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Travels and Images

WEEK 21 2007

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Weekly Picture Archive

Saturday 26 May 2007

Saturday - my brother, Peg and I went for a nice hike in the Martinez hills. It was a nice day, just a little hazy, but the temperature was nice. We walked up the ravine under in the speckled oak filtered light and then out onto the early summer golden grass. I brought my Rebel XT, and my brother his Nikon D40, so we have a few pictures to compare.

Peg had a ball of course, like most dogs she traveled two or three times as far as the slow plodding humans nominally in charge of her.

As the day wore on she wore down. I had water in the backpack, and that helped, but eventually we took pity and started back. Coming downhill we could see her legs actually trembling with weariness - something I've never seen before, in any dog. We let her lay down and rest in the shade several times - the last time just fifty feet from the car.

The down side of resting in the shade was the ticks. We found a couple later in the day, but that's just the way it is sometimes. They hadn't time to dig in, and I'll spritz her with some medicine tomorrow.

Mike and I listened to Book #36, Rocket Boys* by Hiram Hickam on the trip north. Excellent book! When we arrived at Dads we sat for several minutes out in the car, listening to the end of the tapes (while the dog, who recognized the car, went berserk indoors).

Friday 25 May 2007

Friday - on the road, with my brother, heading north.

Bird Shadow
Bird Shadow.

Book #35 was The Presidents House: 1800 to the Present, The Secrets and History of the Worlds Most Famous Home*, by Margaret Truman. It's an episodic history of the White House, and it's various incarnations and inhabitants. Recommended. She covers different aspects - the WH itself, (wings, basements, conservatories, lawns, etc) and remodeling (the last major remodeling being under her own father, Harry S. Truman), but concentrates on the inhabitants - Presidents, wives, sons & daughters, butlers, Secret Service and gardeners. Weddings, funerals, parties and receptions are covered, from Jefferson to Bush. Fun and enlightening. Recommended.

Thursday 24 May  2007

Thursday - I sent my father a picture of the poor capsized Normandie in New York Harbor. Here is a mere thumbnail, but there is a full sized copy (and others) at this page.  He replied that he'd actually seen her that way, but stripped down, in 1942.

Capsized Liner Normandie

First there was Snakes on a Plane. There there was 300. Now there is United300! [via my brother, who has a sick sense of humor as well.]

Wednesday 23 May 2007

Wednesday - walking along the trail my I heard a crashing in the forest, down slope. My brother stopped, fifty or sixty feet ahead, and I caught up to him.

"Was it a deer?"
"No, a bear."

How cool is that?

He said it was running away from us, plowing through the underbrush. If you have to see a bear in the wild, it's backside is probably the side to see.

I don't have much else to say tonight. I thought I had tivoed the entire Hero's marathon, but I only see six or seven actually saved, and I've seen two of them. So that just leaves a couple of new episodes.

I caught the very end of a Stargate SG-1 episode, wherein Maj. Carter is floating in space watching a huge space battle going on. The series is wrapping up I think, but I stopped Tivoing because there are so many repeats and reruns on at the same time as the regular series that my TIVO was filling up with 7 year old episodes. Oh well.

Tuesday 22 May 2007

Tuesday - lots of meetings, a little work.

Most people don't walk the PCT in one long trip. Many take their time and do just a little bit each year. My brother and I have hiked a number of sections - down in the Angeles, in the Tehachapi's, and in the Sierra Nevada's. Still, if one worked at it, he would probably do better than the couple of hundred miles we have accidentally done in the last 25 years or so.

We were probably talking about this hike before Brent was born. I'd read Eric Ryback's High Adventure story of doing the PCT solo and thought it'd be amazing to do something like that. I should have gone then, right out of high school or junior college, but I didn't. Ah well.

Maybe I'll do some chunks this year. The Angeles, and maybe over in the San Gregornio's.

In the news: the horrible fire that devastated the Cutty Sark, in England. But it looks as though she is salvageable. I recall writing, last year, about whether a ship that has undergone massive repairs is still the same ship and quoting from Joshua Slocum on the subject. It turns out that this is actually a much older question, dating back to Plutarch! From the Cutty Sark Wiki entry:

It has also been officially stated that, once restored, the ship will still predominantly be the original Cutty Sark although it is obvious that material lost in the blaze will have to be re-created. The bow was predominantly undamaged, the stern appears fairly intact, and the rest, whilst damaged, should at least be in part repairable. As such the ship will still have a majority of the original parts; whether it will still be considered "the Cutty Sark" is an example of the ancient Ship of Theseus question.

The Wikipedia entry for Ship of Theseus starts thus:
The Ship of Theseus is a paradox also known as Theseus' paradox. It raises the question of whether an object, which has had all its component parts replaced, remains fundamentally the same.

I searched for my page on Google, to check on the date of the Slocum quote above, and this popped up. Weird.

But, not to worry, the quote is already en-wikied, in the article on the Spray.

 Monday 21 May 2007

Monday - on Saturday my brother and I hiked from Vincent Gap to the Jackson Flats campground. We had originally planned to hike Mt. Baden Powell, but the crowds going up (it was a gorgeous day) tempted us into going the other direction, along the ridge to the east. It was a good choice - not as high or strenuous but a lot of fun to walk along. We met a number of Pacific Crest Trail hikers coming the other way - up from the Mexican border already.

As the link puts it:
The Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) is the jewel in the crown of America’s scenic trails, spanning 2,650 miles from Mexico to Canada through three western states. It reveals the beauty of the desert, unfolds the glaciated expanses of the Sierra Nevada, and provides commanding vistas of volcanic peaks and glaciers in the Cascade Range.

And the link to the Southern California part says:
The PCT begins on a low hill near Campo (elev. 2,600’), a small town near the Mexican border.

Anyway, we spent a fair amount of time talking to 'Brent', who is hiking the trail on his own. But it's not too solitary - he says that there are a number of people that walk at about the same speed, so that he passes them and is passed by them as people stop, rest, shop for food and gear in small towns, and so on. After a while you get to know your fellows he says.

About 500 hikers start each year, attempting the full hike, and about half of them finish. This is a dry year, so it means that the high Sierra's should be more easily traversable in June and July.

Brent, PCT hiker
Brent, PCT hiker, near Vincent Gap

Sunday 20 May 2007

Sunday - working around the house. It's a mess - I haven't done any spring cleaning inside; outside there are bad sprinklers, and the swamp cooler needed to be cleaned, the pads changed, the water hooked up, the pump changed out.

Actually I still am not completely done with the cooler, it needs new...uh...little water dispenser troughs at the top. They must have a name, but I don't know what. The two side troughs are very rusted, with quarter and dime sized holes in them. The main, side, trough is fine. Go figure. Anyway, simple sheet metal, galvanized steel that was bent to shape - I can make new ones, but I have to clean my garage and find the tools first.

I left my battery powered drill on the boat, in Oxnard. Arrgghh.

Picture of the Week
Meadow on Jackson Flats Trail

Photo Notes: A meadow near Jackson Flats.

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