The Big Chill

A couple of months ago,  Florence of Avocado House (an excellent blog that I enthusiastically recommend!) wrote a lovely post about Sturtevant Camp, nestled up in the San Gabriel Mountains, not too far from where Mr N. and I live (at least, for the next few weeks!)

The place looked charming, and without thinking much about it, I instantly checked the camp’s website and booked us in for a night in July.

And even though I booked it six weeks ago, it turned out that the timing couldn’t have been better.  First of all, the temperatures cooled off a bit this week, meaning we weren’t roasted on our walk up! But even more fortuitously, it–by complete chance–provided us with a really nice retreat after a pretty awful week.  I’ll spare you all the boring details, but we had a lot of stress around applying for my visa for our move to the UK.  We’d received conflicting information on how long the process would take, and the end result was a big scramble to try to get everything submitted as soon as possible .  The good news: we sent off my application on Thursday!  The bad news: it’s completely unclear if it’ll be processed in time for our planned move!

So after a week of worry and bureaucratic wrangling, it seemed a very happy coincidence that we had a reason to leave apartment, computers, online immigration forums,  and the ability to obsessively check the progress of my visa package to the UK behind, and head outside.

Sturtevant Camp is in the Angeles National Forest.  As we started out on the trail that leads up to the camp, we were surprised to come across dozens of adorable craftsmen-style cottages nestled in the woods:

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We entertained ourselves trying to guess why they were originally built.  Mr. N thought he’d read something about a quarry in the area — maybe they were built as residences for quarry workers?  I preferred to think they were put up by an early twentieth-century utopian community:

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The truth, of course, was much more straight forward: the National Park used to lease the land.  The cottages provided a cool retreating place for people in the region wanting to escape the heat in the summer (and permanent residences for some).  And some people still use them as holiday homes.

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Sturtevant Camp was also built in the 1890s as a summer retreating spot — the cabin we stayed in dated back to the turn of the century!

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The Lodge

Mr. N and I typically only do day hikes, so it was really nice to hike into the camp, have dinner (we packed some bahm mis, but they have a full communal kitchen!), hang out, and hike again in the morning.  While the first 1.5 miles of our hike in was fairly busy as it led to the popular Sturtevant Falls, once we got onto the smaller 2.5 mile trail that took us to camp, we barely saw a soul.


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We had some nice views at the top:


And I finally learned that the little flowers that catches my eye every time we do a hike out here are California buckwheat:



And we had an equally pleasant walk back down this morning:






It was enough to leave my feeling pretty tired by the time we got home late this morning, so we’ve had a quiet day at home … the perfect end to the weekend (that’s, let’s be honest, barely ending … we’re working tomorrow but then it’s July 4!)


And now, the real waiting for my visa commences … we’ve done everything we can, so now we wait and keep fingers and toes crossed that it arrives by August 9.  It’s hard to accept that it’s completely out of our hands now, so I’ve laid in some supplies to help keep me distracted:

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I couldn’t pass on The Woolly Thistle‘s last offering of Hole & Sons for a Tales from the Isle of Purbeck shawl.  I’m so excited to knit with this yarn (though who knows when I’ll cast on).  A few skeins of Jamieson and Smith’s Heritage Shetland wool might have sneaked into the package as well, for a Bousta Beanie!  (Because obviously, I didn’t have enough yarn.) And I got some new reading and writing goodies … plenty to keep me busy!

Hope you’ve had a brilliant weekend, whatever you’ve done!  Happy (almost) holiday weekend!

xo K



12 thoughts on “The Big Chill”

  1. Ooh, I love the looks of that light periwinkle yarn! What a great hike you had; I’ve never heard of that mountain range before but then again, my knowledge of geography really sucks. Oh, I hope your visa gets processed quickly. How stressful and unfair for you.


    1. Thanks, Stefanie, that’s very kind of you! It’s definitely a stressful time, but I’m trying to keep it in perspective. I know many others have much more difficult immigration scenarios than I do. Worst case scenario, I might have to join Mr. N in the the UK a bit later … but I’m keeping my fingers crossed for the time being that it all works out and we can move at the same time!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for stopping by and commenting, Anne! The camp was such a lovely place and the trail was really beautiful. It’s also so nice to have a little break from computers, phones, etc. (as wonderful as they can be) It made me think, if I had a bit more discipline, I’d take a day “off” from technology every weekend. Maybe once a month would be a more reasonable goal!


  2. What a perfect getaway from all the Visa stress. Positive thoughts being sent your way in regards to the Visa.
    Now back to my idea of heaven. Yarn and those most ideal location- that’s the dream. Your pictures are stunning.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Yes, I’ve heard the visa application process is absolutely awful. I’m sorry you’re in the middle of it right now, but I will keep everything crossed that it goes smoothly & you get a decision when you need it.

    This sounds like a lovely getaway, though. It’s important to take breaks when there is a lot of stress in your life.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Jenni! I’m hoping it’ll all work out quickly … and if it doesn’t, well, it’ll all work out eventually, I’m sure! But you’re right, it’s great to have breaks. I was thankful I had booked this so long ago — I think I wouldn’t have had the mental energy after the application to think about organizing some kind of trip, but the fact that we’d already booked and paid spurred us on to go … then we had a great time!


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