The Stars Were Out

So this post is about a month overdue.  I always have these good intentions and then something happens, or I fall asleep. Here it is,better late than never, right?

I went camping the weekend of August 14-16.  I went alone, by myself, no one else went with me.  When I told a few people at work that I was camping alone they thought I was crazy.  Will you be alright out there? Aren’t you worried something might happen?What will you do, they asked. 

The questions are easily answered.  Yes, I was fine out there.  Nobody bothered me and people were friendly.  I’m always worried something could happen.  I just make sure I am aware of what I’m doing and what is going on around me. I’m not the only one that goes camping alone. I sat and read, relaxed, watched the clouds, ate yummy food, hiked, was at peace and enjoyed no demands. I had plenty to keep me occupied.

I went right after work and got up to Mt. Charleston around 3 o’clock.  I set up my tent  and took in the view.

 I had a few hours of daylight, so I decided to get a little hike in before I made my fire and started fixing dinner.

The first trail I came to from the campgrounds was the North Loop trail.  I gathered my water and off I went. 

 I realized when I started this trail it was far to difficult and too late for me to take on that night and decided to return tomorrow.  

I was wearing my halo while I was hiking out there and captured a great picture of it. It does not come out too often but it looked good that day. 

 I went back to my campsite, started my fire, watched the sunset, and waited for the stars.  The last two times I’ve camped the skies have been too cloudy to see stars. 

 The stars were beautiful, I only saw a couple of shooting stars, but it was so nice seeing all those stars up in the sky. My daughter thought maybe I was cursed which is why it was cloudy both times I went camping with her.  Megan, I am not cursed. 

The next day I went out to finish the hike I started but there was no place to park.  I found another trail started on it, 15 minutes later it was done, found another trail started it but there was no distinct trail.  I did that for about 30 minutes and decided to head back to the North Loop.  Parking was packed, I went back to my campsite to relax.  Around 1 pm I decided to give it another try, this time there were a few spots to park.  Woo Hoo!

On the map it shows its about 3 miles and is a strenuous hike. They weren’t kidding.  Up hill and switchbacks, lots of them. Who needs a stair master?

About half way into the hike I passed a woman on her way down and asked if I was close (not even). She smiled and said, “well you are almost to the clearing, then past that there are more switchbacks and those are harder than the ones you just did. (what? OMG, she’s kidding, right?) Once you reach the top there are great views, then you’re going to keep going (I tuned her out for a moment because inside I was crying) down a hill for a bit then you’ll see the raintree.” I thanked her for all her information and kept going.  My goal was the raintree.

She was not kidding, more switchbacks and yes, they were harder, but it was in the shade of the trees so that helped a little.  I’m so glad I was alone.  I took a lot of breaks against every other tree. It was slow going but I made it eventually.  The tree was huge, beautiful, and truly amazing.  The raintree is a 3000 year old tree and 

  thought to be the oldest tree in the Spring Mountains. By the time I got there I was exhausted and thirsty.  My picture is not the best, but I do have plans to go back. It should be great practice training for backpacking.

Where Oh Where Are The Stars?

I love looking at stars at night.  The constellations, shooting stars, just looking up in the magical starry night is something I truly enjoy.  Last time I went camping up in the mountains, I got cloudy skies, lots of rain, no stars. 

Next camping trip, to go up to Cathedral Gorge, about 170 miles from Las Vegas and 100 miles from any city, there will be stars to be seen up there.

We (my two daughters, one of their best friends and I) got started  an hour and a half later than planned.  We got our rented car, packed it up and left.  About 90 outside of Vegas we start seeing greenery and water, and signs for camping.  You know we had to check out the campsites.  We were at the Pahranagat National Wildlife Refuge. The campsites are at the upper lake.  Down the dirt road we go looking at the no fee campsites.  

What we found was water, wildlife, and serenity.  We found the perfect camp spot right next to the water.   With a view like this we had to stay the night.

  We watched the birds and dragonflies playing, fish coming to the surface of the lake, and a family of lizards that lived in a fallen tree right behind our campsite. 
As the sun set we took in the view and breathed in the fresh air and took in our little piece of serenity.

   As the sun went down the clouds started rolling in.  We started seeing lightening and hearing thunder far off in the distance. When the sun set completely Mother Nature gave us a a stunning light show, we sat in our chairs and watched.  Lots of lightening, no stars. 
    
There was one big draw back about this beautiful place.  It was right off the highway.  We heard every car, and truck coming and going, it did not make for a restful, peaceful night.  I was up at 4:30 in the morning, everyone else was up buy 5:00.  We ate breakfast, packed the car up and headed out to our original destination, Cathedral Gorge.  

The campsites are not really private but the park is well maintained and they have flush toilets and a clean shower. The park is beautiful and not busy.  When we  got there at 8:30, we were the only ones there. We found our spot, put up our tents, had a snack and went off on a 4 mile hike.  

    
We did get side tracked and went on another trail which led us up to Miller’s Outlook. Once we got back to the trail we went on to look at the “caves”.

    
You can’t get too far into the “caves”, after being out in the heat the temperature change was welcome.

That night more clouds rolled in, we got a little sprinkle but no real rain.  Again no stars, but we did watch an amazing moonrise.   

 The trip was a lot of fun and everyone had a good time.  I’m not too sure I would got back to Cathedral Gorge, but I am glad I went at least once.

   

There is more to Las Vegas than casinos

I love to get out every once and awhile and go hiking.  One of my favorite places to go is up to Red Rock Canyon. If you don’t like to hike but want to hike you can drive around the 13 mile loop.  For those of you who want to get out and explore there are many hiking trails out there that range from easy to strenuous and short to longer hikes.  Today I went out with two of my kids and had a wonderful time. I enjoyed nature and was able to start breaking in my new hiking shoes, which I love by the way.  I just want to share with you some of the wildlife and beauty that was on the trail we went on today.  

            

On a side note. I will not be moving to Dallas, TX anytime soon.  The job I wanted wants to give me the same amount of money I make at my current job. Um, no thanks, I want to move up to better things not make lateral moves and uproot my family.

Working towards inner peace

I keep myself pretty busy and all the while I occasionally forget to stop and smell the roses, or take time for me.  I started this blog to tell stories of my life, creativity, food, and whatever else happens to be going on.  Instead I get busy, tired, and I forget to do little things, like blog, make jewelry, or beads. I  try to make sure everyone else in my life is taken care of and happy, or at least healthy.  Ah, the life of a working mom, or any mom for that matter.  Now, my kids are older, can take care of themselves so my entire life does not revolve completely around them (lol, yeah right).  I am taking time, space, and effort for me, just me.  To see if I can find some of my inner peace.

One of the things I am working on to do this  is a meditation space, somewhere in the  house.  I have lots of stuff (working towards clearing out the non essential  stuff a.k.a clutter) and not enough space.  I figured finding the clam meditation stuff  was going to be super easy. A few candles, something to sit on, something to focus on, and boom, instant meditation space.   Not quite.  

What I have discovered is, if I want to truly make my space for me I have to find things that “speak” to me. Not buying more stuff to fill more space into my already cluttered home. This too is part of the my journey.

I have been looking for a Buddha statue of some sort for the past few months.  I figured it would be a fairly  easy task seeing how there are Buddha figurines everywhere. I found really cool ones all the time when I wasn’t looking for one. As I searched I found never one that I wanted. Then yesterday I found it!  I saw and knew it was for me.  It was made in Spain and made of recycled glass.   

I still don’t know where my space will be, but now, I’m one step closer.  

Valentine’s has come and gone again

I finally got a small break at work this past week one of my doctors was on vacation. I was able to catch up on some training, paperwork, and take a deep breath here and there. That was to prepare me for this week coming up. We have patients double and triple booked all week plus we are down two techs. I’ve been trying to not think about it at all this weekend. Glad that this has been a three day weekend.
This year I have completely embraced being single and truly enjoying it. For my Valentine’s Day present I got myself this
Vivienne McMaster’s, Be Your Own Beloved. Is that not the best present I could have given myself?
Ever since I heard and saw about this on Pintrest. I have been enjoying this class so far and am looking forward to the next few weeks. I am doing the class with a great group of super supportive people and love it so far.
I also went on a hike to Red Rock Canyon with a group of amazing women.

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To top it all off went out for dinner and a couple of drinks.
I had a wonderful day and truly enjoyed myself.
Oh my goodness, I almost forgot, I got my tattoo finished. I love it. What do you think?

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My weekly post

I told myself, and you, I wanted to post at least once a week in February. Here I am, 11:30 Sunday night putting together my post.
I went back to the Wetlands Park and just wandered around. I bird watched, listened to the wind through the reeds, took many deep breaths, and even got a bit of sunburn. The weather here in Las Vegas has just been incredibly warm and beautiful.

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I’ve been frustrated the past couple of weeks with my hair and going gray. This in between stuff (at least for me) is the worst. My short hair still kinda covers the gray , but you can see the gray underneath. I really feel that once I get all of the color out of my hair and really get the gray growing it will look great.
I was telling a coworker last week that I am growing out my gray. She said, oh, why would you do that?
I commented that I am ready to just be done with color and let my natural color shine. Her response…hmmmm well, if you don’t like it you can color over it. Lol. Don’t let others discourage you. Own it and love it. I’m trying to in my awkward growing out phase.

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