Margaret's Crater Lake Summer travel blog

Great candlelit dinner....excuse all the redeyes...

Yard camping with Mike and Daneen In their Airstream Bambi Sport

New friends Skip and Carol


Today brought a very special treat.

I knew that friends Daneen Abbe and Mike Thienes were traveling near me. I met them around their warm campfire in rainy Juneau last summer. They live near Minneapolis and when they learned I would be stopping there for Tastefully Simple’s Party Palooza (how’s that for naming a conference?) they offered to keep the teardrop for me while I attended conference. As if that were not fabulous enough, when I came to pick up the camper Mike had not only cleaned off layers of grime but had also installed a number of screws to replace pop rivets that had popped off along the Alaska Highway. How wonderful is it to make friends like that?

Last week their granddaughter got married in Big Sur. They combined the trip to the wedding with a tour of the Southwest in their Airstream Bambi (the absolutely only other camper as fabulous as a teardrop). We weren’t sure our schedules would coordinate well enough to allow a visit but as we followed each other’s journeys on Facebook, we found we could cross paths in Yosemite as they left San Francisco and I was headed that way. I was very excited to being seeing them again…. and then I found out the rest of the story….

It turns out Mike and Daneen were not staying in the park at Yosemite, but rather had been invited by members of their extended family to camp at their home in Mariposa, which is just outside of Yosemite. Without telling me this, Mike called to ask whether there was room for one more and their most gracious hosts said sure, plenty of room and plenty of lasagna. I know it is polite to protest but I was not about to turn down the opportunity enjoy a delicious dinner with fabulous new friends (if they are offering a stranger lasagna and yard space, they are automatically fabulous in my book). Plus I really wanted to see Daneen and Mike again. So Mariposa it was!

Our hosts for the evening are Skip and Carol Skyrud and as imagined, they are fabulous. We toured their home and enjoyed seeing many of Carol’s paintings and some of Skip’s photography – including several pictures from some time he spent with Willie Nelson. I immediately felt at home in their home. We were all enjoying Carol’s lasagna, several of Mike’s wines, and lots of good story telling when a thunderstorm started really cranking up. All of sudden there was a huge boom, a bright flash, and no power – so we finished our dinner by candlelight. What a magical evening!

I love seeing different places and learning about areas I’ve not visited before but the best part of travel is meeting new people. Today was a special time….and on top of that, no bear precautions needed. Life on the road doesn’t get better than this.



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