Posts tagged ‘autumn’

September 15, 2013

Lassen National Park – Camping

Lassen is now my favorite place to camp! The drive from our home was very smooth, no traffic and no inkling of feeling lost. There is really a bit of everything here. Whether you like trees, lakes or waterfall; there are wildflowers, mountains, and yes volcanoes! Lassen offers some unique hikes. One of Lassen most popular places to visit is their hydrothermal sites. Once we arrived, we decided to do the Bumpass Hell hike. This is like entering a steamy cauldron of smelly sulfur. A nice boardwalk takes you along to see mudpots, boiling pools, and steaming ground. Such a different side of nature, but still beautiful in its own way.

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The next day was quite an adventure to the Cinder Cone. I was excited to see this, but also nervous about the hike to the top. Firstly to get to the area, you’ll drive on an unpaved road. (It is a nice dirt road, drive slowly if you are concern.) At the start of the hike, there is a mile long sandy trail. You’ll see the Fantastic Lava Beds along the way to the volcano. Once the trees clear, the sight of the Cinder Cone stands alone and is just impressive and perfectly sculpted. Now the daunting part is to hike 700 ft up a steep angle path with no resting stop and nothing to grab on to. A few small children pass us and went up like it’s nothing. Two elderly women headed up as well. So me, healthy 20-something should stop being chicken and work it like everyone else. Sigh! It was so tough. Every two steps forward is a step back due to the loose gravel. Good thing, I found a walking stick on my way to the Cinder Cone because without it, I don’t know how I can manage to reach the top. I just look down at my feet and gave myself pep talks. I simply kept going and tried not to stop. This way I won’t get scare and freeze up.

At the top, you’ll see a magnificent landscape of wonderfully animated Painted Dunes, lava beds, and the devastation area — all created by the eruption of the volcano. You can even hike down inside the crater of the volcano too. We meet the elderly group from Washington and the East Coast who visits a different National Park every year! We enjoy a small packed lunch and walk around the rim before calling it a day. You’ll be glad to know that the going  down the Cinder Cone is much faster and easier. Some people even have fun sliding down. For me, I like to take it slow and steady. This is definitely the most unique hikes I’ve ever done.

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November 21, 2012

Fall Camping — Redwood National Park

Redwood National Park is one my favorite place to camp. It is absolutely breathtaking and amazing being surrounded by the tallest and biggest trees ever. My bf and I went camping in the fall time and the weather was cool as the park sat along the coastline, yet moist. We experienced some rainfall, but being deep inside the woods, all the gigantic trees gave us good coverage.

We stayed at the Jedediah Smith Campground. Since this trip was off season, there was no reservation taken and our host allowed us to circle around the campground to find the site we liked. We decided to be nearby the river and set up tent between two huge trees to shield us from the rain. The camp site was beautiful, spacious, and peaceful. It had a nice cobblestone wall separating each campsites and acted as our front door to the home sweet home for the next few days. There were hardly any other campers around, which gave us lots of privacy and the whole park to ourselves. Our “backyard” with the river view had lots to explore like cute little frogs.

Hiking in the redwoods was such an unbelievable feeling. It was completely shocking, quiet, and time just about stopped for a while. Simply just you and nature. I came realized how small I am in comparison to this world. Some of the hiking trails were closed for the season, so we basically wandered around the lush woods, thinking we were following a trail and losing it again. I was hoping, “Let’s not get lost … let’s not go too deep.” Worried about my lack of survival skills, despite a marathon of watching Man, Woman, Wild, we were swallowed by the forest and not a person in sight. Yip would say, “Let’s walk for a little more” and a little became hours. Definitely quite an adventure, and we made it back to camp happy and hungry.

Our other favorite thing about camping aside from wondrous scenes nature offers is Camp Food! I love Yip’s cooking and so thankful he does it all. During our trip, he cooked a whole chicken, eggs and bacon for breakfast, steak and rice stew, plus perfectly baked potatoes. I contributed by making s’mores:) Plus leftovers on the ride back home were super delicious!

Our tent set up kept us perfectly dry! We really want to go back again because there is so much of this beautiful park to explore.

Have a Happy Thanksgiving!

September 30, 2012

Celebrating Moon Festival

Happy Moon Festival! This year I am making an effort to celebrate Moon Festival on my own. Since moving away from home for a few years now, certain holidays have just been casually acknowledged. Moon Festival is such a great holiday to bring family and friends together, it is definitely a tradition I want to keep and pass along. In my childhood, we will lay out fruits, tea, and mooncakes on a table by an open window facing the moon. At night, mom will gather us together to observe the bright, beautiful full moon with lit lanterns and candles. Then we’ll go ahead and eat throughout the night until bedtime. In my nostalgic endeavor, Yip and I went to the Asian markets to buy mooncakes and an assortment of fruits. Here are some festive fruits we got:

Longan “Dragon Eye” (Doesn’t it look like an eyeball with its lacquered black seed)

Star Fruit

Dragon Fruit

Lotus seed paste and egg yolk mooncakes are Yip’s favorites. Most friends I know simply eat a slice and we are good for the year! Yip is the only one I know who can eat a whole box of mooncakes by himself! So it was difficult for him to wait and not eat them before I got to perform all my celebratory duties like taking these pictures. We celebrated in our community Movie in the Park event. Instead of lanterns, kids here were running around with glow sticks:) With the beautiful moon in sight, we had a little picnic with mooncake and fruits while watching Back to the Future.

October 5, 2011

Bumbe Bike

Fall is here, which means school is now in session and all the students are back in town. Summer has always been pleasant in ways that there is no waiting in long lines at the coffee house, no solicitors asking you to join their clubs, and no bike traffic. Yep bike traffic! Especially during the beginning of the school year, everyone decides to ride their bikes. Whether it’s incoming freshmen or students who moved to their very first apartment, everyone decides to give bike riding a chance. It is all about biking on campus!

Living in a bicycling town has turned me into a bike lover. It is my #1 choice of transportation. I love bikes! So let me introduce you all to my very special ride the Green Bumbe Bike:)

Vintage single-speed, Univega mixte-style, with custom paint and accessories

A few years ago, Yip bid on this bike at the bike auction. We took the broken orphan bike home and stashed it in the back patio for a while. Then 2 years ago near my birthday, Yip bought me a bike tool kit:D Seriously, I’ve never been so excited to get a box of tools before, because this meant that he was going use it to fix up the bike. And I get to design my dream bike! We took the whole bike apart and did a complete restoration. My role was to choose the color and Yip rebuilt everything else. We repainted it a leafy green and I named it “Bumbe” (after my cat of course). That’s the story about my Bumbe bike and I’ve been riding it everyday since! It is very special to me because it’s our sweet little project. I just love my bike! Thank you Yip for a wonderful birthday gift!

Recently, I made a few upgrades to my bike and it is better than ever! New brown saddle to replace the original cracked and torn one. Aren’t bike parts so beautiful? Old and new!

The original black finger bike grips were surprisingly still in good shape, but I went ahead and changed them to cork grips to match my new brown saddle. I followed other reviewers’ advice and shellac the cork grips to give them a nice amber color and  protection. Also I got a nice shiny bell for added flare:)

On the first day of fall, I started riding Bumbe 2.0 along with all the freshman and their new bikes. A few enhancement makes my old Bumbe bike feels like new again. I’m such a happy biker!

Here’s a list of the new bike accessories I purchased through Amazon:
Selle Royal Ondina Brown Saddle – Very comfortable and happy with vintage look
Crane Suzu Lever Strike Brass Bell – Beautiful bell, but extremely loud
Dimension Cork Grips, Tan – Needs a few adjustment and then it is great, slightly loose fitting
Zinsser Bulls Eye Shellac, Amber – Awesome, dries quick and great color

Update: Bumbe bike was stolen on July 19, 2012 :(

 

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