Saturday, August 18, 2012

August 18th Yakima, Wa.

Well, I certainly earned my volunteer stripes today. The day began at 9am at White Pass where 10 volunteers showed up, ready to wield saws, polanskies and other sharp tools. Our trusty guide from the PCTA was there to show us the ropes and how not to injure each other with our shiny tools.

I ended up working with two other women on sawing logs so others could make tread. We eventually cut ten cedar logs, some of them 20 or so inches across and 4 feet long. Unfortunate the downed logs we were cutting on were down slope from the trail so we had to haul them up so they could be set. To say I'm tired would be an understatement. It was fun and informative to see just how trail tread is built.

I was pretty dang dirty at the end of the day so I thought I'd drive to Yakima and get a room with a shower to get the grime off. For some reason the nicer spots were all filled up so I started up with tier two. Actually I stopped at one place I would judge to be tier, five maybe? Eewwww!

Anyhow I found a spot for the night which is, um, interesting. Let's just say I don't want to take off my shoes off. I've stripped the bed and will use my sleeping bag for the night. It's fine I'm sure but just in case... ;-) Tomorrow I get to see my friends Terry and Jane at their new house. I'm pretty sure I won't have to concern myself with wearing shoes.

Work party images!

Friday, August 17, 2012

August 17th Tieton River

I started this day with a trip to Trader Joes in Bellingham so I could stock up on camping foods for the next couple of days. From there I drove with all speed to this spot, about 45 minutes from White Pass where I will drive first thing tomorrow morning. This will be my first trail maintenance event for/with the PCTA. Apparently it's a day suitable for all skill levels and ability as we will only walk 2-3 miles out, do some work and walk back out tomorrow afternoon. The only thing that I feel concerned about is the heat but hopefully it will be cooler at altitude. It's about 90 degrees where I'm camped, at 6pm. Yikes. I'll pack at least 3 if not 4 liters for my adventure tomorrow.

BTW, I recommend Bellingham as a wonderful spot to visit. It is a beautiful city with lots of trails for both foot travel and bikes, many more pubs/brew houses than I could possibly sample in a couple of weeks and of course L and her Portuguese Water Dog Winslow. What a character he is. L too.

Today's images are of a fire west of Ellensburg, rafters in the Yakima River, some crazy basalt formations right across the highway and the waterfall I can see from my hammock.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

August 16th A shade tree

I'm sitting in the shade of a whole posse of gigantic old trees on the edge of Elizabeth Park while L takes care of some business. I'm using this time to make a Mind Map of just what I want to do with my future. How I want to spend my time if you will. I've done this before but each time I do it something new comes up.

In particular I've been wondering just what kind of volunteer work I want to get myself involved with and so far I've come up with six possibilities. In no particular order there would be Red
Cross Disaster Relief, Native Animal Rescue, Habitat for Humanity Re-store, Senior Center Fix-it Crew, PCTA trail maintenance and finally, Volunteers in Parks with the National Park Service. Some of these would require being away from home for short or longer periods of time and others are right in Santa Cruz and can be done on occasion. It's just good to know I have some direction for when I return home.

Another part of this diagram is physical activity and so I'm planning to sign up for Aikido class again as this is a great, all around exercise and the people in the Dojo are wonderfully kind people. Of course there is hiking which I will continue to do in some form and I hope to begin running again, if my parts will handle it. So this should, as my Mom would say, keep me off the streets.

If this isn't enough I've thought of learning some new skills. Possibly take an acting class, ceramics (which I did many decades ago but never got good at) and (pie in the sky) clown school.

None of this is set in stone mind you, I'm just imagining out loud. Who knows what will really happen?

The images are of a polish rooster L is working on, an 8 by 3 foot lion she has completed and the palette where she mixes paints.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

August 15th Bellingham, Wa

Phew, what a day. I drove from somewhere southwest of Tillamook, Oregon to Bellingham, Wa. Right now I am so close to Canada I could probably throw a stick over the border. Well, almost. You get my drift. Anyway the only stops I made were to eat breakfast and, while in Seattle, a quick stop to Archie McPhees. It's hard to describe this place but sometimes one gets good items there. For myself I got a bacon air fresher for my truck. The pictures will be self explanatory.

I drove up here to see Lorna Libert a woman A met in grad school. I haven't seen her in a few years and I wanted to check in and see the new house she built with her was-bund. Plus it's pretty way up here oh-so near to Canada. Check out her website as she is an accomplished painter.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

August 14th Webb Co. Park

Twenty bucks doesn't get much in the way of campground ambience these days. My truck is fifteen feet from the truck next door and the site is full (did I say full?) of sand burrs. However it is situated across the street from a lovely beach which will have a killer sunset tonight. And there are showers. And especially nice is that they had an empty spot, whereas the State Parks had none.

Today consisted of driving west then north on highway 101 along the Oregon coast. For the first half of the day I stopped at nearly every thrift store I came across until I got to Newport where I SCORED at a salvation army store. What could be so good? Well I found a rare book on enameling by the guru of metal smithing, Oppi Untracht. It appears to have been published around 1957 and it's in pretty good shape. $1.75. Yup, I'm lucky. When I called Angela to see if she already had it I thought she was
gonna jump out through the phone she was so ecstatic. Fun.

The second half of the day was taken up by trying to ferret out a spot for the evening which I finally found at 4-ish. So, it's all good. I'll have to sleep in my truck tonight as there are no suitable trees for hammocking and there are too many stickers to risk using my air mattress on the ground. No matter, I like my truck and I have a comfy set-up. I will, however, have to donn long pants for the first time in months as the wind off the ocean is chilly!

I'm in the beginning stages of re-evaluating what my new goals will be in place of thru hiking. I'm not 100% sure but at this moment I believe I'm not cut from a thru hikers cloth. I'm good for a month, maybe two but five months away from hearth and home doesn't appear to be a future goal of mine. We'll see if I still feel the same way come winter but that is my best guess right now.

What this means is that I won't be doing mega training hikes, organizing vast quantities of food and resupplies while fretting all the time about my ability to do it. Now I know. So, hey! I'll have much more time for other activities. What those activities will be are not yet clear to me but I'm in the sitting and staring phase. Deep in thought and hopeful to find a new direction for this next phase of life. Stay tuned.

Today's images are of the book and my sterling campsite, plus a small still life.

Monday, August 13, 2012

August 13th Almost time

I'll be hitting the road tomorrow, giving myself two days to get to Bellingham, Washington. These past few days I've spent time gathering up camping tools (kitchen stuff mostly) I'll need for the next three weeks or so till I meander around back home in September. Some of them important and necessary, others (like my sun tea jar for 75 cents) are only for fun. It's the hunt that matters!

I also just confirmed that I will be joining a one day work party at Whites Pass next Saturday with the PCTA. I've been interested in learning to do trail maintenance and this one day event came up at just the right time. Fun!

So, all in all my visit here in Eugene has been a wonderful re-connection with old (as in long time) friends. I'm rested and ready to get back out on the road, hoping to continue on with my funtime travels.

However, I must say I have a HUGE crush on Monty the greyhound and will really miss that old boy-dog. If he didn't hate to ride in the car I might try to sneak off with him.