Friday, August 21, 2009

Returning from the Wild..

Hi All-
I had barely finished last weekend's workshop when I packed up and headed out to lecture and teach at Gateway Quilters in Merced, CA. This was a great group of quilters... you can tell by the chattering before the meeting and the singing during. Yes, singing! Part of the fun of traveling to many places and being part of many guild meetings is seeing how much they are the same, and just how much fun the little differences are. My hostess, Daphne, was a delight and the quilts that were made during the Fast-Piece Applique workshop were wonderful. They kept me hoppin, so I'll have to see if I even got any pix's to share and add them later on.

I did not think to ask why they call themselves Gateway Quilters, but in my mind Merced is the Gateway to Yosemite National Park (80 miles east & the junction for the 140 leading into the park). Being this close was too tempting to let pass, so I took David (my husband) along and we headed into Yosemite for a short visit.

For anyone that has not had a chance to get to Yosemite... DO! There is no grander place. Words nor pictures can describe how you feel as you enter the valley and find yourself surrounded by such beautiful and diverse mountains.

The feeling never changes, and we have been there more times than we can remember, including our wedding (for we had a destination wedding before they became popular). For this quick getaway we chose to spend a night in one of the tent cabins of Curry Village, and the one thing I'll warn you about is to truly pay attention to the bear warnings. When they say leave no food or scented items in your cabins, DON'T! It was not our cabin that had the bear visitor in the middle of the night, but there was one....

the ravens
were there at the crack of dawn raising the wake up call for all those in the village... this made me chuckle for they really did seem to travel one end to the other giving a loud WAKE UP chortle that echoed through our part of the valley. David slept right through this part... and he also missed the first bear sighting of the morning. A rather large black bear was making his presence known by sitting right on the path to the bathrooms. Though chased a bit back by some of us humans, he was a bit brazen and chose to leave in his own good time. The second bear, a bit smaller and lighter, David did get to see. This one backed up just far enough up the hill to a place us humans were not to go and settled in for a short nap.

Besides the campground experiences we had a lot of fun hiking a couple of familiar trails and a finding some new spots. We have never been in summer before, and though we knew there would be little water in the falls it was a bit of change for us, but we found picnicking at the foot of El Capitan a lot of fun, and then heading out towards Emerald Beach and the El Cap meadows to watch the rock climbers. Three days it takes to climb up the sheer face of El Capitan, and that includes having to sleep up there on a little ledge bed... amazing... and the climbers of Yosemite even set up telescopes for us earthbound watchers. This has never been one of my goals, but I can tell you that hiking up to the top of the Yosemite Falls trail and sitting on the edge looking out over the valley is wonderful.

All in all, we had a great 2-days in Yosemite, but before leaving we walked through the Awahnee Hotel... beautiful, one of the incredibly built treasures of the park... but even more dear to us, since this is where we had our wedding reception and got to share this special place with friends and family. If you get there, make sure you walk through the solarium and imagine a wedding party with the mountain backdrop all covered in snow....

Back home now and grateful for the fun break!

More stitching this weekend. Another in-studio embellishment class.


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