a Ph.D. and all that…

Cap and Gown... me?  nah!

Cap and Gown… me? nah!

Two years ago I lived in Los Alamos, NM (short for the cottonwoods in Spanish). I wrote my very first post with a nod to CCR, and the hike out my back door. I blogged faithfully all summer about hikes , camping trips, adventures in Los Alamos, Santa Fe, and Albuquerque. At the end of the summer, completely exhausted, I returned to corny Indiana to complete my Ph.D. I nearly abandoned the blog in the process, while I got married, went to Greece, made 4 return tripes to Los Alamos, and went on many other adventures… several of which have not made the blog.

Life is just getting busier and more beautiful. Adventures abound, but photographic evidence is sometimes scant. I’m not one to celebrate major milestones. I defended my thesis in March, and went straight to a teaching session afterwards. I graduated this May, but skipped the ceremony for research in Los Alamos. I did finally take a vacation: site seeing in Los Angeles, hiking in Lake Tahoe, and finally a lovely wedding in Pittsburgh.

More soon. Oh, the picture, hiking in Lake Tahoe. That is how I celebrate a Ph.D.

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Stopping in Spokane and more Waterfalls… and a bridge collapse.

If I had to pick a theme for May’s roadtrip, it would be Roadside waterfalls. We stopped at them in GNP, at the Montana-Idaho border, and a few on the way back.

Alternatively, it could be themed “I drove over a bridge and it collapsed later that day.” That is another story though: Interstate 5 bridge collapse . Yes, the very day I drove over the I-5 bridge I’ve crossed hundreds of times in my life-, it collapsed into the Skagit River.

The thesis is due in less than two weeks. I wish I could say that is my only responsibility, but I am very busy. So far, I’m keeping up the daily OM’s… making this day 52 of my 30 day yoga challenge.
south bend yoga

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Hiking Mount Cavanaugh

My favorite part of my last visit to Washington: my hosts! I stayed at Lake Cavanaugh with family and their dog. One day we loaded both dogs and into my car and hiked the local peak. I couldn’t believe just how fun it was to have a second dog.

It was misty, but not rainy. Can you see how much I love hiking, Washington weather, and evergreen trees?

Day 37/30 of my yoga challenge.
south bend yoga

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Random Scenes of the PNW

My roadtrip pictures grow scarce as the trip wore on. Somehow I drove to Washington and back without taking any photos of my family. I’m a terrible documentor of my life. I am proud to say that I’m too busy loving and experiencing life to pick up a camera. Unfortunately, a few still frames of my nearest and dearest would be wonderful.

However, if you want to see some interesting tree behavior, I have the slideshow for you!

Day 36/30 Day Yoga Challenge.
south bend yoga

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Glacier NP: Not Another Roadside Attraction

This gallery contains 8 photos.

Even with Going to the Sun Road closed and clouds covering the mountains, Glacier National Park is a phenomenal place. Because our dog wasn’t allowed on trails, we stopped at every turn out along the open section, snapped some photos, … Continue reading

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Glacier National Park, May 2013

Going to the Sun Road is closed in May. The plows are working hard to cut through the snow, so visiting is a bit limiting.

We drove as far as we could and then wandered this stony river beach.

Day 31/30 of the yoga challenge.
south bend yoga

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National Forest Road Hike, Near Glacier National Park

Have you ever been to a National Park with a dog? You very quickly become a second class citizen. Dogs disturb the native wildlife, so they’re not to go on most trails. And it is perfectly true that a bear or cougar might view a dog as a meal.
If you visit Glacier National Park in May, you may experience the true off season. We did. We camped a few hours east in Shelby, MT on Hwy 2 and discovered Dan’s old tent is impressively waterproof. We dried off in the morning and hit the road, intending to drink coffee at the Belton Chalet in East Glacier.
Why? It is a National landmark built by the railroads and I read about a lobby framed with huge tree trunks. I found a photo of it here, and I truly wish I had seen it in person. Alas, the Chalet had not yet opened for the season.
Glacier Lodge lobby
But we had a lovely hike on the forest road. My dog thought the mossy green woods were the best thing she’d ever experienced. It was hard to slow her down that day.


Day 29 of my 30 day challenge.
south bend yoga

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