On the Road Again

On the road somewhere between California and Utah, possibly even in Nevada.

We are enjoying the wide open vistas of southern Utah. The screeching flash flood warning that came through everyone’s phones this morning was a bit of a flashback to last January’s killer wave incident on our vacation to the beach. We seem to have developed a way of attracting historic weather conditions when we vacation. Just call me Chicken Little. But the resulting skies are so beautiful, it’s hard to complain about being asked to sit still for a day while the storms pass through. We’re safe in our hotel room on high ground.

So why, if you already have a lovely photo of a dramatic sky and were unable to sit and sketch that sky in real time because you were either rolling down the road, or it was too cold, or you didn’t have time, would you want to then want to go back and make a duplicate of that in your sketchbook? Oh, so many reasons! Let’s look at a few:

  • To narrow the focus on what excited you about the view
  • To eliminate things in the view that don’t excite you like cars, antennae, or other interlopers
  • To fill time stuck in your hotel room during a winter storm
  • To really cement the memory of what you have seen in a way that a photo cannot
  • For practice with your materials so that when you are able to work in nature, you will know the materials well and be able to work faster
  • As an adjunct to written notes you’ve made in your journal
  • So that it will be in your journal and not lost in the thousands of photos on your phone
  • Because you can

Another wonderful sweeping Utah sunset sky.

Let me give a shoutout to our new Entegra Expanse RecVan for the sweeping views from the cabin as we rolled down the road. Never have I been able to capture the true feeling of a landscape while moving down the road in a vehicle until now. Also props to iPhone cameras and the onboard photo editing software. Snap-Edit-Snap-Edit-Snap-Edit is all I did for 2,000 miles, except when I was knitting.

High Sierra Hijinks

Well hiking in the mountains with kids is just the best way to spend a summer weekend!  But that’s not all, folks.  We fished also:

Here are the boys on Caples Lake, where the fish were not biting at all, but then neither were the ubiquitous mountain lake mosquitos either, and the weather was fine so at least we were comfortable in the boat while we were NOT catching any fish.  Also, none of the other fishermen on the lake were catching anything so we didn’t feel too bad about getting skunked.  And finally, if you catch no fish, you don’t have to clean any fish.

During a rest on a conveniently placed log while hiking the Kirkwood Lake Loop, Ryan (age 6) composed this little sketch in his nature journal showing a small wooden dock on the edge of lake and the surrounding trees:

He’s going to have to get a set of Faber Castell Albrecht Duhrer watercolor pencils for his birthday.  It’s currently his preferred artist medium and while you always think of mountain lakes as sparkling blue, this color combination is quite accurate to depict the swampy-looking water we saw.

Connor was a trouper on the hike:

Daddy only had to carry him about half of the way.  Not bad for 3.



Hello Lamppost

Ever since I read an article claiming that every one of Paul Simon’s songs was nothing more or less than an anthem to drug use if you parsed the lyrics correctly I have assumed that Paul was tripping on something other than cobblestones when he saw flowers growing out of a lamppost while he was feeling so groovy.

On Bainbridge Island, you can be stone cold sober and watch flowers growing from lampposts and feel groovy on the longest day of the year.

Ba-da-da-DA-da-DA-da, Feelin’ Groovy!