are living the life in their mobile dwellings at the river's' edge. Again, I feel like I continue to find my tribe as I flitter around the globe. It takes some time, and energy. It's nice to experience this feeling. Morning turning into afternoon, soon enough I was on my merry way again. That last 1.5 miles was a bit more difficult, but my smile was BIG!

...And I'm back at the community center parking lot. It's been an amazing day today. As Bob Ross would say about learning how to paint, I turned that mistake (this shitty, overcast, on-the-verge-of-downpour day) into a magical tree, or cloud with one stroke of the brush (attitude adjustment). I'm a big fan of attitude adjustments, and quite a professional I might add...

Now, time to morph into my night owl phase. What does tonight have in store for me? Well, let me tell you, it involves ritual, culture, and dance and listening to the masters speak through their bodies, natural surroundings, soundscapes and seasons. That's all imma say about this coming evening.

That's all I've got folks...



Orionids 2017

Well past the midnight hour here in El Portal. A lazy drive back from Bootjack after a Hawaii kine BBQ. Felt so good to pa`ina with fellow Islanders. Ho, so much good stuff going on with good peeps. Earlier, weather complicated my plans to hike east side and threatened to ground me. Never to lament to the point of depression, I hoped in my rig and headed into Mariposa to catch the hot rod car show. What a trip. People are into classic cars.

Day morphed into evening and I found myself surrounded with like-minded individuals who I've made a connection with here in the Sierra Nevada. The bonds have formed. We broke bread. We drank. We stargazed. We relayed our various oral histories to one another and listened with great interest. We laughed.

No night on the town would be complete without stopping by the back Alley and catching a set from some local talent. All in all, a great ending to a shaky start.

Here in El Portal in the front yard, the show must go on. The Orionid meteor shower is peaking. What is going on out there in our universe. Nights such as tonight I feel I have great insights into the mysteries of the universe. Dare I divulge? The galactic amphitheater captures my interest. There are so many things I desire to experience. Questions. Quests. Challenges.

I look to the heavens to seek out earthly delights. Not another voice to be heard out here. How can that be? Homo sapiens are interesting indeed. Something big just darted by. The bewitching hour, this time I share with the nocturnal creatures in the solitude of darkness. The moon withdrawn, the starry sky a time traveler's map. I seek out the cartographer.

Yosemite certainly has its diurnal charms, yet truly warms up to me in the dead of the night.


Sierra Soaking

5am, and nature calls. I sensed it as I slumbered, although some credit must go to the weather service for calling rain/snow today. That sweet cacophony of wet sounds reverberating down through my soul. As I laid in bed listening, I drifted back to Maui, Haiku specifically. How I thrived in that wet, tropical environment for the largest time span in my existence, so far. Fast forward in time and here I am in the Sierra Nevadas listening to the rain. Magic.

I want the rain to wash over me. Time to cleanse. That connection,  Here I sit, outside on the front porch bundled up in my puffy and pjs. Listening to this eARTh absorbing this, so far,  elusive elixir.

6am, I'm still being schooled in the ways of hydrology from this most eminent teacher of mine. I was instructed to run through the street just now. Similar to running through downpours on Maui, yet a bit too chilly...  Refreshing.

Feeling honored all the time to have this Yosemite experience, and all these teachers; wind, water, domes, stars, foothills, hawks...

This dark blanket will soon shed some light as daylight must certainly be creeping out of its slumber in these coordinates. Something inside me is telling me to drift back to sleep some more. I'm listening.



Parkie HQ; I peak into the extravagance of parkie living


da toes knows

overnight guest!

morning fuel-up

everything is IPA these daze...

morning yoga sessions

in a yoga pose I was staring up into the void and I spotted a spider web going from one pine bough down to a lower one- amazing how the sunlight hit it and it was liquid diamond silvery shining/swaying in the light breeze.

closer look

it's what keeps me high. That Vitamix has traveled through several countries with me- unfortunately so had the 40 lb step-down converter... lol. No more though. Vitamix won't be making the upcoming journey to Kurdistan with me, sadly. 

but of course...

I spy the neighbor's kid's trampoline... We are currently plotting how to gain access...
holding up the tree!


Sierra Nevada Magic: I f*ckin love science

blog HQ

Lately there's been something brewing deep inside my soul. The Sierra(s) have permeated my being. Feelings of euphoric wellness (frenzied at times dare I say) percolate up and seep out from my epidermis.  The reservoir spilling over, perhaps, or am I wanting to keep amassing this delirious wealth, I listen for the signs; overindulgence is not an option. I'm understanding this elixir to be Sierra Nevada Magic.

I was pondering this elixir atop a philosopher's stone, so to speak, yesterday. A series of majestic granite boulders rounded from eons of giving in to the soft influences of running water, shaping them into voluptuous, energizing powerhouses for us to learn from were front and center in my secret spot on the Merced. Who would not be drawn to a voluptuous, energizing entity?

Picture yourself as a slab of granite, spit out fresh from deep within the bowls of Mother Earth. An aggregate so hard that it appears resistant to change. What is it about water? How can water alter such a hardened substance? Time, and chemical attraction/reaction/action, etc. Water breaks down rocks! Rocks become 'weaker', but perhaps that's not the appropriate word- for me anyway. I see this overcoming of resistance as strength- gorgeous, supple strength in all its grandeur. Perhaps I have no idea what I'm typing though...If a water can reshape solid rock, what can it do to us mere mortals? I'm intrigued.

On the subject of typing, my blog has metamorphosed since experiencing the Sierras and the Mighty Merced River. I mean, I'm still in bed right now, and a deep, sexy, french roast is brewing in my french press. The kitties aren't here with me though *sad*, but I am happy to report that they are loving their new American Life, up yonder in Ashland. I'm still so attached to blogging in my bed in my apartment in Istanbul, that THIS still seems so unfamiliar, or unusual. I'm also still attempting to weave together my thoughts into a cohesive story, and still getting hung-up on all the random tangents that ebb and flow throughout my thought process... And yes, my blog is still çok-full of disconnected anecdotes of life observations, but that is me... Some Sierra Nevada Magic has pervaded my fossilized being and altered my chemistry. Science!

I'm not saying that fossilization is a bad thing, but a 'routine' however pleasant it is, will be altered, to varying degrees; it's just the laws of nature. How you accept or reject things is what helps you to develop- whatever that means, I can't explain it rationally enough- not at 9 am on my 1st cup of coffee anyway. That, THAT takes moonlight magic, and perhaps a nice bottle of Pinot Noir to share with a friend... which happened the other night. A beautiful sunset in the backyard waning into illuminated shadows underneath the glow of the full moon. Yea, we solved some of the world's ailments that night...

But I digress...and yet I sidetrack with another folktale- that is what these loose chronicles are; tales about folks. My coffee fresh from its press, and now in my cup, I venture outside to finish blogging. None of my previous words make (the same) sense as when I was in my bed. Just the change in environment has altered my perceptions. I fucking love science! Birdsong still resonating, the morning sun still rising, but I am within IT now. Gazing to the clothesline, I see all the pretty colors of my American life: that pair of tie-dye running tights; my Tahitian pareo (sarong, lava-lava, etc.) with green taro leaves against a squash-yellow background that makes me smile so wide each time I don it; my blue Pendleton button-down that has fast become a beloved staple of mine on the current job-site in Yosemite Valley.

Speaking of Yosemite Valley... I've been working at Camp 4- ground zero for all top-notch rock-climbers worldwide, in autumn especially. Any proper cultural anthropologist would be thrilled at the (veiled) invitation to take notice of the habits of these specimens :)  Physically unimpressive, the camp itself is disheveled, but that is indeed its lure. As with any group of like-minded individuals getting together to practice/discuss in depth their particular trade or passion, etc., they must share some interesting stories on being one with these rocks.

These characters conjure up images of privilege (yes all the stories about living in cars or tents during 'season' is still a 1st world problem no matter how you look at it), hardship, ecstasy and full-on adrenaline. But, they are also just sleeping, waking up to chilly 4000' elevation mountain air, putting on their layers (base, mid and outer) to warm up while brewing water for coffee and oatmeal. Or, there is some elaborate aroma emanating from a certain camp that drives me into a state of frenzy because it smells so delicious...

Anyway, back to gear. It's like being in an outfitters where you get to see all the gear in action. I know exactly what to purchase for my next round of tents, sleeping bags, headlamps, etc. Clothing, well this is over-the-top. Outdoor technical gear is amazing in these times. I have noticed that color combinations seem to be a thing at Camp 4. Perhaps it's just that these privileged, homeless denizens (no judgment, remember) are purchasing the 'off' colors at lower prices than the MSRP... I will say though that pea green and bright yellow seem to be popular... That's another thing, everybody, and I mean EVERYBODY (myself included), spends idle time online looking at outfitters' websites pondering their next purchase. It is addicting.

I've discovered the 'pro' programs on these websites. Working for the NPS has its privileges. Some sites (Outdoor Research being my top choice) offer 50% off for 'professionals' or 'experts' as they are called. Let's just say that I am stocked up for all upcoming outdoor endeavors. I'm actually wondering how cold it will be in Kurdistan though... heh heh. They'll be ready for the PCT in 2020 though, as my sister-in-law and I get ready for our trail adventure.

Okay, I'm so far off from my original intentions for today's words that I don't think I can recover. You know, da kine so early in the morning makes for a magical day. That said, I'll be enjoying some of this Sierra Nevada Magic on the Merced today in This American Life of Mine... But first, more coffee and a run. Perhaps I'll sneak in a little look-see on the experticity website for a dose of 'gear-porn' as well...



Yosemite: This American Life of Mine


Eight fifty pm. Perched outside, computer on lap, an IPA on the railing, K-Jazz radio playing, crickets chorus chirping, full-moon rising in 30 hours, and da kine. This is my backdrop tonight. This American Life of mine. These moments of pure joy in experiencing California, living and working, after a very, very long absence. I haven't livid in America anywhere besides Hawaii for a very, very long time. It is an interesting adjustment. Perhaps it's just adjusting back to America that is evasive to/for me. 

Looking up from my keyboard to the vast ink sky with an illuminated, spherical blob coming into front and center. The mountains, some trees, the utility lines, a few lights on; this is my hood in This American Life of Mine.

I'm drinking an IPA- something called' Wolf Pup'. A fair trade indeed; a Wolf Pup for a MANGO (already sliced up into a perfect florette). Yea. Standing over the sink eating the mango out of your hand with juice dripping down your hands; that is the only way I know to properly consume mangoes and truly be in that moment.

In This American Life of Mine, running exists. It's funny, I enjoy so much about an area that I am living in based on my local running route. I've hit this sweet spot this past week. I found an alternative route (that involves kinda sliding down a hillside (with snakes hidden in the grasses and mountain lions in dark dens in the granite boulders surely) to pick up where the Middle Road usually takes me a bit quicker. I decided to end that saga as Middle Road ALWAYS gives me the creeps- only because of the mountain lions that MIGHT exist there... Right?

With that re-routing, I also developed this desire to stop on the bridge where the Merced River crosses Hwy. 140. It's kinda like my over halfway point and I never ran on the other side of the road before (geeze). It's a whole new territory to admire and breath in while breathing out the toxins from the day. There is a little patch of poison oak that I need to avoid while scaling down the hillside though, which can be tricky.

This also gives me the opportunity to meditate while staring into the Merced. Meditation is always something I tinker around with. I'm definitely much more of a 'moving meditation' kinda chick, so to sit still and do nothing takes some discipline and strength of the utmost degree. I enjoy this challenge. So, I take a break from my run and make time to tune out of my present dimension and work on getting to that 'other spot'. I'm pretty happy so far with my progress. I have always thought that the body needs to be active to quiet the mind and dominate the mind, but I'm starting to see that the body doesn't necessarily have to always dominate to find this balance.

This American Life of Mine. It's taken a while, but I am fully open to this chapter. I still kind of feel strange being here, and by 'here', I mean America. After a while, you kinda get used to being the outsider coming to understand an unknown place and then feeling at ease there.

This American Life of Mine misses hearing Turkish spoken in the streets everywhere. I miss walking. Walking everywhere. My Büyükdere apartment, up where the Black Sea meets the Bosporus. Damn, so much beauty in this world. All the beauty.

This American Life of Mine is feeling confused. Coming back into the country not just as a 1-month holiday, but for a chunk of time. There is so much going through my mind; it's as if a hard-bop jazz beat is ferociously trying to devour as much of this scene as possible. To satiate myself in preparation of the next move. Politically, I have no idea wtf is happening. I can't gauge anything, with confidence really. Why are we where we are at- in terms of the nation? Why are my views in short supply? Things like this keep me pondering in the dark of the night- often. Other things that keep me up at night are all my phone messages going off at all hours from friends far and wide! My iPhone is nearly on the brink of collapse, and I dare not make any adjustments with notifications, etc. in that it might self-destruct...

This American Life of Mine is still knitting... As you know, this past winter was pretty gnarly in Istanbul- in terms of foul weather and snow storms, etc. Many of our gang indulged in drinking sessions while knitting on a fairly regular basis. In EdVice & Steve-Os sweet apartment over the cig kofte place, with their stellar view of the Bosporus, we sat and laughed for hours at a time. So yea, I do love to knit in Yosemite as well- I just haven't found any partners in crime to indulge in some shenanigans with while doing so.

Tonight, after my run, I checked out the ultimate frisbee game going on at the ball field across the street from el cabino. Very American indeed- and a can of IPA to boot- very California. This American Life is very cool, not to mention healthy and active.

I am not-so-secretly digging This American Life. That is all. Okay, back to knitting and listening to Tom Petty & 'Free Falling' on repeat... RIP dude. You were a part of my coming of age experience here in America. Tom Petty; I always thought of him as so Californian. Mellow, you know. Well, he wasn't from California you know... No matter.

The El Portal ultimate frisbee crew. Hopefully this is a weekly Tuesday thing :)

the grass is dry...and hard. You definitely don't really wanna fall down

action shot!

 Alright, I'm burned out. Don't be hating on the typos...


Parkie- a day in my Yosemite life- brought to you in pictures for your own interpretations!

So, here is my work day from Saturday. I'll let you guys piece the story together!

Driving to work up at Tuolumne for the Yosemite Facelift project. Looking down towards Foresta

Foresta area, off of Big Oak Flat Road

Morning Illumination

Tuolumne Meadows morning sunshine

stopped by Ranger Camp to see a friend, who was in the process of moving out as the work season is over up there. Back to El Portal everybody goes!

house pineapple
yea, I remember trying to use that bathroom behind us one time...
work work work

closing up shop
Add caption
work crew next to us was taking down the Tuolumne Store

moving right along into the evening, back at El Portal

Lively Oktoberfest polka band

good times

time to head home me thinks...

So yea, that about sums it up, my day Saturday. It started at 6 am & finished at 1 am... *kerplunk*