Monday, December 5, 2011

Welcome Opportunity Plus Great News

Walker River running East of the Walker River Lodge
We have returned from our annual Thanksgiving/Anniversary celebration in the Eastern Sierras.  After 20+ years of this tradition we have decided, finding the Walker River Lodge no longer a hospitable place to stay, this year will be the last.  This decision opens another doorway through which to travel.  Shifting from our usual mode of business to a state of BE-ing and enjoyment right here at MuRefuge seems to be a welcome opportunity.  As we began our road trip Rose looked at me in her quizzical way, clearly asking "Why do we have to get in the car to go someplace to relax?"
In the Eastern Sierras the weather was glorious . . . cold at night of course but warm and sunny during the daytime.  Rose did NOT like the car ride to and from.  However, she reveled in returning to all of the good smelling hiking places, running with abandonment, 

tuckered out each evening!

Unlike last year when snow was in abundance, we saw only skiffs of it while we were crossing the Sierra Nevada Mountains.  The aspen trees as well as all the other deciduous bushes and trees were without their leaves.  

The colors in the Winter sunshine low to the horizon were nothing short of awesome, causing our souls to celebrate in the great fortune of BE-ing present in such beauty.

The Matterhorn from Doc 'n Al's
Robinson Creek near Doc 'n Al's
Mono Lake's Tufas viewed from the West side
Rose and Cathie looking East towards Mono Lake with Lundy Canyon in the background
Spectacular Lundy Canyon rocks
Dwight with Rose and more spectacular Lundy Canyon rocks
Mono Lake in the background
Rose, Cathie and Dwight in the foreground
from the Visitor's Center
Even though we returned almost a week early, we enjoyed our traditional pinyon pine tree cutting on our way back to MuRefuge through Nevada on Highways 182/338/208, connecting with Highway 395.  This drive affords barren beauty which both Dwight and I find spectacular. The National Forest Service charges a whopping $5 to cut a tree on their land AND, in many areas where we have cut our trees, the NFS is felling pinyon pine trees to provide more habitat for the sage grouse.  We love bringing home a pinyon pine tree to decorate for our Christmas tree which fills the house with that wonderful pinyon pine fragrance.


Tufas in and out of the water
Mono Lake

And upon return we received the news below from the Mono Lake Committee. 

Dear Dwight and Cathie, 

We did it!
Congratulations! After a six-month grassroots public effort, the Mono Lake Tufa State Natural Reserve has been officially removed from California’s 70-park closure list.

For Mono Lake friends and supporters this is certainly a moment to be thankful for, and cause for celebration.

Upon hearing the news yesterday our Board of Directors Chair, Sally Gaines, said, “This is the best Christmas present we could ever wish for.” I couldn’t agree more!

Thank you Mono Lake Committee members and Mono Lake fans near and far for writing letters all summer, opposing closure and offering possible solutions. Over 4,000 letters and petition signatures were hand-delivered by the Committee to decision makers in Sacramento. This huge show of public support, combined with dedicated work from our Committee team, lead directly to this success.
You can check out their web site for additional information about Mono Lake and the Mono Lake Committee's mission at  This is great news for all of us who so love the small part of the Planet that offers so much to all her inhabitants.

We finished decorating our tree for the holidays just in time for Rose's Auntie T's visit. 

Please share your own "welcome opportunity" below in "post a comment".


  1. Just lovely. All of it. All of you.

  2. This brings such peace to the soul-love your tree.

    A wonderful travelogue of the beauty of nature this time of the year. Thank-you for all of your writings and stunning photographs this year-it is a wonderful gift you share with us! Hope you are enjoying it as much as I-I have a feeling you are.

  3. Cathie
    The photos are gorgeous! What beautiful country.
    Thanks for sharing your trip. Rose looks wonderful.


  4. Fantastic news about Mono Lake, Cathie! Thanks for sharing and we look forward to seeing the tree, you, Rose and Dad in person soon :) Love, Katie