Never spent much time in Oregon except for passing through on family vacations some forty years ago, but now the BIL and all etc. live in Roseburg, and we felt compelled to comply with a desperate plea for moving help. The El Dorado Hills digs are going away. So and I got a U-Haul tow-bar & ball for the Ford’s receiver hitch, and readied for a long drive up to the lush green pastures of mid-lower Oregon.
I have always avoided towing trailers because everybody I know with one has some kind of horror story associated, from boats (their own) passing them in the fast lane before diving into the median then flipping end-for-end, to simple flats and the usual burnt wheel bearings that resulted in lost axles. So I prefer to throw my stuff into the bed of the truck and move that way – but this ultimately turned out OK with the smaller 8×5 trailer.
We awoke to an early-early goddam-early 3:30AM wake-up, and after a struggle with coffee and clothing managed to get off onto Highway 5 before the rest of Eviltown (Sacramento) awoke. The flat and wide-open spaces of I-5 allowed me to acclimate to the issues of towing, and the low speed (60mph) and low volume of traffic eased my concerns.
Up outside Redding we pulled in to gas-up at the trucker’s mall in Knighton, and I had the opportunity to point-out the exact spot where some 37 years ago I camped-the-night-over by the side of the road, coming back from the Trinity Alps hitchhiking and gold-mining. Some things don’t change much in the country.
Anyhow we made it up and over some mountain passes without too much drama, and after letting the trailer go free to roam and chew gravel in the U-Haul lot, we even made it up to Crater Lake for the first time in over forty years:

Precipice Point everywhere

Precipice Point everywhere

Anyhow Oregon is a weird mixture of patchouli-soaked Wookie and vegetarian Herbalife salesmen driving old rust-bucket trucks on their way to go fishing – not too terrible, and we spent one evening in the backyard shooting rifles and pistols and nobody gave a damn and no blue-light cars drove up into the driveway.
I could see how it’s rather pleasant that way, but if you managed to escape the sawmill life-trap and the subsequent Environmentalist-caused economic collapse, you might be reluctant to return for very long, the old roots can be a bitter pill – and the same goes for the Academic-trap and Factory-life of ‘Fraidy Virginia Woolfe-Bitchy Universityville. Which I am gladly and finally put behind me this recent year.
Hope to see you soon at the Gunblogger Rendezvous!


About a half-hour before my brother and family arrived to visit, the sprinkles started. After they left it really started to come down. We hunkered down to watch an old Rita Hayworth movie set in the South Pacific, loosely adapted from a story that I remember reading by W. Somerset Maugham.
Thanks to this year’s weird weather pattern, “monsoon” influences have blown-up in retrograde from New Mexico and Arizona, and we’ve been having a tumultuous Sierra Summer. There’s been with hail the size of quarters in Tahoe, and severe lightning filled rain-cells along the spine of the mountains from Quincy on down southerly to Arnold and Sonora. A few days ago we heard what sounded like artillery practice as dry-lightning boomed in the mountains above Kirkwood Ski Resort. Severe weather warnings have flashed-up on the TV screen in the midst of shows, warning of flash-flooding from the sudden onslaught of actual “weather.” In any event, the small bit of rain we did receive with grateful thanks to a beneficent Deity easily filled the rain barrels, yay!

Fair Weather Friends

Dump-Run Tuesday: got rid of a whole truck-load of nasty old crap and re-organized the garage (somewhat), ready to shoot some deck-screw into the (properly measured, into studs) wall-track, and hang the bike racks. Beautiful day for Fair Weather Friends – only 94.2°F now, with some high overcast coming the wrong way that has blown up from Arizona and New Mexico – Thanks Arizona and New Mexico! Under the misters it’s like an afternoon at the Ritz, Kapalua…

107° in the shade

Well this is a new experience, but not unexpected or uncommon. In the morning we hauled a mass of junk out of the “basement” and piled it up under the Redwood tree for a dump run. Old bits of plastic-wood decking, a junky old metal shelving unit, some weird fibrous peg-board pieces that looked suspiciously like a bunch of ceiling tiles from a cubicle farm, pieces of pipe and threaded metal rod, pieces of plastic, a half box of bathroom tile, weird lattice/rack things of unknown purpose with aluminum tubes and plastic end-fittings: junk – and it was 90° at 10:AM.
After a lunch at Mike’s Grill up Pleasant Valley Road, we headed up to Camino to see when the apples would be coming in – we’re a month and a half early. Came home to turn on the misters and hit the deck – 42° Centigrade. Haven’t been in temps like this much sine the last time I was down in Madras, now called Chennai – and today it’s only 31° there.
Actually do-able on the deck with a cold beverage and the mister running. Sweet!
UPDATE: 92.3°F at 8:22PM. 33.3°C – that’s still more than Madras today.

Banzai Attack on Rosemary Understory

Down the cart path behind the house, beneath the cedar and the Monterey pine there lay a bed of desultory rosemary, a twisted mound of leggy and stringy stuff a good six-feet long with only a bit of green at the tips – perhaps original. Next to it was a white picket fence of a compost mound. Square, fake plastic lattice, four feet on each side, a dry and leathery hump – little more than a rodent hotel. We hid in the cool shadows and attacked with loping shears.
It’s amazing how much you can actually fit in a rolling yard-waste bin if you mulch away at the contents, I believe it’s how I get my revenge on vegetation and vegetarians – I hate plants and chop them into tiny pieces. I like the rocks that hide beneath plants.
All the many years of fine plant fluff and duff remained locked in rock crevices, so out came the Shop-Vac and I set to work vacuuming the fine, big rocks below. I collected three bags of dirt and tiny rocks and wasted vegetation to go in the yard-waste cans. Pour it in and it’s like adding sand to a jar of sticks – there’s plenty of room between the interstices of vacant space.
Note to self: get a new Shop-Vac pleated filter, this one is clotted toast.

In other news, another Ramone has sadly bit the dust. RIP Tommy, he was only 62. Of the few concerts I attended they will never be forgotten. I saw them at the Santa Cruz Civic when they opened for Bob Marley – and were clearly superior. The crowd was insane and three times I had to search on the floor for my Levis’ jacket that I was wearing on my body – somehow it just kept coming off. I left the show after a few reggae songs. Bob was OK but his wife was over-emphasized and I was not impressed – it simply got boring and failed to captivate me…

Upholstery Cleaning

Gorgeous mild summer day-morning. Airplanes taking off left and right. In the mid 80’s instead of mid 100’s today. Did a bunch of chore-like watering stuff, and then picked up some more tanbark at the Home Despot. Got the leaky Bissell “steam”-cleaner machine out and went to work on the truck seats and console – the water removed was pretty dark. It dried fast in the heat and now it smells nice. Hit the deck for some Vitamin-D…

Bug-Out Bags Past & Present

I turned in the shower this morning, adjustment the bucket beneath my feet that collects body run-off gray water for the yard and plants, and something went *SprOOing!* HUH? Aw shit. It’s not my usual lower-back dork-up, it’s in a whole new spot on the right upper hip axis. I am reminded (again, dammit) that I am closer to 60 than 40, and that my bug-out bag’s role, conditions, and environment is changing. I’ve been doing a lot of squat and lift stuff with heavy rocks and feel great, my arms have never been stronger and more sinewy – but there’s always a tingle in the right knee when I turn direction or just get into bed. The Glucosamine-Chondroitin has a great placebo effect…
As a Brahmin-born BayAryan I was concerned in the past about The Earthquake being THE bug-out trigger event. Now that we live in Tinderland in the midst of a bone-dry drought, it’s Fire (and water) I’m worried about. But the bug-out bags are only getting heavier, and any much more and my wife won’t be able to carry hers.
As age and mobility issues arise, I realize that the two of us I can’t get very far with the whole “Gunny-Alternative REI ground-pounder” kind of backpacker shit. Maybe I need a bug-out vehicle rather than a hiking stick and a soon-to-be 90-lb Kelty pack – and that’s before I even pick up a rifle and ammo. One that can run the Rubicon Trail just over the hill? Some kind of spidery, rock-hopper rig that clings to granite and can make its own trail. Nothing with a rear-view camera to help drunk hipsters in city parking. Decisions, decisions…
We escaped to the hills from the clotted crowds of ugly city-suburban people, but maybe we didn’t get far enough. Anybody coming up here to escape the Upcoming Apoclypse/Maelstrom/Collapse will be in vehicles confined to a narrow asphalt ribbon, and maybe I should learn something about explosive so we locals can drop a couple of the freeway overpasses in order to impede the Hipster escape traffic. I understand from vague reports that there’s already a crew of guys like that in Arizona who are ready for the crowds streaming out of California on the southern freeway in the event of worse: .300 Win-Mag/.338 Lapua kinda stoppit-now sniper guys.
Also, while I was previously working on the Med-kit with a concentration on wound-issue stuff, but I now wonder if there’s a fire-bandage equivalent of QuikClot…? If not there should be.
UPDATE: Thanks for everybody’s feedback and comments, especially about the burn-gel impregnated bandages! Awesome!