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Thursday, August 11, 2011

Home in the redwoods

Avenue of the Giants - Humboldt County

Today I am driving north to Eugene but not before I spend a few more hours on the Smith River in Del Norte County. They say that home is where your heart is and that goes in spades for me and these beautiful redwoods and this emerald green river. We spent summers iin a cabin on the river, maybe 12 miles from town, and I had planned to live in that cabin forever but it was destroyed in the 1964 floods. Every summer I return to that very spot, which is now owned by the parks, and pay homage to my childhood dreams. 

Maggie Thielen at a secret hole on the South Fork

Everywhere I go out West the weather is about a month behind so I have run into a lot of fog in the morning but it burns out at Hiouchi by noon and is glorious well into the night. I have been enjoying the moon shining down the river canyon from my tent site along North Bank Road on the main fork towards Smith River. Had to swim across the river to get the deep water and diving rocks and the water is definitely cold this year, but I am a new woman, reenergized for another year from that baptism. 

OK.... it's noon and the sun is starting to break open this fog. Off with the sweatshirt and down the road to the swimming hole I go.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

from my iTouch

Experiencing the yin-yang of returning to the spot where you grew up, where you couldn't wait to be gone from at 18, where you returned never wanting to leave again only to meet up with one Willy Gilmore who swept you off on various adventures for the next three decades. The way he tells it, he saved me from nowheresville. 35 years later I still miss it but .... I have had an exceptional life with Bill. Yes, the weather is lousy most of the time: if it's sunny, it's windy; if it's raining, it never stops; if it's summer, it's foggy.

Yes, foggy. I am camped by the Smith River in the redwoods going to bed with no stars, waking up to gray,gray,gray. Sweatshirts, fleece, socks, jackets are all out of my suitcase for the first time. Usually you can find sun inland along the river but even Gasquet was socked in yesterday. However, I drove up higher on the South Fork towards Big Flat and was blessed with sun and the discovery of a new swimming hole by way of an old friend. Good rocks to dive from, waterfalls, deep and cold water. We basked on the rocks but shivered a bit on the way home.

I'm having breakfast at the Hiouchi Cafe and the waitress thinks this is an awfully long text. Have to report that the espresso cart is gone from the Hiouchi Market. It's 9:30 and I again await the burn. Going to take a hike out by Lake Earl and the Tolowa Dunes, near Pt St George. Can see Oregon from there. My sun hat lies dormant until I return to the Oklahoma plains once again.