mojave calling

While Hashi put up the tent, K got the fire going

Our beautiful campsite

Desert Globemallow (Sphaeralcea ambigua)

Hole-in-the-Wall Rings Trail

Beavertail Cactus (Opuntia basilaris)


Hedgehog cactus


Banshee Canyon

It’s becoming an April tradition, the birthday camping trip. Last year we went to Los Padres National Forest. The year before to Death Valley. This time, we went to Mojave (Mo-hah-vee, for you Australians) National Preserve and camped at Hole-in-the-Wall.

Ah, desert. I love its muted tones and barren vistas and surprising splashes of colour. It whispers ancient secrets that I cannot quite understand, but that I want to slow down and strain to hear. Despite the dust, it leaves me feeling cleansed in some way. It is the opposite of frenetic and riotous, the opposite of Los Angeles. There is no hurrying to be done in the desert.

We had such a lovely time. Except for when the wind got fierce in the night, and our tent became a flapping flailing beast for hours on end, and The Guy resorted to sleeping in the car. THAT part wasn’t fun. But the rest, the hiking and exploring and cooking and staring at the fire. Yep, that was all perfect, and exactly right for a birthday trip. I’m a happy girl.

dan blocker to the pier



About to be swamped


My girlfriend A and I took a little break from beach hiking while she went and got married. We were back at it this past weekend, hiking from Dan Blocker Beach to Malibu Pier. The tide was rising, which was not ideal. But we didn’t want to wait another week so we went anyway. It meant a lot of rock scrambling, and some unsuccessful wave dodging.

Some folk who live beachside on the Malibu coast strongly discourage ‘trespassers’. But it’s our legal right to traverse the beach/rocks up to the high tide line, and even higher if it is unsafe closer to the water. Which it kinda was, in a few places.

We happened upon a baby sealion up on the rocks, who we hope was OK. No mama in sight, but it didn’t look injured, as far as we could tell. We clambered on, getting wet up to our crotches. How we laughed.

birthday camping trip

With my birthday approaching, I knew how I wanted to celebrate it: getting grubby around a campfire. So the Guy + dog & I headed for the hills inland from Santa Barbara, where we found ourselves a place by a creek in the Los Padres National Forest.


Due to recent rain, the brook was babbling ….


… and the wildflowers were out.

Hours were spent hiking …



… and staring at flames.


The weather was perfect, and a good time was had by all.



After two days, we took the high road home, scoping out possibilities for the next camping trip, which will require a 4WD. As I’ve been saying for, oh, six months now, I really do need to get myself one of them.

what we need is here


Geese appear high over us,
pass, and the sky closes. Abandon,
as in love or sleep, holds
them to their way, clear
in the ancient faith: what we need
is here. And we pray, not
for new earth or heaven, but to be
quiet in heart, and in eye,
clear. What we need is here.

~Wendell Berry

camping with the girl

Cooking breakfast #camping #bigbasinstatepark #adventureswithlauren #intothewild

It’s been nearly two years since L & I had a road trip. She’s been asking me to take her camping for a long time, so finally we went.

#redwoods #bigbasinstatepark #adventureswithlauren #intothewild

Big Basin Redwoods State Park, north of Santa Cruz, is spectacular in a wet, lush, massive kind of way, so different from the landscape in southern California. We stayed in a tent cabin, as a way of easing a first-time camper into the joys and discomforts of ‘roughing it’.

#bigbasinstatepark #stellersjay #intothewild #adventureswithlauren #365gratitude_hashimaree

It was cold, but not unbearable. L was a good sport about it.

#ferns #adventureswithlauren #intothewild #camping #bigbasinstatepark

#ferns #bigbasinstatepark #camping #intothewild #adventureswithlauren

And it was spectacularly beautiful.

#ferriswheel #santacruzboardwalk #adventureswithlauren #roadtrip

We spent time in Santa Cruz too, sampling the Boardwalk, and visiting with friends.

View from the top #ferriswheel #adventureswithlauren #santacruzboardwalk #roadtrip

It was fun to get away with L for a few days. She was 6 when I met her. She’s 16 now, and driving. Amazing. Am I really a decade older?


Yeah, I guess I am.

#redwoods #bigbasinstatepark #adventureswithlauren #intothewild

One thing is for sure: I’m not going to stop camping any time soon. Where to next?

the peace of wild things

Fence lizard

The Peace of Wild Things

When despair for the world grows in me
and I wake in the night at the least sound
in fear of what my life and my children’s lives may be,
I go and lie down where the wood drake
rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds.
I come into the peace of wild things
who do not tax their lives with forethought
of grief. I come into the presence of still water.
And I feel above me the day-blind stars
waiting with their light. For a time
I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.

— Wendell Berry

(this is why i hike)



Travelling is fun. So is coming home.


up the hill


I planted lavender by the steps up the hill. I love imagining that scruffy slope in five and ten years, when the trees are big. Planting is such a metaphor for life.

i want to be him when i grow old

Meet Jack English, a 93-year-old legend who lives in a cabin isolated deep in the Ventana Wilderness, California.

While on a hunting trip he learned that an old homestead was put up for auction by the estate of a childless heiress. He put a bid on the property and won. He built a small cabin using materials from the property. When his wife passed away, Jack effectively left “society” and moved to the cabin full time.

Filmed by Grace Jackson.

“It’s not that I don’t like people. I do. I just don’t like swarms of them.” Amen.

30% chance


It never rains in Southern California. But maybe, just maybe, it will tomorrow.

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