Barleywine Gutenbiere D'Greenman (alembicresearch) wrote,
Barleywine Gutenbiere D'Greenman

Labor Day Weekend 2007

Here's what I did over my "long" weekend (got 4 days off):

Friday: 8PM: after loading up the pick-up, and drove 4 hours,
after a few stops or so, to Yosemite National Park.

Arrived about 1 PM at my destination campground: Bridalvail.

After a bit of lunch, did a fine little hike up to Sentinal Dome,
and around to "The Fissers" and Taft Point.
Beautiful views many miles of Yosemite from Sentinal Dome.
Not a drop of water visible in Yosemite Falls.
Very different from when I was there over Memorial Day Weekend.

Very dry and fairly warm: in the 80's at 7,000 feet elevation.
Sort of draining.
Much hotter down in the Yosemite Valley 3000 feet lower.

The feeling of fall seems close ... except for the warm weather ...
Even tho its hot in the day,
all the plants looks like they're already in their "fall" mode ...
because ...
As soon as the sun sets, it starts getting cool fast:
have to change my t-shirt and shot pants to long sleeve, sweaters,
and long pants, very quickly.

Saturday: Did a big all-day day hike from the Bridalvail Campground,
due south, to Wawona, about 14 miles.

I've been thinking about doing this hike for about 9 years now
Apparently ... it doesn't seem like 9 years, but according to
my hiking journal, its been 9 years since I hiked:

Saturday (June 6, 1998)

hike in Yosemite National Park, CA
Hike from the Chilnaula Falls trail head near Wawona,
to the Chilnaula Falls, and return.
Approx. distance. 8.4 miles, 2200 feet elevation loss.

I've wanted to do the hike from Bridalvail campground to Chilnaula Falls,
in order to connect two areas of the park that I've done a lot of hiking in:
the one around the valley, and the other around the above falls.

It was a fairly easy hike, except I felt fairly lathargic,
for some reason, for a lot of the hike. Maybe it was because I was tired
from yesterday's hike. Probably due to the heat also.

Since the Chilnaula river was now nothing much but a small creek,
there were some very nice swimming holes exposed right where
the falls go over a 1,000 foot cliff,
and I got in and skinny dipped for a few
minutes in the refreshingly cold water.

As soon as I got out and dress, it was so hot, I was dry and
warming up gain in no time.

Hiked the rest of the way to Wawona, and hitch-hiked back to the
campsite. Only took 2 rides to get back, because a family
from the Belmont Astronamy Club, who was also camping in the Bridalvail Campground, saw me and gave me a ride.

Sunday: after exploring the Valley a bit, I drove home at 12 noon.

Got back to my apartment at about 4pm.

Didn't have more than 30 minutes to relax, when my mom & dad arrive.
They're heading up to Oregon in the camper with their boat,
and needed a place to stay inbetween.

So we went out for Thai food.

My parents are getting so elderly. And my dad is very grumpy all the time.
They are both hard of hearing. I have to repeat everything twice.
I know I'm going to have to repeat everything I say before I say it,
but it doesn't help saying it louder.
My dad is an extreme tight-wade with money ... he always wants to know
what the price of EVERYTHING is, and then is ALWAYS shocks him,
"Gawd! $1.75 for a cup of coffee!".

Monday: in the morning, we go out do breakfest at Dennys.
They leave about 10am, because they have an 8 hour drive to Eureka.

In the afternoon, I go to my garden and pick a bunch of tomatoes.
There are a lot coming in now.

Its been one of my goals since, starting a garden, to make
spaghetti sauce from scratch.
So, using instructions from the internet, I peel a bunch of tomatoes,
squeeze the seeds and juice out, add a bunch of spices
(oregano, fresh basil from my garden, onions, mushrooms, garlic ...),
and Voila! Spaghetti sauce!

I think the only thing I did wrong was I put in to much corn starch for
thickening, and it turned out a bit to think. I need to use about 1/2
as much next time (i.e., only 1 tablespoon). Also, only had "beefsteak"
tomatoes in my garden, which aren't the optimum variety for spaghetti
sauce. Next year I plan to plant the "San Marzano" variety, which is
supposedly the classic tomato in Italy for tomato dishes.

Also, I'm not sure I was tasting it ... my started doing something wacky
last night ... either I'm catching a cold, or there is something in
the air giving me alergies ... because I'm all "stuffy", all last night
and this morning.
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