Acting Koi On Friday



These hungry guys were photographed outside where I work (notice the shadow of my melon head in the lower left corner).  They are quite used to people and beg for food when they notice someone walking by.  Last week I stepped outside to 'warm up' because the A/C was doing too good of a job in the office,  and caught a glimpse of a turtle swimming in the pond.  He has remained elusive since then but I'm keeping an eye out.  Perhaps he is camera shy?

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(Wo)man vs. Mountain

After a month of being away from my weekly ass kicking hike I decided to head back to Shaw Butte with the same girlfriend I work out with regularly.  Yes, I am a glutton for punishment. 

Although temps were over 100 degrees, the humidity has definitely been very high over the past few weeks.  The desert's weather has definitely changed here.  Gone are the days of with-out-fail dust and thunder storms in the afternoon. 

Anyways, I knew last night would be tough but thinking that I had to start somewhere after being away, I plugged on ahead.  Although it's tough, it is such a beautiful hike.  We could see the monsoon storm clouds coming down from the north; a shield of gray dropping from the sky over a nearby neighborhood.  Someone was getting pelted.

At first I was thinking, this isn't so hard.  Must be because I'm no longer carrying around 20 extra pounds.  However, when we reached an area with a steep incline near the top, the sun unleashed its full fury on us.  My stomach was starting to turn.  I stopped for awhile to rest and hoped that the nausea would pass.  After a few deep breaths it did.  We continued up.  Then my girlfriend starts telling me about after a marathon she completed how sick she got.  She started to describe it in detail which was really more than I needed to hear.  I'm thinking, why is she telling me this knowing how nauseous I just was???  Apparently thats all it took for me to hurl off the side of the mountain.  Luckily there were no other hikers near us at the time. 

I stood for awhile contemplating returning to the bottom or continuing on to the top.  Actually after that I felt much better.  She confessed a few minutes later that she decided to tell me about her own hurling experience because she knew that I'd feel better after I hurled myself.  Well, thanks. . .I think.

We made it to the top and sat for awhile.  It felt like the temperature dropped about 10 degrees which was a welcome relief.  The breeze blew cool, too, which is a nice change from the 'hair dryer on high' breeze we usually experience.  The sunset was spectacular.  It sunk into the western horizon casting a red glow on the roofs of the buildings below much in the same way the sunlight sparkles off the ocean at sunset.

There is so much natural beauty to experience there that it makes the hike worth it despite the heat and how yucky I felt on the climb.  No matter how long I have lived here or how long I will continue to live here I will always be in awe of the desert. 

Tomorrow night we'll return for another butt kicking hike.  The sky is like a kaleidescope this time of the year.  Depending on the setting sun and the monsoon clouds one never knows what feast Mother Nature has in store for the eyes.  

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Driving Camels Towards Water

Since returning back from vacation I keep dreaming at night that we are back at the ocean.  Last night I dreamt that Ruben and I were staying in a little hotel on the water. 

What I didn’t tell my husband was that there was no running water at this hotel.  It was an authentic experience I would later tell him.

So in the dream we arrived at this cute little quaint hotel that looked like something out of a 1950s movie; maybe something that would have been seen in a motel off of Route 66 complete with pink plastic flamingoes at the entrance and chenille bedspreads covering the full twin beds.

We unpacked our things and I waited for the right moment to let my husband know that there was no water.  Of course there was no right moment here.  He went in to use the bathroom and came out a second later to let me know there was no running water.  This just wouldn’t do.  I very matter of factly announced that he needed to take his camel down to the beach, with yellow bucket in tow (just like the one I use to mop the floor –isn’t it funny how these odd every day things come into your dreams?) and head down to the beach to fetch the water for the sink and toilet.  He stared at me as if I had lost my mind.  I mean, hey, doesn’t everyone take their camel down to the beach with a mop bucket to fetch water?  He asked if the shower worked.  Yes, that seem to be in working order, however everything else we needed water for needed to be forayed from atop of a camel.  Why was this so hard to understand?  Better to ride a camel down 72 steps to the water than have to walk down.

Ruben just stood and stared at me.  “You mean we could’ve stayed at the Holiday Inn and had running water for less money?” 

“Well yes,” I said.  “But this is more of an authentic experience.  How often do you get to ride a camel?”

“I don’t want to ride a camel,” he stated, with that incredulous look of annoyance.

“Fine,” I said. “I’ll ride the camel down to get the water.”  Gosh, I’m thinking.  This man appreciates nothing.

I woke up laughing.  I told Ruben about it and he laughed, too, not so much because of the unlikelihood of this happening, but quite the opposite.  It is totally something I would consider.  And yes, he would not be happy about it. 

He asked me afterwards if there were camels in Cape Cod.  I really don’t know.

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