Tuesday, September 27, 2016

"New York City is a great place to be from."

SCliche by Jeff Sambur

Being born in The Big Apple taught me many lessons for life.

Here's a few of them: 

People come in all variety of skin tones besides Crayola Crayons "flesh." One color is not better/prettier or more special than the others. They are just different.

There are many languages in the world besides American English. People can choose to speak their favored form of communication. It's their right and its perfectly legal. Sure it might be frustrating for the English only crowd, but somehow ideas get exchanged.

Humanity comes equipped with lots of sexual preferences. It might not be your glass of IPA, but these individuals  probably won't harm or bother you either.

Lastly, a smile, being civil and polite can work wonders in most human interactions.

It's sort of an offshoot of the Golden Rule. It's not Harvard Law School stuff.

Back to the present: I journeyed to NYC to take in the qualifying round of the World Baseball Classic. Teams from Brazil, Great Britain, Israel and Pakistan were on hand for four days of America's Pastime. There were no fights, taunts or threats on the playing field. We saw good sportsmanship and class acts between the players and coaches. 
I wish the rest of the world would get along as well as these participants did. 

BTW: The Chosen Team will move on to the Baseball Big Show in March. Who wants to see games in San Diego?

While in America's Melting Pot good buddies Big Al, Jean, Lisa and Claudia joined in the frenetic fun. It was great seeing them all. 

We saw many sights. These photos might give you a taste.

The last photo is the Bethesda Fountain in Central Park. No trip to NY is complete for me unless I visit this water spilling feature. I own a grainy black and white photo of Clara Sambur (my Mom) sitting in that approximate spot some 70 years ago.

It makes me feel happy and peaceful to be in the same place as she once sat.

I'll end this blog with the lyrics from Frank Sinatra's classic hit.

start spreading the news, I'm leaving today.
I want to be a part of it, New York, New York.
These vagabond shoes, are longing to stray 
Right through the very heart of it, New York, New York.

I wanna wake up, In a city that doesn't sleep.
And find I'm king of the hill, top of the heap.

These little town blues, are melting away.
I'll make a brand new start of it, in old New York.

If I can make it there, 
I'll make it anywhere.
It's up to you, New York, New York.

New York, New York.
I want to wake up, in a city that never sleeps.
And find I'm A-number-one, top of the list, king of the hill, A-number-1... 

These little town blues, are melting away.
I'm gonna make a brand new start of it, 
In old New York, and... 

If I can make it there, I'm gone make it anywhere.
It's up to you, New York, New York!

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

An Almost Perfect...


Have you ever been on a good time roll where you looked forward to the gauzy light of dawn to appear?

Or a string of days yielding to weeks and eventually months where you sported a 24/7 grin?

A run of fun where your legs and lungs were taking you to places of such beauty, you'd almost weep with joy? Or just sit down to take it all in? 

That's the sort of summer I had. It was so great the Coleman Stove Cuisine I was creating tasted gourmet. Of course the Starbucks was hot and the IPAs were cold. Perfect. 

A few months ago, I promised to show you "America the Beautiful." If you were following along, you got a taste on what's out west of Interstate 25.

Mr Trump, I have news for you, America is still great. Any country that affords its citizens the right to roam around free as a migrating Arctic Tern is great. A country who invented National Parks, Monuments, Historical Sites and Wilderness Areas can't be all bad. We might need a few tune ups but not a major overhaul from a "Reality TV" game show host.

So after that political rant: What would have made my Almost Perfect Summer Perfect?

The companionship of a Wandering, Wondering Woman, that's what.

I'm on the move again.
See where this roll takes me. It might surprise you.


Get a load of what's out west through these photos. There's so much to see...

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

A Coyote Ate My Lunch...

was the only event to mar our 60 mile Rae Lakes Loop hike in the John Muir Wilderness of the Sierra Nevada. Once again my brother from another Mother (AKA Brad) and I had a great adventure. It didn't even rain or White Death on us. Just skin searing blue skies and warmth. 

And one skinny, mangy coyote. Gone were precious calories. I finished the hike on my hidden stores of fat. Hunger drove me up those two passes on the last day. It's true, food can be a great motivator. Just ask Pavlov's Dogs.

The Loop takes you through the Prime Cut of the Sierra. Once again, fame has a price. It's sort of crowded. Brad and I hustled to a few premier campsites. It was worth the sweat. Look at these drool worthy photos. 

I'm now in Fort Collins, Colorado after 1,020 miles of Barley the Van piloting in two days. I'm beat. However, there's no rest for this Wandering, Wondering Jew. I'll be on the move again come morning. 

I'll take a break later. Sort of...

There's too much to see. 

I hear an Colorado IPA calling me...
"Jeffy, Come here! Drink me!"  

Sunday, September 4, 2016

The Sierr-ahh Nevad-Ahhh...

Mr. Muir coined many insightful descriptors for the Sierra Nevada. I believe he pegged it when he lovingly nicknamed them the "Range of Light." 

I've been exploring the Eastern Sierra for over a week now. Old John was right, the rays are different here. Maybe, it's the way the sunshine reflects off the abundance of glacial scoured granite. Or maybe, it's the lack of humidity in this high mountain desert. For whatever reasons, even the Bristlecone Pines seem to radiate a warm alpenglow. It's so beautiful and best of all, heaps of it are under Federal protection. 

Not many American Mountain Ranges score three National Parks, two National Monuments and twenty Wilderness Areas. The Sierra Nevada can add highest mountain range in the contiguous United States to its impressive resume too. 

Look at a map. There's not many roads bisecting this steep landform from east to west. Many of those highways are mere 1.5 lanes thick. They'll  close with the on set of the season of White Death. I suppose Caltrans doesn't want to overtax local  Emergency Services and tow truck drivers. 

From the U.S. 395 corridor, a few asphalt intrusions nudge westward up along waterways. Usually, an impounded creek which is now a Los Angeles reservoir is the road's terminus. Luckily for people like me, trails take off from there. 

And hike is what I did.  Despite being in the most populated state in the U.S. (there's a tad less than 39,000,000 in California), the trails are well-maintained and surprisingly clean. On this Labor Day Weekend, families strolled about. Some folks were content to sit along a creek side and nap in the sun. Most were sporting an almost IPA inspired grin. It's all good. 

I'll now commit a Colorado blasphemy. I wish the Rockies were the Sierra Nevada. 

From Bishop, California 
Where did the summer go?

Next to Last photo: as usual I purchased a fix er upper.