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Moving On

Tecopa, United States

Hey guys,

Thanks for following our blog! We will be moving it to blogspot - which allows Dan and I to create blog entries in different coloured text. So that you don't mistake all the corny entries for mine.... kidding!

We just want our own identities to come through on our blog. We will still be keeping the template from Blogabond so that you can still track our travels on the map.

Please keep leaving comments! We love reading them. We check our blog everyday for them (yes... we crave your company) so please talk to us!

See you soon on http://danyilin.blogspot.com/


permalink written by  DanYilin on April 18, 2009 from Tecopa, United States
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Because Our Host In Dubai Asked

Tecopa, United States

Many people have been asking us what camera models we are using on this trip, one of them being a good friend of ours who's staying in Dubai. And because he and his wife so kindly hosted us while we were in Dubai in 2007, I'm accommodating his special request for er, pictures of our picture-making devices.

Note: pictures were downloaded from the Web and not taken by me, as per his request. Cos seriously, it's kinda spastic to take pictures of each other's cameras with each other's cameras and go through the trouble of downloading these pix. We've got a year-long trip to plan you know!

There are alot of reviews on these camera models out there on the Net. What we would appreciate are reviews of our photos! So feel free to let us know what you think of them, be it good or bad (we can take bad reviews... I think... ouch!)


permalink written by  DanYilin on April 17, 2009 from Tecopa, United States
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A Night In The Desert

Tecopa, United States

I've never heard of a place called Tecopa. We've been to Tekapo in NZ and we eat Tapioca but where in the world is Tecopa? Well, we ended up staying right in it.

Tecopa is big enough to appear as a little black dot on our driving atlas, about 70 miles from the centre of Death Valley. But from our experience driving through Australia and New Zealand where towns on the map can turn out to be equivalent of a gas station, we know the black dot status alone does not make it livable. But hey, the HostelBookers website actually had an accommodation listing for Tecopa - Ranch House Inn & Hostel, which sounded pretty substantial. Since it was only for a night, we booked ourselves 2 beds in a dorm to wrap up our visit in Death Valley, at US$22 each.

So we spent the day cruising through Death Valley. The wind was threatening to blow us off the road and was intent on dumping an entire sand dune onto us wherever we went. Our hardy little Chevy weathered the weather very well and stayed on the road. But the car was an older model which didn't come with automatic controls for the windows. No matter how tightly we wound them up, the wind stubbornly blew through the tiny gaps and drove us crazy. It was like being locked up in tiny room with someone whistling non-stop into your ears. The dastardly wind also thought it was pretty entertaining to -
(1) blow hard against our car doors so that we couldn't get out; and
(2) when we did manage to get out and were bending over into the back seat to get our stuff, to slam the car doors hard against our backsides.

Death Valley is a desolate lonely place. So devastatingly empty and yet full of beauty. It's pure isolation and yet harbours a world of extremes. Within a few hours, we experienced:

(1) The top-of-the-world feeling at elevations of 6,000 feet and diving to a depth of 282 feet below sea level (see Dan's entry for images of Badwater Basin);

(2) Driving amongst stoney mountains and then finding ourselves ankles deep in soft sand dunes... and then walking on a runway of pure white table salt;

(3) Gazing at endless drab brown landscape and then taking a detour into rocks so colourful they looked like an artist's palette;

(4) Freezing at high altitudes and then sweating away like gymrats deep in the valley;

(5) Thinking we're in a place so parched and dry and then finding ourselves in the middle of a desert storm - complete with (more) wind, rain and lightning (more details to come);

(6) Being convinced that Death Valley is completely inhabitable then walking right into a fresh green fruit-bearing oasis the next day.

We left Death Valley in search of Tecopa while the sky was still bright (that's the smart thing to do right) and also in search of cheaper gas outside of the park cos our gas gauge was starting to point at scarily-low levels. We were at our grimiest point on this trip, all covered in sand and dust and Dan commented "for the first time ever, instead of flopping onto the bed, turning on the TV and logging on, the first thing I would like to do is to take a shower."

We traveled 56 miles before coming across a Chevron pump station selling gas at more than US$3 per gallon! (As a benchmark, the cheapest gas we've managed to get so far in the US was US$2.07 and Chevron is almost always the most expensive of the lot.) So we stingy-pokers pumped just US$10 worth of gas, which according to the atlas, would be enough to get us to Tecopa and up near Vegas the next morning where we could get cheaper gas.

Now, desert roads are very scary - the road stretches endlessly before you and the land around you is all brown and flat. It's incredibly hard to spot anything in the distance... and it got harder to do so under the fast darkening sky. What made it worse was that the buildings were all painted in various shades of brown/grey/mud and very low to the ground. We just couldn't find Tecopa. We drove up and down, round and round, in and out, in all frickin' directions and I started wailing in panic cos I was convinced we were going to have to spend the night out in the desert after we ran out of gas, out in the howling wind and on top of that, get hit by the freak lightning streaks that were starting to flash around us.

And then, all of the sudden, we could make out the words "hostel" in a distance. And it was ours. I have never never ever been so happy to see a hostel. This was what it looked like in the day time - so except for the marker (which was unlit and small in scale when compared to the vastness of the desert), it was totally impossible to locate in the dark.

Ranch House consists of 3 containers - the office, the inn and the hostel - all very cosily and eclectically decorated by the owner herself. We had a dorm for 8 people all to ourselves.

The lady running the place was so very friendly that her warm welcome immediately comforted us and lifted our traumatised spirits. Just as she was showing us around the place, the storm came good and proper and started dumping rain onto us. The lighting flashes lit up the dark shadows of the mountain range and the wind violently tossed the garden chairs around.

Then... the power went out. And so did the water supply.

No shower.
No TV.
No Internet.
No flopping onto the bed.

The owner had earlier recommended dinner at the only source of food in Tecopa - a little blue bistro not far from the inn. There is no fast food in Tecopa. Even the Golden Arches and Coca Cola have not found their way into this place. We foolishly thought we would be able to fill our cold tummies with some hot food at the bistro. Uh uh. Hello Singaporeans, there is a power outage here?!

No body at bistro.
No food.

Dan cooked our last 2 cups of instant noodles and threw in the leftover Spam. Thank god for Spam - it made our noodles taste almost gourmet. While he cooked, I went out to get a few shots of the beautiful desert sunset.

Then we wiped up the best we could with wet tissue. And used the toilet. BAD mistake. There was only ONE good flush left and I had used it all up.

No flushing for the rest of the night.

I swore then that I would never let another drop of this precious water go to waste.

So made our bed by flashlight and lay down. It was 8pm and very very cold. It was pitch dark so we couldn't really see whether the room had any heating. Anyway, no electricity probably meant...

No heating.

With nothing else to do, I tried my best to get to sleep while Dan tapped away at the games on his iPod Touch. We froze most of the night away while alternating between fighting over the blanket and squashing up against each other to share body warmth. The electricity came back on in the middle of the night, but we were too cold to get out of bed to do anything. The next morning, we woke up to see a thermostat staring back at us. GREAT.

We packed up and headed to China Ranch - an oasis in the desert! It sounded pretty exciting and we also heard that there was a date plantation and bakery (and even a gift shop!) at the ranch. It really was lush and green and teeming with plants (cactus flowers were blooming!) and quaint artifacts.

We had a delicious date shake and bought packet of fresh dates for the road. As we headed towards Vegas, I pondered over whether it was easier to survive in a mountainous desert like Death Valley or in the endless sand dunes of an African or Middle-Eastern desert.

And I decided that the best desert to be in was Las Vegas. Which seemed like a gleaming glittering oasis of hot food and water (a bath please - even a coffee pot one will do!) after out night at Tecopa.


permalink written by  DanYilin on April 17, 2009 from Tecopa, United States
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Yea, as we drive into the Valley of Death...

Furnace Creek, United States

After 4 absolutely delightful nights at Jamestown for Yosemite National Park, our next stop was supposed to be Zion Canyon National Park. But Zion NP is some 500+ Miles away, and a mountain pass that we were supposed to drive through in the Yosemite area was closed due to snow. So we made some adjustments to our itinerary and decided to travel via Ridgecrest to Death Valley NP, then make another stop at Tecopa before hitting the Las Vegas jackpot machines.

I am glad we decided to visit Death Valley, for its uniqueness as a National Park. Where Yosemite NP fairly typical in what you would expect from a National Park - some forested areas, waterfalls, etc; the geography and geology of Death Valley NP was something totally unexpected. We spent the evening before checking on the possible sights to see in Death Valley, and were totally intrigued by the names of some of the sights - Devil's Golf Course, Dante's View, Badwater Basin, etc.

So, with Phantom of The Opera blasting from the IPod and setting the correct mood, we drove into Death Valley!

The primary feature about Death Valley is the incredibly strong winds, with some additional powerful gusts thrown into the mix. The winds are responsible for the erosion of soil over millions of years, making this a valley. The dry land goes down to 85m under sea level, which is way deeper than what Yi Lin and I can safely dive!

The secondary feature of Death Valley is the salt pans. Somehow, the seas got mixed up in this area millions of years ago, and the high evaporation rate (due to winds and trapped heat) have evaporated all the water in the seas, leaving behind salt pans and sand dunes.

We visited Badwater Basin, which was the lowest point in all of Death Valley. The story goes, that in olden times, a traveling merchant brought his mule to a pool in this area for a drink, but the mule absolutely refused to drink! The merchant, trusting his mule labelled his map as Bad Water, and the name stuck ever since. Of course, the mule only refused to drink from the pool because the water was too salty!

The Devil's Golf course is essentially a pock-marked piece of land that is so covered with sand dunes and salt pans, that it was remarked that only the Devil could play golf there. Well... if you ask me, the place was so hot and dry that I think only the Devil would want to play there anyway!

Lastly, we drove along a one-way loop aptly named Artist Drive. Along this route, you can see knolls of varying colours, thus having a surreal resemblance to an artist's palette. The greens, blues, pinks, purples and oranges embedded in the soil are all due to the presence of the various salts in the region. Those who took Chemistry before should be able to identify the elements that make up these colours - copper, iron, maganese, etc.

I barely scraped through Chemistry, so don't ask me! :)


permalink written by  DanYilin on April 16, 2009 from Furnace Creek, United States
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Ridgecrest, United States

You know, traveling is supposed to be a learning experience. We travel more, and we learn more - about cultures, customs, people, etc.

But really, some of the learning can also be easily done online. Some of the learning can be done TOO easily online. So here's a challenge for whoever's reading our blog:

Without searching online for an answer, leave us a comment to tell us how did America get her name?

Did ol' Chris Columbus see a vulture as he came to these shores? And since the word vulture is translated to the word "Merica" in the local tribe's dialect, Chris claims to have found A-Merica?

We have already Googled for the answer, of course. So you don't have to send us links in response. But tell us a story, regardless if it's true or not! :)


permalink written by  DanYilin on April 15, 2009 from Ridgecrest, United States
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Music To Our Ears

Ridgecrest, United States

Our roles in the car are pretty well-defined:

Dan's the driver. He's not allowed to do anything else except drive and not fall asleep while doing so. And watch the speed limit. And watch out for flashy lights hiding sneakily around bends. And listen to his wife's directions. Make that listen and OBEY his wife's directions.

I do everything else that is akin to setting up a mini-home in the car. Tissue (dry AND wet), water, food, utensil travel kit, sunnies, maps are all laid out and the cameras are on standby. Then I feed and water the man whenever he gives the sign (basically, an open mouth is all it involves.) Oh, and I navigate and bark out the directions too.

And I dock the iPod (any one of the four we have - yes, we're greedy) in the RoadTrip. We love this trippy little device, which basically transmits songs from the iPod through the car's FM receiver. We listen to it all the time while zipping around Singapore in our Swift. Unless I'm yakking my head off about work, which doesn't exactly sound like sweet music.

Anyway, in the Land Far Away From Work, I get to play deejay. I don't have much experience to count for, especially since all I have is one major playlist that encompasses almost all the songs in my iPod music library called 'Sunday Songs' - basically happy songs about living, loving and dancing - the perfect playlist for the weekend. Something akin to my sister's 'Sunny Driving CD' she put together for a family vacation a couple of years ago.

Now, playing music to suit other people's taste is alot harder. The driver, of course, gets to make the rules:

(1) Instrumental pieces are only acceptable within the first hour of driving. After that, they get sleepifying and must be skipped over.

(2) Madonna and her Immaculate Collection get the boot. Period.

(3) R-E-S-P-E-C-T all members of the royal family, namely:
- The King of Pop
- Queen
- Prince

(4) Soundtracks are sacred. In fact, play as many songs from soundtracks of cartoons, movies and musicals as possible.

(5) Anything remotely rude deserves some twiddling with the sound system to BRING UP THE VOLUME! Dan derives great joy in reveling with the cast from Sound Park and Avenue Q.

Ever since I met him, I've always been amazed by Dan's ability to sing any song by Queen, MJ and Prince by heart. And a great variety of songs from soundtracks too. I love watching and hearing him belting out his heart's playlist while cruising down the highway. I love it when he sings those songs to ME. Heh. On the morning of our wedding, he and his 'brothers' harmonised so beautifully that it brought tears to the eyes - and not just those of the bride (to the men who cried - we know who you are....)

Before meeting Dan, I would never ever sing in front of others - not even in the bubble world of the car. Then bit by bit, I started to join him in his singing, albeit on a very mumbly start. But with his encouragement (i.e. he didn't laugh his guts out at me) and also cos I realised that at the volume I was 'singing' at only bats and mosquitoes would be able to hear me anyway, it wasn't long before we were belting out hits together and jiving in the car. Even our wedding dance down the aisle to Barry White was choreographed while dancing in the car on the way to the hotel. My favourite songs to sing aloud are so very cheesy but I don't care - Kokomo, La Bamba, Hakuna Matata, Lemon Tree, That Thing You Do... I know we're not exactly casting material for High School Musical 3, but when we're singing together in the car - it sounds like music to our ears anyway.

It's thanks to Dan that I enjoy great music, not only by Queen and Prince (The Purple One's songs featured quite a bit at our wedding), but also music by local accapella groups like Budak Pantai that he introduced me to and crazy tunes from Animaniacs. I can even partake in a couple of popular Mandarin duets now. Except where Chinese female artists sing at octaves so high that they could probably communicate with dolphins and whales via sonar.

Anyway, when it comes to my deejay responsibilities, I do have one (just one!) requirement. That I get to skip over any song from the Armageddon soundtrack. It's what I call "doomsday music" - all gloom and doom, disaster and destruction - and it just makes me damn depressed. An outright killjoy.

Seriously, if Death listened to an iPod while he went about clearing his emails or while working out in the gym, this soundtrack would be on his 25 Most Played playlist.

No doomsday music for this deejay please. Shudder.


permalink written by  DanYilin on April 14, 2009 from Ridgecrest, United States
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Goldtown, Railtown, Jamestown

Yosemite National Park, California, United States

Okay, we've got quite a bit of blog backlog to clear here. Access to free WiFi has been limited cos we've been staying in a couple of uppity hotels for a change and free Internet access is not one of the things that your money goes towards - we'll update on that in the next few entries.

Back to Jamestown: it's all about gold gold GOLD!

Well, it was. Back in the 1800s. We didn't go scrabbling around for gold nuggets in our backyard, but we're pretty sure most of it is gone. A lump or two may have found their way into my sock or wedged themselves in the grooves of my sneaker. Maybe, just maybe.

Jamestown is also a historic railtown. The steam engine still choo-choos it's way around the outskirts of town. The heritage buildings - many of them carefully conserved - are wonderfully quaint and charming, and prettily painted like Easter eggs. It's no pastel-coloured sissy town though - it's saloons, steak houses and antique gun shops give it an "old west" atmosphere, nostalgia that has seen tougher rowdier days.

There was this amazing little shop that was a deli, cafe, gift and bakeshop all rolled into one. It had the largest selection of - get this - COOKIE CUTTERS we've ever seen. Just think of any shape - even those that you can't imagine a cookie in - and you'll find it hanging on the wall. Some of my favourites were the diamond ring, vulture, cactus, and and... so many others - walls and walls of them - that I can't remember any others now. I was very impressed to find that they had a cookie cutter for every dog breed!

What was equally fascinating were the jars of sugar decorations ranging from farm animals to easter themed items to lovey dovey designs. It makes you want to just throw on an apron and whip up some cupcakes! Well, almost. I was very happy just ooohing and aaaahing at everything.

Still, if you want to bake up a storm in the shape of a teddy bear or Elmo, there's a pan for everything. And you can rent it for just $5. So you can bake different cakes for your kiddos instead of trying to shape them into a different Care Bear (but still a bear) every year.

The folks at the shop took the Rent-A-Pan tag a little too far though - check out the toilet pan pan!


permalink written by  DanYilin on April 13, 2009 from Yosemite National Park, California, United States
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Royal Treatment (Of Sorts)

Jamestown, United States

At the Royal Carriage Inn in Jamestown, we stepped out of our cottage one morning and heard a strange "tok tok tok" sound above our heads. Lo and behold - hammering away to their hearts content were 2 sweet little woodpeckers with their red caps perched on a wooden beam nearby. They were pecking furiously in search of grubs hiding in the wooden crevices. "Tok tok tok, tok tok tok" non-stop. Doesn't all that knocking send vibrations up their beaks and give them a splitting headache in their little heads? They were so cute that we watched them until they flew off (probably cos I was so excited I forgot to keep quiet.)

Jamestown is where we are staying while visiting Yosemite National Park. The Royal Carriage Inn was an incredible find under the America's Best Value Inn chain of hotels. We stumbled upon it while flipping through one of those free hotel discount coupon magazines which we picked up at an IHOP in San Francisco and booked a room for US$50 a night.

The welcome we got at the Inn was amazing. Before we could even walk up to the main door, the lady manning the reception was already holding it wide open for us. She knew who we were and how long we were staying there before I could give her my name or reservation confirmation number. We had booked the cheapest room available but were offered the choice of an upgrade to a cottage! Fwahhhh. In our minds we were already thinking "of course take lah!" but Ash, the sweet lady, insisted on showing us both the room and the cottage so that we could make an informed decision on which one to go for.

We were brought on a tour of the inn, where Ash showed us a few rooms, all of which were cozily furnished and decorated in different ways. There was one room which had a leafy mural painted on the wall, left by a guest who was presumably very inspired by the beauty of the Yosemite area. She then walked with us outside - in the freezing cold and drizzle - to show us the cottages. We loved the cottage the moment we saw it. But being Singaporean geeks, we whipped out our iPod/Phone and were bummed that we couldn't seem to log on to the Wi-Fi as the cottages were located a distance from the main building. Four nights without Internet access is quite painful in our Facebook/Email/Blog-filled lives. We decided that we would test the connection again using our laptops and if it didn't work, we would give up the cottage for the room. Sigh.

Ash very nicely left us to ourselves to make our decision on the rooms. We practically cheered when our lappies caught onto the Wi-Fi. Hooraay! The cottage was well-heated (VERY important to us), spacious, had lovely wooden flooring, a kitchen table where both of us could sit at when using our comps (instead of working up cricks in our necks and backs trying to make do with motel beds as table tops), a nice big fridge and freezer that was actually cold (unlike the bar fridges that had insides warmer than the ambient temperature.) Best of all, we no longer had to bathe Japanese-style cos there were instructions on how to use these weird American showers! (see older post on coffee-pot baths)

Having a full kitchen was great. It wasn't fully furnished - we had only one teacup and had to microwave it 4 times each time we wanted to prepare cup noodles. But whatever we lacked in utensils, we made up on visits to fast food outlets (Taco Bell's sporks are the best!) With a kitchen, I could prepare breakfast (store-bought donuts), picnic lunches (Spam sandwiches) and hot dinners (cup noodles).

Unfortunately, the Wi-Fi connection started to fail miserably after the first couple of nights. So after dinner, we would throw on our jackets, grab our lappies, water bottles, and a bookbag filled with atlases, guidebooks and motel directories, and shuffle out in the cold to the library in the main building. I was reminded of similar trips in my NUS days, from my hostel room to the study room located within the Hall to mug for exams. We were the only nerds going goggle-eyed over our screens with cups of instant noodles next to us and were there till 2am every night to greet every guest who returned from their tasty wine and steak dinners.

Still, we were a pair of happy campers at the Royal Carriage Inn. Throughout our stay, Ash greeted us by our names whenever we met and gave us directions to the nearest Walmart and other attractions in the area. I'm going to send the Inn a compliment and post a good review on Trip Advisor for this lovely place.

More talk about Jamestown itself soon. My pics are still in the camera and I'm feeling too warm and toasty now to get the USB cable from the car to download them.

And just for the records, we've downed 2 more pints of our fav ice-cream. Now, how many flavours more to go?


permalink written by  DanYilin on April 12, 2009 from Jamestown, United States
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Cooking Mama

Yosemite National Park, California, United States

I must be the only person in the world who can burn a store-bought, ready-made donut to crisp in a microwave oven.

Apparently 2 minutes is way too long to take a donut for a spin in Microwaveland. When I retrieved it from the cook-box, it was literally frying in its own sugar. So I had donut-flavoured biscotti for breakfast. Dan politely declined any offers of warm donuts for breakfast after that.

The microwave oven was placed at a strange too-high height - above my head. I had to raise my arms to open the oven door and once I placed the food onto the spinny-thing inside, it disappeared from my sight completely! So when I didn't close the oven door properly, it rebounded and whacked me soundly on the forehead :( Thank goodness for my sweet husband who kissed the sore spot to make it better and SLAPPED the oven for being such a jerk.

On a more positive note, I'm starting to improve my meat-carving skills - after almost killing my husband with extra-thick slabs of Spam in his sandwiches. I guess Spam is not like sashimi - thicker is not better. I've improved though - the second can of Spam was more thinly sliced, albeit the pieces turning out slightly wonky. Some of the sandwiches had Spam shavings - but hey, at least they were THIN.

Well that's what you get from a wife who grew up on idiot-proof cold breakfast cereal with milk. Guess what my kids will be eating.

At least they will have nice donut-flavoured teething rusks to gnaw on.


permalink written by  DanYilin on April 12, 2009 from Yosemite National Park, California, United States
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Mountain Goats

Yosemite National Park, California, United States

According to the stars and planets, Dan and I are goats. He's a Capricorn and I'm born in the Year of the Goat. I've come to a conclusion that we're both not related to the mountainous kinds and must be of a breed that has an affinity for warm grasslands, meadows and even farms. If there were such a thing as a Sunny Beach Goat - that would be us.

We do like the pretty snowscapes that only winter brings. And yeah, skiing is fun but inline-skating along the beach involves less equipment and less clothing. We went to Seoul for our honeymoon in January 2006 - cos I had won a 5D4N stay in a serviced apartment (yes, I'm a lucky one) and so that we could go skiing together. How romantic.... not! The minus 6 degree Celsius weather drove us mad and the static electricity in the dry air made us miserable - we couldn't touch each other without getting zapped. Ouch. A week after we returned, we booked a beach holiday to Bali to 'recover' and had a proper honeymoon.

So venturing into the mountains is a rare occurrence for us. But we found ourselves, as expected, making a return trip to Yosemite the next day cos there was still so much more of it to experience. Also because The Weatherman had promised that it would be a sunny day with warmer temperatures. And look what his promise brought:

We were better prepared for the snow this time - Dan in his spiffy new jeans purchased from Walmart (for just $11.50!) the night before and I wore pants and socks that covered my ankles. Still no gloves though :( So the power of self-denial came in useful:

YL (teasing): I see snowwww on the mountains still!

DC: No lah. Those are clouds. And white bunnies. Lots of them.

YL: Like Easter bunnies out in full force?

DC: Exactly.

En route to the Yosemite Valley, we stopped at one of the scenic spots for a picnic lunch - my lovely creation of Spam sandwiches, apples and mini Butterfinger and Baby Ruth chocolates. Despite Dannie almost keeling over after overdosing on my generous portions of Spam, it was a nice lunch.

We arrived at the parking lots to find them all full and had to squeeze our car into a lot and pray hard that no one would scratch it while negotiating the turn. We decided to attempt a short easy trail to Mirror Lake. It was a scenic walk and we stopped along the way to photograph more waterfalls. Dannie got bitten by a bug - the acting bug - and perched himself on a huge rock, pretending to be the Lion King - or the Loin King, as he prefers to be called. I'm just glad he didn't decide to mate with any of the other mountain lions, which were suppose to be skulking around in the park. Thankfully, he decided to return to his original human state after 5 minutes of entertaining his wife.

Mirror Lake comprises of 2 pools - creatively named the Upper Pool and Lower Pool. Gee. The Upper Pool is larger and is set in a wide, open area and there are lots of families milling around.

The Lower Pool has quite a different character - darker, almost gloomy and much quieter. Beautiful in it's own not-so-cheery way. Besides us, there's only one other family there and two photographers with impressive-looking cameras complaining about "the light" making their photographs look "very flat". I just photographed the best I could:

On our way back to the trailhead, we spotted three deer (one bounced right across our path!) and one large grey squirrel with a handsome bushy tail. We keep a far distance from squirrels, no matter how cute they look. I'm convinced they carry diseases like rabies (and we heard someone say they carry the plague too?!) - and we're not vaccinated against rabies. And people have asked us to return home with babies, not rabies. I read in the park brochure about person who got attacked by a squirrel and his hand needed 13 stitches. I bet he got rabies too. I bet Cinderella and Snow White and Sleeping Beauty also caught rabies from their furry Disney friends who helped the girls with their housework. I don't even want to think about what Beauty caught from her Beast.

His Royal Glovelessness wanted to make a snowman. So we stopped at the designated Snow Play Area on our way out (which I assumed was safe to play in and that I wouldn't get swallowed up by some snow-covered cavernous hole or stabbed by a stick hiding in the snow) for Project Snowman. Dannie instructed that it had to be a life-size replica of himself. Having an additional Dannie to wait on me sounded like a good idea so I went along with it.

Trying to roll snow with our bare hands was a really stupid thing to do. Our hands were so cold that they hurt. How is it possible to still feel pain when your digits are frozen to extreme numbness? Thus, we decided to downsize the lifesize replica into Dan's Mini Me instead. 3 minutes later:

DC: Baby, what does frostbite feel like?

YL: Err, how would I know? Can you even feel frostbite?!

We made another executive decision to create a non-human snowcreature instead, which did not involve rolling snow into balls. We kicked snow into a heap until it started resembling Jabba The Hutt. And so, our Baby Snowhutt was born.

Dannie has named him Pino Cho. When Pino Cho tells a lie, IT (as represented by a prickly pine cone) gets longer. And we're not referring to the snowhutt's nose here. We had to leave our baby in the snowfield though - he would have become dessert in sunny Singapore. Anyone wanna adopt Pino Cho?


permalink written by  DanYilin on April 11, 2009 from Yosemite National Park, California, United States
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