Sunday, March 29, 2009

The open road is not always a pleasure.
Wind, rain, snow, and ignorant drivers often combine to make the experience less than transcendent, though in my experience, the road brings hope, ideas and a certain clarity to my mind and heart, even when the hazards of the road insist on encroaching on the more bright points.
There wasn't much hope of anything but failure this morning, as Ryan and I headed south into a gale from the same direction. My flybox had been missing for at least three weeks, and though we knew it prolly wouldn't be anywhere near where I thought it might be, the variety, effort contained therein, and price tag of replacement behooved us to at least attempt the long-distance search.

We moved on down the road past the new county jail, still proclaiming to the world that it was, in fact, a wildlife refuge supported by our license fees and sportsman's ethics (a sordid tale for another day), and toward the Bicknell Bottoms, the probable non-resting place of my precious box.
We talked about small things and ideas that got our minds awake and away from everyday problems like broken furnaces and lost jobs. The blue sky brought me back to hope, ideals and the honor of those things in the face of bottom-line business investment mentality. We blathered a little about the economy and billions and trillions of dollars, about the failure of Good-Old-Boy Republican-style Real Estate as Capital and the inability of the American mindset to admit failure as an aid to adjustment in direction and philosophy. It's great that they've gone ahead and blamed Obama "Socialism" for their corruption, foolishness and preemptive Corporate welfare state policy. Democrats and Republicans may be two corrupted-to-the-core sides of the same zinc-alloy place marker, but the dominant Republican boilerplate propaganda these days makes me physically ill.
Well. That was something. We talked about it, nonetheless.
As we gained elevation and distance from the valley of the shadow of economic meltdowns, we found more familiar and hopeful grist for the mill. We talked about The Yellowstone Fellowship, our erstwhile quasi-spiritual and semi-academic fallow field for writing and nature studies. We worked out some ideas left dormant for a year or so, thinking on what we could do with my extra time and need for a teaching and service (not to mention necessary income) outlet in the face of the extra time coming up with the end of the school year coming.
We got to the Bottoms and looked to no avail. For all we knew, the box might have been there this morning, but was blown by 50mph gusts into the Fremont river five minutes prior to our arrival, but it wasn't there then.
Turning tail and noticing that the wind was starting to turn back into our faces, we marveled at the universe's ability to appear malevolent and at least like the perfect trickster sometimes. Heading into the wind more and more as the trip home wore on, our pleasure in the task of returning home was challenged by the circumstance of the coming storm whipping dust from newly-plowed fields and the recently burned desert to our west.
Hell. There's work afoot and times are getting hard. The ability of humanity to connect with nature and each other is something that will help us get through it, so those silly drivers in their new BMW's and questionable driving techniques (metaphor aside) nor lost flyboxes shan't affect the higher and more excellent purposes at hand.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Here're some photos from the big trip down south. What a trip it was; I enjoyed being unexpectedly in my element some of the time, gloriously and predictably in my element others, and during still other times, completely out of place.
It was fun, and I'd do it again, if I had the time.
Boy it was fun in the SoCal mountains and in the ocean. I still can't believe that I was able head down there at all. It was all a big whirlwind of surprises.

Jenna, my dear sis-in-law's family cabin. They kindly allowed us to crash there for three nights. What a place. I'm half-seriously pursuing moving the fam up there, seeing as my days of gainful employ here in Sanpete are prolly numbered for at least a while.

Plenty to see and explore in the tops of the San Bernardino Mountains. Lots of people and homes, but still lots of open space and tons of beauty. Something to be said of trying to live with the topography and one's surroundings. There were lots of fine people here and there, at least at this time of the year.

An old dedication-type monument from when the place was originally developed enmasse.

A house on the edge of an area burned a few years ago. Man, that fog was engrossing to watch as it entwined different depths of view. I took at least thirty different photos.

The bracken fern was still dormant at this time of the year. Plenty of snow here and there, and the evidence was abundant of its full extent. Great color.

I know this probably doesn't affect many as much as me, but the crowds at Dizzyland were really hard for me to get used to. Easy to feel inundated and anonymous, but I'm still not sure what to think of the whole thing...

The botany has always fascinated me at D-land. I don't think I noticed anyone else really look at the plants and flowers the whole time I was there, but I was entranced. It helps that it's still full winter around here, but for a few crocuses, though.

Mother wasn't happy with the willy-nilly jerking action of the Indiana Jones ride, but I sure had fun snapping photos of her and Pa. I laughed and giggled like a loon.

That's me in front, RyanDavid next, his wife, Jenna, and then my dad. Industrial recreation, at its near best!

Jenna and daughter, Sarah Jane.

Somewhere down there is San Bernardino. I'm sure of it.

Obligatory California Poppies.

Once upon a time, I lived in Van Nuys with my parents. We went to the beach often. I think it made an impression on me. I was deeply impressed by my time in Santa Cruz later on in life, as well.

My Pa and I somewhere near Seal Beach in 1970 or so.

There you go. The other end of my native extreme, opposite the desert rat. ocean, mountain, desert. The entire orographic effect, I tell ya.

Some greenery and ornamentation on one of the more exclusive beach houses at Newport.

My blessed brother, Ryan David, and his boy, Sumner.

Sumner and I drew and talked up a storm on our travels to and fro.

A view down the hill near Jenna's cabin, toward Lake Arrowhead. What does the future hold? Only the shadow knows...

Sunday, March 22, 2009

In a small town, there are certain advantages.
Being near to marvels of technology, having job prospects, and marvelous cultural opportunities are not included in that list, but having friends with livestock definitely is.
We have a muleskinner friend who lives down the street, and he called me with an offer. "Ya got somewhere you could use some manure?" Do I have somewhere I could use some manure? Ha. I've always a use for a load or five of bio-gold.
So the kids and I had a bit of fun hauling and unloading oodles of burro, mule and horse shin. They really are good sports.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Long story short, I spent Thursday through Monday down in Arizona and California with my parents and brother's family.
Beach, Dizzyland, beautiful mountains and splendid deserts were the highlights, and suffice to say, I'll have to fill you in when I don't have a bunch of work and sleep to catch up on.
Tomorrow? No promises, but that's the intent!

On the way home from the big AZ-CA trip, I ran into this fine chap. He was busking up a storm in a shopping area. I stopped to say listen to his tunes and say hi; he was a friendly man willing to talk and have his photo taken.
Happy St. Patrick's day, for what it's worth and all it might mean to you.