The Knitting Nurse

Rambles and Travels

Where is Heather Now?

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People are wondering, calling me, asking “Where are you, now?”  I left ABQ, emotions mixed, time for a new assignment.  I really miss the desert.  I miss my friends.

Spent a generous week in Golden visiting friends, which I miss dearly.  Sounds cheesy, but, if there’s one thing I’ve learned while doing this travel RN stuff is friends and family are what you call home, not the drafty, overpriced duplex apartment you rented or, in my case now, the cheesy, drafty, overpriced “efficiency” hotel room I now rent.

I’ll send out an email with my new address. Phone number stays the same.

Stockton, CA is VERY different from what I’m used to.  I have been here one week and have not found any bike paths, scant bike lanes on the streets (the ones that do exist are on very major thoroughfares that I wouldn’t dare pedal on).  I’ve found no Community Rec centers, the YMCA offers only childcare, no fitness.   Today I’ll have to succomb to the 24 hr fitness giant.  Blah…the guy at a bike shop laughed and said “Where are you from?” when I asked about road-bike friendly roads near by.  He did give me info on a local biking group, though.  Bingo!  I hope they can help.  I may have to drive a bit to find safe biking territory.

There are more for sale signs on homes than I’ve ever seen. This was the #1 foreclosure city in the US, from what I’ve heard.   I’ve seen some huge homeless shopping carts parked and rolling down the streets.  It feels a little desperate here.  The downtown is scary.

It has not been sunny, yet, not one day.   Foggy and cold.

All this aside, I am no longer living out of my truck.  Annabelle has a bed to sleep on.  I have a comfortable room that provides me with a roof over my head, a tiny kitchen, a bed larger than I’ve ever had, (Annabelle still manages to park herself at my head in the AM despite the vast stretch of mattress available) a TV (with basic cable, which could be a bad thing. Though, no HGTV, History channel or Discovery channel which are the only things worth watching, I think. Ironic, eh? )  A sitting room, eating room, and office all rolled up into one neat room!  I am happy.  Safe and happy.   Pics to follow.  It really is funny, I think.

I’ve been gifted a new friend, Yvette, whom I met the first day here in a coffee shop.   She’s destined to be a “lifer” friend.  I’m looking forward to spending some time hanging out with her (after her finals are over).  She’s headed for nursing school!

Tommorow I start work.

This last weekend I celebrated the last of my time off with a quick trip to Yosemite. Just 2 hrs away (the “quick” way) I took the not so quick way.  Drove down the 99 to Modesto where I wound through some very sad looking places, broke down houses along a RR track that punched along from east to west.

IMG_4830 by you.

IMG_4831 by you.

Entered a valley of many nut trees. Their leaves brilliant yellow, what few were left. Sorry for not having a pic.  Passed the oddest, tiniest little cemetary just outside of La Grange.  Was a dirt patch with a pretty view.  Headstones were really old, those with discernable dates.  Most were toppled over.

IMG_4841 by you.

IMG_4842 by you.

Got into the foothills, which are really pretty.  Hills rolled.

IMG_4844 by you.h Revisited the little  town of MARIPOSA and stopped for gas and firewood.  I’d stayed there one night on my October trip to CA.

I could live in that town.  It’s cute, the people were all friendly.  Reminded me of Golden on a much smaller level.  At the grocery store, an employee in an electric wheelchair was cruising through the lot pulling a cart behind the chair.  Solicited many laughs, mine included.  Made it into the south entrance of Yosemite in time to find camping just as dark settled in.

Brrrr….it was cold.  Not as cold as the first night of camping  I had in UT last week, but close. Thermometer in the truck read 29 in the AM but the humidity was least 75%, probably higher.  Stayed warm, though. Couldn’t keep my fire going that night, though.  I failed at it, really.  I’m blaming it on not having any dry kindling.   Crawled into the sleeping bag at, oh, 6:30 PM and read for three hours.  Felt great!

Woke, made coffee, went to the Mariposa Sequoia grove.  Road closed in winter so I thought I should get up into it.  Wow!

Just goes to show humans can’t always be the largest things on the planet.  Those trees make me feel small.  I thought this GINORMOUS truck, dwarfed, was humorous.  ; )

IMG_4856 by you.

This tree fell, thousands of years ago.  It stretched on over the grove floor.  Aparently, sequoia roots are very shallow, only 6 feet or so underground but spread out. This makes them succeptable to damage from people walking over them.  Like I was…

IMG_4867 by you.  The sheer size. Looking up and seeing them sway.  I heard some critter making a banging ruckus up high in one.  A woodpecker, perhaps?

IMG_4859 by you.

Fire is key for their propegation.  This was a burned out grove.  Kinda reminded me of a book I read, The Road by Cormac McCarthy.  REally fabulous but not easy on teh psyche. Approach with caution if you choose to read it. If you like it, you will not put it down, at all, really.

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And this:

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Made it up Glacier Point Road as well. No snow to close it, yet.    Came around a bend and then WHAMMO!  A continuous expanse of rocks. Half-Dome in the foreground.  Waterfalls, peaks, more Sierra peaks in the background.  On and on.  I was drooling.  Glad to have had the opportunity to see the view.

IMG_4880 by you.

See the three waterfalls in the middle?  The closest is Vernal Fall with Nevada Fall behind it and,I believe, Illilouette Falls high above. Not positive.  All are part of the Merced river. The noise!  The roar of the water falling, heard by me from so far away, was mind-boggling.  Libery Cap is the half-dome shaped chunck of rock to out left of Nevada Fall.  Half Dome is not in this pic.

It’s HERE!  It’s stunning. It makes me want to stand next to it and kiss and hug the rock.  Someday, I will return to climb it. Someday…

IMG_4881 by you.  Half Dome-Tenaya Canyon to it’s left.   This does no justice to it’s scale.

Curious about Badger Pass ski area.  Had to sneak past the closed sign and check it out. Looks like I won’t return with a sled?  Looks pretty tiny.  Reminds me of Trollhaugen in WI.  Wonder how much you don’t see from the base?  Packed the skiis.  Wil have to return.

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In fact, saw much evidence of many XC ski trails. I hope to return for some slow-shoeing and XC skiing this winter. Will be fun to be in the park with snow, nearly empty of others I imagine. Will have to pony up for a room though. I’m not hardy enough for winter camping these days.

Dallied in the Valley for a bit, saw the educational movie at the visitors center, ate, stood under El Capitan and gawked for a long time.  It’s huge.  Really huge.

Below:  Looking up the valley.  El Capitan is the big, beautiful wall in the front left.  Half-Dome peeks out in the back.  Bridalveil Falls is in the right front.

IMG_4890 by you.

That was it!  A quick trip in and out, was very glad to have the park mostly to myself. If you’ve been following this blog you may remember I was turned away from Yosemite in October by throngs of people and thick fog. Much better, this time!

Now, back “home.”  Blogging away, attempting to catch up.  Large to do list for today.

One thought on “Where is Heather Now?

  1. Excellent Yosemite trip! It was fun reading your blog. Welcome to California, but too bad about being located in Stockton, not as vibrant as so many of the other towns, but well located for getaways! Consider Murphys on highway 4 and Calaveras Big Trees State park some day if you haven’t been there yet.

    Lynn

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