Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Lake Tahoe

Continuing with the fast pace of my summer thus far, two days after returning from France I drove with my dear friend Kristan for a few days of ridiculous fun at Lake Tahoe. 

Lake Tahoe on a bluebird day

The weekend started off as a raucous party as we checked into our hotel, an establishment "exclusively for lovers," as the brochures on the bedside table proclaimed. With a Jacuzzi bath right next to the bed and a ten foot wall of glass looking from the bedroom into an enormous shower, we had plenty of fodder for jokes and there was no shortage of laughter. Instead of romance though, we opted for drinking tequila and dining on all you can eat sushi.
While on a drunken mid-evening hike we met this adorable puppy. Thrilling.
The next day, we toned things down a bit, heading into the mountains for a day of hiking. It proved to be an absolutely magical day, complete with numerous river crossings, rock scrambling, and an overflow of beautiful sights. 

Placid mountain stream
A huge bird's nest of some sort... maybe a hawk or an owl?
The highlight of the day was a very close encounter with a mamma bear and her two cubs. They were walking down a hill towards us and seemed completely unconcerned by our presence. We retreated a bit further into the woods before stopping to take a few photos to remember them by.

The trip was short and sweet, leaving us both feeling utterly refreshed and inspired. Nature is the only source for such guaranteed revival that I've found, and sharing it with a good friend only increased the effects. 

Kristan pausing for a moment of spontaneous creativity.

"When I am among the trees,
especially the willow and the honey locust,
equally the beech, the oaks and the pines,
they give off such hints of gladness.
I would almost say that they save me, and daily.

I am so distant from the hope of myself,
in which I have goodness, and discernment,
and never hurry through the world
    but walk slowly, and bow often.

Around me the trees stir in their leaves
and call out, "Stay awhile."
The light flows from their branches.

And they call again, "It's simple," they say,
"and you too have come
into the world to do this, to go easy, to be filled 
with light, and to shine."

-Mary Oliver, When I Am Among the Trees 

snake by the river 

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