Monday, September 13, 2010

It's been a crazy few months, but it always is! And I guess that's life. School has started back up again, and it feels good to be back. I spent my summer back home in Davis, and I couldn't wait to be back in the mountains.

Summer was boring, I worked a lot. I came up here on most weekends and spent them at the lake or the river. This school year I am focusing a lot on my General Ed. classes. I know I want to transfer I just don't know where yet. I am also working at the preschool on campus again. It is an amazing job, and an incredible experience. I knew I wanted to be a teacher, but working at the preschool, really reenforced that idea. Also this year I am on the Cheer & Dance team. If you know me, you'd understand how ironic that is. But I love it, and the girls are amazing! Our first game is this weekend on saturday.

Here is a picture of us at the Scrimmage last week. It was a good way to practice what this weekend is going to be like!

This is the first time I have done anything like this. So I will let you know how this weekend goes and hopefully be better about updating. Have a good one!

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Howdy. its been a while and I am sorry about that. I know I say this every time, but the past few months have been crazy. After I broke my leg I had to deal with so much stuff regarding the dorms, school, and life. I don't walk to talk about the bad stuff, so.... I can walk now! I can go down stairs mostly normal now! And I am making so much progress and hopefully soon I can run and ski!!!

I want to talk more about this semester and how awesome it is!! But I forgot to blog about a few trips from last semester. I forgot to talk about probably my favorite trip. I took a Sea Kayaking Class that drove all the way to the bay area! One of the ORL students from last year, his dad owns a Sea Kayaking Business in Sausalito. So we worked with "Sea Trek" to get the equipment and two previous ORL students helped lead the trip. Our major works in a cycle, and that is one thing I love. We have a network and Rick totally uses that network to make things more sustainable. I wrote about this trip in my journal and that was back when it was fresh in my memory. So what I am going to do, is type it for you can you can read that!

October 15, 2009
Today was an awesomeday, I started off having major problems with my roommates. Then I took a five hour van-drive from Beautiful little Quincy, to San Fransisco, or well Sausalito. We ate our lunch, got our gear and learned about parts of the boat, a few basic techniques... yadiya. Then we started Kayaking in Richardson Bay. We got a tour of the boat houses, then we crossed Raccoon straight to get to Angels Island. I forget how many miles in total but a few. It was easy Peasy. We set up camp on Angels island, ate some grub, then we decided to take a night hike to the peak! It was a five mile hike, really mellow, easy-going hike. We decided no lights, so we spent the hike just talking and hanging out. The view from the top was absolutely amazing. I will never forget it. The peak Mount Livermore, was the tallest point on the island, so we could see the entire bay area illuminated by their own lights. I have a hard time seeing beauty in places like San Fransisco, but this was beautiful. The Golden gate had this looming fog underneath it, and even if we did bring a camera that was capable of taking night pictures, it couldn't capture this completely surrounding view. This is a sea kayaking class, not a hiking class, but we have that freedom, which I love. When we were driving down, it was raining and foggy, and it has been storming for the past couple days. Right when we got here, it cleared up. It couldnt be more perfect. I feel really lucky to be able to take trips like this, because I was beyond stressed out back in Quincy. It hasnt even been a full day, and it's already been a great break. Another cool thing, is that the people who help teach this class are previous ORL students. That's what's great about this major, it is all connected some how.

October 16, 2009
Today we circumnavigated angels island, and learned rescuing and rolling techniques. What started off as a eerie and foggy day, ended up in a sunny, beautiful, happy day! We stopped at a beach and ate lunch. On our break we started to explore the island. It was creepy because people used to live there, and there was so much energy, but it was completely deserted. We plan on doing a night paddling trip. City lights and head lamps illuminating our way!!!


So I didn't write about that night or the next day. That night just four of us walked over to the battery fields, lied down and watch the fog roll in from underneath the golden gate, and slowly take over the bay. It was a beautiful sight seeing San Fransisco slowly disappear. Then we went back to the camp and played for a long time extreme spoons. Where it was played like regular spoons, but instead of stealth-fully try to get the spoon, we hid the spoons and had to wrestle in the tent for them... haha it was pretty ridiculous. The next day we kayaked underneath the Golden Gate and then back to Sausalito. A beautiful and Amazzzing trip!

This Semester I dont have as many outdoor trips, but its been fun in a different way because I can focus more on other things I like to do. I have taken a few hikes and got some good pictures so, hopefully I can stop being so bad at this and write more. I hope all is well!
Happy Trails.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Man oh Man. The past few weeks have been crazy. So long time no talk eh?
So a few friends and I decided to go down and visit some friends in Santa Cruz. So Randi and I drove down to Santa Cruz. But on the way we stopped in Davis, my old stomping grounds, and spent the night in Sausalito. We were supposed to stay on a sail boat and go kayaking in the morning... but that failed cause we got there to late.. yadiyadiyada, but how sweet would that have been?

But to the point... We got to Santa Cruz the day before Halloween in the afternoon. Basically right after I got there we went to the beach. It was sweet, it was starting to get cold in Quincy, and there we were a sunny day on a nice beach. Anywho, we all went down to the water and started splashing around and skimboarding. I basically try everything that is offered to me... so you know why not skimboarding right? So first time, fell straight on my butt and tailbone. ouch right? Second time fell on my wrist really bad so I decided that was it. Then Graham and Jared said "April it's your time to shine!" and I was like "nah I'm good. I dont really want to. Then they said "just oneee more time." So then I was like fine why not. So I throw the skimboard, start running, jump on the board, start going really fast. So I am going really fast, and I start getting scared and loosing my balance. I fall/jump off the board and I land on my left leg and I dont even know how to explain it, but I hear two cracks. And ow ow ow ow ow. I am sitting in salt water up to my chest with sand all over me, and grabbing my leg cause something doesn't feel right. My friends run over to me and carry me over to a dry spot. Then carry me up a couple flights of stairs, and drive me to urgent care. After waiting what seemed like forever, I got x-rays. Found out I broke my Tibia and fibula. My first question was when can I snowboard...

So I wish I could upload the x rays. But basically at your ankle, on each side are two bumps. The inside bump is the end of your Tibia. A chunk of that broke completely off. And the Fibula, the skinny broke spiraling up. In the x rays you can see the crack line following up my bone. CRAZY. So the next day in the morning,(on Halloween) I met a surgeon who told me about the surgery I needed. In the afternoon that day, I had surgery to put a three inch screw in my tibia to attach that floating piece, and six screws as well as a plate in my fibula. I spent Halloween night in the hospital all by my lonesome, but I was on pain killers so I guess it was okay right? hah. So I can't upload the before pictures, but I can upload after the surgery pictures. They are so cool.
Then about a week and a half later, I saw my follow doctor. He took out my staples on both sides, and then put on a cast. Check this gnarly picture out. This was on both sides:

So a couple weeks of that, and then a boot, and in no time I will be walking the walk and talking the talk. I mean there's no way getting around that this sucks, and messes a lot of things up, but in a lot of ways this has been a good experience. Everyone has been telling me to stay positive. Rick told me to circle the 42nd day after my injury, and that would be the day that I would break a big threshold. So that is December 11th, so i'll keep ya posted!

Anyways, this whole thing could have been a lot worse, It could have been my right foot, so then I couldn't drive. Or I could have torn tendons, or a lot worse. I'm lucky that this it was a pretty straight-forward break, and that I have friends who visit me, and a crazy awesome mom that has been not only taking care of me, but my brother who also just had a surgery. Anyways. This is long, I always write too much. But there is always more to write, and I have more free time, now that I cant move too much. ha. Happy Trails.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Things are about to slow down soon! This past weekend I took the last weekend course of the semester which was Mountain Biking. It was very intense. I had only been mountain biking once, in our principles class during one of our outing class periods.

So the first day of Mountain biking we biked down the highway in our little bike gang and we went what is locally known as "south-park," near the cascades. On the day that our principles class went mountain biking, we went to basically the same area. Except when we went there with the mountain biking class we took a different trail. Throughout the weekend there was always a couple of options of what we wanted to take, basically the more scary one, and the less scary one. hah. The less challenging one usually involved more climbing, and was less steep and less technical. I usually took that one because I am very new at it! Anyways Friday, my group took the trail called 5 peaks. We would climb up and bike down five peaks, it was pretty cool because once you got to the top of each peak you have a great view, and then you got to bike down! The last peak was monument peak. The last time I went up this peak with my principles class, it was so much harder. I think it was easier because not only did I know more of what to expect, but I was physically more prepared for it. (plus the bike I was using this time was much lighter) Anywho, both the groups met up there and we got to ride down together. Riding down was of course amazingly fun. Obviously, I did not go as fast as the more experienced people were going, but still every time I rode down, I gained more experience and confidence making it more and more fun each time. No one fell that day, it was just a good ol' day of biking.

The second day we went to Mount Hough. There was a little bit more of falling this day.... I fell twice. So basically, there was two reallly steep parts of the trail all day. The first steep part, it was not a bad fall at all, I just kind of jumped off my bike, and the second part, I pulled my front brake too hard and flew over my handlebars. It was a pretty bad fall but I just jumped right back up. I think a few other people fell that day, but nothing too bad. The climbing was MUCH harder that day cause we were so sore and tired from the day before. We ate lunch on this rock overlooking where we biked the day before and Quincy. I gained a lot of confidence going fast down hill today, and I learned not to slam my front brakes! hah. Probably my favorite part of that day, were these dirt mounds/piles. It was after a downhill slope, so you had a lot of speed; it was a series of maybe 4 hills, and on each I got a little air. It was really fun to "catch some air." haha.

Oh good golly, now where do we start on the third day. The third day was pretty bomb to say the least; it was definitely most momentous for me. We shuttled to the top and did the "Downieville downhill." We started the day off at the top fixing flats and adjusting our bikes. We had a lot of bike problems that day, in total I believe we had like 6 flat tires, 2 broken derailleurs, and some brake problems. The less experienced group started earlier on the first run called "Sunrise." The day before, I gained so much confidence, and for some reason on this trail, all that confidence was gone. At first, every switchback I had to get off my bike and walk. I was taking it so slow and getting really frustrated. Luckily, Rick was behind me, giving me tips and helping me through it. He was telling me to stand up, which brake to use and when, how to take turns... yadi-yadi-yada... By the end of sunrise (pretty short) I started to have fun, gain confidence, and even better - started to ride the switchbacks! We followed a gravel road for a while that brought us to our next trail. This trail for a large portion of the day was made of what they call "dead baby heads," aka huge rocks. It was super scary cause you need to be standing up all the way, with loose hips and knees, keeping on your back brake, and these huge rocks would move your entire bike tire over. It was crazzzzzzzzzy. But it just took time, and experience like most things do. The dead baby heads lasted a while, and then we got to some nice smooth single track with awesome views. Where we were riding, was following some river, in a shady, forest. Amazingly beautiful. Biking on that single track, was one of those moments you realize how lucky you are to be doing what you are doing. The picture below was taken by Rick, who climbed on top of this big rock to take pictures of a few of us. The picture is me, biking down this actually pretty steep, rocky, technical part. Hah, of course you can't tell from the picture. But I swearrr!
This class, was a class that I got more out of, then I anticipated. Of course I learned a whole lot about which brake to use, how to take turns, when to stand up, blah blah blah. I also learned A LOT about fixing flats, and adjusting seats/bikes in general. But I learned a whole darn lot about myself. I learned that a lot of times when I can't do something, its not that "I can't do it," its just that I am holding myself back from doing it. I always freak myself out; like on the sunrise run, all my troubles were cause I was thinking about things too much, and stressing myself out. Once Rick reminded me that I was totally capable of riding the trail, and told me to stop thinking about it so much, I was wayyy more confident. In all skill developing classes I have ever taken, I have always gotten so frustrated with myself, because I expect myself to be amazing at everything I do. This class really put things into a good perspective for me. I don't know if it was the class itself, or I was just ready to see it, but the class definitely helped. Anyways, by the end of Sunday, I was so proud of myself in how much I improved not only that weekend but especially that day. Rick was also pretty proud of me which made me feel pretty special. haha.
The Picture above is of the whole group on a bridge over this beautiful waterfall-rocky-thing. This was taken on Sunday, at Downieville, right when we started some really good single track. Of course, everyone who was experienced was extremely helpful to all the people who needed help. Ahh. I love these classes. I am really sad that this is the last one. But there is next semester! I still have classes to write about and things to catch ya'll up on. So ya'll aren't off the hook yet. Happy Trails!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

[Picture of Big Bald Rock]

It is so overwhelming to think about everything that has happened since my last blog. Where I last took off, I was leaving to go to a overnight field trip for my Sierra Nevada Natural History class. We drove the school vans and stopped at a few places like Frog Rock to look at some plants, and a Creek to look at the Kokanee Salmon. It is such a cool class because every Thursday we take a field trip, and instead of spending a lot of time in the class room we are learning first hand. Being outside, and learning first hand is definitely an important aspect of the ORL major. Anyways, we got to Big Bald Rock, made some grub and as a class started walking around learning about how the rocks there were made, and the plants there. It is really interesting, and seeing it up close like that, makes it so much easier to remember and understand. We met again when the stars started to come out. We laid on our sleeping pads with our heads towards each other making a circle... if that makes sense. Darla told us creation myths and some constellations and such. It was a really fun class.

I and a handful of other kids in that class, left early to make it to our weekend class, which happened to be a ropes/challenge course class. I have taken basically all the weekend classes this semester, and this class was the most fun so far. It was weird, because I signed up for the class not knowing at all what it was about, but when we got there it made much more sense. We had to drive ourselves to greenville, which was like an half hour away, to Coppercreek Camp. Its a place where both kids have summer camp, and business people have their work retreats. We learned so much from how to be a good group leader, to propelling ourselves, setting up and taking down a ropes course, belaying, and getting over challenges. The first day we did a lot of team builders which were really fun, because it made the group gain a lot of trust in the other group members. There was a game where you were blind folded and you had to keep your hand on the rope at all times, and you had to find the end of the maze. Basically there is no "way" out except to ask for help, and basically it was annoying, because I am super stubborn and I didn't want to ask for help, so I think I was the second to last person out of there, and everyone was watching me. It was pretty funny. The teacher also asked us to lead some games ourselves, so we got to practice being leaders and participators.

But to the fun stuff! So there was this climb called the leap of faith, it involved climbing up this trunk of a tree with staples in it, about 40 feet high, stand on top, and then jump to a trapeze swing. It is really hard to get yourself to do something like that, and for me it was one of those things that you just cant think about. It was such an adrenaline rush to jump from that high up.

There is a sweet picture of me that Brad took, I look like a flying squirrel or something. hah. The next picture, is a picture of my friend Michael crossing the element called "islands in the sky." You had to swing across these swinging platforms that are over 50 feet in the air, with no one belaying you; you are just clipped into this sliding wire that slides when you work your way across. When I crossed this, it was by far one of the scariest thing I have ever done. It involved so much trust in yourself, physical strength, and not thinking about what you were doing. It was pretty fun. Oh, another thing we learned was how to work at a challenge course like this, so how and when to clip people in and out and stuff like that. So we all took turns on the platforms helping our classmates.

To get to the islands, you had a couple of choices. It might be really hard to explain and for it to make sense. So I will put up lotsa pictures to help. The way I took, involved climbing up this tree to get to a balancing wire with ropes hanging down for balance. From this you climbed around the side of a tree to get to three wires, one which you stood on, and two at your sides for balance. The picture below is of me walking across the wire and holding on to the two.

After crossing the wire section, you would get on a platform, and if you look at the picture with the islands, is on the tree to the left. After crossing the islands, you would get to another platform that you would clip into this zip-line and zip down. It was really fun. Sounds complicated, and I am sorry if it doesn't make sense. But I guess its like most things I write about, where you have to be there to really understand. We also learned how to self belay and repel ourselves, which is also really scary cause your safety solely relies on you. So we climbed up this tree on the back of the climbing wall, and then propelled ourselves down. But by far the most challenging part of the weekend was the element called "vertical playground." To say the least, it was very strenuous, and very challenging.

It starts with firecracker ladders, where its a ladder made of pieces of wood and rope, not attached to anything. This goes to two ladder ropes that is on a teeter-tauter, so it involves lots of teamwork. The thin logs on top have notches on the side to put your hands and feet on. And once you are on those you climb onto a wire with a rope as balance. Craig(our amazing leader) challenged us to climb out to the middle of the wire and since there are two people climbing on this at a time, you lean into the other person until you cant any more. hah. That doesn't make any sense, and a picture is worth a thousand words, so here you go!

This does not sound half as complicated or strenuous as it really is, but it was definitely challenging. My friend Randi and I climbed up together, struggled together, and sat on top of the teeter-tauter part of the climb together. Even though some parts of this class were incredibly challenging, and I know I sound negative about some of the activities, this class was absolutely amazing. It not only taught us so much, but we really had a great time doing it. When Randi and I were climbing the Vertical playground together, we were encouraging each other, and working together, and there is no way that we could have made it as far as we did without each other. I learned that I could do a lot of stuff, and when the class was over, each person in the class had such a great feeling of accomplishment. This class is only offered every couple of years, so we were lucky to jump in mid-air, and swing ourselves when we were over 50 feet of the ground, and balance on a wire. It was incredible. I hope at least some of this makes sense and it didn't bore you too much. I hope that everyone gets to go to a challenge course like we did, and get that feeling of accomplishment. Happy Trails!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Well this weekend is going to be a busy weekend and by the time that I get back I will have even more stuff to write about. I am leaving in about a half hour to go on an overnight camping trip with my Sierra Nevada Natural History Class. We are going to Big Bald Rock. I went there a couple weeks ago for a FROG Rockclimbing trip. It was an incredible view. I am excited to go back and take pictures and try and show how pretty it is there.

But anyways Rick decided that we weren't having enough fun in his class, so he used one of our class days as an ORL adventure day. Who ever wanted to go in the major or friends of the major could go. We had the choice of what we wanted to do, so we all agreed on a hike up Eureka Peak. It was a 5 mile loop trail. We parked at Eureka Lake and hiked up to the Peak. The picture to the left is a picture of Jen, Randi and I on the fake summit, but it was still pretty high up there, with incredible views. My profile picture right now is a picture of my friend Michael and I. Its a pretty sweet picture, you should check it out. Anyways this was a really cool trip, because this is class for me, and to my teachers this is no big deal. Its just awesome to be in a place like I am right now. I am incredibly lucky.

I just wanted to make sure I got this little picture and snidbit in before I go to big bald rock, and take my challenge course class, and basically get busy! Happy Trails!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

So last weekend we went backpacking, and it was personally my first time going. It was so much fun. It is really cool how the ORL program works, because everything is intertwined making everything as efficient as it can be. We each had to create and turn in a lesson plan before the trip. And then on the actual trip we taught our lesson plans, and they were about various subjects. My topic was Trail Techniques, so I taught different steps to help the energy efficiency on the Trail. It was cool because before this project, I had no idea about these techniques, but I was able to learn about something new. Some of the other kids chose some of their strengths to teach about. Some kids taught about Medicinal/edible plants, Nutrition in the Wilderness, The Night sky, and a bunch o' other things. But not only were we learning, were also practicing leadership techniques in the outdoors. But to the actual trip... We went to Lassen National park and our class of, I think 16 kids, split up into two groups. My group only had 6 people and I think the other had around 10. On the first day, my group hiked from Juniper Lake to Snag lake, which was not a very long hike, just a couple hours. We set up camp at Snag Lake. We went swimming in the lake and later that night we were playing cards. I laugh a lot in general, but that night was the hardest I have laughed in a long time. I love the outdoors because you don't need much to have a good time. The next morning we woke up and prepared our selves for the "Fantastic Lava Beds." When were looking at the Topo map for this area and planning out our trips, we were expecting a huge lava flow that was fairly flat. However when we got there, it was basically a big pile of sharp, jagged rocks. It was really cool to look at, but definitely strenuous. We spent over two hours scrambling over the "fantastic" lava beds, going up and down these unstable boulders with our backpacks ruining our balance. Rick said at the beginning of the climb, that this was going to be a hike that all of us would always remember, and he was for sure right. The picture to the Right is a picture of Dan, our group leader who is also an Outdoor Rec student. The picture sort of shows the rocks a little better, but you had to be there. The picture below was taken on the lava beds looking out on snag lake. It was unbelievable how massive they are.

After crossing over the massive lava beds and dipping in the lake, we hiked through miles of sand to get to cinder cone. Cinder cone is a dormant volcano. It is 750 feet tall and has a total elevation of 6, 907 feet. Both trail groups were supposed to meet at the bottom of Cinder Cone, but our group was late due to the lava beds, so by the time we got there, the other group was basically leaving. Two other people and I did not climb up there because there wasn't enough time after we ate lunch. The trail up, was pretty steep, but it spiraled around the peak, because a trail straight up sand would be impossible. On top there is a crater that you climb 100 feet down into. From what I hear it was an amazing view. The picture to the right is from Wiki. It is a picture of Big ole Cinder Cone itself. From there we hiked to Rainbow lake, which is where we camped that night. That night was really fun because by that point all of our group was pretty comfortable with each other. We had a "potluck" and shared our food. We had a massage train, where we sat in a line and basically we were all giving each other massages. I was the engine so I sat in front and I didn't have to give anyone a massage... it was pretty sweet.
The picture to the right, is a picture of Rainbow Lake, aka our humble abode for one night. This trip was really fun but I felt like it was short. I wish we could have stayed for longer, because we were all finally starting to get into the groove, and then we had to go... It was so much fun though. It was great to leave home, and not have a cellphone or a watch or any worries really. I feel incredibly lucky to have been able to go backpacking with such a great group of people.

The picture to the right is right before we left on our hike back home. This was my trail group standing inside a hollowed out tree. It was such a good weekend, it was for sure hard to come back. But coming back to reality, isn't really that bad cause life is already pretty bomb. :) Happy Trails, talk to you soon.

Picture Slideshow

This is just a slideshow of some pictures from some recent trips. Some are in my blogs, but most of them are not. So... Enjoy!