Creating Magic

May your day be sprinkled with pixie dust

Day 9: When I went down to the valley … July 26, 2014

Filed under: Faerie Dust & Whimsy,Mother Nature — Faerie Magic @ 1:10 pm

As magnificent as my trip has sounded to everyone … it was not without its challenges … most of which occurred directly after the coming down off of Half Dome.  Although I do not typically choose to share some of my personal challenges, I think maybe these might be helpful to others in the future who might not be such avid backpacker/campers … I, too, am a beginner in this area.

WARNING: Some content is meant for ADULTS ONLY!

As we headed down the mountain and were making our 3 mile trip back to Little Yosemite Valley and our campsite with the intention of packing up and heading all the way back to our original starting point from the day before … a storm, which had been brewing in the distance, a storm, which up until this day didn’t reach the valley until 3:00 p.m. … decided … on this day to greet us early.  Sometimes it isn’t so great being the first one back at camp!  But that is besides the point … I was.  I began to break down my gear, take the rain fly off, lay my things on the ground … WHEN…. a deluge of water began to pour from the sky!

All of my gear, my pack, my clothes, my sleeping bag, tent … all drenched! UGH! … I emptied my backpack of what water I could and stored it in the bear box and ran promptly into Lindsay, the assistant guide’s tent.  We waited and waited and waited and waited for the monsoon to pass.  I got colder and colder and colder and became sad knowing that I was wet and cold and had no dry clothes to change into at this point either even once the rain stopped.  CRAP!  AND  we still had to hike 6 miles from this point back down to Yosemite Valley with our 30 pound (now 40 pound packs with the water) …

Two hours later, rain slowed enough for us to pack up, everyone emerged.  I squished as much water from all my gear as I could and gathered water drenched clothes and pushed my water engorged sleeping back back into its now too tiny home filled with remnants of mud from the flooded campsite.  We made our way to the river to restock our water packs when one of the other participants and her wife looked at me and said, “Shannon, you look really cold and really hungry.”  I denied it, but they were right.  Pegha said, “Oh no!  You cannot hike back like that.  You will get hypothermia.”  Pegha took off her now dry rain pants and handed them to me to put on.  I took off my drenched hiking pants, rung them out and slung them over my backpack.  Sirie, Pegha’s wife, took off her dry, warm, long-sleeved shirt and told me to put it on after taking off my own long-sleeve water-logged shirt.   AHHHH … so much better … it is nice when you receive help especially when it is from people who don’t know you that well but as humans, know that you could get sick and so step in to be of service!  At that point they fed me a bowl of hot beans and rice (which although sweet and tasty and nourshing would later come back to HAUNT me!) … I know your curious … I did say this particular post was full of ADULT content … I guess you presumed Nudity, Sex, Profanity … Yes, No, Yes … As you have see the nudity part from the story above…. Pegha and Sirie also put a enzyme tablet into my water bag to re-hydrate me …

6 miles back … all that once was UP UP UP was now DOWN DOWN DOWN … Around mile 4 … I begun to realize that there were certain things on the trip that if nothing went wrong, my equipment was perfect BUT if challenges occurred, my equipment, not the best for this type of trip.  I rather quickly collected a list in my head of what I would need to change out for another trip of this nature.

1.  Hiking shoes:  MINE:  Good condition, broken in … wonderful for the hikes I’ve done

NEW:  Hiking Boots! with ankle support … by the last two miles downhill my ankles were so sore, I admit, I was crying … most people who know me know I don’t like to show my weaknesses … at this point in our group though I was by myself with some of the group ahead and some behind.

2. Backpack:  MINE:  Good support, good waist band, good harness and steel frame.

NEW:  Backpackers pack where all the equipment fits inside the frame with nothing loaded on the outside and is waterproof!

3.  Hiking Poles:  MINE:  Adjustable with spring action (Thank you Sally!)

NEW:  Hiking poles adjustable with clips instead of a turning screw mechanism

4.  Cooking Equip:  ME:  None

NEW:   A small portable Jet Boil … many of our campers had these small portable apparatus’ and I became jealous after deciding I wanted some hot tea to warm up with.

5.  Rain Gear:  MINE:  Rain Jacket – single layer

NEW:  Waterproof Rain Jacket and Pants with double layer insulation!

Okay, okay … so now I know!  Atleast I survived in order to learn what I did well with and what I could do differently … that’s Life right?

So at this point in the last mile, with my body warmimg up, the beans and rice cooking in my intestines and the enzymes in the water rehydrating me … well you can guess … maybe … I begun avidly to pray to GOD …. “Please don’t let me shit myself on this trail … Yes a bear does shit in the woods … But I don’t want to …”   My prayers were partially answered … PARTIALLY …

We made it back to Yosemite Valley and now I needed to find lodging.  I was supposed to camp one more night, but as you might recall, all my gear is wet and gross.  I drove 90 minutes west to Buckmeadows Lodge and hope one, there was a room and two, a restroom cuz now my intestines are not happy.  I found a room! Yes! and as soon as I stepped in the room, well … lets just say … I was 20 Feet from Stardom! …I am not proud but at this point, I was grateful for a toilet, a tub, a restaurant next door with hot food and a comfy warm bed to crawl into before the drive home the next day.

As you have noticed this blog post has NO photos … I didn’t think you wanted that much information!

I also want you to know that success is not without its hard journeys and shit!

Enough of that …. Now … for some more pretty pics on my journey back to Tucson …..

That’s the NEXT and LAST Post form this adventure!






Day 6, 7 & 8: To Half Dome and Beyond! (No kidding!) – PART ONE July 23, 2014

Filed under: Faerie Dust & Whimsy,Mother Nature — Faerie Magic @ 6:50 pm

If I had a jet pack like Buzz Lightyear, I probably would have used it if I had known how crazy hard the hike was going to be!  It’s probably  better I didn’t know ahead of time.  Well … are you wondering if I made it out the other side?  Did I make it to the top of Half Dome?  The answers shall soon be seen.

On the morning of meeting my hiking group which was through the Yosemite Conservancy, I drove into Lower Yosemite Valley.  Upon entering the valley, I pulled over and was greeted by the Stone Gatekeeper who stood in the middle of the stream.  He called himself George.

Gateway George

I asked him if it was okay for me to take a close-up photo for my friends and family.  Although he wasn’t too enamoured of the idea, he did agree to the portrait.


After George’s photo shoot, his friend, Butterfly, showed up at the water’s edge asking politely, “May I also be in the story?”  Of course, I agreed because how can my story to Yosemite that has Unicorns not also contain Butterflies.


Once I earned George’s permission to head into the Valley of Yosemite, I thanked him and Butterfly and was awe struck as I turned the curve in my car where the view opened into a waving grass, yellow wildflower covered valley floor surrounded by enormous mountain ranges, whose names I would soon become more familiar with (and if you continue to read on…. so will you)

The Valley

The Valley Floor of Yosemite is around 3800 feet in elevation … me in the photo, at 3800 feet, oh so unaware of the hike ahead of me!  Me, blissed out in the yellow dazzling wildflowers, thanking God that it isn’t Dorthoy’s field of poppies in Wizard of Oz or I would never have completed my adventure … and aside from some ground squirrels around me, I didn’t see any Flying Monkeys either.

Valley Floor with S

I spun around in a circle to take in the view of the surrounding mountain ranges rising up around me….

Valley View  WD

The glow of shimmering lemon yellow wildflowers pushing up from the valley floor …

Valley Flowers

The first mountain to catch my eye was El Capitan, Rock Chief, rising 3000 feet from the valley floor.  He is made almost completely of granite and is a favorite mountain for rock climbers and base jumpers to scale.

El Capitan

The next peak to catch my attention from the valley floor was Sentinel Rock reaching up towards the sky to reach an elevation of 7000 feet

Sentinel Rock

Once inside the main camps for Yosemite, I headed over to find my first night’s camping space.  The Rangers showed me to Space 44 in the Upper Pines Curry Village campground.  I was the first one in our group to arrive, so what’s new there right?  I set up my tent at noon so I would have the rest of the day to explore Yosemite. I think I did a fine job of pitching and staking my tent, rain fly and all.

Camp My Tent Curry Village

One of the most important pieces of information I learned from the Rangers was BEAR BOXES, BEAR BOXES, BEAR BOXES.  All food must be stored in these bear boxes at all times except when you are actually going to be consuming your food.

Bear Box

We were even required to sign a waiver and form saying we understood the dangers of leaving our food out … and what I learned is it isn’t just food … ALL scented products like toothpaste, deodorant, lotion, hair products, bug spray, sunscreen … anything with a strong scent is attractive to a bear … which brings me to a question of what prevents a bear from attacking me in the middle of the night in my tent if I have shampooed hair, deodorized underarms with skin slathered in sunscreen and lips covered in lip balm all covered by bug spray … shouldn’t I, too, be stuffed inside the bear box???

Bear Box1

Bear Box Rules2Part Two … to follow ….





Day Five: Yosemite – Love at First Site July 17, 2014

Filed under: Faerie Dust & Whimsy,Mother Nature — Faerie Magic @ 9:53 pm

Bet you are wondering, “are there Unicorns?  did you see one?” … Just wait … you will see …

My first day of adventuring into the wilderness that is Yosemite National Park … words? … I probably shouldn’t write too much and let the photos speak for themselves … I may add some brief commentary as needed …

6:00 a.m. – a Yosemite Sunrise – Brilliant!

Sunrise over Yosemite

Hues Pink Purple Gold before the Sun shows His face …


Where 56 degrees meets the warm water from the day before … mist rising and curling …

Misty Tenaya Lake

Tenaya Lake with its curving shores bringing her water right to your feet….

Tenaya Lake2

Yosemite’s beauty surrounds you on all sides.   Above you, the clouds curl and roll with the breeze…

Sunrise and Clouds

And when you thought that only clouds can be in the sky, you find them under your feet too!

Glory Be2

And what you are fishing for in this great lake ends up sitting right in front of you.  What you thought was your imagination is suddenly real.

Meditation Spot

You may even look up in gratitude ….


Only to find the Moon starring back at you ….MoonStone

Smiling down at you

Over a stone face …

Faces of Stone

That’s when you know your surrounded …..

Lake Surrounding


Surrounded Beauty

by Love …

Lake and Cloud

So … you’re still wondering … are there Unicorns?

I’d like to think so …


And we are friends.

Unicorn and Me

Love at First Site … that’s Yosemite National Park!

I will be going off-line for the rest of my journey backpacking into the wilderness to meet Half-Dome face-to-face.  See you when I come out with more adventures!




One Day and Counting …. July 12, 2014

Filed under: Faerie Dust & Whimsy,Mother Nature — Faerie Magic @ 2:25 pm

Last training day! Woot woot!   I have been training with my 30 pound backpacking camping gear on Tumamoc Hill for the past 5 weeks.  Gettin’ ready for my journey to Yosemite National Park.  I am registered for a three day, 17 mile round-trip camping/backpacking/hiking adventure with a climb up Half Dome.

Here is a little info about Tumamoc … this is definitely NOT my website and if I were writing about it … I would change the mis-advised information about the “gently sloping” to “70% Incline that burns your booty” …

Tumamoc Hill Information

Tumamoc Hill

This is my first trip to Yosemite.  About two months ago nothing seemed to be gelling for any particular summer plans.  I spoke with the Faeries and they suggested that maybe we would just “chill” in Tucson taking some small excursions to nearby local places around Arizona.  That is when I received an email from a friend with a video link to what is called The Yosemite Project HD … attached is the link to the video I watched.

The Yosemite Project HD Video

After watching the video, I knew that’s where I wanted to go … well, of course, the Faeries were excited as well! … being a big piece of Nature and all.

I’m just prayin’ my little legs will carry me, my Faeries and my pack all the way in and back out!

My mom watched this next video about climbing the cables up Half Dome at the end of the hike … Half Dome Cables

…after watching the video, she asked me, “Has anyone ever fallen off?” … I like to tease her, although the statement was true, “Yes, mom, I’m sure there have been people who have fallen off Half Dome.”  Well, she wasn’t pleased with that answer.  I tried to alleviate some of her fear saying, “It isn’t in my plans to fall off of Half Dome if I can help it.”

Stay tuned for updates ….





Kwan Yin, Kwan Yin White Buffalo Woman …. April 21, 2012

Filed under: Faerie Dust & Whimsy,Mother Nature,Poems — Faerie Magic @ 11:28 pm

I felt quite blessed a few days ago to have seen the emodiment of Kwan Yin in this beautiful bud … She popped up to say hello and the faeries and I gathered her up and placed her on the thrown of leaves where she could easily recline.  Being such a compassionately wise woman, she had a splendid sense of humor as well … giggling as we made sure her cap created a bit of umbrellic shade so she could rest in the sunlight.


"Kwan Yin Reclines" (Photo by: Shannon Sullivan)


You see how much they resemble one another 😉

Ahhhh …. the mysteries of the Universe unfolding 😉



Ahhhhhhh ..... (Photo: Shannon Sullivan)

(Flower Photo: Shannon Sullivan

Adventures with: Sonoran Desert FAerie Dust Clan

Thank to: Our Readers)


Photo Challenge of the Week: “Hidden” October 29, 2011

Filed under: Faerie Dust & Whimsy,Mother Nature,Postaweek2011 — Faerie Magic @ 8:00 am

Hidden in this Hawk’s eye,

is the Secret of Nature’s prize ……

"Hidden" (Photo by: Shannon Sullivan)


(Photo by:  Shannon Sullivan

Adventures by:  SDFDC – Sonoran Desert Faerie Dust Clan

Thank you to:  Our Readers)


Happy Mother’s Day! Mama Tara’s Commemeration May 8, 2011

Filed under: Faerie Dust & Whimsy,Mother Nature,Spirit Speaks — Faerie Magic @ 3:35 pm

We, the SDFDC (Sonoran Faerie Dust Clan) and myself, introduced our readers to Mama Tara the Keeper of the River Resource Park through several posts.   (  and ) … she had kindly asked us to create a decorated commemorative ornament to place next to her so people know who she is as they pass by.  As a Mother Earth’s Day, I finished creating the cement stone decorated with beautiful shards of sea glass, shells and beads.

It was rough going at first … the faeries wanted to handle the pieces of glass to make the flowers but I feared for their well-being worried they might cut their delicate skin.  I gave them all their own jobs.  Twig and Gabby strung the beaded necklace into a decorative pattern.  Button, of course, placed the pretty button into the wet cement.  He jumped up and down on the button squishing it into place.  I tried to warn him not to jump to high but he fell into the cement anyway.  It took all of us to get him cleaned up so his wings wouldn’t solidify.   Belle, of course, placed the two small bells gently into the cement tinkling the bells each once before pushing them into their place.  Scout, who loves the beach, had the job of placing the seashells.

I, myself, handled the sea glass creating flowers around the border.  All of us did the stamping for the commemeration:

“In Gratitude of Mama Tara”

Here is our finished work:

"In Gratitude to Mama Tara"

We all agree that she will be quited pleased with her Mother Earth Day’s gift!


(Written by and Photo by:  Shannon Sullivan

Inspiration by:  SDFDC and Mama Tara

Thank you to:  Our Readers!)


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