Virgin's Guide to Burning Man

A Virgin's Guide to Burning Man can be found here.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

A Spectacular Fall

Night photo "Knapp's Castle Electrified", taken by my husband, Toby Keller.

Last night we went up to Knapp's Castle for a sunset picnic to celebrate my sister-in-law's 25th birthday. It's a gorgeous setting in the Santa Ynez mountains. The road leading up to it has fabulous views of both the ocean and Santa Barbara below on one side and of Lake Cachuma on the other. The "castle" is a ruined old property built by George Owen Knapp, founder of Union Carbide, in 1916. It was later purchased by Frances Holden in 1940, who invited her friend and world-famous opera singer, Lotte Lehman, to live in the property. But it caught fire soon afterward and was destroyed. Now it is a popular hiking destination as it has an air of mystery and sadness juxtaposed against the stunning backdrop of the Santa Ynez Valley, with Lake Cachuma below and exquisite sunsets above.

Excited we were, and thus, heavily laden with food, pots, blankets, and barbecue equipment, we trekked out to the spectacular spot. Little did we realize how treacherous our endeavor could be!

I happened to be carrying a pot full of boiled potatoes. I was trying to navigate a particularly steep little spot in the trail, when all of a sudden, zzyuuupp!, I slipped and fell plunk on my bum! It was a quite spectacular fall, yet ever so efficient! I barely knew what had happened before I was jolted on my ass, straight up through my head. I blinked. Then for lack of any other reasonable response, started laughing like mad.

I figure I must have slipped on some round stones in the path, because my legs had flown straight out from under me, and I landed as if I had just planned to sit down in the path. I even managed to not discombobulate the pot I carried. It was perfectly safe and sound, though I did splash potato water all over my arms and pants.

Unfortunately, as the night progressed, it became increasingly difficult to sit down on my poor thwarted tailbone. But after a little Icy Hot, a couple of Ibuprofen, and a good night's rest, it is feeling better--if a bit stiff--this morning. At least it wasn't one of those "Oh no, I am falling!" falls, where you can see it happening before your very eyes, and yet are powerless to prevent it. I much prefer to be surprised by my spills and tumbles.

P.S. For those who were following the "Waiting for the Other Shoe to Drop" storyline, the proverbial other shoe has dropped. While we didn't talk about the situation quite overtly, the other person let me know in their own way that my message had been heeded and no ill-feeling was meant. Following their lead, I showed them too that, despite the criticism, I very much care for and appreciate them, and so our little to-do came to a very sweet and satisfactory resolution.


  1. glad your tailbone is OK! I hate that bone >:c

  2. Haha, thanks! It's still a little disgruntled, but otherwise all right. It was worth it though for such a fun birthday celebration!! Going up to Knapps' was really a great idea!

  3. (Semi)unrelated question- What is the "light painting" that Toby Does? How does he get the swirlies in his pictures? I know, I'm so technical...

  4. He leaves the camera open for several minutes for a long exposure, and while the shutter is open he walks, dances, climbs, and jumps across the scene with a light of some sort. The one he used in this photo was an LED head lamp. So it's kind of half photography, half performance art. :)

  5. I've always wondered how they do that! I'm glad the situation worked out good for both of you.

  6. Thank you. Definitely me too. :)


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