Ready or not I'm leaving in the morning, early I hope. It is reaching 90 today and I already have the swamp cooler working. Yesterday afternoon and evening I got by with a couple of fans blowing cool air.
Just about everything is packed and I no doubt am taking more clothes than I will wear, but like when my kids were little, I always packed extra clothes in case someone fell into the creek. I bought dry ice and a cheap styrofoam cooler this morning, and got enough ice that I already have my frozen foods packed. I secured the cooler with some pretty fancy rigging with bungee cords as the lid didn't fit tight enough for my liking. The two ladies at Customer Service who helped me with the dry ice were so kind as to show me how to pack it, suggest the amount I will need, and generally explain how to handle it. I wouldn't have had a clue except I thought I wasn't supposed to touch it with my bare hands. Now nearly everything is lined up from the kitchen out to the living room, and I will transfer it to the car in the morning.
Pizza party tonight to celebrate my youngest grandson's 2nd birthday. I hope indigestion from the pizza doesn't keep me awake for too long, but maybe the draft beer will counteract the effects of the tomato sauce and pepperoni. I usually don't eat that stuff any more, although tacos and enchiladas doesn't seem to bother me. Not that I eat them very often either.
In between my sorting and packing the past few days I've managed to read the Nevada Barr suspense novel about the National Park at Mesa Verde. I've been through that area many times but never to the Park, and it's going to be on a future trip for me. I used to drive I-40 from Asheville and turn north at Gallup, past Shiprock, past the turnoff to Farmington, and then thru the Ute Reservation, and Cortez, and I remember passing a mountain called the "Sleeping Ute" if I'm not mistaken. I haven't had a chance to look at the map yet but will see how to get to Mesa Verde from that area. The used book I ordered that takes place at Lassen still hasn't arrived, so I won't be able to read it until I return home.
My uniforms and supplies are already out at the ranger cabin at Butte Lake, and they told me where to pick up the golf cart. I'll go by the entrance station at Manzanita Lake to get the keys and radio. I'm getting pretty excited.
My granddaughter will be coming to Sacramento while I'm away, and I will be anxious to see her before she leaves again. She wrote and told me that her backpack has been wonderful - not even a twinge of pain in her neck or back, so it must fit her perfectly and was adjusted to perfection as well. Most packs, even daypacks, cause a slight or more strain on your neck now and then. The guy at REI who sold us the pack was GOOD!
I'll be in touch most likely when I get back from Lassen - could be around the 10th of Sept. I'll see how it goes and if they don't have a lot of reservations for the weekend after Labor Day, I'll leave at the end of that week. I understand my shortcut route is open again, so I'm keeping fingers crossed that no more fires break out in the Northeastern CA area.
QUICKLY RETRIEVING MY FROG-CATCHING NET
22 hours ago