I decided to hit the road again and seek out another vacation spot. This time, signs of volcanic activity brewed almost everywhere I looked--mud bubbled in circular pits, two-hundred-degree water shot into the air with high velocity, relieving pressure beneath the Earth, steam seeped from cracks in the ground. Large land animals roamed through the mist—right past my truck!
This description may conjure up images of a prehistoric age when mammoths and T-rexs loomed about, but it’s actually Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming, Montana, and Idaho. Hot springs, geysers, waterfalls, and wildflowers are the backdrop from the largest land animals in America, bison, as well as elk, deer, pronghorn, wolves, coyotes, grizzly and black bears.
Yellowstone is known for Old Faithful geyser, but it doesn’t shoot water as high as some of the others. It gives dependable eruptions every 60-90 minutes 24/7. Other geysers may shoot water 300 feet in the air, but you never know when—the eruptions could be months or years apart. The hikes are spectacular, too.
Enough with the geology lesson. The park is amazing! I loved it! And another thing, some people camp and bring their dogs; however, many of the hot springs and geyser viewing does NOT allow dogs—for their safety. I left Reckless with Chanel while I was away. She chewed up one of Chanel’s flip-flops, but oh, well.
By the way, Reno Red 2 (no title yet) is in the works, so if you haven’t read my first book, get busy! Now, enjoy the pics from your favorite vampire.
You'd expect a vampire to vacation at an exceedingly hot and desolate place with points of interest named Deadman Pass, Funeral Peak, and Coffin Peak, and I did. That place is Death Valley.
I didn't bring Reckless along this trip. Summer temps in Death Valley have topped a sweltering 134. It's no surprise how Devil's Golf Course got the name.
Some cool facts about Death Valley include:
Badwater Basin is the lowest elevation in North America at 282 feet below sea level. The water is very salty…not poisonous like you'd imagine.
It is home to Devil’s Hole pupfish, rare creatures only found there. Yes, fish in the desert.
A few volcanic craters are at this National Park, most notably Ubehebe Crater.
Despite sounding like a bleak hellhole, beauty is everywhere if you take the time to look. That principle can be applied to more than Death Valley. Below are pictures of Zabriskie Point, Golden Canyon, and Artist's Palette.
Reckless and I made it through Thanksgiving without many mishaps. Harry and Rosemarie invited all the spectres over for Thanksgiving dinner. Caleb, Ursula, Reckless, and I attended, but Hunter and Chynna were out of town at a family reunion.
Of all the minor mishaps, Reckless stole a turkey leg and two biscuits. Did I mention the food was on Ursula's plate? OOPS. haha.
Ursula was as sparkly as ever. Who knew you could actually find a glittery orange shirt? She was friendly to me, which made sitting next to her not as awkward. Still awkward. Especially after my puppy ate her meal...twice. I also found out something about Caleb's family that I hadn't heard before--but I'll tell you later. Supposedly it's spilled in book 2.
Speaking of books--of course--I am excited to tell you all that Reno Red Reckless is now available in paperback!!! It's super cheap, too. What a great stocking stuffer for CHEAP! Although I'd love everyone to read about my adventures, the book is recommended for 17+ because I have a potty mouth. I admit it. It didn't really kick in until the 1920s, but once it started, there was no turning back. I'm working on it though.
Hold on, I have to get my flip-flop out of Reckless' mouth.
I'm back. So, I've plugged my book. Now, I want to plug another book that will help people around the world get resources that they need, namely mosquito netting. Some proceeds of The Rabbit Hole, an anthology of weird stories, will go to the Against Malaria Foundation to buy netting. Get a book, cross a gift off your list, and help someone all at the same time.
That's all for now. I have to go retrieve another flip-flop from Reckless. Have a great week!
Pictures are worth a thousand words, so I'll keep my writing short so you can enjoy some of the awesome places that I've visited recently. I toured throughout Nevada with stops in Las Vegas, Boulder City, Reno (haha yeah) and Tahoe. Enjoy! Oh, and if you haven't checked out my book, Reno Red: Reckless, what are you waiting for? A cup of coffee is more expensive than my book. If you like my pictures, leave a comment!
I don’t really attend dinner parties. As a vegan vampire, I only need to drain a juicy beet for nourishment, but I accepted the offer from my friends Harry and Rosemary to go to dinner at their house. The rest of the Church people group were going to be there. If you haven’t read my story, Reno Red: Reckless, I’ll fill you in on the Church people. The group of six has varied religious beliefs and range in age from twenty-two to seventy something. They occasionally gather to talk about religion—at least, that’s what they want people to think. It’s partially true, however; I won’t give you a spoiler about what they REALLY do.
Despite my special diet, Chynna made an awesome gesture to bring a vegan dish to the dinner party. Reckless enjoyed a few bites of it after she dumped my plate—but that’s another story. Anyway, here’s her eggplant recipe. It sure smelled great, and everyone else enjoyed it!
Chynna’s Vegan Eggplant Burgers
1 large eggplant
½ cup seasoned vegan breadcrumbs
½ cup shredded vegan (cheddar) cheese
1 clove garlic
2 tbsp. olive oil
½ tsp salt
¼ tsp pepper
Remove the skin from the eggplant and cut into 1-inch chunks. Saute the garlic in olive oil in a medium frypan over medium heat for about a minute (so it doesn’t burn) and add the eggplant chunks. Saute for about 10 minutes until soft. If you put a lid on the frypan for about 5 minutes, it will help to steam the eggplant softer. Take off the heat and cool for 10 minutes.
Add the eggplant, breadcrumbs, cheese shreds, salt and pepper in a food processor. Blend until mixed but not soupy. Form the mixture into round patties (hamburger sized) and place on a cookie sheet lined with wax paper. Let the burgers harden in the fridge for about a half hour.
Cook the burgers in a medium frypan (either with a little oil or spray the pan so the burgers won’t stick) over medium heat. You may need to flip them a few times to get them solid, but be careful on the flip!
The burgers pair well with a vegan bun. Toppings can include vegan French fried onions and barbeque sauce for a tangy burger or lettuce, tomato, and cheese with ketchup for a traditional burger.
Of course, once you make the recipe, Chynna says you may want to adjust the spices (or add spices) and play with the level of breadcrumbs to get the burgers the consistency you like.