There are some times that there are just NOT enough hours in the day... It will be that I'll be back. Just might take a bit. sleep(a bit), work, drive between the two. That about covers the daily activities.
I'll be back (as a semi-famous actor/governator once said).
Holy COW its been a WET past month or so...we are verging on several records for rainy streaks in the "Dry Season"! There is a 5 gallon bucket on the back porch that is my unofficial rain gauge, one that I have had to empty twice in the last 3 weeks...that is a LOT of water.
OTOH, I don't have to water the grass, not even the new re-seed which may drown before it sprouts. Some of it is growing nicely as i walked through it with bare feet this AM while checking the mailbox that no-one thought to get yesterday.
YESTERDAY was really nice, a few puffy clouds, sun and a light breeze, not even enough to loft a good sized kite. Of Course, I was WORKING again...and today, when I'm OFF...its RAINING.
Sitting at my desk on Sunday grinding on mandatory training, not neglected, just not made high enough priority to shoehorn into incredibly BUSY days. Thinking of all the places I would RATHER be today...Woods, Lakes, Rivers, Mountains....just about ANYWHERE but a desk.
Yesterday I was here as well, listening to the growl of radials and the snarl of big V-12s powering the warbirds up and out of the pattern to come around and then thundering down over the crowds. Saturday was General Aviation Day at the local airport, leavened with a large dose of the wonders from a bygone era. One of the local successful folks has a flying collection of the wonders of those days, mostly in flying condition unless the parts to return them to the skies are made of Unobtainium or are just too difficult to handle and too dangerous for Modern Sensibilities. Fah.
After work I went over to the source of the beautiful sounds, just as the doors were closing, shutting away the sleek lines and unbridled power. I'll have to get over there next weekend when some of the others will be flying, along with some visitors.
Thinking back to the travels of late, I was AT the site of the birth of the Mitsubishi Heavy Industries A6M Zero, an unassuming concrete clock tower, now the site of the MRJ and the MHI portion of the Boeing 787. This shot was one sunny evening, just before the sun fled below the hills across the bay. The light was surreal and crisp enough to stop and take a minute to appreciate it.
Now where factories stood making the nimble aircraft, while the B-29s tried to remove that capacity, a new generation of aircraft takes shape. Maybe its irony that the same Boeing that designed the B-29 to reach the Empire of Japan, now works with the same companies it built bombers to destroy in order to further the reaches of aviation.
That minute nearly cost me the walk to the main station instead of the spur train, but with a steady jog I made it just as the bell for the doors rang. In Japan, when the doors close, the train GOES. The walk is not a bad one and until recently it was leavened by the glow of a beer machine on the corner near the station. The demise of the beer machine is all the more reason to jog to the spur train.
Back to my training so I can get OUT of here and go see the marvels of a by-gone era...
One of my dearest friends is working through suddenly raising her grand kids, circumstances don't matter for the small ones...all they know is that they now live at Oma's house.
It has had its moments with the 12 year old deciding that life is unfair, wrong and being generally difficult as only a 12 year old girl can. The youngest has conquered some small people things and is blossoming with the example of her Grandmother's guidance, the middle one, a boy, starting to make that transition from a boy to a young man. He is learning the intricacies of making fish sticks and fries, and more complex things with the pride showing through as he serves his little sister's dinner and makes up his own plate. He has conquered pancakes from scratch (with oversight) and is learning that WASHING the dishes is important as well as dirtying them.
The youngest has the warmest spot in the house, the spot by the wood stove that heats the modest house of her grandmother, a space that she shares with the ferret and occasionally the cats, though the cats usually sleep in the elder's room (does double duty as a home office) while still having the run of the indoors.
I marvel at my friend's flexibility and resourcefulness, raising kids on a tight budget is challenging enough without all the added expenses that today's kids seem to have. She is a wonderful cook, a fact not always appreciated by kids raised on boxes of stuff that can have water added for a "faster" meal. I have seen her whip up the same type (tho hardly same class - FAR outranks the box stuff) of food in LESS time than the box preps require. Parent - teacher conferences, trips for the kids, field trips and all manner of things that HER children didnt have that its assumed that all kids do today.
With all of this she is starting a new career at a grandmotherly age, tho NOT demenor, working through the startup of a business that can be quite demanding while still doing the old job to cover the expenses and feed the new mouths at the table. She is also an archer with her own longbow and a huntress with a rifle as well. She and the grandkids have been camping, hiking and generally out goofing off with their Oma and they love it.
Having been raised in the city, in apartments, the kids had to learn about the outdoors, mud and less pavement. Its been a learning experience for the kids as well as their Oma.
I'm proud of her though for doing so well with the sudden influx of life.
It's come to me of late that all this "saving the woods" is coming at the expense of being able to go INTO the woods. What with the county having closed off the gates and shooed away anyone with a constitution less hardy than a Missouri mule on the FS62 Road (its a long STEEP climb out off the highway several miles and a few thousand feet in elevation to a safe place to shoot), closed out the Pit ORV area and closed every gate in concert with the state DNR that would allow access to said woods, that our tax dollars continue to pay for the upkeep etc of....I'm BEGINNING to feel somewhat shat upon. And I'm NOT the only one.
The proverbial straw was the closure of the LAST sanctioned outdoors spot to shoot. Granted some of the folks who live nearby and not so nearby having gotten their panties in a knot about the all-daylight-hours use, which DOES get tiresome...its really partly the County and DNR's DOING that the whining is about. DNR and county have relentlessly closed off any and ALL places in the woods to shoot (with the exception of a county councilman's OWN private place of course) and had been RECOMMENDING that folks go to the last place around. This of course drives UP the usage to a considerable degree. Hence the neighbor's complaints. Some could be dismissed as hysteria, a young lady waving an empty cartridge case around and proclaiming in a theatrically quavering voice that she found THIS BULLET in her driveway, some were stonily delivering facts derived from who knows WHAT source (but WRONG ones nonetheless) while others were bemoaning the terrorizing of the "Birds and the Bees in the Cottonwood trees" all in all adding up to the council choosing to ignore the protests and actual factually correct data from the shooters pointing out the absurdity of the emotionally laden testimony and closing the pit.
Now this might seem like business as usual in the ever-expanding of suburbia were it not for the fact that the county council has had a SHOOTING RANGE on the books for the better part of 40 years and has been pressed hard for the last 20 years to GET IT BUILT.
Zip, Zilch...NADA. Even for a government program that is ASTOUNDINGLY poor performance.
Mind you now, its NOT really a MONEY issue as its been put so many times as the county has had the money to open or build out several new parks, new trails, camping yurts, birdwatching huts and a host of other things in that 20 year time frame...but never a dime to spare for a range. AND in that time the trap ranges have been closed, the various shooting pits closed off or the roads gated and the shooters concentrated into smaller and smaller places.
True there ARE public and private ranges SOMETIMES available, but the wait for membership in the ones with ranges past 100 yards is measured in YEARS, while the occasionally open public ranges have lines and ever-increasing fees to where its actually cheaper to take the family to the MOVIES than to the range.
Which leads me to the title of the post. It sure feels to me like We the People are being pushed out of the woods that we pay for with our tax dollars....and its STARTING to feel like its the Kings Forest instead of the National and State forests. Every gate has a sign, NO SHOOTING, NO MOTORIZED VEHICLES, NO CAMPING....NO, NO, NO, NO... And to top it off the new Wild Sky Wilderness that has been foisted off on us in actuality meets NOT ONE of the requirements for a WILDERNESS under the federal statutes with which its being promulgated. The lands enclosed in this new playground for the unemployed environmentalists to sign up to take a hike in have been logged, mined, riven with roads, power lines and all manner of other man-made items. They are NOT in the definition of a Wilderness, yet there they are, locked away from access but to the stout of body and expansive of time. While I'm still stout of body, Time is measured in dribs and drabs around the extremely demanding job of producing the worlds most advanced passenger airliner.
Now the path through the mountains is lined with gated roads, with their signs of NO, a raceway for the denizens of the local metropolis impostor to rush through on the way to the playgrounds of the Sunny East Side. for those of us who prefer to roam the green, quiet and drippy forests of the west side, its increasingly difficult to do so with anything but a short pass behind yet another locked gate.
The access to the Kings Forest is ever restricted and increasingly stringent.
The trek to the salt mines this week has been broken with some simply STUNNING sunrises!
Monday was the river bottoms full of a thick flowing fog with the forlorn tips of trees poking out, disappearing in the shifting mass and reappearing seconds to minutes later. Mountains sharp, black and stark, like cut from a thick steel plate and placed against the fire and fury of the sun. Tuesday was a desert-like in the deep blue with a ring of pastel orange and yellows around the horizon Wednesday was swaddled in a blanket of fog until I climbed out to see the mountains stark and pink in the waning sunrise. ALL the river bottoms were thick and heavy...wipers on like light rain. Thursday was wraiths of fog all lit by the beams from a cosmic torch...colored and bright..like driving into bountiful light. Friday was much like Monday...thick fog in the river bottoms (where the roads run of course) and bright on the hilltops poking out of the fog.
Its like April in February or so says the news. One thing I HAVE noticed is that the trees are blooming already...Cherry blossoms and pussy willows...in February...we often do not see our last frost until late April...and I've had snow on my birthday around April's end.
Anthropomorphogenic Global Climate Change... right.
* this one has been hanging about for a few months...while I have been visiting the Land of the Rising Sun*
Sunday was NOT such a bad day...SLEPT until I woke naturally...what a change...then SSS and get ready for the day. I got myself out of the house around 11ish..headed to the model train show after checking on a friend, at the train show until they kicked me out. I miss my train, the time to putter with it and the space to work with it.
Then went to the hills and shot the 7mm-08 a bit, it hits well and it's FLAT shooting. I found 2 bx of ammo in town...one Federal premium for a SILLY-STUPID price as it was loaded with 140gr Nosler Ballistic Tips and a box of Winchester for slightly less stupid for 139 gr PowerPoints. I got dies with the rifle...it's a GOOD thing. Think some more brass is in order....was thinking Winchester or Remington. I'll load some Hornady's for whacking and some Barnes TSX for critter-gittin'. While kiddo and I waited for a slot in the BUSY gravel pit I decided to go for a wander.
Hiked in the newly logged out areas in the Basin, whacked Wile E Coyote with a Nosler, as he was running a deer...185 yard shot. I whistled him to a stop, Pow. MANGY critter with lots of missing hair, bugs in the bare spots and stinking wounds with maggots in them...might have done him a favor.
Hiked to the top of a new cut and found the equipment tracks and followed them to the point of entry...where i thought it was. Note to self: WEAR BOOTS for climbing clear cuts, tenny-runners just don't cut it. I was constantly stopping to take off a shoe and dig the rocks/twigs/dirt out of them...my socks were muddy when i got back to the truck.
About that time I was notified that the pit was clearing, so back I went. While shooting Nature took control..or something I ate was not compatible with me...eventually I headed down to the house and the restful climes of a dark and cool room the house.
What I REALLY wanted to do was to sit in the woods until dark listening and watching the water running over the wier...Oh Well back to the Salt Mines.