Sunday, October 23, 2011

The 4ft x 4ft picture frame

My pet project is finally complete.  I saw a smaller version of this on Etsy and thought it would look really good as a 4.5x4.5 ft over my fireplace.  I had ordered 8x8 inch canvas prints of old family photos and then didn’t like them just hanging on the wall.    I thought the frame would be the best way to display them.

Poor Brian is always stuck trying to help me achieve my ideas.  Once I had it all laid out on the garage floor it was up to him to find a way to attach it all together and make sure it didn’t fall off the wall.  By the time we got it complete it was close to 75 lbs.

I have a word of advice for all the men out there who have wives with “ideas” that involve wood.  Unless she knows about wood don’t let her go shopping by herself or leave her alone in the lumber isle in Home Depot.  My lesson was very expensive.  I found the perfect wood and it was cheap….. until I got it to the check out and she started measuring.  My cheap price was actually the linear foot price and I bought the longest pieces I could find. 

Once it was done (and we realized it was 75 lbs.) we had to figure out how to get up above the mantel and make sure it wouldn’t fall off the wall.  Turns out the hardest part was lifting up that high while perched on a ladder.  Brian ended up straining his shoulder and said quite a few special words trying to get the hooks on the nails but afterward it was beautiful.  It’s quite a focal point in the house.  To bad we’re moving in three weeks and the new house doesn’t have a large wall to put it on.  It may end up in an upstairs bedroom or in the stair well.  We’ll just have to get there and see where it looks best.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Weekend drive over the passes...........

Copperopolis summer’s can be hotter than the devils breathe, especially in August and September.  We decided to escape the skin melting temperatures with a drive in the mountains.  Brian had packed a great lunch, a table, chairs and the dog.  Heading up Highway 4 to Ebbetts Pass I really didn’t find anything to photograph until we got to Lake Alpine.  We got out and walked the path, stopping occasionally so I could photograph something I saw.  The air was thick with smoke from the huge forest fire outside of Yosemite. 
We hit the road again trying to avoid psycho people driving way to fast for a winding road that equates to the size of 1 ½ lanes…just enough to squeak by at a slow pace but not enough room or time to maneuver around a speeding convertible BMW driven by grey-haired retirees.  What makes it worse is that Highway 4 is heavily traveled by bicyclists looking for the next high altitude challenge.  They frequently ride in the middle of the road or three wide (so they can hold a conversation with other riders) and swerve into traffic to avoid pinecones.  It’s not that I have anything against bicycle riders, other than they are rude, disrespectful, and tend to ride on the most dangerous two lane roads with no disregard for anyone else traveling on the same road.  I must admit, I really really fight my urge to bump them with my car door when I go by.  But I digress from my posting…..

After making our way past the 50+ bicycle riders and the crazy retirees driving like teenagers, we decided to go over Monitor Pass.  This is one of my favorite passes simply because it has unobstructed views.  On a nice clear day you can see into Nevada and down Highway 395.  Unfortunately, at that altitude there was still a slight smoky haze in the air but it was being masked by the amazing clouds.   And more importantly, it was only 70 degrees with a breeze.

Brian turned off on a dirt road that we took for a couple of miles to the top of a mountain.  The views were spectacular.  We were the only people on the ridge so he parked in the middle of what I guess you could call a road and set up the table and chairs.  After a yummy lunch and a mishap with a condiment container under altitude pressure, we headed over the pass to 395 and around to Sonora Pass. 

Sonora Pass is one of the most beautiful in the State but still plagued with crazy drivers, people who feel they need to blare music in the middle of the forest and NEVER pick up their garbage.  I cannot wait until Fall when all the flatlanders leave and it’s just us locals.    We stopped along a creek to admire the wildflowers.  None of the other passes had wildflowers this late in the season.  It was quite the shock to see so many beautiful colors in the meadows and along the roadway

This weekend is supposed to bring you kow what that means.....THUNDERCLOUDS.  Can't wait to get out and take some pictures.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Bridgeport Weekend

After what felt like a month-long week I decided to book us a hotel for a short getaway in Bridgeport.  Its too short of a trip to drag the trailer over the pass so I found a pet friendly hotel for Saturday night.  It was a funky little place somewhat stuck in 50's but the owners are very sweet.
We can't be in Mono County without visiting Bodie so headed that direction shortly after arriving in town.  My husband, who just the day before commented on my overkill purchase of 10-ply tires, was actually grateful because the road was under construction.  Bodie was packed.  There were so many people they looked like ants at a picnic.  I was shocked at all the people climbing on the old trucks and trying to open locked doors.  The park rangers sure had their hands full.  The sky was so washed out and hazy I only took about 20 pictures.   I didn't feel like photoshoping a bunch of people out of my pictures so we left after about an hour.
With Bodie being such a bust we headed back to the motel to rest for a bit before heading out to photograph the Sawtooth Mountains.  We stopped at the Travertine Hot Springs, which was packed with naked people who we felt would be a a little anxious if I whipped out my camera.  After resting for an hour we took a forest service road (all hail the 10-ply tires) to a ridge overlooking the Bridgeport Ranch where we parked, waiting for the warm colors of evening.  I love mountain sunsets and couldn't wait.  We stood on the ridge for an hour, in the wind, and suprisingly there was no sunset.  I've never seen anything like it in my life.  It was light, then it was dark.  The sky was a little yellow, kind of blue, then grey.  I took about 20 photos, most while I was waiting for the sky to change.

The next morning we drove all over the place, took different forest service roads and then headed back over Monitor Pass.  We stopped at the top to photograph the wildflowers.  I love this time of year.  They are so colorful and abundant. 

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Out in the Copper countryside

Having an entire day to myself and being amidst beautiful storm clouds I could hardly contain my excitement at the amazing sky covering my county.  I decided to grab the dog and take a back road tour of Copperopolis.  With my camera in my lap and four lenses within arms reach I set out amongst the oak trees and green rolling hills to see what I could find.

My tour started on Rock Creek Road where oaks and farm land is abundant.  The cows seemed to be enjoying the green grass as much as I was (no, I wasn’t grazing in a field).  In just a few short months it will be dead, brown and ugly.  I’m really not looking forward to the heat of summer, especially in Copper.

Next I visited Felix and Carmen City before turning on Hunt Road.   Hunt Road is  gorgeous with steep hills and valleys.  My camera just couldn’t do the area justice.  From Hunt Road you can see the entire valley.   Next was Milton Road which took me to Highway 4.  I turned off on Telegraph Road, a road I had wanted to take every time I passed it but seemed to always be headed somewhere else, usually in a hurry.  Telegraph Road takes you to Telegraph City (originally called Grasshopper City)  which is desolate with no habitable structures.   The dog and I roamed around and didn’t see one other car the entire hour we were there.  There are a couple of abandoned structures and remnants of rock buildings and walls that provided good photo opportunities.  However, the sky had lost its clouds and turned into one giant grey blob.
Four hours and 200 pictures later I could hardly feel my fingers so decided to head home just as the rain drops started to fall.  The dog had already given up; sound asleep in the backseat under a blanket in his bed.  I hope that tomorrow brings the same kind of sky.  I would love to go out for a few more hours tomorrow.

Some edited shots