Random thoughts and bits of life of a coffee loving artist

Saturday, February 25, 2017

And so it begins

"Gathering Good Luck"
Watercolors on paper
By Dawn Star Wood
With the end of February quickly approaching, I would have to admit that I feel as if I've been inside a whirlwind as of late. Projects of various types have been coming along my path and I can'e help but feel a bit mesmerized. As I stated in Getting back into the groove, I had entered into a Fine Arts competition that was being hosted by the Elk Grove Fine Arts Center. With 5 categories covering water media, oil/acrylic/mixed media, pastel/drawing, photography, and three dimensional, there will be plenty of creative and vibrant pieces to see. This year's judge happens to be D. Oldham Nearth, KVIE Art Auction Curator and owner of Archival Framing and Gallery
News about that has actually been quite positive, having received word that my piece
Gathering Good Luck had been accepted into the competition. With the pending judging of the various entries I can't help but be a bit nervous, wondering if I will be placed or not. Of course the reveal of winners will not occur until the night of the Artist Reception scheduled for March 4th. 

5th Annual Open Fine Art Competition
March 4th, 2017
Reception 4-7pm 

Elk Grove Fine Arts Center
9080 Elk Grove Blvd.     Elk Grove, CA 95624

3rd District (Books 1 - 3)
by Stacy J. Garrett
Of course I am not being idle while waiting in anticipation for the night of the reception. Quite the opposite, actually. Recently my dear friend, author Stacy J. Garrett and I have joined forces to work on the creation of an art book which will be tied into her current novel series, The 3rd District. I have worked with Stacy on other projects in the past  such as the cover to her book Shadow on the Sea so when she approached me with the idea, I found myself in a place to say yes. So as her series approaches the last couple of novels, we aim to give it a bit of a fanfare ending to wrap everything up. Currently there are 3 books of the series that have been released and is available Amazon. 

Website (3rd District): StacyJGarrett.com/3rdDistrictSeries 
Amazon: S.J.Garrett

Monday, January 30, 2017

Getting back into the groove

(Left) Little Red Riding Hood
(Right) Traditional Ukrainian Beauty
Watercolors on Paper
by Dawn Star Wood
Having been pulling myself out of a 2, almost 3 year long bough of depression which affected the quality of my work and the amount of things I had produced, the Black & White show (hosted by the Allied Ceramic Arts Institute) was my first statement of "Hey, I'm still alive and I'm ready to take life by the horns". I had let so many possibilities and opportunities pass me by but I was not about to miss any more. With the reminder to myself that I need to take care of myself first, I have been striving to become healthier and also reclaim what I have lost. 

What is the plan? 

Gathering Good Luck
Watercolors on Paper
By Dawn Star Wood
- Used as entry possibility for the EGFAC Fine Arts Competition
First off, I know that even the best laid out plans may not end up going quite the way you expect. So with this in mind, I have to remind myself to be flexible. The Black & White show was to just getting my feet wet but certainly the first steps that I'm taking in the direction that I'm wanting to be in. The second step was entering into a local Fine Arts competition. The Elk Grove Fine Arts Center is currently having a Call to Artists to enter with the cut off being February 4th. After having seeking out advice from several friends who all encouraged me to do so, I entered and am now keeping my fingers crossed that I will be accepted into it. There is another Call to Artists being put on for a competition hosted by Pence Gallery in Davis, California with a cut off date of February 5th but with it requiring 10 to 25 image examples of work that you have produced within the last 5 years, I decided it best to not apply for that one. Though I would have loved the chance to try, I do not have enough work on hand that I could confidentially use as possible entries for it. 

Mind you that this does not mean that I will be giving up on entering future competitions. Not in the slightest. Actually that comes to the second goal I have made for myself which is to produce more quality work and discover more competitions that I could attempt to get into while also providing the same quality to my customers. Would also like to try to be a part of more shows in the coming months but I need to remind myself that I need to pace myself in order not to burn myself out. So I must remember to breathe, eat healthier, and take breaks instead of constantly pushing myself into exhaustion to work on things.

Yup. Taking each day at a time but it's wonderful to discover the drive and hunger to create once again. 

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Kicking off the New Year

2017 has started off with a bit of excitement for me - participating in the annual Black & White Show. It was surprising to be asked if I was interested but I jumped at the opportunity to get myself out there again and regain confidence in myself after a bumpy 2 years. Having it's origin with Blue Moon Gallery, curator Carol Brewer has been able to bring the annual tradition with her to her new position with the Allied Ceramic Arts Institute (ACAI). With only black, white and grey tones able to be used, participating artists are challenged to create works of art in their respective mediums. This year, 30+ artisans were able to participate in the show with a wide range of materials used and subject matters covered. 

Little Red Riding Hood
Watercolors on Paper (7.5 x 9.5 inches)
The first work that I ended up creating had the simplistic title of Little Red Riding Hood. Based off of a photo from a Japanese Lolita style photoshoot with the same theme, I was drawn to the innocence in the model's face and the subtle detailing of not only the fabric which made up her outfit but the way her hair was braided. Even the forested background had just the right balance of detail and blur which complimented the model herself. I enjoyed the concept of having a different ethnicity portraying such a fond childhood fairy tale so I knew I wanted to work on the piece. I couldn't help but fall in love with how the strands of hair gave more life and texture to the surprising amount of gentle curves in the piece. Surprisingly, what actually gave me the most trouble trying to present in the piece while working was the subtle vine pattern in the fabric of her cap and cowl. Within the original image, the fabric was (of course) red with a mix of faintly lighter and darker red pattern. It was one of those moment where, if you quickly glanced, you would get a sense of it being there but wouldn't know exactly what it was until you looked closer. It took me several tries before I was able to properly show what I wanted. 

Traditional Ukrainian Beauty
Watercolors on Paper (7.5 x 9.5 inches) 
Traditional Ukrainian Beauty became the second piece I had created for the show. Wandering through various photos depicting traditional dress of women from around the world, I was originally struck by the vibrant colors in the photo. How would I be able to depict the beauty I was seeing in black and white? That is when I realized that I should show it through the textures and details that was being shown. With the mindset of texture, I was focused on the softness of the headpiece and the contrast of the surprisingly hard lines of the ribbons with their delicate floral patterns. As I worked, I couldn't help but find the serenity of the woman's face making me think of some depictions of the Virgin Mary. Of course this led to the chain of thoughts of creating a series of Mary of various ethnicity, but that is for another time. I'm actually quite pleased with the end results of this particular piece.

Both pieces are currently available at the Black & White show so if you are in the Greater Sacramento area, I encourage you to stop by ACAI to check out the show. If you have any questions about the show, please contact Carol Brewer at carol.brewer@acaistudios.com .

Show Continues - January 25th - February 11th 2017

Gallery Hours: Wed thru Fri. noon-4pm,
Saturday 11am - 3pm or by appointment

ACAI Gallery & Studios
7425 Winding Way Fair Oaks, CA 95628
(916) 966-2453 

Thursday, December 22, 2016

I'm Still Me

There are times where it is difficult to put into words, either vocally or by way of tangible scribbles on paper, what I feel or even my thoughts. It's as if there is no force in the world that is poetic or strong enough to portray the emotions that I wish to express. So, I remain silent on many things. There is one thing, however, that I can be silent no longer on and though I think there are not enough words to accurately express what I desire, I will go forth and say the words that I know some will not understand: 

I am not Christian. 

With those four words uttered, I would like to explain that it is not that I don't believe in the teachings and philosophy of Christianity but I have felt that my calling has guided me to a path that many around me would wrongly see as evil. Even as I put into words my reasoning for stepping onto this rarely walked path, I feel a great sadness grip me. It started off as fear, not of the unknown but of how my loved ones would react when they discover what I have done. Only a very close collection of people know (my father, boyfriend, and a selected handful of close friends) and not only accept my new path but are fully supportive of my decision. With family who are Roman Catholic, Mormon, or some other form Christianity, it would be much more acceptable to open up as bisexual or pan-sexual (which I am but that is besides the point) then what I have chosen. It has not helped with the knowledge that older family members have been disowned and not even acknowledged for the simple fact that they were following a belief that the rest did not think was holy. As I thought about my decision more and more, the fear that I felt towards how the rest of my family and friends would react was slowly replaced little by little with confidence. This was greatly aided by the unending love and support that I have been given by those who have stood by me so far. 

I am Bruja. I am Vodou. 

Looking back at my life, I can see now that I was always meant to walk this path. The hints and callings have always been there but because of the fear I had of how those around me would react, I constantly denied the calling while announcing to others that I wasn't not practicing magic or making altars. I would claim that I just liked decorating or how the light of the candles played on the items that I had strategically placed which I silently found peace in. Each uttered statement of denial left a bitter taste in my mouth, unanswered questions in my mind, and a heartbreaking ache in my chest. As I grew up, I couldn't understand why I felt such things and why each time I said "No I'm not a witch" or "No I'm not practicing --" brought me to tears. It was as if I was destroying myself each time I said it. Still, I stayed silent about the pain I felt. By college, I called myself a 'Naturalistic Christian'. It was a way to rationalize that I still believed that there was a god but incorporated the other various things I believed in while at the same time letting people know that I didn't want to be associated with the bigotry and two-faced people that I kept meeting in the church who claimed to be Christian without actually following the teachings of love, peace and understanding. Looking at those statements now, it was as if I was looking at the other side of the wall through a crack in the stone, fear of what others would say if they knew still gripping me. Would my family disown me? Would my friends think I was just doing something they would consider a fad? And so I continued on, silently hurting. It wasn't until after the passing of my mother two years ago, in my my period of depression, did I start to reanalyze my life. I had become shattered to myself beyond recognition though to others, at a glance, I was alright. My work was affected, my mind left in torment, and my soul was raw. I realized that to rebuild myself and move forward, I needed to figure out what made me 'ME'. So I began to pick up the pieces.  

I believe in many things. 

As I began to learn and discover myself, I felt a warmth grow inside of me. Something that helped me smile. I have been re-finding my passion and remembering what my original goal for my work. While on this journey, the years of fear and doubt about myself have finally started to be replaced with confidence and love. I know that I'm only at the beginning of my travels along this path and still have much more to discover. With pieces of my broken self being put back together, I finally could truly appreciate kintsugi where Japanese artisans repair broken pottery with gold. I was given a chance to go forth and proudly show my character and what I believed in. Even with this, I am thankful that those who I have opened up to so far about this have been supportive of it. As far as my family, I hold the hope that one day they will celebrate in the joy that I have found. I know that there are so many other things that those around me have been trying to urge me towards, either to fit the preconceived idea they had of me or because they feel that they know best. To those, I can not apologize and have those words actually be meaningful. No longer can I continue trying to please everyone. Not without eliminating the essence of what I hold dear. To those who think I will change, this metamorphosis that I am going through is not something to be feared. Everything will be alright. Why? 

I am still and always will be Me. 

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

A Dream's Message

It is not often that I have a dream that causes me to be unable to return to the land of sleep and even fewer have ever prompted me to wake up in the wee hours of the day to write myself a note. But that is how I found myself at 5:15 this morning, peering out one eye trying to look at my phone as I look for the quick memo app. to give myself a note. The scene still playing in my head and the words I had spoken still ringing in my subconscious, I had a feeling that I needed to write it all down once I pulled my weary body from bed. 

I'm not too sure where the dream actually started but at the start point of my memory, I was walking through one of the upper floors of an office building. Having a post-Modern appearance, the interior was full of cool greys and blues, clean lines, the carpet was a dark blue with a subtle pattern to it so as to not be overwhelming, and there were framed images along the walls that appeared to be posters and advertisements. To be fair, it was a nice office space and I took the time to look at some of the images that were on display. As I turn a corner, I started seeing them. Girls. Young women. Women ranging from 17 to 27 all wearing stylish designer clothes and shoes, hair done just right, nails finely manicured, and all seeming to have a sense of fear and hopelessness as they chatted with each other.

Now normally I would just keep walking but first off, I don't know how I got there and second, there was just something that didn't feel right. So, I started talking to a few of them to figure out where I was and what was going on. Come to find out, I was in a modeling agency that specialized in fashionable product advertisement. Alright so that answered the question of 'where' I was but the 'how' was still a mystery for me. Eventually, after speaking with yet another of the girls who seemed to be stressing out as she wrote a note on a planner, I looked at her and said
"You know... at some point you're going to have to ask yourself if what you're doing and what everything it's cost you is worth it. If you say 'no', don't be afraid to walk away." After saying that and a little more advice, I continued walk a little bit further. I noticed that I was not feeling sadness or pity for the situation I was finding myself stumbling into. I was feeling anger. Anger of how every woman I spoke to or overheard was being treated. As I ended up looking as a large poster for some Christmas product, I started noticing a sense of tension and dread coming from those around me and murmurings coming from behind me. Slowly turning around, I saw her.

Walking with egocentric confidence, a woman perhaps in her early to mid 50s wearing the latest in fashion, alligator print high heeled shoes that had such a point to the toe that they could be classified as lethal weapons if she were to ever kick someone in the kidneys, hair with enough product in it that a hurricane may be the only thing to mess it up, and jewelry that could rival the jewels of the royal families of Europe. Just her presence demanded attention and oozed authority. It didn't take her long to notice me since I was basically the white elephant in the room - beat up hiking boots caked in mud, jeans, tshirt over a tank-top with a long vest, satchel that had a few charms hanging off of it and my hair having that 'hippy-wild child' look to it. If I sneezed, I have a feeling I would cause a cloud of dust to form. Oh the glare the woman gave me as she started yelling. Just from the reactions of the young women around us as they scurried away or clung together as they pressed themselves against the walls for safety, I could tell this has happened before. Finally, I just couldn't take it any more, took a step forward and slapped her hard enough that I left a burning red hand print on the side of her face. 

Just the sound of the slap echoing in the halls sent everyone into silence. Both from the action of the woman actually being struck and from the sound. As she stared at me in complete disbelief and held her cheek gingerly, I found myself speaking calmly. 

"I know you'll probably call the guards or police on me but at this moment, I don't give a flying fuck. You, and the entire industry you're a part of should be ashamed of yourselves. This here--" I gesture to the Christmas poster near me, "is a prime example why I can't stand people like you." I look at some of the girl and ask them if they thought it was beautiful and several nod their heads. "Normally I would agree with you but there is one flaw. I see things differently. Yes, this is for that necklace around her neck but I don't see that. What do I see? I see the work of 1, perhaps 3 seamstresses who have spent years of training and working from 7 in the morning to 2 the following morning for weeks to create that one dress. I see the work of artists who have spent 4 to 10 years in school wracking up several thousand dollars of loan debts to create masterpieces that someone is going to overlook as they look at this image. I see the skill of a photographer who has painstakingly made sure that the lighting is just right so that the jewelry sparkle and the subtle shimmer of the dress to be picked up, taking hundreds of images then spending hours looking through each and every one. What I don't see? The model. Yes she's there but under 7 layers of makeup and then retouched by someone with an editing program, I don't see her. Her personality is not showing. This, my dears, is a doll.You are not dolls. You are individuals with personalities and if you can't let the world know who you are through an image then either find a photographer that can bring that out in an image or get out of this place because this is not where you belong." 

As I started to wake up, I found myself thinking about my friends who are professional photographers and those who are models. Those who are models, most are not what the fashion industry would think of as beautiful. Some have 'flaws' - largely curvy, sharp angular facial features, taller then average height, body hair, tattoos, shaved head. But that is what I find beautiful about them. They have personalities that draw people to them and show a confidence in their bodies that I find wonderful. Those who are photographers, they are able to find a way to bring that confidence the models have and bring it out in the images. Even if someone is in costume, if they are able to show that person's personality and have everything work, that is what I call wonderful. Not only do I admire the work but when if comes to advertising, it makes me that more willing to want that product. Why? Because of the partnership of the model and photographer. I am lucky enough to know such talented people and to them, I would like to say that I appreciate what you do. 

Friday, July 8, 2016

Staying Creative

Recently I've been doing a small collaboration with a good friend of mine which has actually been positive not only for me but for those who have been keeping up with the project. She runs a page on Facebook called Blessings, a daily prayer altar where she creates altar set ups with messages of encouragement, peace, love and healing to the people following the page. A true inspiration, to be sure and is always a pleasure to read. She also has another page called Ravens Nest Gifts which I help her to update which mostly focuses on handmade crafts created by her and a mutual friend of ours. Having a bit of a hiatus from the page due to being busy with her day job, I ended up asking if I could bounce an idea off of her as a way to keep her followers engaged while also tying in Ravens Nest with Blessings. The result? Muse Altars.

Muse Altars (also known as Positive Thoughts to do Art By ) is an album of images on the Ravens Nest Gifts page which gives a positive thought, words of advice, and helpful hints to creative people of all genres. I set up the images as a type of altar mostly to the idea of a creative individual's muse(s), each image having a theme or particular message to go along with it. All of the captions are based off of my own personal experiences and things I've learned the hard way that I figure I would share just in case someone else within the creative community was going through the same thing so they would know that they weren't alone. The statement with the album is  "Even when not physically creating, there is always inspiration around us. So during those times of having an art block and feeling as if you've lost the direction of where you're going with a piece, I offer these little altars to your muses."

To the Sailors & Mermaids...
Here are just a few of the Muse Altars that are already part of the Positive Thoughts to do Art By album which has many more to come:

To the sailors and mermaids within our creative community - 
Watch for Subtle Messages. Very much like the seas and ecosystems of the Earth, the world of art is very much affected by some of the tiniest events. Listen to the tiny voices of your muses if they are trying to warn you of possible dangers when setting up or participating in exhibitions or even gathering information while networking. This is also true in concerns of what subject matters you are planning on creating. Even within the seas of creativity, there's hidden dangers but there are safe ports and hidden alcoves out there as well. 

To those feeling the sting of negative words or actions - 
Don't Bottle it Up...
Don't Bottle Yourself Up. We have all heard the negative comments dealing with our work. The "this looks horrible" and "oh I could do that" comments that regrettably echo in our minds and hearts long after they've been said. We find ourselves retreating and pulling our creativity into little boxes. Don't. Such comments are only a reflection of the one saying them. Constructive criticism should not have within it "this sucks" or any variation there of. Constructive criticism should assist us in improving or give us another way of thinking to do something. So don't contain or ignore your muses. And those of us commenting on an artist or craftsman's work, pause a moment and think of what is about to be said first. Let us not harm another and their muses with words that would hurt our own. 


To those who have felt as if their muses have been taken away from them - 
Fight. There are times when we all have reached a point where it's not just a simple case of Artist Block/Writer's Block/ect.. Its that feeling of sudden absence of creativity. Most commonly we know it as Burn Out. It could be caused by depression, constant worry, or just pushing yourself and your muse to the point where you just no longer hear their tiny voices. Take a moment and pull yourself away from the mechanical world we have. From the constant grind. Quiet your mind and your heart, be it through meditation, walks, or even a small trip into the wilderness. Recharge. It is not something that will happen overnight so be patient but eventually you will be able to hear the voices of your muses once again. The best way to fight for them is to take measures to fight for your well being. 

To those who find themselves drawn to art from the past -
Old Ways...
Find out all you can. Sometimes our muses try to nudge us towards the crafts and arts from our forebarers. Many of the old ways are being lost and the amount of those who still know or are learning is few and far between. There is much that we can learn from the old crafts of carving, widdling, glass blowing, embroidery, painting and even cloth dyeing. If you feel the tug and encouraging whispers from your muses when you look at such a piece, take heed and ask questions to the creator of the piece. Learn all that you can. And if you feel compelled to try such a trade, then be patient as you delve into it. 

We are Muses...
There are 2 posts in the current collection that seem to mean the most to me among all of the others. One in which is a reminder to myself and others that we inspire others and the other letting people know that it's okay to be upset. Between the pair, they have struck cords with many of my friend's followers and have both received the most response. Just knowing that I could help with making a positive ripple of change in the lives around me is perhaps the most rewarding with this particular project and I must thank my friend for allowing me to share these thoughts on her page. 

To everyone who wonders about themselves -
We are Muses. We are such interesting beings. Within ourselves, we hold access to multiple worlds, knowledge, and are home to our own personal muses. What we don't take in consideration is that we inspire those around us. We are muses. We murmur encouragement to those who are trying to create, whisper warnings when we worry about their well being, and help teach them when they wish to create in ways they hadn't before. So to the muses within each of us and to the muses we are for others, thank you. 

To those who are feeling anger with the current events of the world and find it difficult to concentrate- 
It's Alright...
It's Alright. It's alright to feel upset over things which have left your heart aching and your soul in tatters. You are not alone. But do not let yourself be consumed by hate and point fingers. That does no good and not only poisons ourselves and those around us, but also our muses.

Our canvases are our prayer mats. Our brushes and tools of trade are our mantras. It may hurt but we must change the energy of our rage into messages of love. You are not alone with your tears. Our muses weep as well but are trying to direct us to make positive changes. It is alright to take a moment to yourself but do not ignore the gentle whispers of our creative sources. They too need to heal and by doing so, more beauty will bubble forth. It will be alright and remember that you are not alone.

Thursday, May 12, 2016

An Adventure, No Matter the Length

Tall Ship Days @ Coos Bay, OR
Day 3 [Conclusion]

Though I was still up for more adventuring, when we woke up at 6:30 in the morning I could tell that in the short period that we had been traveling that it was a bit more intense on my companions then we originally anticipated. For those wondering what I mean, normally when we travel up to Washington state, we take I-5 and it takes us 2 days to get there. Yes we miss a LOT of things along the way and don't get a chance to explore but the journey is relatively quick. The route that we had taken up to that point was, though short in appearance on a map, felt twice as long due to the constant twists and turns along with only being able to go 10 to 45mph. Due to this, it took us 2 days just to get to Oregon. So collectively we agreed that for this time around we should cut across Oregon, catch I-5 and head back down to California. Though internally just a smidgen disappointed that we had to cut the trip short, I was glad that this time around we had no plans to begin with and that I got to see things that I hadn't before.

7:53am - Coos Bay, OR
Tug Boats Awaiting Repairs @ Coos Bay, OR

Checking out of the hotel we were at, we grabbed something for breakfast along with some gas but there was one thing that I was determined to do before we left. I had discovered that Coos Bay had a couple of ships in their harbor for their Tall Ships Days. The sign that was up had said that the historical vessels would only be there until May 15th so I wasn't about to miss the opportunity to take at least a few pictures of them along with the various tug boats that were available. So of course I ventured around the pier armed with my camera and took as many pictures as I could before we piled into the vehicle and made our way. The plan was to cut across the state from our general location over to I-5.

9:47am - Sutherlin, OR
Cliff side Vegetation 

Jokes of course occurred as did the battle with the radio to find something to listen to which wouldn't end up having a ton of static due to our mostly remote location. We couldn't help but be amused over our uncanny ability to stumble across yet another batch of road work along the way. Of course I took the opportunity while being at a stand still to take a few pictures of the plant life next to us before we had to move along. After a scenic drive along the Umpqua River, watching the morning sun filter through the leaves of the trees along the way then roaming the rolling hills and passing through small communities, we eventually reached Sutherlin. Topping off the tank and stretching our limbs, we checked the map just to be sure we were on track with our journey before getting onto I-5 while aiming for the California border. Along the way, we marveled at the amount of snow on one of the peeks we were passing. We couldn't tell if it was White Rock Mountain or Battle Mountain but it was quite lovely.

12:42pm  - Californian Border

Cliff side Vegination 2
We've entered California several times before from both Oregon and Nevada so we were prepared for the usual list of questions: Do you have any produce? Are you bringing in any plants from another state? Do you have any drugs? Do you have any weapons? You know, the usual line up of inquiries
before they allow you to pass through the border into the state. I'm not quite sure if we caught the guy on an off day or what but all he did was look at our plates, told us to have a nice day and let us through. The literal interaction with the man was maybe 15 seconds, if that. So onward we went, though collectively confused. We joked that it was because we were Californians and he was just welcoming back one of his own. It wasn't long before we saw the familiar majestic form of Mt. Shasta. It had been quite some time since we had seen that much snow on its peak so we were actually quite thrilled with the site. Of course, like in usual Californian fashion, we quickly ended up in traffic as crews worked on repairing the roads before the Summer vacationers began their trek to our more northern neighbors.

2:55pm - Redding, CA

Nearing the Californian Border
There is a joke that we have whenever coming back from a trip and that is whenever we do return, the state welcomes us by being on fire. With unseasonable warm temperatures as we made our decent through the valley, we were greeted by a fire near one of the towns we were passing. Of course one of us had to go ahead and make the comment of "Ah, mother's milk" as they breathed in deeply. This was of course greeted by a round of laughter and comments about how the state wasn't even in its official Summer month yet and it was already catching fire. Reaching Redding to fill up on gas, we realized that by the time we hit Sacramento, we would be hitting the evening traffic. That was when the feeling of dread began to fill us since we knew what kind of mayhem we would face once we entered the area.

5:15pm - Sacramento, CA

Mt. Shasta - Shasta, CA
Just as we feared, once we reached downtown Sacramento, we were absorbed into the blob that was the evening rush hour traffic. Honestly I have no idea why it's even called rush hour when we were
literally sitting in our vehicle inching along while large expanses of the highway was at nearly a stand still. If it was any other time of the day, we would make it back to Elk Grove in about half an hour. Due to the traffic, it took us over an hour to even make it to the Elk Grove city limits. Opting to grab dinner since none of us had the energy to cook, we returned home and relaxed from our trip. Of course, we're making plans for future trips but that will wait for a later time.