Monday, November 15, 2010

All Who Wander

Ok, I'll do my best to refrain from waxing poetical about food again today.  Today was another big adventure, compliments of our amazing tour guide/host Michael.  Mike kept talking about us going hiking out in the desert, and truth be told, I'm not a big hiker - I often get bored and wonder why I'm not running.  Fortunately, after this trip, I might be will to give hiking a second opinion.

First, we drove to an area called Cleveland Forest and did a 45 minute hike up, up, up and even farther up to a peak called Garnet Peak.  Wow - the view.  I felt like I was looking clear out to Arizona.  I had a sudden epiphany when sitting up high on the mountaintop that those who had come to California for the gold rush had to have crossed these very same mountains - without a Jeep to take them halfway up, without a camelbak to keep their water cold, and certainly without a GPS cell phone telling them how far they'd gone.  It sort of stunned me, to realize what those people had gone through to get to the west coast.  I'm pretty sure I would have set up camp after crossing the first mountain.  If I had had to have crossed those mountains, today there would be a small settlement at the foothills of Arizona called Megville where I would have called it quits and set up camp.




At the top of the mountain, we found a geocache - a small tube of PVC pipe with a notepad inside to sign our names and date and a little note.  We added ours, after reading through who had been there in the days and weeks preceding us.


After our mountain climb, we headed farther into the desert for a flatter and easier, albeit longer trail.  The destination for this one was an "oasis."  This is what my brother kept saying but I really couldn't figure out what he meant until I saw it.

After about two miles of dusty rocks, all of a sudden I saw a small pocket of bright green bursting out of the dusty ground.


So that's what an oasis is.  It was just what you think - desert totally surrounding a little pocket of green palm trees, grass and a little creek trickling through it.  Very neat to see.


On our way back, we spotted a bunch of long horned ram on the other side of the path.  We both stopped to investigate each other for awhile, before the rams moved on. 


We have been getting quite the wildlife tour, and this is before even going to the zoo!

For dinner tonight (can't help but bring up fodo again), we went on pursuit of Matt's #1 vacation priority: really good sushi.  Thanks to yelp and a recommendation from a sushiophile friend of Michael's, we ended up at Sushi Ota.  Matt and Michael ordered some crazy sampler platter and I tried not to look while Michael ate a huge roll filled with salmon roe (the utter thought of the texture of that gives me the heebie-jeebies) while I stuck with my delicious but very boring California Roll.

Sushi mission accomplished.

After sushi, thanks to some awesome Google skills by my husband, we ended up at Babycakes.  Umm, no, not a strip club, thank you.

Babycakes was a bar/lounge that shared a home with a cupcake counter.  Cupcakes and champagne.  Hello, Heaven?  It's me, Megs.  I'm here, let me in, okay?

(Yes, that would be our 2nd cupcake of the trip, but who is counting?  I mean, that hike had to have cancelled out at least the frosting.)

Jamie and I sometimes daydream opening a cupcake shop - even though neither of us have a proclivity to extreme cupcake baking OR the know-how of running a business (although Jamie would have a leg up in that department considering she has a degree in it, whereas I don't know that anatomy and physiology classes would come in handy when it comes to bookkeeping and staffing and inventory.)  I think we basically just want a cupcake shop in Winston, and we see ourselves opening it as the most direct route there.

Specifically, a cupcake shop that serves champagne.

Specifically, an exact replica of the place we went to tonight – which of course, I failed to take any pictures of.  Sigh.

(So, can this outing be considered market research and all cupcakes tax-deducted?  Please say yes.)

As you can imagine, this ended up being an early night between 5 hours of hiking and a post-cupcake-sugar-crash.  Oh yea, and that whole east coast time zone (which is becoming less and less of factor with our wake up calls.)  Hard to believe we are almost to the last day of our trip.  That must be the sign of a great vacation.

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