Sunday, July 15, 2018

Klamath Falls, Oregon - Stinkin' Tuh High Heaven!

Basin Boot Barn andShoe Repair looks like a cobbler's shop should. Deep-lugged, high-topped boots stacked on the floor; the smell of tanned leather; various projects in process at different types of stitching machines. The White's are getting resoled by someone who's "experienced."

Klamath Lake reeks like a sewer. It's blamed on the rotting of dead blue-green algae that collects along the shoreline. I have yet to find much mention of WHY there's so much, but looking at the surrounding area's green fields laden with cattle, I suspect nitrogen run-off.

Livestock production, mostly cattle, covers the entire upper lake region with myriad small streams coursing through the pastures and draining into Klamath Lake. No boaters, definitely no swimmers, a few birds. Signs warn thoroughly gut and SKIN any fish caught to eat. Even THEN you're taking a chance. Blue-green algae poisoning results in severe nausea, vomiting, etc., etc.

But those cows and ranchers are our sacred Western Lifestyle. Too bad for the lake.

Friday, July 13, 2018

Happy All Smirkets' Day - Friday, 13th.

I was telling Karen how I really don't care for lakes; I'm more of a stream enthusiast. So where do I end up?

The word "smirket" was coined in Double-El's early childhood as part of her and her brother's cat-centric nomenclature. It denotes an all-black cat. Friday the 13ths were designated as their day of celebration.

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

The Hub Of The Universe - The Playa

It reminded me of Maya Lin's sculpture, the Vietnam Memorial, but the other end of the spectrum.

I stood atop a hill overlooking what, in a few weeks, will be Black Rock City.

There're far too many people for me to handle, but just gazing out at the cloud shadows, seeing the mirages and the light making magic through the dust clouds, I got a sense of the wonder and joy the event engenders.

I got to visit with Karla, the new Office Manager at their field office in Gerlach. At the tender age of 42, after 15 years of living in a van, she now has a 13-month old daughter and recently bought a house in Gerlach in order to take the job. Her partner is helping with childcare.

I also stopped in at the Immigrant Trails Conservation Area Visitors Center. There I got to meet Sarah, the new Exec Dir. She gave me a whole *different* perspective. She told how Charles Dodd, guesstimated to be in his 90s, started advocating to set aside the area in the 1960s.

It was encouraging to meet these two women who are passionate about what they're doing and are in positions where their enthusiasm can make a difference in peoples' lives.

I'm near Lava Beds Nat'l Monument (California), a little south of Klamath Falls, Oregon.

(further details and corrections to follow)

Wednesday, July 4, 2018

No Spectators - The Art of Burning Man at Smithsonian

The Renwick Gallery of the Smithsonian American Art Museum will transform for No Spectators: The Art of Burning Man, an exhibit of enormous scale that is sure to create a sustained buzz all over DC and captivate visitors through Jan. 21, 2019.

Below is link to full article excerpted above.

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Reconciliation and the Ruby Mountains

After a harsh exchange, she'd hung up on me. We'd been through it before so I figured I'd wait a few days before deleting her phone number. Still, it was a surprise when she called two days later.

We celebrated our sixth anniversary this year and although we've had some rough spots (in addition to German, she's part Dutch), we've continued to be highly enamored of each other.

So, after getting supplied in Elko, we set out to explore the Ruby Mountains. It is beautiful country with small creeks and streams coming down from nearly every crotch. But contrary to what many Elko-area websites seem to suggest, access is extremely limited. Although the entire central portion of the range is National Forest, the northern two-thirds is fronted by private property and there are only three access roads on the West side. After going where we could, we moved to the east side and spent several days there.

Independents that we are, six days was enough. She headed south to scout for further access; I'm heading NW for a while.

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Sometimes Things Just Don't Work Out

It was late last summer when we parted. We'd had a great time in Twin Falls (Idaho) where, in a thrift shop, we recreated a scene out of a movie in which the female protagonist is "helped" into her evening gown. We figured it out and it set the mood perfectly for the five-o'clock-martini. 

But this time things didn't go as planned and our rough edges got the best of us. 

So now, the question, traditionally relegated to whim, is, where too?