Friday, June 28, 2013

Dyer Nevada Reprised

While in Dyer, Nevada the other day I stopped at the Dyer Bar and their competition, The Boonies. Dyer Bar is a smokers' bar; The Boonies is non-smoking. I liked the ambiance of The Boonies better, but there's more room in Dyer Bar to get exercised (have a fight).

The high point was a visit to the library where I met Olivia. She demonstrated her "teeth & claws" technique on the librarian's hand and I duly kept mine to myself.




The library has internet access but not wifi. It's neat as a pin, the librarian is welcoming and even indulged me with a bit of interesting chat. Five stars!!

The mountains outside Dyer are almost completely pinon. The understory includes lots of beavertail cactus. They were blooming the day I was there.
















Sunday, June 23, 2013

Pie!!! The next best thing to sex!

After you've been around a while yer focus jus' natch'ly narrows. The things that hold yer 'tention gits fewer. One of them is pie.

At Benton Station I had a slice of apple. Three weeks later, much like that one-time dose of heroin, hit whar still on muh mind. Thus, when I agin found muhse'f in duh hood, I made sure I got there when they were open.

It's at the corner of highway 120 and 6, just up the road from Bishop (California). Gas is reasonable, there's a water spigot for your jug-filling convenience out front and the eezee access restrooms don't require a key. Pie is $2.99 a slice.

Whole pies are $12.95.






I tipped her $1.00 for ringing it up and strolled out to the lot. There's a fine elm at the far end that gives shade. I tucked muh napkin unner muh chin and set to.

It's almost like you gotta do this on a hot afternoon in July. There just ain't no better time. The cold-case chill tickles your fingertips as you peel off the sarano-wrap. Nevermind 'bout slicing...we jus' gonna eat it!!

The peaches were crunchy, like REAL ones. And the crust had a flavor reminiscent of my own....and tha's sayin' sumpin' cuz when duh cosmoz aligns jus' right I kin whomp up a pie dat make folks sit up and (in their best ebonics) say "Yaaaaaaassssss SuHHHH!!!"

I ate nearly half. Not to worry, it won't go to waste. In fact, it probly won't last more than an hour or two. The waitress said they make them every morning. I'm a believer.


Elm shade at far left 

Thursday, June 20, 2013

You CAN go home again



Each place has its noteworthy attributes. The Land of Entrapment (New Mexico) is famous for its tortillas with the face of Christ on 'em.

Today, outside Bridgeport (California), I had a similar incident. Albeit not as epiphonic as a sacred tortilla, this beer bottle is obviously very special.


It was lying unpreposessedly on a hillside. I don't like to pick up after the hoi poloi and tried to ignore it, but it was the only bit of archaeological evidence lying about so I compromised my principle.




It has a seam, so that marks it as poste-industrial rather than Renaissance. But still, when one is wandering the hills like the Children of Fatima, Julie Andrews or Heidi, it's these kinds of experiences that mark one's days.













Actually, it was the cicadas that impressed. This is a good year for cicadas; they blanket the pinons and junipers across the hills. Their holes, evident wherever one walks, are often clustered in groups in the road tracks.


















Their presence holds Jungian significance for me. When I was three we moved to Japan. That was also a good year for cicadas. I'd never heard them in such profusion and when the lifeguard at the nearby pool got wind of my interest he began saving them. (Japanese, at least back then, were very solicitous of  children.) He'd rescue them from the pool and keep them in a shoe box. Once a week Mom'd walk me down to make the pickup after which I'd keep 'em a few days and then let 'em go.










Throughout my life they've marked summer's arrival. But since Tokyo, I haven't experienced such a tremendous number. In those tender days, the trees were tall and the bugs out of sight. This time the trees are small and I can enjoy with ease watching them. It was a "having come full circle" experience.

I was reading an article in the October, 2011 issue of  Indian Country Today on the removal of two dams. The salmon that've been blocked from going upstream for the past 25 generations (100 years) still know where their roots lie. There are only an estimated 3,000 left, down from 380,000 in 1912, but those three thousand are eager to get upstream...home.

Another article (same issue) described a healing ceremony for people who as children had been taken from their families and raised in boarding schools. The healing ceremony included a new name which the recipients shouted to the circle of participants and which they shoutingly returned. Many of the people with new names had tears in their eyes as they walked the New Person around the circle.

And so it was for me. But unlike the Natives, as I watched the cicadas and listened to their song I recalled a numinous childhood experience of wonder and mystery. And unlike the salmon who have to wait a bit longer, I had, once again, come home.


email:     mfhalb@gmail.com


Sunday, June 16, 2013

Shepherd's Pass - Independence, California

I camped at the end of the road. The next morning this storm came up. I took over 50 pictures. The rainbow was spectacular! Photos can't capture it.















It started to clear.







And then it was gone.





Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Tyee Lakes Trail, California




The size of the Tyee Lakes Trail parking lot got me tuh figuring there must be something to warrant that much unpaved and trammeled ground. I only went about a mile but quickly became enthralled. The granite, white at the trailhead, gets even more so with altitude.

The juxtaposition of the youth (lower right) growing out of the rock and the matriarch (photo below) got me to thinking. I turned 60 last December and that light at the end of the tunnel seems to be looming a bit brighter these days.



I bushwacked for a few minutes to take my first drink (for this trip) of "real" water from a tiny stream not too far off the trail.....mountain champagne!!





























Noticing the patterns in the bark reminded me of some of my LSD experiences eons ago.



I assured the ant it would receive all residuals.

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Memorial hoozah

So anyway, there I was in the midst of the Memorial hoorah. I figgered I could best demunstrayt muh paitridiotic sentimints by burnin' sum gazoleen and drinkin' sum beer.


THE DAM IS     WAAAYYY   TO THE RIGHT

Bein' a desert rat ah ain't nevr keered much fer lakes, but when the turn for South Lake Recreation Area (14 miles West of Bishop, California) presented its self, sompin' compelled me.

When I arrived the trailhead parking lot wuz plum full. Thar musta been at least 60 vehiklz cheek-tuh-jowl. For-choo-nitly, around the corner and not mor than a few hunnert feet away wuz anudder. An hit wuz practically empty!  Apparently hikers, like Walmartz patrons, like to park as close to the trailhead/door as they kin git. I often watch from der hinterlands as they wait for someone to vacate that most-coveted spot. Obviously, they have more time than energy.




But as I was sayin'...there at South Lake, I admired the snow-covered peaks and did my best to visualize it before the dam. I imagined the burgeoning trout and the elk, otters and countless birds gamboling along the flower-bestooned banks. I was workin' at it hard and could *almost* see the grizzlies jostlin' each other over the best tidbits.





Unfortunately, it's been dry the past several years (decades?). There's a puddle up next to the mountain, but there's half a kilometer of bare dirt betwixt it and the base of the dam.

The dam once claimed integrity from the power it generated, but it's been over ten years since it did anything at all. There're anecdotes that the Paiute lived here for thousands of years and, according to recorded history (the ONLY kind that matters, dontchya know?) never suffered from the lack.

I chose one of the two picnic tables overlooking the lake (bed). Iron mooring bars embedded in the granite less than 40 feet away added to the poignancy. Now 300 feet above the dirt (there's a puddle behind the dam but the lake has shrunk so much there's a three-hundred foot stretch of dirt between it and the lake), I imagined how people thousands of years hence, after the iron has rotted away, will puzzle over the smallish post-holes in the granite. Or, perhaps, as with today's anthropologists, they'll attribute them to some religious purpose.

I cooked some pork chops, drank an un-American stout (beer) and watched the cloud shadows. But there was still more road. And since this was the red-blooded (blood-red) holiday, I just HAD to go (alltheway) to the end.

And there...was Lake Sabrina. She too had seen better days. Note the two docks (photo below) sitting side-by-side. About a kilometer or so up the valley one could see the hint of water. I read in the Mammoth Lake Sheet there was less than 50% of the regular snowfall. I wondered what year they used for "regular" since it seems the "drought" has been going longer. I'm skeptical of all this drought business. I suspect they had a few wet years that in their innocence(?) they tho't (You think these people think?) were "normal."