TRI to keep it WILD - Raising funds for Nature Conservancy of Canada

Thursday, March 25, 2010

L.A. Marathon

Two really tired guys!

Scott and our friend Nate and Nate's dad Jerry ran the L.A. Marathon March 21st. Even though they're "slowing down" these days, I think they're all quite impressive. I was pretty proud to see their names printed amongst the top men in the L.A. Times the next day. Scott and Nate were the 26th and 27th men overall. Not PRs, but respectable for such busy guys. Jerry finished in the top half in his first marathon ever! Way to go!

The last 400m!!

The traffic was INSANE, especially on race morning. People were getting out of their cars and running down the freeway to get to the start at Dodger's Stadium because there were so many people getting dropped off. Luckily Scott and I had scoped out the situation the day before and snuck in no problem through the back way. The race start was delayed because of the traffic jam!

We met up with some U of I friends and had lunch and dinner after the race - that was a treat! And the highlight of the driving portion was coming down from Fort Tejon Pass on I-5 on our way home. As we descended into the Central Valley the view through the windshield was nothing but purple wildflowers. It was like driving into a sea of purple - it was so cool. Too bad the camera was in the trunk. There were lots of purple, white, yellow, and orange patches all the way along. I would say that spring is the best time to take I-5 between L.A. and San Francisco if you MUST do that drive. UGH.

Monday, March 15, 2010


Woo hoo! Done with all 20 squares!

Unfortunately my quilt will end up smaller than planned, but I don't want to make any more plates so I'm moving on. I smartened up and started cutting my background squares larger than necessary too late. I cut my first few squares to 12.5" before appliqueing and of course now they're too small. To make all the squares the same when I was squaring them up I've had to cut them to 12", so 11.5" finished. I'll have to remember that for next time. After adding my first 3 in-between polka dots I think it still looks good.

9 more dots to go and then some half- and quarter-dots along the edges, then the border.... then the quilting... dun dun dunnnnn....

No school today - better take advantage and get some less-fun grading done.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Ano Nuevo

You can reserve a spot on a guided walk at Ano Nuevo State Reserve, north of Santa Cruz, during Elephant Seal breeding season to get up close and personal with the action. Without a guide you're not allowed in. The only opening we could find was early this Saturday so we went! It's near the end of the season, so there wasn't too much "action" happening, which was just fine with me :)

The abandoned lighthouse keeper's house in the background is on an island that has broken away from the coast only in the past few hundred years. Now it's infested with seals and sea lions.

This "weaner" was checking us out between yawns and belches. These babies are left behind by the adults to grow big enough to head out to sea on their own.

Some others were testing out their swimming skills in a pond in the dunes, and we even saw one little guy push another little guy into a ditch where they both floundered for a while before climbing out. That was really funny.

Here's a harem with a big male (check out his snout!) in the middle and some females feeding their babies. The lucky lady on the left has a GPS device glued to the top of her head and a number died into her fur (they say it's Clairol). You can see both if you zoom in on the photo.

We also caught a quick glimpse of two big males facing off. Scary! We had seen a similar scene further south, closer to San Simeon another year at some random beach beside Route 1. Ano Nuevo is much better protected from people and has facilities and information.

The walk was fun and interesting - I'd definitely recommend it if you can get a reservation. Our docent knew quite a lot and clearly cared a lot about these cool creatures.