Copyright © 2016
|Nikki Riley Designs||
A close up of the journal artwork
Well, I did it. I completed the first assignment for the Lilla Rogers Design Competition. As usual I waited until the 11th hour to get my work done, wrapping things up around 11:30 last night in order to avoid a morning scramble trying to submit my design online by 9am while I made breakfast, lunches and got the kids to camp. Needless to say it isn't my best work but I feel good about getting the job done. While I had written the instructions down and reviewed the project requirements a number of times I neglected to remember some key points which in turn had me revising the layout more than once. In hindsight there are a few things I would have done differently. I didn't need to put my artwork on an actual piece of paper, that I had to cut to the correct size, duh. I could have scanned the artwork and placed it on a background in one of my design programs. Late night stupidity. Second blunder, I had thought for some reason that using the word "journal" was an option that didn't have to be put on the cover of the artwork. Wrong. Upon a reread, I saw no indication that it was an option. So in all my brilliance I hand wrote the word on the front of the artwork. Tired and bleary-eyed do not make for a nice, clean execution of my best handwriting. Ok. Enough bitching. Overall I am happy with the artwork, the colors and the composition. It brought back many memories of years of colored paper artwork and how much joy it gives me to create different scenes. So there you have it. I may not get shortlisted to the 50 top artists for this round, but I'm happy I participated.
Back to life...back to reality...back to the here and now....
Reentry is never easy after days in the backcountry. What a change of pace! I think the world would be a different place if everyone were forced to spend a few nights in the woods with just what they need carried in on their backs before they become adults. While we by no means are roughing it when we go backpacking, it certainly makes you pare down to the basics. Food, shelter, clothing. There are definitely those who take this to the extreme and shun the sleeping pad, tent and camp stove but not us. We keep things simple but still enjoy our comforts. This was Harlan and Dylan's third backpacking trip and we covered over 13 miles in a few days. Not much by hardcore standards, but for an almost 5 year old (or by his account 4 1/2 & 3/4) and an 8 year old, it's pretty awesome. We got lots of acknowledgement by other hikers on the trail who were impressed with our boys' endurance. Harlan grumbled a bit about the hiking but overall he seemed pretty happy to be in the woods. Dylan was a trooper. So much so that he had to serve as sweeper for the better part of the trip due to his propensity for hiking so far ahead of all of us. Spending time in the High Sierra is a perfect way to acknowledge the important things in life. Clean air, clean water, lush meadows, fish in the lakes, beautiful wildflowers, wild animals. Hard to imagine why more people aren't committed to the protection and preservation of these magical places.
It certainly puts things into perspective to flee the world of technology and the constant barrage of information. No email, calls, news, computers. Only the sounds of the birds singing, the creeks gurgling and the occasional hiker. It's a kind of re-fueling to depart for awhile, go to sleep when the sun sets, wake up when the sun rises and the toughest decision of the day is which pass you're going to hike up to.
We learned some cool history on this trip. In our camp there was an old, rusty jeep frame and along the trail we saw another old-school, steel vehicle frame. The ranger informed us that this was a main road that led to a tungsten mine on the other side of Morgan Pass. The mine was in full production since 1916 and closed in 2000 but the area we were camped in had stopped using it as access many many years ago. The tungsten mine had been a major contributor during the various wars due to its durability and resistance to corrosion.
This trip was a reminder of how much we miss our beautiful dog, Lulu. She was such an incredible backpacking dog. She loved to run through the flowering meadows and she made sure no critters bothered us in camp. I think we will be welcoming a new, four-legged friend in our lives pretty soon. Big paws to fill, but we are ready.
Made the requisite trip to Mono Cone not one but two times. On the way down to Rock Creek and on the way back home. I got questioned about my avoidance of fast food and why I would eat there and not Mc Donalds, I tried to explain why this is somehow different but it fell on deaf ears. Oh well....we all have our hypocrisies.
And so it goes.....back to the grind. Which really isn't much of a grind when you live in a beautiful place like Truckee. Much appreciation all around for a great time in the woods. Until our next adventure......
Lilla Rogers Studio & Do What You Love