Watkins Glen State Park, NY

Sunday I got to hike Watkins Glen State Park and cross it off my bucket list.  It was absolutely beautiful!

The park website describes the park better than I can: Watkins Glen State Park is the most famous of the Finger Lakes State Parks, with a reputation for leaving visitors spellbound. Within two miles, the glen’s stream descends 400 feet past 200-foot cliffs, generating 19 waterfalls along its course. The gorge path winds over and under waterfalls and through the spray of Cavern Cascade. Rim trails overlook the gorge.

And now for pictures!

Ready for my hike!

Ready for my hike!

This sign tells you that there are over 800 stone steps along the trail.  I think I walked up and/or down most all of them!

This sign tells you that there are over 800 stone steps along the trail. I think I walked up and/or down most all of them!

July2014 556 July2014 460 July2014 475 July2014 476 July2014 478 July2014 479 July2014 480 July2014 483 July2014 545 July2014 550 July2014 552

Remember those 800 steps, here is the last flight I had to climb.  It was a long climb too!

Remember those 800 steps, here is the last flight I had to climb. It was a long climb too!

Back in the van and tired after all those steps!

Back in the van and tired after all those steps!

Montaña de Oro State Park

Last Sunday we decided we wanted to get in some hiking before we headed home from our trip to the coast.  We had stayed in Morro Bay Saturday night so we were close to Montaña de Oro State Park and could make the most of our time.

Once we arrived in the park we stopped at the first available day use parking lot and started out to see what we could see.  We only walked a short way, in sand, and decided this was not the trail for us.  Hiking the dunes did not sound like a quick fun hike before we left.  The short walk out there was worth it though.  It did allow me to capture this beautiful picture of some brave souls climbing the dunes.

People climbing the dunes at Montaña de Oro State Park

People climbing the dunes at Montaña de Oro State Park

We got back in the car and drove down a little bit further and found one of the bluff trails that was more our speed for the day.  We did a 3 mile loop that had some breathtaking views and gave us a little glimpse of some wildlife too.

One of the views from our hike - Montaña de Oro State Park

One of the views from our hike – Montaña de Oro State Park

Lacy on the trail in Montaña de Oro State Park

Lacy on the trail in Montaña de Oro State Park

More views at Montaña de Oro State Park

More views at Montaña de Oro State Park

Lacy taking in the view at Montaña de Oro State Park

Lacy taking in the view at Montaña de Oro State Park

Another view from our hike at Montaña de Oro State Park

Another view from our hike at Montaña de Oro State Park

Montaña de Oro State Park

Montaña de Oro State Park

I would have loved to hike down there if we had the time - Montaña de Oro State Park

I would have loved to hike down there if we had the time – Montaña de Oro State Park

Great place for a warning sign - Montaña de Oro State Park

Great place for a warning sign – Montaña de Oro State Park

Keep an eye out this week for more posts from our trip.  I have some great photos from Morro Bay and a short post on keeping fit on the road!  There will also be a few photos from Montaña de Oro State Park featured in my Theme Thursday blog this week.

Week in Review

I took Monday and Tuesday off last week.  The band Viva Le Vox was coming into town and they usually stay at our house so I wanted to be able to visit with them more than I normally get to.  They didn’t end up staying with me, so the days off turned into days to get things done.  Monday I got the gym out of the way early and then worked on blog stuff and ran a few other errands.  Monday night I went to Audies to see Viva le Vox and Joe Buck play.

Viva le Vox

Viva le Vox

You can see more pictures from Monday night on my Theme Thursday post from last week.

Tuesday I got to sleep in & had a dentist appointment to go to (Lacy went on Monday) then got a few more errands ran that I needed to take care of.  Lacy got some stuff posted on line, I however had done nothing so far this week to make progress for our trip.

Wednesday – Nothing exciting to report.  Posted some stuff to E-bay and Lacy posted some stuff to Facebook and Amazon.

Hello??  Did anyone see my Thursday?  I swear it was just here a second ago.  No?  Oh well, guess we will just move on to Friday.  I went home Thursday evening, made dinner, ate and watched an episode of Fringe.  I woke up in the dark living room with bird sitting on his perch going, “boop boop boop” really quietly.  Guess I was tired and needed a nap!

Friday –  Lacy and I both struggled thru the work day.  We were excited to get out of town for the weekend and couldn’t wait for quitting time.  When we finally got off work  we packed up our stuff and drove to Atascadero and spent the night at Motel 6.  I know, I know, so much build up to just drive to Atascadero to stay in a Motel 6.  The real fun came on Saturday.

Saturday – We attended the Higher Grounds Music Festival at Pozo Saloon.  We got out to the festival around 2pm and stayed until Yelawolf and Travis Barker played (they were who we were there to see).  I’ll have a post up tomorrow with much more details about our Higher Grounds experience.  Before the concert we drove around Atascadero exploring and found a cool little cafe to eat at.  They served my veggie omelet and home fried with a small piece of fried chicken, but  I told the waitress that I was going to just pretend that I didn’t see it and get over it.  I really wanted those potatoes.  We even went to the Atascadero Lake & Park and walked around for awhile.  After the concert we stopped in San Luis for some food and headed out to find a hotel in Morro Bay.

Sunday – Sunday we got up and went hiking at the Montaña de Oro State Park and the Morro Bay State Park before heading back home.  I will have posts about both of these places up by Wednesday (hopefully).  I may even throw in a little bit about our time in Atascadero.  It was a fun weekend.  We tried to get in as many activities as we could before we had to come home.  We knew we weren’t going to have many more trips out of town until our life turns into one big trip in July.

We may not have gotten a lot of stuff accomplished toward our goal of traveling in July, but we did get to hear some great music and have a lot of fun this week!

Make sure you check back all week for updated on this past weekend and don’t forget about Theme Thursday.  I captured some great shots on our hike for that one!

Day Trip to Sequoia National Park

Sequoia National Park is pretty much right in our backyard.  We spent a lot of time last year exploring all that we could in both Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park but hadn’t had a chance to get back up there for quite some time.

For those of you that don’t know Sequoia and Kings Canyon lie side by side and are located in the Southern Sierra Nevada, east of the San Joaquin Valley.

Sunday we decided to take a day trip up to the Sequoia side of the park and explore around the Giant Forest.  There are still quite a few trails on that side that we have not explored and wanted to take advantage of the fact that there are less visitors in the winter months.  I really wanted to hike Crescent Meadow and check out Tharp Log.  The only problem was, we didn’t think the road to Crescent Meadow was open and the hike from the parking lot at the bottom of the hill was more of a hike than we wanted to do after a winter of not enough exercise.

We decided to drive that way anyway figuring that if the road was closed we could quickly pick another trail closer to the parking lot at the bottom of the mountain.  When we got to Moro Road, we lucked out.  Not only was it open up to Moro Rock but all the way up to Crescent Meadow!  The road also takes you by the Tunnel Log and the Auto Log, which are both worth checking out!   You can read all about all these attractions here.

The Crescent Meadow Trail is a loop that is about 1.5 miles long and a really easy hike.  Perfect for us after a lazy winter.  The signs to Tharp Log were a little deceiving at first and we thought it was an 8 mile hike when really it was .8 miles.  Lacy still wasn’t too sure about it.  It wouldn’t be the first time I told her it was a 5 mile hike and not told her that was only the distance there and not back!  I don’t think we would have survived a 16 mile hike this trip.  We are too out of shape and the snow on the ground made it a little bit more of an effort in some places.

As soon as we entered the park I stopped to take a picture of the view and realized I had left my memory card in my laptop at home.  I grabbed my point and shoot camera out of my purse and took that on the hike with us instead.  It was bitter sweet.  I didn’t have to pack my large camera on the hike, but the picture quality greatly suffered.

Crescent Meadow sign in the snow

Crescent Meadow sign in the snow

Crescent Meadow in the winter

Crescent Meadow in the winter

Tharp Log is a cool site to check out.  It is a log that was turned into a house by Hale Tharp, where he lived each summer while he raised his livestock in the meadow.  He lived there until the land was turned into a national park in 1890.  It’s amazing to be able to take a short hike and find such great history.  It does make me sad that people feel the need to scratch their names and initials into all the wood though.

Sign for Tharp Log

Sign for Tharp Log

Me at Tharp Log

Me at Tharp Log

The inside of Tharp Log

The inside of Tharp Log

Tharp Log

Tharp Log

Lacy was a mountain goat in a previous life

Lacy was a mountain goat in a previous life

Look how tiny I am!!

Look how tiny I am!!

The Chimney Tree is a burnt out Sequoia tree that you can climb inside.  I really wish I would have thought to take pictures from the inside of the tree.

Lacy inside Chimney Tree

Lacy inside Chimney Tree

Lacy in Chimney Tree

Lacy in Chimney Tree

Lacy inside Chimney Tree

Lacy inside Chimney Tree

Top of Chimney Tree

Top of Chimney Tree

Me & Lacy in front of Chimney Tree

Me & Lacy in front of Chimney Tree

The Buttress Tree fell without warning in 1959.  It was a clear day with no wind when it fell.

Lacy at the end of Buttress Tree

Lacy at the end of Buttress Tree

Me next to Buttress Tree

Me next to Buttress Tree

Lacy and her new friend she found in the Visitor Center at Lodgepole

Lacy and her new friend she found in the Visitor Center at Lodgepole

Lacy playing with puppets in the gift shop

Lacy playing with puppets in the gift shop