2017 Prospect Sierra Summer StoriesSeptember 12, 2017
This summer our family of five covered lots of ground by land and by air, starting with our annual weeklong trip to the Trinity Alps Resort, where we swam, fished, and connected with old friends. From there we headed north to central Oregon for a week of leisure living in that outdoor paradise. Brynn (6) and Lucy (3) and I flew to Oxford, MS where my parents still live. Southern living is definitely different. Life moves much slower, pulled pork, shrimp, and fried catfish are staples, and folks stay inside a lot in the summer to beat the heat. After that we met back up with my wife, Chelsea and Eliza (1) and headed down to La Jolla for some time in the sun and water. Our last big trip of the summer was a week of camping in Tuolumne Meadows. Pretty much my favorite place on the planet, Tuolumne is the only place that, once I’m there, I never want to leave.
My family and I enjoyed visiting the East Coast this summer. We saw many friends in Rhode Island where we once lived, visiting all of our favorite spots. The weather was beautiful, and we enjoyed the 4th of July out on Cape Cod with friends. In addition to watching the fireworks burst over Martha’s Vineyard, we had lobster races before throwing them in the pot!
Although much of this summer was spent close to home, we did manage to get out of town for a few long weekends. We had a blast on the Central California coast, where we played with our three year-old, Max, at the beach everyday– making intricate sandcastles, digging around for rocks or shells, and splashing in the ocean water to cool off from the heat. I realized how rejuvenating it is to have a few days with absolutely nothing pre-planned on the agenda!
This summer my husband Chris, my son Dylan (4), and I had many SUNNY adventures! We traveled to LA for a week and got to be in a music video, we went to Maui with extended family for 12 days to swim in the ocean, and we went to Tahoe for five days and splashed in the lake! We love the SUN!!
This summer was eventful. I visited friends in Boise, ID and flew to Prescott, AZ to see family. I was lucky enough to be able to camp/hike in both Yosemite and the Sierras (Stanislaus National Forest)! I earned to rock climb (ahhh!), attended a handful of concerts, and baked my first cake from scratch.
This was a fun and busy summer. Our son, Jones, turned one at the beginning of the summer and started walking. He keeps himself busy moving his cars and trucks from one place to another and chattering away. In August we took a trip to North Carolina to visit Percy’s family.
A highlight of my summer was spending time with my family in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. We spent our days checking out some of the many waterfalls in the area. (The area is said to have nearly 200 named waterfalls!) We also visited Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore, and my mom and I enjoyed paddling around in Lake Superior in our “ship.”
This summer my husband’s family had a reunion in Italy! We were lucky enough to eat, drink, and bike our way through Tuscany and Liguria. It was amazing! We toured Pienza, which is a UNESCO World Heritage site and walked to the top of the Torre del Mangia in Siena!
This year and always in July, Tyler (8th grader this year) and I travel to an exciting new destination for him to compete in the USA Fencing Summer Nationals and July Challenge! This year we were fortunate to return to Salt Lake City, UT where he qualified for five Foil events, and competed in three. (If you ever have a chance to visit Salt Lake City, eating at the Red Iguana is a must!)
We also took a side trip with a few other fencing families through Jackson, WY on our way to see the Grand Tetons and Yellowstone National Parks. We literally saw Yellowstone in a day, and spent 17 hours from start to finishing blazing through the sights – not recommended if you want to take it all in! We were fortunate to see some Moose, but missed out on seeing the Momma Bear and her cubs, and were lucky that we didn’t have to use our Bear Spray. (Making our way back to California, we traveled through 4 states in 9 hours!)
We also spent time with my family in Hilton Head Island, SC for our annual “cousin” weekend where we enjoyed family, fishing, loaded up on our Vitamin D on the beach, and played mah jong.
Summer for Riley and me this year included lots of playtime in our natural habitat, including family camps in the mountains and the redwoods. I went on a once-in-a-lifetime hiking trip in Scotland with my mom (amazing!). Closer to home, we did fun Bay Area activities, Riley attended a few fun camps, and we took many trips to the East Bay Vivarium as we cared for Riley’s kindergarten class snake, and we made good use of our yard’s summer apricots and apples with fruit leather, apple crumbles, and apple juice – it was a tasty summer!
I had a pretty low key summer this year. I visited family and friends back in the New York area, ran a fun one-week camp, and read some great books. My highlight was probably a series of camping adventures in several beautiful places around California. Here’s an awesome sunset picture I took on one of those trips.
The Goulds enjoyed exploring both the East and West Coasts this summer. Also, my wife, Caroline, and I started recording a new album, and I learned how to carve a wooden bowl on a lathe!
This summer I spent time driving through California, Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado, Utah, Wyoming, Montana, Idaho, Washington, Oregon, and British Columbia! One of the many highlights was my stay in Flagstaff, where I had a chance to hike part way into the Grand Canyon and also to meet my airbnb host’s falcon.
This summer we embarked on our first lengthy family European vacation with our two kids ages 10 and 14. Our itinerary included Berlin, Germany; Wrocław, Poland (where we were given a great tour of the city by the Ekstrand family, including Niels PS ’18); Prague, Czech Republic; Vienna, Austria; and Greece (many different spots). While it wasn’t particularly relaxing, since we were always on the move, it was exciting to visit so many different types of places and to experience such varied cultures (and weather). Later in the summer, I introduced my older son, who has just started his freshman year at ECHS, to the joys of bouldering, and my younger son, Felix (a 5th grader at PS) did his first rock climbing at camp this summer. It was a memorable summer!
This summer I spent two glorious weeks camping in Southwestern Colorado with my family. We caught a steam-powered train from Silverton to a spot deep within San Juan National Forest; from there we backpacked into Chicago Basin and base camped along the Animas River near a curious herd of mountain goats. I took this photo right before a hailstorm thwarted our attempt to bag a 14’er called Sunlight Peak. Other trip highlights included a visit to the ethereal cliff dwellings at Mesa Verde National Park and a memorable stay at clothing-optional Valley View Hot Springs.
As usual, I spent as much time as possible this summer exploring the natural world. Highlights included the “Tentacles!” exhibit at the Monterey Bay Aquarium (flamboyant cuttlefish!), bald eagles in Washington State, hiking and beaching around the SF Bay, and dolphins and eagle rays off the coast of Hawaii.
This summer, we were thankful to spend all of July with far away family. We spent time in Michigan with my partner Marti’s family where our son, Elias (2), enjoyed fireflies and his first ice cream cone. My parents retired recently and moved from Boston to Asheville NC, so we headed there to explore their new town, swim and hike, and spend a few days at the beach. This photo is from Elias’ first visit to the Atlantic Ocean in Folly Beach, SC.
This summer was all about settling into our new life as a family of four after the birth of our son, Louis Archer Jorgensen Walker in February. We had the pleasure of taking two small trips, one to Santa Cruz and one to Eel River. Both involved lots of hanging out around water, playing in sand, and getting dirty.
This past summer was incredible! I spent two weeks in the beautiful country of Belize, where I was finally able to dive the Great Blue Hole! While diving this outstanding geological phenomenon, I swam with sharks, turtles, and lots of gorgeous fish. Belize allowed me relax, enjoy the island life, and spend many hours soaking up the sun while listening to a myriad of podcasts. The highlight of my summer, however, was spending a lot of quality time with my family!
Every year, as soon as summer starts, my family and I enthusiastically get ready to travel to Europe to visit our loved ones. It is always a time we look forward to for so many reasons. This summer was rather different as a health “crisis” kept my husband and I here to attend and commit to a pretty strict rehab regimen. Despite the situation, we loved our time in and around the Bay. We drove a lot to go to appointments. Sometimes, we literally drove around the bay in one day. And everyday, we made sure that we would combine appointments with something enjoyable like a walk, some sight seeing, friends, some food, or just a smoothie. The Bay Area has so much to offer, in fact, it almost has it all! From ocean spots to amazing regional parks, precious cities to delicious food, and tasty healthy drinks. It is very special around here and I am so grateful that we chose this place to raise our children. I will never say “no” to discovering new horizons if given the opportunity, but to stay put and look closely around and see what we have is more than enough at times.
This summer I took a very challenging yet enjoyable social studies course that was part of my master’s program. After spending several days working on the final project, I ventured out to San Francisco to turn it in. I was excited to be back in my hometown, so I decided to become a tourist for the day and make a full trip out of it. I had fun revisiting and discovering little treasures in the Sunset and Haight-Ashbury Districts even though I was going on less sleep than usual. Many days later after re-energizing, I took a 20-mile round trip bike ride with my son and friends all the way to the SS Red Oak Victory in the Richmond Marina. It’s the last surviving ship that was actually built in the Richmond Kaiser Shipyard during WWII. On the open deck, we enjoyed a pancake breakfast to the sounds of a live rock band and were surrounded by gorgeous views of the Bay.
This summer I was blessed with having July off and took advantage of it by taking a number of short trips. I spent some time in Denver, Florida, and finally got to visit Lake Tahoe for the first time. Man, is that lake beautiful! Hard to believe I got tired of the time off (but I did) and am looking forward to teaching in 3rd grade.
Traveling to Colombia and Ecuador with my husband was the highlight of my summer. We both love to focus on the local music and dance wherever we are, and Colombia did not disappoint us. We visited an indigenous village in the rainforest where we were lucky to come across a small school that was in session. Later we journeyed into the Ecuadorian rainforest for more extraordinary experiences, especially climbing a 140 foot observation tower in a kapok tree to view the unbelievable variety of wildlife.
This summer, I participated in a month long Waldorf teacher training intensive, which consisted of recharging through making art everyday for eight hours. Then, I went to The Land of Enchantment with Ken and Paloma, my 3 year old daughter. We went to Santa Fe, Taos, and the Las Cruces area and visited the natural beauties of White Sands National Park, The Sandia Mountains and the Carlsbad Caverns. This trip was a beautiful discovery of the majesty of our National Parks.
In July my husband and I went to Spain, where we had a wonderful time reconnecting with family and friends. An especially memorable moment of this year’s trip was the celebration of my grandma’s 100th birthday! Although we spent most of our time in Madrid, where we both grew up, we also visited Valencia and enjoyed the Mediterranean sea. In August I attended a professional development training in Vermont which allowed me to briefly discover an area of the States that was new to me.
Maria Montes Clemens
This summer I enjoyed snorkeling in Thailand, whale watched in the San Francisco Bay, spent long wonderful hours gardening, saw some snakes while on my leisurely walks in the El Cerrito hills, and had lunch dates with old friends.
This summer I had the opportunity to travel to Greece and Croatia. It has been a dream of mine to visit Greece ever since I saw the beautiful cliff sides of Santorini in a magazine as a kid. I am happy to say that Greece was as breathtaking as I had hoped it would be as a child. While I knew less about Croatia, the highlight of my entire trip was from there. The Plitvice National Park felt like no other place I had been on earth. It felt like the Rocky Mountains crashed into the forests of the Northeast and then fell into the aqua blue waters of Hawaii. I feel so lucky and privileged to have been able to take such a great trip!
This summer I spent six weeks in New York at the Klingenstein Center at Teachers College at Columbia University, pursuing a Master’s of Education in Independent School Leadership. After that whirlwind of wonderful, intensive work, I reunited with my family and flew to Costa Rica to spend time with the monkeys, sloths, birds, and butterflies. It’s hard to believe summer has passed!
This summer I had a great time traveling tons with family and friends from Ashland to Chicago to Silver City to the Sierra Foothills. The best part of the summer was that I finally got up the courage to take each of my sons backpacking alone.
For years, I have been craving to unwind by a lake under the stars over the summer. This picture was taken at the campsite that my son, Amos and I found on Jamison Lake. It was heaven. My adventures in Desolation Wilderness with his twin brother, Micah, were a bit more complex. On the Pacific Coast Trail, on our way to Aloha Lakes, snow banks completely obliterated our trail and we got lost. Fortunately we ended up at Lake Lucille before sunset, which was magically serene and gorgeous.
Lessons learned: carry a compass and topographical map when hiking with snow and breathe through your fear. It’s well worth the adventure!
This summer, I went back home to Boston to spend time with family, lifelong friends, and past colleagues. It was amazing to see how the city’s changed from when I left just two years ago! From Boston, I hopped across the Atlantic where I spent three weeks exploring Amsterdam, Greece and then finally, Croatia! Highlights included getting lots of beach time, befriending stray cats, renting our own boat, eating heaps of seafood and enjoying breathtaking coastal views. It was an incredible trip and by the end of my month away, I was ready to start moving into my first grade classroom. Hello, Prospect Sierra!!
This summer, I spent the first part directing our first exciting summer offering many camps along with our wonderful staff: Tanya Grove, David Allen, Melody Gil, and Kathleen Arada! After we wrapped up our summer camps, I spent a majority of my time playing with my Beagle puppy Milo and taking him to the dog park to play with his canine buddies. I ended my summer by going to an amazing place called Riviera Maya in the land where I was born, mi Mexico lindo. I spent a week in Playa Del Carmen, enjoying the white soft sand and the clear warm waters with my boyfriend. We had the opportunity to visit one of the Seven Wonders of the World, Chichen Itza. We were also able to visit the Tulum Ruins and swim with fishes in other AMAZING sites: Ik Kil Cenote and Xel-Ha.