Archive for March, 2010

Talapus and Olallie Lakes

March 7th, 2010

Last weekend, it was sunny and blue skies again!  Seriously, I could get used to this.  I’m not quite ready for the rain and the cold to come back, since I’ve been spoiled so much by all of this incredible weather!  Anyways, to take advantage of the sunshine, Tom and I headed up to Talapus and Olallie Lakes.  We weren’t sure where the snow line would be, or what the snow conditions would be when we got there, so we packed the snowshoes just in case.  We didn’t end up needing them, but a pair of YakTraks or some other type of small traction device would have been nice, as the later parts of the trail were covered in slippery, compact ice.
We started out with no snow, and the warm temperatures soon had us shedding layers like crazy.  I think that by the time we got to the snowline, I was down to shorts and a tank top it was so warm.  Eventually we did find the snow, right before getting to Tallapus lake.  Just for perspective, the last time we were in this area, we barely made it to the first lake, as the original trail was totally snowcovered and impossible to find, so we just went straight up.  This time, there was a nice, well graded trail to follow, past a lovely stream, all the way up to the lake.

There were some sketchy “bridges” on the trip.  One slip would have gotten you quite wet.

We skipped past Talapus and headed up to Olallie.  Here the snow and ice got worse, and we started to slow down, as we were slipping more and more. It still wasn’t quite right for the snowshoes as they would have been more cumbersome than helpful I think.  Eventually we made it to Olallie for lunch.  The sun was out over the frozen lake, and Granite Mountain was there in all of it’s glory, (and it’s got quite a bit of glory in my opinion).  We took some photos, and headed back down.  Carefully.

We stopped at Talapus Lake on the way back down as well as it had some beautiful light, and we wanted a break to eat Girl Scout cookies.  Yum.

Beautiful day, beautiful hike!

Felted Ear Warmer

March 7th, 2010
Tom’s mom, my wonderful mother-in-law’s, birthday is at the end of February.  She loves walks, and being outside.  She also lives in Baltimore, where they’ve been breaking all sorts of snowfall records this year. Clearly she needed a knitted something for her birthday to help keep her warm on her walks in the snow.  That “something” turned out to be a felted ear warmer from the Knit One Felt Too book, by  .  I have very little experience with felting, and since we’ve recently upgraded our washer to a fancy pants front loading one, I wasn’t sure how the felting would work.
**Side note – “felting” is when you knit an oversize item out of 100% wool, (other animal fibers work as well), and shrink it down in the washing machine.  Kind of the opposite of what you want to do with a wool sweater.  The agitation of the washer and the water make the wool “felt”, which is to say “shrink” and “get all fuzzy”.
Thankfully, due to the power of the internet, I was able to find directions for felting in a front loading washer, yay!  I felted the ear warmer, pinned it out to dry on our ironing board, then sewed on some velcro for a closure.
Here I am modeling the ear warmer.
Please excuse the hair, and the fact that I look a bit blue in the photo, I couldn’t fix it in post processing, I’m not sure why.  I think it has something to do with florescents + a flash.  But I digress.  I’m happy with the ear warmer.  It was super fast and easy, and looks nice!  Jennifer was happy too, which really was the main point in the first place!