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Saturday, August 27, 2011

Hurricanes, earthquakes and such

Isabela from my living room

I have to admit that I am wishing I was home to experience Irene. We had just moved to DC when Isabela hit. We volunteered to help hand out supplies of some kind and then headed home to wait it out. Isabela went right over so we took a walk during the eye. There were parties going on all over the place on peoples' stoops. It was all quite exotic to me at the time, having only experienced some small typhoons on the West Coast. Typhoon - Hurricane..... now, what is the difference? 
While Katy and I were in Tahoe, the earthquake hit the East. Now that is something I have experienced many times. Such an eerie feeling as the earth quivers and your house lets you know just how it was constructed. Bill was in the Interior Building, which was built in the 1920's and held up like a rock. He told me it was nothing, not to worry. It wasn't until much later that I talked to Maggie and Brian and they both had very different stories to tell. Shaking walls, books falling off of the library shelves, Maggie under a desk. Imagine if it had been just a bit stronger.   I know that the Washington Monument suffered some cracks but what I want to know is, what happened at Monticello and Charlottesville? They were right at the epicenter but no one mentions it on the news. I hope that Thomas Jefferson's treasures weren't harmed.

There was an earthquake in Colorado, too. That is where I am now but wasn't when the quake happened. I just cruise along with beautiful weather, incredible scenery, mostly good food and drink and wonderful get togethers with old friends. Should I feel guilty? No way. These road trips are the greatest things ever.

I am currently in Salida, CO after having stayed in Glenwood Springs last night (my absolutely cheapest motel room at 44.00) and driven through Aspen and over Independence Pass this afternoon. I looked on both sides of the Great Divide at 12,00 feet this afternoon and was quite impressed. Hwy 82 is not for the faint of heart. I knew I was in Aspen when I could not count the Lear jets at the airport. I made a quick getaway. Salida I really like. I am staying at a hostel run by friends of Maggie. Tomorrow I am going to swim in the Arkansas River, hike up to an aspen grove and soak in a hot springs pool. Guilty? Not a bit.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

The Last Photo

wild azaleas - the final shot

I spent my last afternoon in Del Norte County hanging out where our family cabin was at the forks of the Smith. It had been built in the 30's and my father bought it from Harold Neilson when I was 3 yrs old. In 1964 the mountain slid into the river and took The Morning Star with it. It had probably been raining steady for at least a month. Tragedy. I was 15 and thought I would live there forever. Since it was a mining claim, the Forest Service reclaimed it some years later. They burned any cabins that survived, including some very substantial houses. I suppose it was a blessing that our cabin was already gone. Now, that site is a put-in for kayaking and the road is paved all the way down so I can get right to the spot where I learned to swim.
my old swimming hole

I finally got myself to leave this beatiful spot and drove about 10 miles up river to visit with an old high school teacher and dear friend, Rick Bennett, who lives up on the North Fork. By the time I got back on the road it  was late afternoon and I stopped on more time on the river to check out another swimming spot I had been told about. When I got my camera out I had a very bad surprise: the lens would not open. What the? It was not batteries so I gave up, drove on and figured I'd solve it in Eugene the next day. Dotson's Camera Shop gave me the bad news that it would take $250 to repair.  End of an era. Time to buy a new camera, which I did the next afternoon at The Shutterbug.... a place I used to have film developed in 1983.  I am now the owner of a new Nikon and my next post will show off a great visit in Eugene, Oregon with my Katy girl.

As for the azalea shot.... they are the sweetest smelling flowers ever and I always swim across the river to a spot where I can pick a few and have them if my car for a day or two of nirvana. 

I am posting this from South Lake Tahoe, where Katy and I arrived on Friday after spending one night with friends in Shasta Lake, CA.  We depart on Wednesday and I will be heading East somewhat reluctantly. There is another travel adventure in front of me and I will be heading for hearth and home (ie: Sweet William) but I cannot hide my love, my loyalty, my need for the West. Everywhere I have gone I have wanted to stay longer. Many places I have gone to I could live forever. Where will I land? That chapter has not been written yet.