No news is good news

But some news is probably better news. So here's the short version if you wonder if we're still alive but don't want to read a whole screenful of drivel: busy busy – trip – hiking – no climbing – lot clearing – house plans.Last spring was just incredibly busy with a number of things and finally calmed down after I went to Grand Rapids to teach my paleography course and swung through New Orleans. Strange to see it now feet deep in water.

Since then, we have done some great hiking: Grand Canyon of the Tuolumne, West Ridge of Conness, Tenaya Lake to the Valley via Cloud's Rest and more.

Most importantly, we hiked to Obelisk Lake so now Theresa can quit dragging me along on her Obelisk Lake expeditions. Thus far it's gone like this:

  1. First attempt as a day hike (July 2004): Theresa just wasn't in good enough shape that first day last summer for this long hike and we turned around after only about 10-12 miles (so 24 miles round-trip.
  2. Second attempt as a day hike (August 2004): we entered via Mono Meadow and planned to cross-country up and over the ridge between Quartzite Peak and Mount Clark. Great plan, but 1) we got started at 9:30 2) we got slowed down a lot in a dense foresty/swampy section. Had one of the greatest days out ever, but we only made it as far as Lunch Rock a previously unnanmed feature.
  3. Third attempt: overnight (August or Sept 2004). This time we decided to hike from Tuolumne to the Valley with our friend Mary and overnight at Merced Lake so we could get up early and run up to Obelisk Lake. On the first day, though, Mary, who had never previously had any knee problems, hurt her knee and was real slow, so she was going to need all day to get down from Merced Lake. Obelisk Lake eluded us once again.
  4. Fourth and final attempt (July 2005) as a day hike from Glacier Point. This turned out to be a death march. We started around 6:30am and the 15 miles to Merced Lake went fine. From there, though it took us almost that long to make the trip to Obelisk Lake and back to Merced Lake, which left us fairly tired and we still had 15 miles to hike back, about hafl of which we ended up doing in the dark. And honestly, OL was nice, but not *that* nice. I think the more fun thing to do is to have three days. One to get there. One to explore. One to come home.

Anyway, we also did some climbing when our friend Doug came out to visit. We had some big objectives, but we were all insufficiently fit for our dreams and mostly endedup repeating routes we had done in the past. We did do Priceless Friends (5.10b?) on North Dome, a nice route but rather runout. I misremembered the mileages and thought it would be fun to hike down via Snow Creek. That ended up being pretty long. We stopped to refill our water bottles in Snow Creek and I managed to have the camera fall out of my pocket and go down the falls. Now I have to go do Priceless Friends again I guess. Anyway, those 3-4 days with Doug were practically the sum total of our climbing for the year.

In our spare time, we've been clearing our lot. Bob Evans, a local miller, came and took down some of our big trees and turned them into posts and beams for someone else's house. He also left behind piles and piles of anything too small to turn into lumber. Some we've turned into fire wood, some we gave to neighbors, and huge piles of it are stacked on our lots. The neigbors ask with trepidation if we plan to burn those piles as they stand.

Finally, we have a set of house plans coming along. We almost have the floor plan to the point we're satisfied. We should have our last revisions by Monday, then we'll be looking for some comments from friends.