2010 is more than halfway over. Everything has changed. This last month has been filled with packed boxes and goodbyes, but it is something we saw coming from a long way off. Looking back at the first half of this year and my last semester at SHSU I am happy that I squished it so full of adventures and memories. January started off with a skiing trip to New Mexico. Here I am with a couple of my favorite people on my birthday.

skiing

February brought us a chilly weekend on the beach in Galveston. Shells and sand and waves. We had a fun weekend collecting shells, exploring the aquarium, walking through the Strand, and staying up lake playing Jenga. Here is the Gulf and the seawall at sunset.

seawallatsunset

March! Big family adventure time! With Steve and I on different college schedules and Mom on the public school schedule it was a miracle that everyone's break lined up this year but it did and we took an amazing trip to California. San Francisco, Muir Woods, Alcatraz, Napa Valley, and Yosemite; and it was awesome. Steve and I loved San Francisco, but Yosemite was magic.

calijellies

Aquarium. I love the jellies.

sourdough

Sourdough in the streets.

momanddadsanfran

Mom, Dad, and San Francisco!

trillium

Trillium amid the massive coastal redwoods at Muir Woods.

chrisSFMOMA

Little bro at the SFMOMA.

napa

Napa Valley (said in a condescending French accent please).

starfish

Pacific Ocean, could have spent an entire vacation exploring the beaches, and someday I will.

Our last few days of the trip were spent at a charming cabin outside of Yosemite National Park. The weather was amazing. I could have stayed there forever. We walked around the valley, hiked out to waterfalls, enjoyed the wildlife, explored snowy redwood groves. I'm still sorting through my Yosemite photos. It is one place where my photos don't come near capturing the experience.

waterfall yosemite

Cali was great, but I wasn't done stuffing the life into that last semester.

Easter weekend brought one of my favorite local trips. Climbing in the Witchita Mountain Wildlife Refuge in Oklahoma. I love this park. Prairie dogs, and buffalo and rocks, you drive for a while (maybe it's a long while) and you are in a whole other world. The trip was fun, but painful. My first semi-serious injury in a while. I sprained my ankle pretty bad when I took a little fall climbing. That's all it took a little slip, a stretchy rope, and I would find myself healing until summertime.

OKsketch

Here I am sketching weathered rocks instead of climbing them. sad face.

I wasn't going to let an ankle the size a grapefruit and the color of a plum stop me (swelling did go down). In May I was asked to co-lead the SHSU trip to Galveston and I said "heck yeah" I love the beach. The first night there we went through a storm that brought super high winds off the gulf. I wasn't sure the tents were going to make it, one got squashed, and there were several warped tent poles, but we woke up to a great weekend on the beach!

jessbeach

We spent part of our night on the beach with glow sticks and long exposures on the camera. Drawing with light is like a goofy interpretive dance.

My last SHSU adventure was a doozie! UTAH! Backpacking in the Canyonlands, hiking through the Arches, rafting the Colorado River, and 9 days without bathing. This trip was nothing short of spectacular. Maybe someday I will write about it, but since this post is already quite lengthy I will leave you with a few pictures.

utah night

girlpictureutah

delicate arch

utah river

Now let's see what else I can squish into 2010, perhaps I should blog about it a little more often!

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