Pantoll – A Pleasant Surprise

Fires raged in the Sierra mountains this summer, forcing my husband and I to cancel our long-awaited backpacking trip. So, what did we do instead? We thought “local!” We found Pantoll Campground located on Mt. Tamalpais that seemed like a good alternative for a peaceful getaway. Only a forty-minute drive from home, we felt like we had traveled hundreds of miles, entering into another world. Mt. Tam is a popular tourist attraction, but with packing up all the gear and necessities for camping, we always wanted to drive farther into the mountains. It’s funny how one setback unexpectedly leads to a pleasant surprise. Here’s a glimpse into our weekend…

A visitor quietly joined us in our site.
Our cozy accommodations.
Site #1 presented an open concept of a
raised dining and great room with a
rustic fireplace.
Our backyard, perfectly landscaped.
Hiking nearby with views of San Francisco Bay.
Boiling water in minutes for our freeze-dried
feast.
Our only fire because of the red flag warning
for the following day.
Our first beautiful sunset.
Coffee and a gorgeous sunrise. Ahhh…..
A different perspective.
Our once-a-year bacon splurge, using my mom’s
cast iron skillet
that must be about 100 years old!
We hiked to the outdoor mountain theater –
a wonderful, summertime cultural experience.
After hiking uphill a few miles, our legs were
ready for a break.
Back on the trail, views of the SF bay entertained
us again.
It’s all downhill from here. 🙂
Must be 5 O’Clock. Cheers!
Nature’s architecture.

Did you enjoy the scenery? I hope so! We’re glad to have found a local option now, maybe not for backpacking, but at least for camping and hiking. Here in sunny and drought-ridden California, everyone waits for some precipitation to reduce fire danger.
We hope to slip on those backpacks next year…

Thanks for popping in and stay safe,
Lauren ❤️❤️❤️

A Calming Landscape

When the sun ascends
and birdsong fills the mountain
air, when lake water
cleanses every ounce of us,
we are lost in nature’s home.

When the trail leads us
into depths of silence and
mountains touch the azure sky,
when wildflowers paint the land,
all senses become spellbound.

Lauren Scott (c) 2020
Photos from our lake camping trip (prior post)

💗💗💗

Alluring Altitude

Not a sound can be heard
Except an occasional chirp
And the wind’s whisper
Gliding through evergreens
Protecting from sun’s burning rays

Peace flows through veins
Its gentle movement calms the mind
As fragrance renews all senses


With my love beside me,
Gratitude embodies my heart
Together we stay mesmerized
Sitting on the shore
Watching the dragonflies
And reveling in the melody of silence


Lauren Scott (c) 2020

We’re off to the lake next week, so I’ll be disconnected from technology.
It’ll be good to get away and unwind in the fresh mountain air.
I’ll see you when I return, and in the meantime, I want to give a Big
“Thanks” to all of you who pop in a regular basis and to those who
visit now and then. All I can hope for is to write a poem or story
that resonates with you, so that you’ll have a special take-away
each time you leave. Thank you, Thank you! I appreciate you so
much! Stay well, stay happy, stay healthy! Love, Lauren
💗💗💗


All Good Things

In these unsettling times, it’s important to find joy in each day,
even if digging a little deeper is necessary
. Anxiety, fear, and sadness
have certainly been fueled this year, which is reason enough to find things in life that make us happy. Throw in a dash of fun and a sprinkle of silly – bring on the smiles and laughter! It’s important for our mental and physical well being to find a balance so that all of our energy and focus isn’t directed only to the negative. I’m sure you’ve heard of a gratitude journal, so let’s count this post as one of my long journal entries, but first the visuals:

I’m grateful for another drive through the majestic redwoods and then onto Bolinas Ridge where the view of Stinson Beach was stunning – no fog or wind, just a glorious June day. I find joy in receiving fun gifts like the musical note earrings my daughter gave me because of our shared passion for music, and then the socks from her that tell me “I’m gorgeous, don’t change.” Wearing this kind of encouragement throughout the day is definitely a mood-booster.

I’m thankful for how I followed in Mom’s footsteps as my family indulges in sweet decadence once in a while, as well as baking for gifts. The plate of cookies are oatmeal chocolate chip, so don’t be shy! The cake was for a birthday: lemon with raspberry filling and buttercream frosting (all homemade). I also look forward to our relaxing patio time where we can talk about the day, make plans for tomorrow, and clink our glasses to celebrate being healthy and employed in these Covid times.

And then there are books! Can’t live without the exciting and adventurous worlds they draw me into. My son gave me “Little Fires Everywhere” not knowing anything about it. It turned out to be an engrossing and riveting read, and the mini series starring Reese Weatherperson and Kerry Washington was just as captivating. I found “Nineteen Minutes” listed on one of Stephen King’s book recommendations and am half-way through it. Can’t put it down either, but I must so that I can write this post! I highly recommend both books.

You see Copper lying on the bed…he was also enjoying “Little Fires Everywhere.” He is diligent in practicing how to relax and has become very good at it. 🙂 The love and joy this big puppy gives us is priceless. Oh, and look at Mini! As a child, I lived in Anaheim with Disneyland in my backyard. So, Mickey and Mini will always have a special place in my heart.

Nature provides serenity. It calms and emboldens us to look deeply within ourselves. It is a teacher of simplistic living, especially while backpacking. The sunset was taken at one of our favorite campgrounds, Look Lake – a gorgeous body of water in the Sierra without the crowds. The other photo is of Spider Lake that is a higher elevation, and I’m happy to report not one spider was found! Both destinations were perfect to take in the beauty around us, to spend time together, and to simply be. No technology, just a tent, a couple of chairs, and a picnic table. This is what we love to do, and we hope to venture onto the trails as long as our bodies will allow.

I hope you enjoyed these samples of some things in life that bring me joy – the list is never-ending. What do you lean towards in these times of uncertainty? What brings you calm? What turns your frown upside down? What makes you chuckle? Do you find that some of these photos bring you joy, too?

Wishing you a wonderful Friday and much joy in your days ahead,
Lauren
💗🎉💗🎉

Forever Steady

IMG_4010

Staring up high and beyond their treetops
Where birds create their family dwellings
Dreams begin to bloom and worries lessen
Manifesting a most profound message
Some have feared the footstep of humanity
The sound of distant sawing instilling fear
Instead, in this sacred place they are protected
Never will their integrity feel threatened
The welcomed footsteps upon their soil
Arrive gently as awe-struck souls
Their majestic beauty is never-ending
Their glorious existence is transcending
Living in blissful peace with other flora
They communicate through deep-winding roots
Linked with the embrace of Mother Earth
How lovely to live in this space of Grandeur!

Lauren Scott © 2018
Photo: LScott, Hendy Woods State Park
 

Young Minds

IMG_3938

Their imaginations carried them
into the African Savannah
keeping watch for a parade
of animals on the hunt
They chose not to be prey
if avoiding such demise
was possible –
Suddenly, their feet stopped
in their tracks,
as fear crept up the backs
of their necks –
A thunder-booming growl
echoed throughout the grassland
The next move meant life or death
Then a meow joined the growl
Terror escalated
as they held their breath,
mirroring an owl’s innate ability,
afraid to make a sound
Then when Mom yelled,
“Lunch is ready,”
fear subsided and
their adventure came
to an abrupt halt –
until next time
when their imaginings
became alive again

 

Lauren Scott © 2018
(When we arrived at our campsite,
we noticed some visitors.
So I became inspired right away. 🙂 )

 

 

Just some fun randomness!

First of all, our little finch family has flown for good.  It wasn’t long after the babies had hatched that the whole family had soon left. In our minds, it happened so fast, and unfortunately, we weren’t able to say good-bye. Well, it was fun watching the process – first time for everything, and now that Mr. & Mrs. Finch know our house is a safe haven, they just might return if they decide to grow their family. 🙂

Secondly, my husband and I are leaving this weekend for a camping adventure. It’ll be fun to get away, to immerse in some relaxation, hiking, and swimming. We both love time spent in the mountains, among the freshwater lakes and majestic pines. There’s just something special about that mountain air! Needless to say, I won’t be blogging, but I’ll return later next week. And for fun, I’m sharing some photos that may bring a smile…

copper playing with his bone
Copper’s having fun, but who’s winning?
sky
What a beautiful, fluffy, summer sky!
IMG_3610
Finally, a sunflower bud, so we’re still eager for the blooms.
deer

On a walk with Copper, look who we saw prancing!
IMG_3617
And these flowers popped out, too. Just lovely and friendly,
don’t you think?

 I plan to do some blog-reading until we leave; otherwiseI’ll see you when I return to city life and technology. Until then, take care and stay safe. Lauren 🌼❤🌻

It’s the Pits

pit toilet

You open the door
and again, once more
You smell that smell
that comes from hell

Though you pay the price
beneath the stars and sky
So you do your thing
and you feel like a king

Then you open the door
and again, once more
You breathe in the pines
and everything is fine

(Let’s just say, inspiration 
comes from many places.)
🙂

Lauren Scott 2017
Photo: Google

Lakefront

IMG_1011

Your presence
captivates

with awe-inspiring
magnificence  

You shimmer from
the brilliance of
sun’s kiss,
a magical vision

Your purpose
conveys nothing
less than
significance

The equation of
all surroundings
offers a perfect
composition

Lauren Scott 2017
Photo, LS: Loon Lake, CA