Wednesday, August 27, 2008


Funny business how the signs I see during this morning's walk pertain to my upcoming backpacking trip! This one reminding me there is no turning around and backing out; my backpack and Vanagon are loaded and ready to go!

And this bumper sticker giving me solid advice for the switchbacks up McGee Pass!

Looking east to the sunrise (by the way, the sun cleared the coastal hills at 6:51 AM) I can see there must be more forest fires happening. I hope all is well in the eastern Sierras. I will know tomorrow.

And then, there is this cat, obviously wishing I would stop walking, gawking and blogging and just go away!
So, I will. See ya around September 12th!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

The Next Morning

Twenty Four hours later looking east on Laurel Street and the fog is gone. Actually it burned off yesterday before noon. Very typical Fall type coastal weather.

The "Naked Ladies", Amaryllis, are in full swing!

And I can't head for the hills without posting one more photo of a shopping cart. It's been a while, you know!
As for the hills..., well, I'm getting excited.
Pete and Dave came over yesterday morning and we had a menu planning session. Then we went shopping at Harvest Market. Once all was said and done we spent $142.65. When you divide that out amongst three guys; breakfast, lunch and dinner for eight days we got off pretty cheap! Total weight of the food and packaging was 18 pounds. Pete is going to go through all of it and repackage it into daily quantities thereby getting rid of any unnecessary wrapping.

The menu will be:

Breakfast: Oatmeat with powdered milk, brown sugar and dried raisins to suit.

Lunch/snackage: Trail mix, dried fruit, cheese and crackers, power bar and occasionally a tin of sardines in oil.

Dinner: Different each night: Split Pea Soup with enhancements, Corn Chowder with enhancements, Black Bean Soup with enhancements, Lentil Soup with enhancements. Enhancements being dried onion, garlic, tomato, vegetable mix and hard cheese added to taste. And there will be spaghetti noodles with different powdered sauces to round out the eight days.

Dave and I are tea drinkers and will have a variety of our favorite teas. Pete will bring his coffee.

Now I have to put together my menu for the six days I will be camping in the Vanagon prior to the backpacking trip. (I'm going early to acclimatize.) I will have potatoes and hamburger, barbie chicken and pork chops, fresh tomatoes and lettuce and pasta sauce and bread and mayo. All those fresh and heavy things I won't be taking in my backpack!

I plan to leave tomorrow after my walk, breakfast, e-mail and blog. I will camp in the National Forest over towards Reno Wednesday night.

Thursday I will arrive at Mammoth. Pete gave me a map of various trail heads where I could park and camp with the Vanagon while doing various levels of day hikes (and learning how to breath at 9,000 feet!).

The 1st of September I will swing by the Ranger Office in Mammoth to pick up our Wilderness Camping Permit, then drive to the McGee Creek trail head. Pete and Dave will arrive that evening. Tuesday the 2nd of September we will hit the trail. Our itinerary is:

Sept. 2nd Big McGee Lake
Sept. 3~4 Tully Lake
Sept. 5~6 Cotton Lake
Sept. 7~8 Cecil Lake
Sept. 9 Big McGee Lake
Sept. 10 Out

That's the plan. And to think my original intention was to start walking each morning around Fort Bragg!

Friday, August 22, 2008

The Call of the Pacific

Waking at my usual 5:55 I could hear the roar of the surf through my window! This mornings walk now determined by curiosity I headed for the Pudding Creek Trestle. Arriving I see there have been quite a few early bird walkers and a bicycle.

There must have been some storm activity far out on the Pacific. We haven't had much weather locally. Looking out to sea I think about Roz and how she is doing. She mentioned in yesterday's blog that the sea was quite rough. If you have been following Roz's blog you know she is rowing to Hawaii and is now within a couple hundred miles of the islands.

Other items of interest. I had never noticed this house before. I like it.

Putting Abalone Shells on fence posts seems to be a coastal pastime and this is a fine example.

This house and fence goes well with this mornings coloring. I need to look around this western part of Fort Bragg some more. The area is quite interesting.

Thursday, August 21, 2008


So I'm walking along this morning and thinking I have photographed about everything there is to see in Fort Bragg and then I noticed this mom and her twins in the PG&E parking lot.

And then this cat on Franklin Street.

And pretty soon I have a theme going!

Here's a display about our dog parks.

And Babe the Blue Ox.
Coming soon!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Hump Day

A waning or Gibbous moon peaking through the Marine Layer.
A mnemonic that works for me....
Lit on right... Rising.
Lit on left... Leaving.

I'm happy to report our town clock is back on track!

I received this bit of information from my friend Mary:

At the corner of West and W Fir Streets are two Victorians (circa 1904) that are mirror images of each other. Although I have not been able to verify this, local lore has it that the builder of the Guest House built these two houses for his daughters, and one of our City employees says that her great uncle built them. I have also heard that the high schoolers, when driving north on West Street, call it, “Passing through the vortex” .

During this morning's walk I checked it out and here they are!

The sun cleared the coastal hills at 6:45 AM.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Observing Time

I see the Town Clock has stopped again.

Time's up for this bird and the patience of a bird lover.

This rose looks to be at the peak of it's life cycle.

Time to stop by Mendocino Coast Television in the former Footlighters Building on Laurel and pick up your hubcap.

The moment before flight.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Downtown Wilderness

Less than half a mile from the corner of Franklin and Laurel is Otis Johnson Park. Deep wilderness almost in the heart of Fort Bragg! I parked my camera on various stumps and rocks to take photos of me hiking around in this "wilderness" to give scale to the redwood trees and surroundings. Quite amazing.

I had to take this photo to point out something only my friend Ed will understand!

This is a burnt redwood stump from the "good ol' days".

There are some rather steep trails I am using to help prepare me for the upcoming backpacking trip to the High Sierras.

You can't see it in this photo but there is a small burbling stream coming down this gully.

All this inside the city limits! Nice!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Scenes and Signage

And I'm pleased to see the ravens are eating their fruit and not just junk food.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

And so it goes

It was a fine three day weekend of radio controlled model airplane flying at Klamath Glenn. A nice turn-out of pilots. Great food and decent weather. Perfect!

Each morning I did my one hour walk using the levee that surrounds and protects Klamath Glenn. There were other walkers that used this nice hiking path provided by the Corp of Army Engineers!

Yesterday, Monday, I had to drive over to the Ukiah Courthouse for Jury Duty. After being included in the first pool of fifty potential jurors it was announced our trial was settled out of court! Cool! Back to blogging.....

Sunrise clearing the coastal hills later and later each day. I wouldn't doubt ol' Orion is starting to show up in the evening sky. Bummer. Fall is on the way.

Oh yeah, Fall is definitely on the way!

But the fully mature flowers are spectacular.


I have been reluctant to mention "it" because mentioning "it" on my blog sort of turns "it" into a commitment made to a wider audience than just myself. If I would just keep "it" to myself I could always change my mind and nobody would ever know but..., well....

So..... what is "it"?

"It" is a eight day backpacking trip in the High Sierras with my friend Pete. I have been thinking about doing this since Spring Break last April when Pete first offered to show me around "up there" in return for me showing him around "down there" in the deserts. Since then I have been just sort of dancing around the edges of the possibility but recently I have started to prepare my body as my mind has come to accept the idea. You see, I have not gone backpacking since my hike to Panamint City and that was for only two nights two years ago. And..., I'm getting older.

I dug out my old Kelty backpack and have gradually been adding books and potatoes and water and Petanque boules as dead weight and going for short hikes. My pack it now up to 33 pounds but I need to be able to haul at least 35 pounds, maybe 40. Recently I started hiking up and down and all around Otis Johnson Park. Otis Johnson is the only place within walking distance that isn't flat! I know hiking at sea level isn't preparing me for McGee Pass which is around 12,000 feet but.... well, I'll just have to deal with that when I get there. Our trip is set for early September. Stay tuned.