Saturday, October 31, 2009

The Joy Diet - Treats

The subject for this week on the Joy diet is Treats. Marhta asks us to give ourselves 3 treats a day. When I first think of a treat chocolate somes to mind. Truffles to be exact. I like Lindor truffles but even more so are the white chocolated/machademia nut truffles I can get from a local candy shop.

Now theres no way of course that I am going to have 3 truffle a day even though I might enjoy it. So that leads to more thought on what else can I consider a treat. What small little things can I do everyday to give myself pleasure. I guess its time to make a list. Lists are one way I make sense of things.

contaneous smile sparkers

* hearing my daughters voice, a friends voice
* when the UPS driver brought me my new computer
* seeing my dogs face as we took a long walk
* sunshine coming through my window
* the taste of home made mac n cheese

list several things that delight your senses:

* sight - family, sunrise , birds, rivers, ocean, wolves
* hearing - celtic music, listening ladies in lavender soundtrack, wolves howling, birds singing
* touch - hugs, kisses from those I love, feeling my body move when dancing, anice warm scented bath
* taste - chocolate, white chocolate, fresh juicy peaches, good red wine, my apple pie
* smell - lavender, scented candles, incense, fresh cut hay, ocean, newly shorn fleece

My collage this week is just full of fun treats. This was a fun chapter I am all for giving myself treats. I don't do three a day though but I could work into that practice. I am going to be on the lookout for simple things to do just for me.

Friday, October 30, 2009

My New Computer Arrived Today

My new computer arrived today, don't I look happy. I have been on it most of the day. Downloaded a trial word processor, uploaded some pictures, watched some tutorials and generally worked on figuring out how to use it. There will be a bit of a learning curve in learning to use a Mac but worth it I think.

Nanowrimo( National Novel Writing Month) is about to begin. I have a day to figure out how to use Pages the apple version of Word, but I think it will be ok. I may also download the free version of Scrivener and use that. It is supposed to be a really great writing software. Hey I have 24 hours to make up my mind. That should be enough time I think

I hope you are having a great Saturday.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

All dressed up

This is Kate and myself at the auction last weekend. We are dressed as literary characters. I can't remember who Kate was, a character out of a Nebraska authors novel and the name escapes me at this point. This is my Eowyn costume that I wore to the movie the Return of the King. I had to alter a little before the auction since I had lost weight. The sleeves are quite something. I have to have help getting dressed.

Here is a closer picture, aren't the sleeves amazing. It was interesting trying to eat at a Spaghetti dinner with this outfit on. The auction was a fun night, about half the people came dressed up and fun was had by all.

My dog Flynn has been sick with the runs since Sunday. I have cleaned my carpet twice. Took him to the vet on Tuesday and now he is on an antibiotic and special food. He seems to be better. Decided not to rent the Rug Doctor again until I am sure we are over this problem. For now I have been scrubbing the carpet with a stiff brush. It doesn't look to great,lucky I am not having any visitors anytime soon.

Now Dave is having an issue with a tooth so the trip we planned this weekend to see our daughter in Missouls may be cancelled after all. We were supposed to leave tomorrow morning but now it seems that might not happen. Plus I am having trouble finding someone to watch Flynn. Sometimes when everything seems to be going wrong I think you have to realize that maybe this trip is not supposed to happen after all. All week it has been one thing after another. Oh I just heard from dave and he is still in a lot of pain so now the trip is officially cancelled. I am disappointed not being able to see Sarah but sometimes that is just the way it is.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

The Joy Diet - RISK

I really liked this chapter. I resonated with everything that Martha said. I think that is because it reminded me so much of the Be Brave project that Jessie started a couple years ago. I participated for thirty days and it really did change my life.

Now does that mean I spent the week risking all over the place. Not really, I have been swamped with life. I think the only think I really risked was sharing with a few people what my Nanowrimo novel was going to be about this year. Although that is a small risk I still think it counts. So I guess I should be risking that here too, so here goes.

This is just a rough idea, so my story will be about 5 women who meet at an Art retreat like Squam or Artfest. They become friends and meet yearly to reconnect. One of them will lose a child and be unable to recover. That is where the friends will come in. The five of them will take a journey, either a camping trip, a trek accross the US or Europe,(I haven't decided yet)to help her heal.

Through this trip the women will all deal with some kind of loss. Some will be from their past and some will be current. So am hoping to have humor and adventures along the way. Ok that wasn't so hard, the butterflies in my stomach have gone away. Risk is easy well maybe not. Its after you'v e done it that you realize it wasn't that big a thing after all. Thats the easy part. I think the more you do it the easier it gets. I am sure that is why Jessie's project was so life changing.

What little thing can you do today to further your creative dreams.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Artist Way Week 10 A Sense of Self Protection

Week 10 of the Artist Way is about self protection. Really just protecting that Artist self that is recovering from being blocked for so long.

One thing we are to do is to make a list of touchstone. They are just simple things we love, that give an instant pleasure. Here is my beginning list. I know it will grow the more I think about it

river rocks
fresh peaches
blackberry jam
airs incense
the smell of a campfire
my daughters smile
how touching someone feels
fresh flowers
smell of lavender
having orange juice in a wine glass
having wine in wine glass (smile)
new art supplies
Lindor truffles
Gently falling snow when I am spending the day at home
walking by the river, in the woods, fields or desert.

What habit do you have that gets in the way of your creativity?

For me that one is TV. I tend to watch too much, thinking its a way to relax but the more I watch the more I watch. When I could spend some of that time in the studio. I know its a crutch and sometime I give in and other times I break free and think why do I spend all that time watching reruns when I could be creating wonderful things.Then I go create and the feeling is wonderful.

What is your payoff for this behavior? I think that it relaxes me but I now I can see that is I am mistaken. If I am drawn into a drama on TV I carry that with me. I think I may need to be empty of these kind of infleunces to be able to tap into creativity.

What can you do about it?

Become aware of it and limit my TV time. Go for a day without any TV. Now that will be a challenge but one I can accomplish now that I know what its doing to my creative life. Also I can find other ways that help me relax.

Which friends make you doubt yourself? I have eliminated most of them from my life.

Which friends believe in yourself and your talent,?

These are the ones I share my dreams with. I know they won't stomp on them and I know they will encourage and support me when I am no longer feeling it. These friends are a must in my life. Some of them are physical but a lot of them are blogging friends like you.

List five small victories this week.

1.Doing the black art journal pages when I was not really feeling like it.
2.Risking my ideas on the Joy diet post
3.Finding out that the weight I gained was due to increased muscle mass which is a good thing.
4. Actually doing the things I promised myself I would do the night before.
5. Keeping up with all these posts and doing my morning pages every day.

List three nurturing actions you could take to comfort your artist

Spend some time in nature
Treat yourself to a new art magazine
Have a spa day in your own home

Now I think I will go do one of those things.

GPP Street Team Crusade # 34 - Come Over To The Dark Side

I have always wanted to participate in the GPP Street Team Crusades. For some reason I never take the time. This months crusade is # 34 - "Come Over To The Dark Side" , and I wanted to participate but lately I am so busy that I could easily have let this one slide too so I just forced myself to do it. I love working with black gesso so yesterday I did these pages. I loved all the things Michelle did and if I had used spray paint mine would have looked so similar so I decided on a different approach.

I think this pages says how I was really feeling. Too much stuff to deal with lately. In one moment I am really excited about things and the next down in the dumps. So what is a girl to do, well journal about it of course. It gave me the opportunity to also use my cricut for some embellishments, that is where the city on the bottom comes from.

This next one evolved just because I found the crane picture on my desk and I liked how it looked on the black surface. I used some portfolio oil pastels to color the white of the picture and just blended it together. My white gel pen was giving me fits but I finally got it to work. This was fun. I think I will try to do this again.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Finding my groove

I have been behind in the Gut art class so I have been trying to play catch up. These pieces are all results of my field trips in the class.

In this one I was encorporating a style, yes only part of the horse is supposed to be there.

The inspiration for this was some native american black and white pottery. I really liked working on her. I started with black gesso added the paper and then drew her on the page. It seemed to be too dark so I added the background at the end.

Finally got around to painting a Raven. The artist whose work I was encorporating used a lot of vertical lines so I added them to my background. I am pretty happy with this piece too. I am finding if I treat these experiments as pure play the work is easier and I feel better about it. I am so loving this class.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

The Artist Way - A sense of Compassion

Its time to check in for the week. We are headed into week 10 and I am so pleased that I am still doing this. I think Morning pages are a habit now, perhaps that is why this book is 12 weeks long, you need enough time to establish a habit. I did my morning pages every day and attended an Artist date as usual. This was the week we are supposed to read our morning pages and take stock of what we see. I found that mine were constantly about lists and working out things I need to do or to get inspiration on. This time around I am finding them very helpful and I am thrilled that I have been able to keep it up.

Creative goals for the week:

To catch up in my Gut Art Class and my Photo- Jounraling class.
To finish altrering a costume for a dress up auction I am going to.
To do my Joy Diet collage and post.
Play with the cricut machine a little more.
Work on Nanowrino novel ideas.

Creative goals for the month:

Continue with work with all my classes and book groups.
To do some art that is not related to these classes.
To do some work on my Nanowrimo novel idea.

Creative goals for the year:

Finish online classes.
To paint something every week.
To grow as an artist.
To finish writing and sell the book on creativity.
To have a good start on a novel that I really want to finish and sell.

The other thing we were to do was to choose an Artist Totem. I actually have one for writing. Its a Laini's Lady , the writing Angel. I don't have anything for Art though. I've been meaning to look in my studio and see what I could focus on but I haven't found anything yet. I think it should be an inspired choice so I am not going to rush it. Now on to week 10.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Death of a laptop

What is the worst thing that could happen to someone 2 weeks before Nanowrimo starts? Yes you guessed it my laptop blew a gasket today. It is not fixable, the motherboard is toast. An apparent defect of HP's DV computers. We have an old desktop that I am using now. It has Window ME on it and is slower than molasses but it is something. I was able to retireve all the data from my hard drive so I did not lose all my pictures and music.

Now comes the search for a new machine. I like the idea of having a new computer but I do not like the idea of deciding on one. There are so many choices out there its mind boggling. I probably won't be blogging as much till I get a new machine.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Playing catch up

I have been trying to play catch up this weekend. I seem to be behind in quite a few things. Today I worked on my point and shoot journaling class. On Friday I put this journal together. It has watercolor paper as the pages, a cardboard cover and a coptic stitch binding. I decorated the cover right away. This is a picture I took in Bath, England. I added paint to extend the picture and attached a painted piece of grunge board as an accent.

These two are pictures we chose that have a similar feel to them.

This was taken in a garden in Taos New Mexico

The next two make these a set and they seem to echo the first two in some way.

These were both taken down at the greenbelt in Idaho Falls.

Then we did pages on journeys. This was a physical journey to Scotland in 2004.

This one is more about an inner journey and was taken at the Redsun Labyrinth in Victor Montana.

This one is my favorite. These are supposed to be my traveling shoes. The doorway was scrap piece I found in my stash of papers and I painted on the papers to blend them together.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Gut art and a new toy

This was a exercise in the Gut art class. We take these field trips to artist sites that are really fun. We were to make a piece of art to fit in with the scheme of artist Cora Marshall's work. One of the things that Marshall has done has taken old advertisements about runaway slaves and given them a face. This was my interpretation of this. The piece looks so much better in person, it sort a looks washed out here. I really enjoyed working on it.

Awhile ago I did some sewing in exchange for my friend Jennifer. In exchange she gave me a piece of sculpture. She calls these pieces guardians. Its a Raku firing and you can see so much color in the piece. I have her on my messy feminine altar. I think I need to redo this space. For now its a good place for her to be, away from all my cats.

I bought this yesterday, its my going to be my Christmas Present to me. I know its a little early but I certainly was not going just keep it in the box and not play with it. My local craft store had a 100.00 off coupon so the price was right. I think I will make my xmas cards with it so now its justified.

Its a Cricut electronic die cutting machine. Usually scrapbooker's buy them but I am finding that I will really be able to use it in my mixed media work and other crafty projects. At first I wasn't sure I could justify the cost but now I am finding more and more uses. You can even cut out cards and envelopes to match with it. I also plan to use to to make some words in vinyl for my studio walls. Plus all the lettering fonts I know I will be using them in my art journals. What fun!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

The Joy Diet - Creativity

This past week in the Joy Diet, Martha had us look at creativity. The way we are looking at it is in terms of following our dreams. We agree to do one creative thing to work on our dreams.

I found it difficult to focus on this. If my dream involves creativity how do I use creativity to be creative on my dream. I sort of do something like this. When I am not writing or making art I try to think of things that I can do to jump start those areas of my life. In some ways I am a person who does not like a strict schedule so often I make plans that I do not follow through with. Then I need to go through the process all over again. As a result I do not make much progress. It like that phrase Jamie talked about in the video, if you do the same thing the same way you get the same results. I need to find a new way. For someone who wants to write a book I sure spend a lot of time avoiding doing just that.

Jamie suggested that we ask our fellow bloggers on this journey with us for advice and suggestions. So here goes, one of my issues is scheduling time for writing and sticking to it. I spend so much time on the computer, either in classes, blogging or email etc that I feel I need to get off the machine sometimes. I have been thinking if I could distinguish my writing time differently that might help.

Sometime I do write in a notebook but I still have to transfer to the computer so that really does not solve the initial problem. Or I have thought to take my laptop to a different room or go to a cafe. I do rituals to get me in the art mode so perhaps a ritual for writing. I do have quotes and things on the wall in front of my desk that inspire but perhaps I need something physical that I can do that will be different when I am doing serious writing vs all the play writing I do online. Any ideas anyone?

Artist Way Week 8 - A Sense of Strength

Its check in time again. I can say that I have continued to just flow through the chapter. I did my morning pages every day and took an Artist date.

The subject this week was strength. Julia had us recording our dream and setting steps to put them in motion.

We did this little exercise on color: I had fun with it.

I am vibrant purple, iridescent plums and grapes. I am lavender to red violet to purple and beyond. I am the juice of berries, ripe and firm, I am royalty, I am the queen.

Here is my list of twenty things I like to do:

1. Watch Birds
2. Take Photographs
3. Draw
4. Weave
5. Sew my own clothing
6. Play in my Art Journal
7. Stargazing
8. Spin yarns
9. Take walks with my dog Flynn
10. Read great novels
11. Paint faces
12. Write
13. Go camping
14. Knit
15. Go on hikes with Dave
16. Watch Wolves
17. Go out to lunch
18. Spend time with my daughter
19. Go out to the movies
20. Travel to new places

It was hard to stop at 20 as there are many things I like to do. I find making lists like these really opens your eyes about your life and clarifies it.

For me the whole idea of strength seemed to point to myself, having the inner strength to pursue my dreams,to believe that I can do it and to take the steps needed to make the dreams come true.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Remembering Rita

It is one of those lovely days where I plan to stay at home. I brewed a pot of Earl Grey, won't you stop by and have a cup with me.

I am remembering my mother today for some reason. Instead of just having tea in a mug I made a pot they way my mother used to. I am drinking it out of a real china cup and have an urge to play Enya. I always feel she is around then. She has often asked me to play Enya, one of her favorites.

This is a picture of her back in the seventies. Oh how I long to have a cup a tea with her. Alas a cup with my memories will have to do.

My mother taught me to sew when I was a child and it set me on a lifelong exploration with creative things. Thanks Mom. She loved her tea, we would always have some after dinner. I am sure it was due to her Irish roots. By then my dad and brothers had left the table but us girls would have tea with mom and lots of conversation. Those seemed ordinary moments at the time but now they are really precious memories.

Do you feel your life just has just ordinary moments? Now you know that you are making precious memories for someone. Lets salute those special ordinary moments. I'd love to hear some of yours.

Monday, October 12, 2009

New Pens

Look at all these lovely colors of brush pens. They are going to be so much fun. They are pitt artist pens and they were 3 different sets that I sound at Michaels. Unfortunetly there were two duplicates. They come in 40 colors. If I want others I think I will need to find somewhere online that sells them individually.

This is the inside front cover from the Gut Art Book I made. I used an old piece of art to remind me where I started on this artistic journey.

This is the back cover of my gut art book.

and here is the inside back cover.

I did this as an exercise for class. This little lady was found art.

This lady I painted from a drawing I did. At first I did not like her because the proportions were all wrong. Then in class it was suggested she looked like a Modigliani. I did not know that artist so I looked him up. The face does look like his style. How funny is that. So I decided to keep her as she was instead of messing with her.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

In memory of 302M

It been a sad few days. As many of you know I love wolves. I especially love going to Yellowstone National Park to go wolf watching. The State of Montana had a wolf hunt and said their hunt was to be in areas where there had been livestock losses. Well the held the hunt near Yellowstone where there are no livestock. The result there was not hunting but a slaughter in my opinion. As a result the entire Cottonwood pack was wiped out. The hunt has been stopped now but its a little too late.

A favorite wolf of mine has always been 302M the alpha wolf of the Blacktail pack. That is him in the picture above which I took last June. Among the wolves of Yellowstone he is a celebrity, often called the Casanova of Yellowstone. He has been known to visit the ladies in many of the other packs. Sometimes he got in trouble for that but he always seemed to rebound. Among wolf watchers he was a favorite. I always liked to hear about his story and what he has been up to. I wrote about him here back at my old blog Meanderings.

The body of 302M was found dead in Lamar valley from natural causes. The animal had no wounds so they really do not know the cause of death. He was 9.5 years old which is great for a wolf. Their average life is 4 years. I was glad to hear he died a natural death and was able to live his life on his own terms. This picture above is one Dave took last June. He is on the left and the alpha female is on the right. He was one fantastic wolf. I don't think there will be another like him. He has left a hole in my heart, it just won't be the same without him.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

The Joy Diet - Desire

This week in Martha Becks book The Joy Diet we concentrated on Desire. She suggested that each day, we should identify, articulate, and explore at least one of your heart's desires. What is one thing you really want? Each day you may think of something new. You think that this would have been simple but I seemed to avoid it most of the week.

Wednesday I took a walk for my do nothing portion and I started to thing about desire and my choice for the day was to become a better artist. I think that I am taking steps in that direction. Taking Gut Art has already done that for me.

Of course after rereading the text I think that is more a surface desire and perhaps the desires that I have are deeper. Most of my desires really resolve around art and writing and completing those projects to my satisfaction but what really comes after that. If I look deeper into those desires I realize perhaps my desire is not to have a published book or be a better artist but more that I want my work to affect others and inspire them to follow their dreams. I want to foster connection between myself and others. Those are my desires on another level.

Then Jamie talked about feeling your desire in your body on her video. I had not thought of that until she mentioned it. Sometimes I feel it in my heart and other times I feel it in my gut.

This weeks collage was easy I chose the artist because that is what I desire and the women were from the Artnest retreat a few years back. They symbolize connection. I saw the woman blowing the bubbles as my little desires growing up to become big and wonderful and fulfilled. I am finding that when I do the collage for each week it seems to reinforce the idea in my brain somehow. It is as though the week is not complete until I have done the collage. Perhaps there is a connection with art and mind. Next week we study creativity now there is something I know about. I am looking forward to that chapter.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Artist Way - Week 7 -A sense of connection

I found this week to be fairly easy and I have done most of the tasks and the exploration of this chapter on my own. I did my morning pages every day. YES that is going well for me. I took an Artist date to all the local galleries. This week the annual Gallery walk took place so I was exposed to all kinds of art. The thing that dismayed me is that there were so few people out compared to previous years. In addition to paintings and sculpture their was a n exhibit of quilting at one of the locations. The women who did the pieces really went beyond traditional and that was really great to see.

image from the net

Just yesterday I had an synchronistic experience looking at blogs. First one talked about grasshoppers and the very next one I read talked about Grasshoppers too. I thought that was significant. I looked up Grasshopper on the net and discovered this.

Grasshopper Wisdom includes

Jumps across space and time - Leaps of faith - Jumping without knowing where you will land - Astral travel - Leaping over obstacles - New leaps forward - Ability to change careers quickly

That is so appropriate to the Artist Way Journey and the Gut Art class I have been taking. I especially liked "Jumping without knowing where you will land" I think that is what are is all about. Perhaps the leaping over obstacles is overcoming those artistic blocks that you have placed on your self. I think this week has been pretty profound after all.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

I Found A Gem This Morning

I just read this wonderful post on writing at Jennie Nash's blog. In the post she is sharing the ups and down of writing a novel. I really liked how she adored this passage in the book and no one else could get it, but she kept it in. Eventually she moved it to another part of the book it became magical for everyone else too. Such great advice on her blog. She has written some great novels too. The Last Beach Bungalow and The Only True genius in the family are both good reads.

The National Novel Writing Month(Nanowrimo) is coming up in November and I have been thinking about what I might write this year. I like participating in Nanowrimo because it first it pushes me to complete something and second I get the opportunity to try something new. My three previous years I wrote a mystery, a fantasy and mainstream fiction. This time out I am thinking about writing a woman's literary fiction. I'll have 5 friends come together on a camping trip. The trip won't be what any one of the expect. I am still thinking about what great adventures I might get them into. Writing can really be fun.

If this is the year you'll finally take writing seriously why don't you sign up. All the information you need is here Plus you can put this badge on your blog and look really cool. More than 15,000 people have already signed up. If you do sign up let me know so we can become writing buddies.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Its coming up Roses

Its our 24th wedding anniversary today and Dave surprised me with these. Two dozen roses, 12 red and 12 a dark pink. After we got married he started out to get me a rose for each year of marriage. That sort of ended when the numbers got higher. So I haven't had flowers for awhile. What a treat this was.

We are headed out to Johnny Carinos for a nice dinner out. Should be a great day.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Playing in the Studio

Well the craziness of October has begun. I am taking 2 online classes, doing 2 book groups plus extra activities from my regular life. Its fun and crazy and time consuming but I still love it.

In the Gut Art class we are making a book to hold our observations and so forth. This is the cover I made. The class is all about finding your authentic artistic self and I am really having fun with it. Mystele says its all about play so that is what I have been doing. Sometimes it is hard to let loose to be able to do that but I am giving it my best shot.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

The Joy Diet - Truth

In the Joy Diet book group facilitated by Jamie Ridler we are on to chapter 2 which is all about truth. The truths that we tell ourselves and the stories we create around them. She asked that after we did our 15 minutes of nothing that we ask these questions.

What am I feeling?
What hurts?
What is the painful story I am telling?
Can I be sure my story is true"?
Is my story working?
Can I think of another story that might work better?

When I tried this I always felt in a good mood. I didn't have any hurts so I really did not do this exercise well at all.

Now this morning I was doing my morning pages and I started thinking about this. so I tried it again.

What am I feeling? Overwhelmed
What hurts? that I have done this again, when will I learn.
What is the painful story I am telling? That I have taken on too many things and that I will not have the time to do everything.
Can I be sure my story is true"? NO
Is my story working? No I think it adds more stress
Can I think of another story that might work better? Yes I can. I now realize well yes I have a lot on my plate right now and I will have plenty of time to do it all.

Now this time I saw the exercise in a positive light. I could see how it could be helpful to me.

This is my collage card. I didn't make it till today. I couldn't decide what truth really look like. So I just did whatever came to me. I saw the woman contemplating her life and I saw the little girl as the part of ourselves we should not deny. The sweaters are for the simplicity of life. Truth at its core is very simple I think we are the pones that make it harder. The sunflowers for their beauty, they always make me smile and the words are self evident. To really see the truth you need to open your eyes and look at the issue from a new perspective. I think that is what Martha Beck is having us do.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

The Laurence Rockefeller Preserve

When on vacation last week we checked out the Laurance Rockefeller Preserve. Its been open for only a year so we really knew nothing about it. Laurence was a brother to Nelson and son of John D and a well known champion of conservationist causes. He donate the land and was instrumental in the way it was developed although he died before the preserve opened.

The preserve is very green, the bathrooms have composting toliet's and the parking lot is a small size to limit the number of hiker on the preserve at any given time. We had to go back twice because the place was too busy.

The building has some nice exhibits. In one room were four vertical movie screens showing wildlife in its natural habitat with the sound to go with it. You really felt you were in the willows with a moose. Just fascinating. In the next room the experience was even better. You sat on a bench there was nothing to look at but all of a sudden you hear wolves howling or a eagle flying and any other number of sounds from the wild. Once again the sound was incredible.

The area has several hiking trails. We took a hike to Phelps lake. It was 2.5 ,mile hike and when you were at the lake it was like no one else had ever been there, The water was crystal clear and there were only a few hikers that we saw. The trail had nice benches at appropriate stop. There was an outhouse out there too but it was like no outhouse I have ever seen before. Fabulous architecture out in the middle of nowhere. Here I am sitting outside of it on the benches provided.

When we were on the trail we had to cross a road and look what I found a stop sign for hobbits, Bilbo is that you around the corner?

This is Phelps Lake, which was where we hiked to. It really was beautiful. It was a 5 mile hike around the lake so we declined that little jaunt and headed back. We really liked this preserve and I imagine we will be back for more hikes in the future.