Sunday, January 27, 2013

I awoke this morning wondering "What shall I do today?"

My choices:

1.  Take a few minutes out of my busy schedule to 'Set everybody straight on the internet about politics, guns, and religion.

or

2.  Take a walk.

 I decided to accept the challenge,
...to take the road less travelled,
...to overcome, achieve, and excel!
I decided to just take a walk at...
Mike's place



 Mike
Mike is a superb artist, and works with, well, anything.  If he'll let me, I'll do a blog on just he, Brenda, their house, and his art some day.

 
Mike and Kitty


















Hey Kitty, you probably don't want to chase a stick, do you?
You bet!  "Dog" is terrible at fetch!  Throw it.  Throw it.  Throw it.  Throw it.   Throw it.  Throw it.  Throw it.  Throw it. Throw it.  Throw it.  Throw it.  Throw it.  Throw it.  Throw it.  Huh?  Now?

Please!!!  Now is good!!!

Mike's place...
is about 4 miles up the East Fork of the Lewis river from my house, and is near the river's confluence with Copper Creek.  He has a sign on the side of his house that announces "Kayaker Parking Only.  All Others Will be Towed."  I rubbed the stubble on my face and considered that I'm pretty sure he means it.  I parked there anyway.  Mike and his friends, ever the inveterate kayakers, had become concerned with some of the blow downs that had fallen into the river.  Tagging one of these logs going 30mph in a tiny fiberglass shell could... um.. have a negative impact on the rest of your day.

So...

 We took a walk to check it out...

Mind you now, the expression "taking a walk" means different things to different people.  I have a friend who power-walks her neighborhood in San Diego.  If it's dry and above 70F.  Unless she sees an unleashed dog, then she turns around.  I don't understand, but I do know that it's a very real fear for her.  

"Taking a walk" out here has its own, shall we say, challenges.  It's wet.  The rocks are wet.  Your boots aren't exactly "traction masters".  Some of the paths are mere 10-12 inch outcroppings of  stone...10-20 feet above the next outcrop... which is 10-20 feet above the next, and then another drop to the river. And anything that doesn't move... is capped with that green moss that's so prevalent in the PNW.  My brain tells me that the rock's solid while my heart wonders whether or not some of that soft green moss will break away and disappoint some of my next of kin and all of my bankers?   Oh, and there are animal tracks in the softer areas that my friend from SD would not want to contemplate.  Not your dog.  Not your kitteh.


Three falls... One just before the horizontal log afar, one just after, and another at the lower part of the picture.  It would be so much fun to run this in a kayak.  After I get my shoulder fixed.  And my back, maybe.  Shoulder for sure, but back?  Nyah...  too scary.







the Green Eye



Ice cold, clear water.  Unsullied by humans.  Oft sullied by Steelhead.  This creek, and the river (Lewis) it feeds, are an angler's paradise.




Just more river.  When are we going to see something good?


video

Swimmin' Hole
This is a good spot for kayakers to pull out for a break.  Take a little swim to "cool off".


Many feet above the river, it's time to start back.  This is looking at the "trail" outcropping on the right side of the image.  Tricky.  Crappy pic, no sense of perspective, but it's actually a Long Way Down to the water.  And, wet with sweat, I'm starting to get cold.  My hips and legs are on fire.  I should have brought my nitro tabs.  I'm getting really tired.  And...    

Was it worth it?
HELL YES!
This is me.  Just sitting on a rock.  I've completely wasted the day when I could have been on the interwebs telling you everything, absolutely everything, that you need to know about politics, gu...  Nyah...  All that stuff can suck it.  I'm still alive.  And, as we all know, being alive is so much more rewarding after you've stepped up to the edge.

For the rest of the day I have pathetically little to look forward to as I trudge through my meager existence... one aching foot in front of the other, towards...  Maybe the hot tub!  Some dry clothes.  A blunt the size of my trigger finger.  FOOD!  (Cheetos are food)  Peaceful, relaxing sleep...


So.  If you ever get het-up about politics, guns, and/or religion...



You might want to consider just taking a frikken' walk.


Saturday, January 26, 2013

Meditation Station #2: Staring into the Sun

Friday morning.

This is what a gazebo looks like "Before".  Ugly, huh?


Then these guys, the "Gazebo Guys", get ready to go to work...


The Gazebo Guys:
Doug Franzoni, his wife Janice, and presenting the "Crew Boss"...

Jeremy!



Genesis...
The melodic murmur produced by the little creek that runs through the very middle of our property became the musical force for the idea of a second gazebo.  Requirement: must be located well out of sight of any civilization whatsoever.  The bad news:  we had to carry everything 125-150 meters through the forest, over un-even ground, over rocks, stumps, and all manner of vines that would snag anything but a que ball.  I have to admit, though, that after the eleventeenth trip to the small clearing by the creek... I was getting weary.


No matter the cost, things are always worth so much more when you invest:

"Sweat Equity"



This pic shows the concrete footings that have been dug and tamped into place for the four "floor" sections.   Things will start to go fast from here on out... 

IF... we can just keep the help out of the creek. 

"DON'T GET TOO CLOSE TO THE WATER!  YOU'LL SLIP ON THE ROCKS.  
STAY DRY!  DON'T GET WET!  DON'T MAKE ME TELL YOU TWICE!"  

Um... "Did you say something, Mom?"





The floors are in place, and leveled.



This next pic is some indication of the difference in my personal body temperature (99F and humid!) and the ambient temp (28F).  Man, I'm smokin'. 
The walls are coming up...
and it's starting to resemble a gazebo!



The "first floor" trusses ready to be lifted into place



It's looking even MORE like a gazebo...
If only it didn't leak so badly.  

I know!
Let's put on some...
Shingles!


Up come the trusses for the "second floor".




The "Second Floor" is now capped off, and it's time for...



"A well-deserved break"



Excuse... you wanna hand me up a cup of coffee?  Thanky!



Break time's over.  Let's get this thing finished up!



Ta-Dah!  It's a Gazebo!  (from the outside, anyway)


Gazebo


Gazebo


BUT... when you're on the inside looking out, it becomes...
Meditation Station #2



Meditation Station #2, staring into the Sun