Thursday, Jul. 12:
I left the CG and decided to drive over one of the Forest Service roads as a little shortcut. The distance is about the same, and the FS road is actually easier to drive on in most parts. I ran across a downed tree in the road – it was one of those pines that drop their limbs leaving little spiky prongs on the trunk. Imagine driving over that! I got out and found that fortunately it had broken in the middle so that I didn’t have to move a big trunk, but just two parts of it, and continued on my way. It almost looked like it was put there deliberately.
My second trip to Manzanita Lake proved to be about as fruitless as the first. Sheryl was in Mineral at the Park HQ attending a meeting. Is there anything in the world quite as useless and time wasting as a meeting? It’s the same no matter whether it’s big business, government at any level, or other. The only thing that can come out of a govt. meeting lately is another round of cuts.
It is really sad to see the cuts to the Park Service, and when I left Manzanita intending to stop at the Forest Service office I found that they are closed as well. It is a beautiful little wooden chalet type building, deck and railing all around, in a gorgeous setting of trees, walkways, interpretive signs, etc. How sad.
I realize the cuts across all governmental service levels are going to be hard to deal with. But the Park Service and Wildlife Refuges, and many others, feed our souls. A little “down time” can do wonders, and it’s best found out in the wilds and away from the cities. That’s my opinion anyway.
On my travels I stopped at the vista point where I had gotten cell phone reception previously and turned on the MiFi and computer. I got the signal and message “3G Ready”. I tried to load up the blog so I could transfer the updates I’ve written, but then lost the service. So I won’t waste the batteries any more and will just send in the updates when I get back home next week.
I DETEST this MiFi. The old one that I lost was about as perfect as I could ask for, so what do they do? Make it 4G, and then, how about adding a screen. Yes, everyone loves screens; then add a message feature. (My message icon shows that I have 2 messages. I read my messages in email! Not in Facebook and not on my MiFi screen, but in plain old, tried and true email! Then there are a number of other features identified by icons that look like Egyptian hieroglyphs, plus an option to press for “More” features. I’m sorry but I don’t want all that in my internet connection. I never did receive the replacement for the piece of junk I bought and I’m supposing it will be sitting in my mailbox in 110 degree weather. I’m taking it to Verizon and THEY can set it up for me. I’m not buying “It’s real easy, you just . . .”
(Note for Tue. July 17: I did battle with the Verizon store this morning and will write a special blog entry for it. I intend to see that it gets to the Verizon corporate offices, that is, if they dare to even publish their address.)
I don’t know where this diatribe came from as I am about as relaxed and mellow as I can get. The CG is relatively quiet (just waiting for the weekend), and the sound of the wind is incredible! Soft and caressing one minute, and like a rushing locomotive the next. The only problem is that during the daytime I have to chase the shade around, dragging my chair and the two coolers to find shade, and in the early morning and late afternoon/evening I’m dragging my chair around to find a little bit of warming sunlight. Lady is on a long enough tether she just moves herself around at will.
It's hard to believe how little I want to walk any more, after having been an active walking person most of my life. I've probably put on several miles in the past few days walking up the hill to the rest room and back, but I guess that doesn't count for much as far as walking goes.
These boots are made for walking:
I found out today that the ranger station has NO electric. Everything they have runs on propane. I guess I could deal with that very easily since I really can get along without TV and/or computer. Ann told me that she and Andy read a lot in their off time, when they aren't out hiking and visiting local sites. I’m really waffling about whether I want to do this type of volunteer work again, and I probably shouldn’t.
You probably notice from the picture of my tent that I didn't put on the rain fly. It isn't the rainy season here for one thing, and for another I want to see the night sky through the mesh roof. I wake up about 1:00 am and the sky is full of stars visible through my "port hole through the treetops". I got all exciting one night thinking I saw the constellation Aries. It sure looked like the outline of a ram's head complete with horns. When I got home and googled "Aries" however, it wasn't the same configuration of stars I saw, and in fact, I would never take any part of it for a ram.
The downside to being able to see the night sky is that the morning sky comes very early - the sky is lightening around 5 am. It's so cold though, and my sleeping bag is so warm & comfy, that I can usually go back to sleep.
My daughter and her family are supposed to arrive this evening, but it will probably be after dark. I've tried to clear the pine cones and sticks from a couple of fairly level spots, and they will just have to set up their tent in the dark. I've enjoyed the peace and quiet, but am now ready for a little action - probably there will be a bit more than I bargained for - but I will enjoy it.
Note from July 18: I just wanted to add that today is Donald's birthday, and we went to lunch at Benihana's (Japanese food). I really enjoyed it and brought enough home for my supper. Here is a picture of Jeannie, Donald & the girls, and that is Don's brother Michael next to him:
This is Donald's mom and me. She and I weigh exactly the same, around 116-118#, but I look chubby in most of my recent pictures. Don't know why, and I can't blame it on the camera.