mjgradziel.com    michael j. gradziel
anacapa island, cherry burl, sierra nevada, spacecraft parts, joinery, wyoming, california
A decade and a half long record of life as I know it.

     Mike, most recently:
We're back from Norman's first camping trip! 9-10 April, age 18 months. Two days before we left, Norman finally started walking significant distances on his own. Overnight, he went from cautious ten-step bursts to meandering around the house for minutes at a time, standing up and sitting down repeatedly. Joy had bought him a backpack so we loaded this with his clothes and strapped it on him for the short walk to the campsite, but the slight weight of this kiddie pack a.k.a. wearable carseat proved to be more than he could manage. In the end, he and the pack got carried to the campsite. Within sight of San Francisco, on a point of land south of Stinson Beach in Mt Tam state park, the Steep Ravine camp area has seven walk-in tent sites and nine cabins. Reservations are hard to come by so when we saw a tent site open on a Thursday night six weeks earlier we took it. With flush toilets and running cold water a four minute walk from the site, and a water tap a minute's walk away, it was a good place to get Norman acquainted with the outdoors. We did however learn that considering all the liquids an 18 month old can produce, hot running water and soap are really nice to have and camping for more than one night is probably not going to be something we yearn to do for some small number of years. One night is great fun, though: the tent is basically like an inflatable bouncy house, there are rocks to climb and slide on, there is fire in various forms, the view of airplanes flying overhead is unobstructed, and there are so many interesting plants to investigate.

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Photos and Commentary . . . follow the links:

Mexico to Canada on the PCT, Dad's account from the trail in 1978.
New York to New Orleans by bicycle and riverboat, 1944. Grandma's story.

Questions or comments? email mike-at-mjgradziel.com

Most photos are mine or Joy's (credits to others are in image captions); please credit us where appropriate.