May 1975

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Clarke rode on the tractor with Bob down almost to where we cut the tree yesterday. Then Jeff rode for about ¼ mile, doing most of the steering. Later, Rebecca had a ride. Bob dragged the root and stump down the bank onto the road. Pushing it off the road was something else. I put a chain around it so he could try to drag it once but the road became so wet and mossy from the spring that he had a hard time. He finally shoved it off and then spent a couple of hours working on the road. Once again we ate at Big Bar, getting home around 8 o’clock. About 8:30 Bob remembered that he hadn’t drained the tractor so he went all the way down there again.

I didn’t write again until April 24th saying Bob was writing a letter to Biz Johnson and that I’d just gotten back from a nursery school board meeting. “We didn’t get much done.” Then George Halcomb called to tell me that the Board of Supervisors had turned down our request for $3,000 to add a room onto the recreation building. I didn’t know it was on the agenda or I would have gone.

The previous Sunday we had gone out to the ranch where I vacuumed the house—took about 4 hours—and Bob pulled up the grapevines with the tractor.

Barbara Mallett brought a two-day old calf to nursery school, much to the children’s delight.

May 2nd–we spent our first night of the year at the ranch. I was writing by candlelight, having just gotten the two older children to bed. Clarke had been asleep by the time we got there and I carried him upstairs and tucked him in. We’d left town after dinner.

That morning I’d answered the phone four times and called twice, done the dishes, etc. Then driven over to the park where Rebecca and some other children were meeting with Cary Conway (U.S.F.S.). They spent the day there. I left her camera, which she’d forgotten, and took Clarke to Linda Lindsey’s. Started up the Garden Gulch trail and went up to where the old cabin is and tried to follow the old road up. Part of it had been worked on and just past that section came across a fairly new outhouse. Scrambled up the creek quite away and then decided to try to go up on the ridge top to come home as it was getting late and I thought that would be faster. I was getting discouraged but though I saw a road across the hill, then saw an old rusty can and decided I might be right below a road—which I was. Took me a while to get oriented. I was on the road. Weaverville was to my right and should have been to my left. I kept walking and finally things straightened out. Where the road took a sharp turn down and to the left (into East Weaver drainage) I kept going straight and went up on an oak and digger pine covered ridge and knew where I was and how long it would take to get home. Had been up on that ridge a couple of times before. At lunch at Pinky Gulch and didn’t get home until 2:36. Jeff had been home half an hour by himself but didn’t seem to mind.

Took Jeff downtown, picked up Rebecca and Robin at Robin’s house, dropped them off at Lindsey’s so they could get Clarke. Florence and I went down to shovel manure. Got seven bags and put them in the barn.

The children were excited about sleeping overnight at the ranch and Jeff was anxious to try out his new “ranch” sleeping bag.

That Wednesday I’d taken the children to Redding to get new tennis shoes–$37.00 for all of them. We had root beer floats on the way home.

May 3rd—rain and sunshine alternating all morning. We should have built a fire in the big stove last night but hadn’t, just in the cooking stove, and it took a long time for the adults to go to sleep because we were so cold. This morning Bob got fires going in both stoves.

Florence and Leonard were going to come out and around noon Leonard called, saying he couldn’t get in the gate. I drove over to let them in and was glad to see how pretty the drive was—redbud starting, oak leaves uncurling. Sunlight most of the way over to the gate, rain most of the way back. Bob burned a pile of brush and boards in the morning. While Leonard rotortilled the garden this afternoon Florence, Bob and I piled up grape vines and other branches and Bob started burning that. Florence and Leonard ate lunch with us before working. They left around 4:00. They’d brought some trout that Leonard and Rupert Asplin caught last weekend. We decided this morning to stay one more night so Bob could burn—although I hadn’t brought extra food. So for dinner we had the fish, canned pork and beans, string beans, biscuits with blackberry jam or honey and, carrot sticks—really very good! Florence left cookies so we had those for dessert.

Around 5 pm it started snowing and “has been snowing off and on ever since’’-a light skim on the trees. Really very pretty to see it snow out there.

We found some old bottles down at the barn, two broken and one ok.

I found a lizard down there and Rebecca and Clarke collected it and kept it in the house most of the day. It kept getting out of the pen they had it in.

I kept the milk and things like that in the ice chest out on the back porch where it would stay cold. There were lots of birds around in spite of the cold weather, mostly robins and juncos. The pear trees were in bloom and the plums.

On May 15th, the next time I wrote, I’d just returned from attending a music program put on by the elementary school that evening. There was band music, chorus and two plays. Rebecca sang with the chorus and also played the piano for Yellow Submarine. The children did well and seemed to enjoy it. The building was packed. Rebecca did beautifully and seemed quite calm.

That was a busy day. After nursery school I took money for pictures up to Brigitte and talked to her for a few minutes. Came home and had lunch. After Jeff came home we went over to the elementary school where I attended a “tea” for helping mothers, for 15 minutes. Took Jeff to piano lessons and drove out East Weaver to get Clarke who was at McClurgs. Picked up Jeff and went home to fill out my time card and the attendance sheet, that had been due the previous Friday. Went to get Rebecca from her piano lessons, 20 minutes late, and took my papers to the high school. Came home and had a glass of wine and read the paper. Started dinner…left over pizza, salad, carrot sticks and a berry cobbler that I made before dinner. Then we went to the music program.

The previous day I’d gone out and pruned along the ranch road for a couple of hours. The day before that I’d gone to the Board of Supervisors again. And that time they said our building hadn’t been submitted on the Park Board budget—which it had. I talked to George Halcomb and he called J. Larken who talked to the board—still no go. So George had to write them a letter.

The previous weekend was the March of Dimes Walk-a-thon. Rebecca entered and walked at least 10 miles; she was marked down for the 12-mile checkpoint. They got rained out. So now Bob and I each have to pay her $10 because we pledged 50 cents a mile, not thinking she’d go very far. She stayed that night with Florence who also invited Robin Meyer and the two played there all the next day. Bob and the boys and I went out to the ranch. “It is so pretty out there this spring. The apples are blooming, as is the redbud and down on the gulch below the house, the dogwood. Lupine is beautiful this year. On the Knob above the house it looked as if someone had painted purple near the fence and pink (from a little pink flower) in a band next to it.”

I got tomatoes, more peas, summer squash, radishes and cucumbers planted and shoveled up some more space for the strawberries. Also mowed the lawn.

Bob worked on stovepipe. He went to replace the piece that fits into the ceiling on the big stove and found it was too small so drove all the way back to Weaverville Saturday afternoon to get the right size. Sunday he worked on the roof with both chimneys but still needs to finish the inside part on the cook stove. We ate dinner at Big Bar.

At some point, on a Friday, I substituted at Douglas City. The kids were really bickering a lot so it was a long day. Saturday I had laryngitis.

May 21st I hiked up Garden Gulch and by the time I got the van to our driveway knew I had a flat tire. Couldn’t get the lug nuts off so went up to the house and called Bob who came home and changed the tire for me.

Saturday we went out to the ranch. Mowed the lawn. It was a warm day but windy and Bob made parachutes for the kids out of Saran from our lunch. They had a marvelous time with them all afternoon. By wrapping the string around a small rock, or in Rebecca’s a little doll (and Jeff later around a one—legged doll) and throwing it in the air the parachute would fall and then open up.

Sunday, morning I planted a lot more in the garden—beets, chard, lettuce, green beans, another row of corn, etc. We ate lunch down at the creek, except for Rebecca, who decided she didn’t want to go down. It was cool and pleasant at the creek in the shade of the alders. Jeff and Clarke played in the shallow side pools but Clarke eventually fell into his little pool. It was cold!

Bob finished fixing the kitchen stove pipe and spent a lot of time down at the creek figuring out whether the trees on the bluff would fall on the new bridge after it is built.

We had another flat tire Saturday, the same one as last time. When I took it to the Shell Station Monday I was told both holes were in the side of the tire and were undoubtedly from an ice pick.

Monday I also went over to the nursery school and took pictures of Brigitte’s class. She taught Mondays and Wednesdays.

Tuesday night I drove to Big Bar for a Forest Forum meeting—a good presentation on the history of logging in Shasta, Trinity and Siskiyou counties. Only 16 people were there.

Bob called from Bakersfield where he’d gone on Monday and would be back Friday afternoon. The previous Thursday he had talked to the children in Jeff’s class and Friday had shown a few at a time how his computer worked.

The next weekend we were out at the ranch again. We stopped on the way at Irene and Abe Nunn’s 40the wedding anniversary party for a couple of hours. After all the snacking at the party I just fixed soup and bread for dinner. Saturday morning I had made bread and chocolate chip cookies as well as packing clothes and food for the weekend. On Sunday I planted more in the garden, trimmed all the grass across the front of the house and around the rose bushes and started the water running down the little ditch through the orchard. Bumblebees swarmed around the place where the pipe exited into the ditch in the orchard and I thought maybe they had nested in there. Bob spent most of the day down at the creek doing calculations for the abutments.

Spring Snow 1975

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On a Saturday, Florence and Leonard got back from Mexico looking tanned and relaxed, bringing hats for the boys and a necklace and bracelet for Rebecca. They ran into snow coming over Buckhorn Summit.

Friday I had met with Bob Gravette and George Files to go over our needs for a nursery school room. I’d made a sketch (to scale) and one of the secretaries had run off 10 copies of the sketch and estimates for me.

Bob went out to the ranch Saturday afternoon and put oil in the tractor. I was feeling satisfied with the increase of Community Concert memberships that I’d made.

On the first day of spring we woke to find 3-4 inches of snow on the ground and it continued snowing all day. Bob put the chains on his car to go work and took Rebecca and Jeff to school. Around 8:30 Helen Aven knocked at our door. She hadn’t been able to make it past our driveway, had done a 180 degree turn in the road, and ended up backing her pickup into our road. No chains on, no snow tires. She stayed and talked for an hour, had some coffee, and then walked to school.

Bob came home for lunch but walked up from the road. He put chains on the VW and tried to get it out but it’s now firmly stuck across the top of our driveway. Rebecca’s bus dropped her off at the foot of Oregon Street and she walked home. Mr. Holland brought Jeff to the foot of our driveway.

I spent about an hour this morning hauling wood from the woodshed to the front porch–a few pieces at a time.

Jeffrey went out and played with Kinnik-Kinnick in the snow—running and leaping and falling. The dog was delighted to finally find someone who enjoyed it as much as she did. Later all three children went out to play. By 4:00 o’clock I measured 24 inches in the backyard. Walking down our driveway it was a couple of inches above my knees. Not counting what was packed down. Beautiful snow, not too wet. I did lots of laundry and cooked some stew and made cookies, just in case the electricity went off. It did but only for a few minutes.

A little before six I called Leonard and he came over with his 4-wheel drive truck and picked us up at the bottom of the driveway. He took us over to their place. Bob drove his car there and we had dinner with Florence, Leonard, Scott, Michael, Dick, and Sandy and Scot Harger. Dick and crew arrived on a snowcat and, just before they left, gave all the children a ride. Florence served us a delicious soup—a Mexican recipe with shrimp in it– and salad and Mexican rolls.

Leonard gave us a ride to the bottom of our driveway. Poor Clarke…he was so tired but he held on to Bob’s hand and struggled up the hill. We have a good path beaten down. It started snowing again as we came up the hill around 9:30. We really had a good evening over there—lots of conversation and laughing.

Wednesday, Clarke went home with Waylene Stacy after nursery school to play with Jennifer. I spent an extra hour cleaning up the storeroom. Tuesday we had, as a result of super wet snow followed by rain, water running through the storeroom on the floor and coming up into the main room.

Saturday, late March: I walked downtown to get the mail and pick up a couple of things from the grocery store. Helen Aven was digging her pickup out so I stopped and helped her for a few minutes. The snow was about four inches above my knees on our driveway.

After lunch, when the sun was shining, I dug out snow from behind the VW, about four feet on all sides and in front. Was able to drive it up by the porch again. Then Bob drove the boom truck down the hill. Coming back (it had 4-wheel drive, no chains) the truck got stuck just below the turn. He had to tie the winch to an oak tree and pull the truck up onto the turn, out of the way, leaving the center packed so hard that the children and I were able to slide down it on the disk.

Bob shoveled some down at the entrance to the driveway and also helped Moon Lee do some digging around his car (he’d just gotten back from a trip.)

Saturday I had helped the children dig a fort but they really had the most fun making their own trails through the snow and lying in caves made by bent bushes. Rebecca wisely suggested they keep their heads out.

Bob took the VW to work Monday and came home around noon. The children and I drove him back to work. I mailed some packages and went to the grocery store. After parking at the bottom of the driveway we each took something to carry up to the house. It rained all day so I was sure I could take the VW to the house the following day.

I made two loaves of whole-wheat bread and two of banana nut bread. Bob came home around 5:00, gathered up his suitcase and went walking down the driveway in topcoat, rubber boots and rain hat. He was to drive to Redding and fly to SF again. I thought it was his last computer training class. He’d be home the next night.

Easter Sunday, March 30th was cold and foggy early but clear and warm by around 11:00. I hid the eggs in the flower garden area instead of on the lawn where there was still too much snow. The children each received a hand puppet and a hollow egg filled with jellybeans (a Fred Varney special) as well as their eggs. Rebecca told me Jeffrey didn’t believe in the bunny anymore, although he hadn’t told me. I let him stay up the previous night to help color eggs. I heard him say that morning though “I’m sure glad the Easter Bunny gave me this puppet.”

Tuesday I had a meeting at the Superintendent of School’s office to meet with an architect about the nursery school. I picked up Linda Ohde to watch the kids. When I got back as far as the firehouse though, and stopped at the stop sign, my clutch pedal went funny. The cable had broken. I left the car and walked over to the hardware store to use the phone. Called the schools’ office and the garage. The person from the garage got the car into low and I drove up to the (?) and left the car. Walked back to the meeting. Walked home.

Children had some cousin time during their vacation—Kent and Noel.
Rebecca and Noel got along well.

One day, while Rebecca was with Noel at Florence and Leonard’s, Linda Ohde came to watch the two boys, bringing cookie dough for them to cut out, decorate and bake.

Bob and I went out to the ranch road. It took us all afternoon to go about one-fourth mile. He cut trees up and I stacked the sections alongside the road. The last tree was very difficult for him. We worried about the uprooted roots falling on him. I had to roll sections uphill and was really stiff the next day. We tried to drive to the top of the hill but there were still several inches of snow in places. We ate dinner at Big Bar.

Spring 1975

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February—bits and pieces

Rebecca gets well.
Jeff smashes his fingers in a door.
Drove to Big Bar in a rainstorm to go to the Forest Forum meeting. Had to go by Proffitt’s and pick up the film on Golden Trout, which Ray Proffit had forgotten.
Helped in Jeff’s class the next day.

Sunday, after lunch, we drove out as far as the gate and walked down to the creek. The children played while Bob walked on up to the house. We ate dinner in Big Bar. Children were tired after walking about three miles and being outside for the first time in a while.

Bob got back on Friday evening after having gone to San Francisco Monday, Seattle Tuesday evening, and Vancouver B.C. on Thursday. He said Vancouver was a very attractive city: clean, people were friendly. He brought back some Canadian money for the children. Jeff “immediately introduced Queen Elizabeth to George Washington on a one-dollar bill. “


Bob Young’s Barn

On the 22nd I took Jeffrey and Clarke to Redding to see a puppet show at the college. Rebecca chose to stay home. Afterwards we ate lunch in the mall and got some books at the bookstore. Lassen and Shasta both looked pretty with no smog. After we got home I made rhubarb pie and blackberry pie, and fixed lasagna.

While Bob worked on taxes, I sent a story to Ranger Rick and then hauled garbage to the dump. “While there I met a 70-year-old woman who told me she had adopted seven children of all races and nationalities and now lives comfortably on Social Security, collecting aluminum cans and collecting bottles. She plays the piano five days a week at the Nutrition Center.”

Bob was leaving the next day for Bakersfield so I ironed shirts and folded clothes after everyone was in bed. Mary Upham called to ask me to substitute that Friday for her at Douglas City.

Rebecca had been spending hours in her room with paper dolls, even making clothes for them. I’d gotten her a book of famous women paper dolls when I was in Redding.

I measured, sawed. and hammered boards together to make two boxes for lunch cubbyholes for new children at nursery school and painted them.

My mother sent letters she had written to her parents in 1938 and 1939. She’d numbered the envelopes. My dad was getting paid 60 cents an hour in September 1938, and working 12-14 hour days. Groceries for them and the two boys cost $25/month. I was on the way and was being referred to as Arabella, although I think they had no idea whether or not I was a girl.

Bob called from Bakersfield Thursday night and we talked for about 45 minutes. I was so tired of his being gone so much and he sounded exhausted.

Sunday, March 2nd, Bob went down to his office around 10:00 and didn’t get back until 7:30 p.m. He was home all day yesterday though, “sort of.”


Weaver Bally

When I subbed at Douglas City I had 20 children (I made name tags ahead of time) until 12:30 when six kindergarteners arrived. Jan Reese, who was the teacher’s aide, was in the 2nd grade when I taught the lower grades in 1962-1963. Back in town by 4:30, groceries, picked up kids. I’d had a nursery school board meeting the night before at Kathy Barne’s house.

Someone broke into the U.S. Forest Service office at Big Bar and stole the files on mining claims. The FBI was called in.

Got a very nice letter from Oliver Burglund last week. “Sure is nice to have someone to talk to about birds.” He said some nice things about a poem I sent him too. Also said he’d been snowed in for 10 days with 4-5 feet of snow and 12-foot drifts around his house.

On March 12th we took the older nursery school children to a music program at the elementary school for an hour. Rebecca’s class played recorders and sang. Jeff’s sang and danced; he wore his cowboy shirt. “Clarke, during the program, yelled at the top of his voice, “ I can’t hear you.” He and Steven Echols were playing some game where they were covering their ears. “I hoped everyone would think he belonged to Rosemary, who was sitting closest to him. “

I was in the middle of the Community Concert Campaign; typing and mailing a newsletter to the Forest Forum members; and trying to get organized to present a plea to the Board of Supervisors for a building for the nursery school that could also be used for small group meetings.

Saturday we all went out to the ranch road. Bob threw rocks out and I cut brush. The children played, gathering Douglas fir boughs to make beds, etc. Ones that I’d cut. We ate lunch in the car. It was cool and cloudy with occasional sprinkles. Sunday, Linda Ohde came to the house and Bob and I went out there. I cut brush from the gate down—got lots done. Bob packed a battery in to the ranch to put in the tractor and brought the tractor out. (I guess to the gate).

The previous Friday Linda took care of the children and Bob and I went to Redding. We ate at Lim’s and then went to the Community Concert—Welsh Male Chorus plus a woman who sang and played a lap harp, and a man who did readings from Dylan Thomas.

Clarke and Jeffrey and I all got poison oak. I knew I was cutting it on our road (really smart with the sap rising) but didn’t expect to get as much of a rash.

On St. Patrick’s Day, March 17th, we had about a foot of snow on the ground. I made a presentation to the Board of Supervisors to ask for funding for a nursery school room. They agreed to put it in the next year’s budget. Friday I met with Bob Gravette and George Files to go over our needs for a room. I’d made a sketch (to scale) the night before. One of the secretaries ran off ten copies of the sketch and the estimates.

Saturday Bob went out and put oil in the tractor. It was cold and stormy. Sunday we all stayed home. I left the car at the bottom of the driveway that afternoon. Got quite a few new memberships for the Community Concert that weekend.

Jan. 1975-Feb. 1975

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On a Sunday Linda Ohde did childcare while Bob and I went out to the ranch, picking up Darrel S., who bought property in Big French Creek up toward the Upper Ranch. He wanted to access through our place and we thought talking to him on the way in to our place would be good. He’s about 30, long, blond hair, smokes, used to live in Idaho. We got things worked out with him fairly well I think. At least we all understand each other a lot better. It was very cold out there but o.k. while we were moving. He and Bob climbed up on the big rock by the creek to look at the Douglas fir that leans out toward the bridge. He was a faller so could give some advice. We got home around 5:00 pm.

Saw a beautiful scene out there. We were sitting on the porch when a flock of birds, band-tailed pigeons perhaps, came flying in low over the field. At first I thought it was the wind, their wings made such a loud noise. Then they divided, two groups wheeling out in opposite directions, rejoining, dividing, swooping up and diving and turning so that the light and shadow alternated between the tops and under parts of their bodies like one of the Escher drawings. When we left, they were perched in the top of a snag and another tree and had been there for about 15 minutes. Saw another flock on the way out and some at Pigeon Point, along the river.

Tuesday morning there were just a few clouds in the sky when we got up. By 9:30 it was snowing and by 12:30 I slid around a lot on the road going out of Lowden Park. By 2:30 Oregon Street was all melted off. Made a snowman with Clarke. One day that week I wore my shirt that said, “The Hand that Rocks the Cradle Should Rock the Boat”.

Bob was out of town again. I wrote “I’m starting to get extra cross with the children again. I think a lot of it has to do with Bob being gone so much. I get so tired of responding all the time. It would be great to be a calm, even-tempered, lovable mother. I guess such ones exist.”

Thursday morning we had only five children out of 24 at Nursery School. The rest were ill. We took them to the cabinet shop (Weaverville Woodcraft) and then to Brown’s for a treat. The heat was off in the Recreation Building because they’d run out of fuel. So we were lucky to have warm places to go.

Friday it snowed all day. I took Bob to work and the children to school with just snow tires. Around 10:30 I started down the road but was sliding a lot so stopped at the turn (of our driveway) to put on chains. Got one on easily—too loose, actually, but couldn’t get the other. I was soaked from lying in the snow and muddy from dirt off the car. Hooked two tightening hooks together to connect the chain and drove down to the road. Clarke and I then came back up the hill and ate lunch. I put my jacket and pants in the dryer. After lunch I turned on the TV, channel 9, for Clarke to watch and went back down. Got the chain off and started all over. Finally got it fastened. Walked back to the house and got Clarke. Went down to get copies of my letter from Bob, bought groceries, and went to the post office. Picked up Rebecca and Jeff from the hardware store where they’d been since about 12:30. The school had called me, then Linda Lindsey, then Florence because the children were getting out early. Florence reached me when I came up for lunch. Got home around 3:00. At 5:00 I walked down to the car and went to get Bob from work.

When there was snow we’d park down at the bottom of the driveway and walk down to the car from the house. The next day, after breakfast, I walked down and shoveled quit a bit of snow from the front of the car, where plows had pushed it. Drove downtown and bought groceries and a birthday present for a friend of Rebecca’s. Went in the Village Greenery, which had its opening day that day. Went home and made two trips up the hill, the second time with my daypack. While I was gone Jeff said he’d gone down and done some shoveling for me.

Kinnik-Kinnick loved the snow and bounded through it and rolled in it. Unfortunately that day she caught a jackrabbit and brought it to the back porch. The kids were o.k. about it but were worried that it was still alive because its eyes were open.

Bob was sick with a sore throat and cold but everyone else was healthy. He was getting good feedback on his abilities from the main office. We had about 14 inches of snow on the ground.

Rebecca got sick. Rosemary Echols subbed for me at nursery school. At the night class Jack McMills showed a film on resuscitation and talked about CPR. It was a good class but only about half the people were there because they were sick or their families were.

I was reading a book by Edwin Way Teale called the “Lost Wood”. He traveled all over and observed and wrote.

One night I went to two different board meetings: one at the Recreation Building to ask the Park Board about dividing the room. Then went out to Rosemary Echols’ for a nursery school board meeting.

On Valentine’s Day I gave each of the three children a heart-shaped box of candy. Had never done that before. They seemed pleased.

Bob suggested Sunday afternoon that he would take one or two of the children to the office with him. I suggested him taking all three and they went down to play with the computer while I went for a walk. It was raining a little when I started, with a few snowflakes, and then steadily. I got soaked but “it felt good to be out by myself again. I practically ran up the trail. There was till some snow here and there; every little gulch was pouring water and water was coming into or gushing out of every gopher hole. I started down Pinky Gulch to the place I visited a lot this fall, which overlooks Garden Gulch. There was about six inches of snow, which squished slushily on every step. Ahead of me a large bird flew up. At first I thought it was a grouse, although it was bigger. The light was dim and through the rain I couldn’t see many distinguishing features. It was grey except for dark bands above the eyes. The crown and cheeks were white. The tail was rounded and large. It flew off in a curve so that it went up hill as I approached. I discovered a partially eaten rabbit carcass where it had been on the snow. The legs and hindquarters were all that was left and there were bloody marks on a small boulder nearby showing, perhaps, where it had first perched. I decided it must have been an immature hawk or possibly an immature eagle. Would have stayed a while to get another look at it but was getting cold. Had a thermos of coffee with me and drank some on the way home.”

Took the children and Linda Ohde to the Chinese New Year celebration at Moon and Dorothy Lee’s. Then Fred Meyer took Linda and the three kids to our house and took his children home while Jeannie Meyer and I went to a school board meeting. I wrote that it was one of the most interesting ones I’d been to where they were discussing priorities—teachers were expressing themselves strongly.

The next Monday afternoon Bob flew from Redding to San Francisco to take a class in Fortran (a computer language). He got back Wednesday afternoon.

Wednesday morning Rebecca woke me up at 6 a.m. saying her ear hurt and everything was blurry. She’d been sick and taking penicillin so this was a total surprise –had a temperature of 104. I panicked and called the hospital after giving her aspirin and putting her in a cool bathtub. They said to call our doctor, which I did, waking him up. Later felt quite foolish since I should probably have waited to see whether or not my efforts had lowered the fever. He said to go to his office around 9:30. By then her temperature had gone down but she was still really sick. By mid-afternoon it was back up to 105. The Ohde kids came to get Clarke. Jeff was down at Myer’s. I got Bob to come home to help with a very miserable child in cool water. After a few days she got better, of course.

A couple of days later I told my spouse that “the only place we’d been together, since my birthday two months before, had been two funerals”!

That Saturday, a foggy and cold morning, I was able to eat breakfast, get food ready for the children, run a load of laundry, fix a lunch and leave the house around 8:30. “Parked the car by Bagley’s and went up the trail. Frost had pushed the dirt up and I sank at least ¼ of an inch with every step, my feet crunching the pillars of ice. The manzanita bushes were covered with frost—crystals sticking up every which way, like sparse porcupine quills, and some lying flat against the leaves. Rose hips likewise had this sprinkling and all the spider webs were white.

At Pinky Gulch there were icicles hanging in the creek and some roots completely encased in ice. Took a picture of some ice at the first creek crossing. By the time I got up to Pinky Gulch the sun was shining. I went down to where I’d seen the big bird and the dead rabbit. Found many clumps of fur scattered on top of the rock, not much on the ground, no bones. There was also a hair-filled feces on top of the rock, fox maybe.

I went way up to the top of the ridge. I’ve been aiming for—but didn’t
get to–where it branches. About 200 feet from it I was stopped by a manzanita field. Must talk to Vernon Ryan again about getting up on that ridge to the left. I ate lunch sitting on a rock, which had short, dead manzanita branches on its sheltered side. It sat in the middle of a snow patch and manzanita. Trees are all oak and Digger pine (gray pine) on that ridge. Saw a couple of deer—many tracks. As I was about to leave, I saw a big red-tailed hawk. It came low over the ridge to land plumply in the top of a Digger pine about 50 feet away—magnificent bird, if you’re not a mouse! Went too far to the left on the way down and floundered around for a while finding my way back. At lunch I could see just the tip of Weaver Bally to my left but most of the ridges to the right still had snow- covered trees at that elevation.”

Saw shooting star leaves coming up—varied thrushes, robins, chickadees, towhees, Steller’s jays, and a gray squirrel. Oh, and also, while I was eating lunch, a flock of band-tailed pigeons came wheeling in, turned in formation and disappeared. I could hear their wings, like a soft wind. Greenleaf manzanitas are beginning to bloom.

“I really had a good workout—physically and psychologically. Very stimulating. “

We got a note from Florence and Leonard with their address for their stay in Mexico.

1975 Begins

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After the Christmas social life—breakfast at the Ohdes, dinner with the grandparents, a dinner on the 23rd with the Joneses and my brother and family—things got back to more-or-less normal.

I got Linda Ohde to come and do child care while I took a walk. We’d had a little powder snow the night before so there were lots of animal tracks. The only animal I saw though was a gray squirrel. I ate lunch way up on the hill with hard chunks of snow falling all around from the trees—one landed on my pack and in my coffee. It was warm in the sun.

Bob went out to the ranch with Mike Quinn, although not all the way. They put in the last downspout below a culvert. I took the children up on Glennison Gap to slide in the snow. Rebecca really didn’t want to be there so sat in the car to eat her lunch. The boys had a good time sliding on disks and plastic sacks. Bob and Mike came along and Rebecca rode home with them.

One day Linda came to be with the children so I could give a talk on the nursery school to Rotary. Rebecca went to slide in the snow at the Meyer’s. “I’m glad it’s over. Most of the men are well past child rearing so I think they weren’t really very interested.”

Cousin Jessica came and for lunch one day and stayed most of the afternoon.

“I’ve gotten some reading done–can squeeze it in here and there to preserve my sanity. Just finished reading Driftwood Valley, a story about a couple who lived in British Columbia for two different years, 300 miles from the nearest town.”

“Bob is working on a very complicated program for the computer but one which should save the company a lot of money.”

Aunt Nell died the morning of January 6th. She had been in the hospital since before Christmas. “I’m going to miss her. Wish I’d gone to see her sooner. “ I had tried the day before but there were nurses with her and it was obvious she was very ill. I think Aunt Nell and I had our wanderlust in common.

Florence took the kids the day before (Sunday) so Bob and I could go out to the ranch. We drove as far as the upper gate and walked down to the creek and back. We got soaked—our legs did—and icy, but stayed dry on top with our rain jackets. There was snow here and there, lots of rocks in the road, very isolated feeling.

Bob went to Bakersfield last Thursday and was supposed to get back Friday night but his flight was cancelled. He got back Saturday around 3:00. Saturday was his 40th birthday.

To Aunt Nell
Who is that knocking
on my winter door
tap-tapping as death
squeezes at my heart?

Oh, it’s you, come
to keep me company.
I’m glad you’re here
to see me on my way.
I do like a friend on
a snowy morning.

Used to be I rode my horse
through these mountains
along the winding trails.
But now I guess I’ll have to
travel on my own.

If you’ll just hold
my hand a minute
I’ll be ready.
I’ve not been there before
so I’m a little anxious.

But I’ve never been one
to sit still for long.

The cold and snowy day of Aunt Nell’s funeral I taught nursery school, went home to grab a quick lunch and clean up the dishes from making doughnuts at nursery school, changed clothes and just made it to the ceremony. Cheryl and Scott made room for me to sit between them. Rev. Jim Austin read a history of Aunt Nell that Bob and Florence had prepared. Afterwards we went to Florence and Leonard’s where a buffet was provided for about 50 people—people all up and down the street had brought food. Relatives came from all over—Ana May from Washington, Gene from Oregon, Aunt Nell’s grandchildren and only great grandchild from Orleans.

Later I picked up Rebecca from Pearl Gott’s where she had gone for piano lessons, Jeff from Doris’ (she had taken him to his piano lesson at Harriet Mathies’ and back to her house), Clarke from Linda Lindsey’s. Jeff just recently started lessons. Rebecca had a difficult adjustment period—having to share “her” piano, etc. He’s enjoying it and doing well. The adult parent nursery school for that night was cancelled because of slippery conditions.

Friday I took Clarke to Linda’s and took a walk. “Snow was dropping off the trees and, in some places, there were five or six inches. Got a couple of pictures at Pinky Gulch. Snow falling off the trees into the creek sounds like fish jumping in a lake.

Walking in snow takes longer—It’s like walking in loose sand. I really got hot walking, had on long underwear, a sweatshirt and my parka. Ate lunch where I wasn’t sitting under a tree—in part of the Pinky Gulch drainage. Came across a couple of places on the trail where there were lots of birds but couldn’t really figure out why they were there—no open ground or running water, no excess of berries (manzanita or rosehips). Saw flickers, varied thrushes, robins, towhees, and even some cedar waxwings. Saw a Steller’s jay when I was eating lunch.

“I was starting to read Pilgrim at Tinker Creek. “Oliver Berglund’s name was first on the card so I think he must have ordered it.”

Here was a day I didn’t want to repeat. Rebecca had been home sick, with a fever. “I’d had to rush home from nursery school, eat a sandwich, take Rebecca’s temperature (I’d had her call me every hour when I was at work), take Clarke to Linda Lindsey’s be back at nursery school by 1:00 for a meeting with Brigitte and Holly Stevensson (from Shasta College) who is in charge of their nursery school training program. At 2:00, as we were ending the meeting, Jeffrey called. He’d forgotten his piano music books at school and had gone home. I drove by the school to get his music, up to the house to get him, over to the Mathies’ to drop him off, then over to the dentist where I had a 2:30 appointment. Then went at 3:30 to get Jeff (his piano teacher let him stay an extra half hour), up to Linda’s to get Clarke, and then home. Read the paper, fixed diner for the children, washed the dishes, then went over to Ohde’s to get Linda, took her to the house and went to the Gables for a Forest Forum meeting.

We had reservations for 25 and 35 showed up. We were ordering from the menu so it took forever. Had a slight run-in with another member of our advisory group about his wanting to the group to make a statement to the board of supervisors about the National Recreation Area. Still another member made a number of remarks during the evening about things like “A woman’s place is in the home.” There were three drawings and I won two of them but I put one back in for another drawing and kept the first, which turned out to be two steaks (which we had that weekend and were delicious). The talk lasted too long and it was 11:00 pm before I got home.”

That Saturday I took the three children to Redding, leaving at 8:30 a.m. to go to the college to see the Magic Show. A busload of children from Weaverville went too. We took a lunch and ate in the city park after the program and then came home where we found Bob had arrived about 20 minutes before we did. He’d been in San Francisco going to a computer graphics school. He’d gone to Eureka to look at some stuff there for the bridge and flown to San Francisco from there. Friday night when he was supposed to fly to Eureka he’d flown up and then back to S.F. because of fog. Flew into Redding Saturday morning.

1974 Comes to a Close

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Jeffrey was starting to learn to ride his bike. We didn’t have much flat ground in the backyard but enough to practice. If Jeff reads this he will remember the “sticker” incident. Persistence.

I made a trip to Fresno with Bob in Lonnie’s plane as he had to go that way for business. I stayed with Candie, Jim and Carin in Fresno for a medical checkup. He continued from there on a commercial flight to Bakersfield. The children stayed in Weaverville with grandparents. After dinner Candie and I went to a Montessori meeting at Carin’s school. One afternoon Candie and I went into a bookstore and I bought paperbacks for the children. The next day I met Bob at the airport and we flew home together.

The 1st of November I wrote about hiking up Garden Gulch, leaving Clarke at McClurg’s to play with Amy. We’d had several days of rain so the ground was damp and the leaves noiseless beneath my feet. Saw gold-crowned sparrows, an acorn woodpecker, robins, a wren, a spotted towhee, a covey of quail and a chipmunk. I needed a jacket to sit and eat lunch.

The previous week had been “frantic”. Lots of house cleaning, and nursery school. I was making a long dress for Rebecca for Halloween, which was October 31st. “She wanted to be a pioneer lady, but really I think she wanted me to make a long dress for her. Finished it Thursday afternoon and ironed patches on some old Levis for Jeff to be a hobo. He wore one of Bob’s old shirts and carried a pole with a red bandana on it. Thank goodness Clarke was able to wear his bunny suit again.” We ate a quick dinner and rushed over to the Recreation Building where there was a little parade of kids and judging. Jeffrey won a prize. Then we picked up Ann Marie and went up to the house to get Bob and took the children trick-or-treating. After that it was back to the park for games and then home.

I’d gotten a notice on Thursday that there might not be continued funding for the nursery school’s extra class even though it had been discussed the previous year. So there was a meeting with the high school principal, the community college, Brigitte and myself and Bob Gravette (county schools). Mixed in with all that was hauling garbage to the dump, several meetings, and then nothing more written until November 21st.

I’d just returned from a lengthy nursery school parent meeting and was playing John Denver records, had a fire in the fireplace, and was drinking hot-buttered rum. Bob had just gotten back from a business trip that afternoon and was still not back from a planning commission meeting. We had stayed home the previous Saturday but had gotten Patty to watch the children Sunday while we went out to the ranch. Bob put drainpipes behind the abutment while I hiked up to the Upper Ranch.

“It was overcast and drizzled once for a few minutes but a marvelous walk. The maples were bright yellow—big leaves, twice as large as my hand, drifted down. Kind of spooky on a cloudy day in some of the dense forest—I felt as if people of 50-75 years ago should have been in the cabin and tending the field up there. I found an Indian pestle in the meadow and brought it home. The trees around the old cabin were brilliant reds and oranges. Got back to the creek around 4:00 p.m. Half an hour later it began to rain hard. Fortunately Bob just finished. We were sure glad he had the culverts in.

Tuesday I had gone to Big Bar to attend a Forest Forum program on forestry in Finland, with a little bit of reindeer thrown in. I’d found it interesting: very mechanized over there, small trees, even-aged, clearcuts.

December 2nd I drove to Redding to do some Christmas shopping. There was a little snow in the rain going over the hill. Bob was leaving that afternoon to go to Redding and fly to Bakersfield.

There were poems.

Hawk
Is it difficult for a hawk when oak leaves fall,
rocking gently downward,
miniature kites whispering secrets
of the warm summer past?
Is it difficult for a hawk, coasting
in tight circles over
brown, oak-studded meadows,
to know what Is mouse and
what is leaf?
Is it difficult for a hawk,
with all the quick movements
among the baring branches,
or do her keen eyes detect
motion of life
from motion of death?

Family Thanksgiving dinner was at Florence and Leonard’s. I took my usual refrigerator rolls. We had gone to Lewiston that morning to buy a new dining room table and four chairs from Helen and Bud Fine. It was a nice table, round, with folding leaves and two extra leaves for the middle if needed. Others at the dinner included Dick, Kay and Michael; Nancy and David and children; Nancy and Dave and children; Uncle Stanford and Calvene; and Aunt Nell. We went out to the ranch Saturday and took Kent. Rebecca and Noel went out to the lake with Florence and Nancy.

On my 36th birthday I took Clarke to Linda’s and hiked up on the pointy mountain. (Not quite sure where that is.) Ate lunch sitting by a mossy- trunked oak. I could see Weaverville but mostly looked at the wind blowing the ponderosa and sugar pines and the Douglas firs. Misty rain fell now and then on Weaver Bally.

When I I got home I ran errands with Jeffrey for an hour while Bob and Florence were fixing bulletin boards (covered with burlap) for me. She had asked me the day before what color I wanted. Rebecca gave me a little pillow she had made at school, stuffed with pieces of sheets. Bob gave me a picture of the Crags that I had admired at Alpine Outfitters. Florence fed the children at her house and brought them home and Linda Ohde child sat while we went to dinner at the Lewiston Hotel.

Tuesday night I had gone to an elementary school board meeting and Wednesday a high school board meeting that was still going when I left at 11:30. I was on the agenda at 11:15 and the high school committed to funding the nursery school for the rest of the year.

On the 20th I noted that I had a bad cold and Bob had just returned from being gone for a week and had gone to a meeting. But “I had all my Christmas presents sent” although still needing to wrap what I had at home.

The nursery school’s last day before vacation was the day before and we’d had both classes together. They’d decorated stockings and then Santa (Dan Tucker) had come. Clarke and Andy were the only two who wouldn’t sit on his lap. Brigitte and I had to sit on his lap to get our presents.

“We had an especially good Christmas” that year. One thing I mentioned was that the children were old enough to wait with unwrapping to watch others unwrap. Everyone was healthy and I was able to give Bob some things he really liked without having to ask him what he would like. One was a plastic, raised relief map of Trinity County that came in two pieces. Rebecca was really excited about giving to others. Speaking of excitement, I’d asked Linda Ohde whether she could come and help me to finish things up on Christmas Eave and she was really excited about doing that! “After I took her home I heard a clunking outside. I finally discovered, by walking down the road with my flashlight, that there was a large, belled mule down on the turn!”

August-October 1974

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Jeffrey had a good birthday. He got lots of camping stuff and Scott Muir stayed overnight at the ranch. Scott gave him some trucks.

The rest of that week was really busy. That Tuesday we dropped Scott off at the elementary school (where his mother worked), picked up Linda Ohde to sit with children for a couple of hours. I took the car to the tire shop and left it, walked to Valley Pharmacy, bought a paper and sat in the Bakery with a glass of lemonade and a doughnut and read for 20 minutes. Walked back to the tire shop where we’d had recaps put on the back. Went to Rikerts’ to pick up stuff for the bridge; went to the hardware store for more stuff. Got home and Doris came to pick Linda up. At 6:00 we went to the Alps for inner. Aunt Nell, Lloyd and Marie came in while we were there, eating outside. They’d just gotten back from Redding after going to Brookings the day before to get Aunt Nell and driving back to Fortuna. Got to the ranch around 8:00. I was really tired.

Wednesday afternoon around 5:00 Florence and Leonard came out in their camper. They parked in the orchard and we all ate dinner up there, swatting mosquitoes and no-see-ums. Combined dinners. Thursday morning they and Bob and Rebecca got up at 5:00 a.m. and worked on the bridge abutments all day—to 6:00 p.m., 7:00 for Bob. I mowed the lawn and most of the orchard, picked blackberries and made a pie, took lunch down at noon, etc. Thursday night we all ate in the house.

School started and the children were adjusting to the new life schedule accompanied by fatigue and crossness. Clarke played well by himself in the mornings but was tired in the afternoon. Rebecca was missing the “down” time that she needed what with my running errands so many days after they came home plus the length of her day on piano lesson days. It showed in her fatigue. Jeff was disappointed that three of his favorite friends weren’t in his class that year. “He has such a funny way of saying things sometimes.”

I began cleaning the house and rearranging some things. I had the first nursery school parent meeting with 17 people coming. There were 22 children signed up so we scheduled two classes. (ended up with 25 children)

“I had a letter in the newspaper concerning the recent anti-nudity law passed by the Board of Supervisors.” I vaguely remember this! And I was surprised that I got support for it when I’d expected the opposite.

Bob and I spent a weekend out at the ranch, leaving the children with grandparents. It was mostly a relaxing time but of course we also did some work. Took leftover lumber from the abutment work up to the barn and stacked it; while he was stacking it in the barn I cleaned the pool. Then he picked pears while I picked corn. Froze blackberries the day before. Picked a sack of apples. We called Florence from Big Bar where we ate dinner, almost like a date. My writing during these months had notes of total optimism interspersed with kind of mournful poems.

Bob was up early the next morning so Lonnie could fly him to Bakersfield. He would be gone all week. That morning I took the VW to Miller’s to get it lubed and asked to be dropped off at our driveway so Clarke and I could walk up to the house. I noticed a little stream of water just below the road and discovered it was sewage from the pump house. The pump wasn’t working although the light was. So I called Sam Smith and he came over around 1:00. After numerous trips to get tools, pump, parts, etc. they got it fixed. The ball float had sheared off and they had to get it out of the tank, re-thread the shaft and put on a new ball. The VW was returned while they were there.

I was delighted to find a check from Ranger Rick’s Nature Magazine when I went to the post office. (I think this was for the article Linda Lives on a Lookout) When I went by Florence’s to get some corn and tomatoes I learned that the horses had gotten into their garden the night before and ruined most of the corn stalks. Took the children to the pool for an hour.

After dinner, when I was starting to serve ice cream, Clarke dropped his plate, which shattered all over the floor. I thought I had knocked a bowl off and cussed. Poor Clarke was so stricken he rushed out of the room. He thought not only did he break his very own plate but that I was really angry with him. We got that straightened out and Jeff very kindly told him he could use his plate (identical) from then on, which he did.

Brigitte and I met at the nursery school to get things ready. She brought Andy, who played with Clarke, while we worked. She would be teaching on Mondays and I’d do Tuesday, Thursday and Friday mornings.

We bought a used girl’s bike from Audrey Bush for $15 for Rebecca. It needed a new rear tire but that was included; we just needed to put it on. She needed a larger bike and this then allowed Jeffrey to use her smaller bike.

On another day I left Clarke with Linda Lindsey and worked at the nursery school for several hours. That afternoon Rebecca and Jeffrey helped me with more work. We picked glass out of the sand pile, placed tires, etc. for about an hour. Then I turned them loose downtown to spend money from allowances and birthdays. I went to pick up Clarke and met them at the bakery.

October 4th I was up Garden Gulch. ”up at the place I found last spring, below the creek where I found the gold pan, below where it enters Garden Gulch.” I was surprised to find there was water in Garden Gulch at this time of year with still no rain. I needed to be alone so badly. All I’ve been doing since school started is housework and nursery school.

“Jeffrey lost a second front tooth last week. It was very loose and he bit Rebecca during a fight! I’m afraid I wasn’t very sympathetic with either one.”

I really liked this spot along Garden Gulch and wrote a detailed description, including a sketch. I mentioned that I’d seen a lot of bear scat along the last half mile.

October 9th: Bob was in Bakersfield again. “Feel like I’m about 12 different people these days.

““Rebecca told me tonight that Jessica (her cousin) had brought her up to date on all the latest 4-letter words. Part of growing up I guess.”

“Got a letter from Walter Meyers (he was the author and photographer for an article in National Geographic about Crater Lake when I was working there.). When I think of all the hazards worldwide and personal—it helps knowing I’ve known such interesting people and really have had quite a varied and interesting life. I really like my present age—more confident, able to sort out things worth doing and people worth knowing, liking my husband for much better reasons than I used to.”

We went out to the ranch that Saturday afternoon and stayed overnight. Sunday I moved the lawn, most of it, and left by 1:00 so Jeff could go to Robbie Fox’s birthday party at 2:00. Did some chores. Bob called at 6:00 to say he was on his way in. At 6:45 he called to say he was back up at the house and the truck had broken down, had a brake stick. So I called Linda Ohde and Eric brought her over to be with the children. I drove out and got Bob and we were home by 9:30.-2802″ />

Salmon Lake 1974

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Sunday, August 18th: Yesterday we left the trailhead with Candie and Jim near Carter’s. This is the first time I’ve been to Carter’s since Bob and I camped at Big Flat on our first anniversary and walked in to Josephine Lake. Apparently he’s trying to sell the place now. Anyway, we left our car in the parking lot, walked back down the road and started up. Carter has done a lot of logging in there, which is really too bad.

It’s a pretty trail. Switchbacks up through woods, then winds around through small meadows filled with paintbrush, a few tiger lilies, monkshood, and small purple penstemons. We ate lunch along a creek (Kidd Creek) in a meadow. I spotted a small black bear near a lightning burn on the other side. Jim hiked up to a ridge top to see where we were. When we’d entered the meadow I’d seen smoke in the upper end. After we’d eaten lunch a couple came through heading out. We later decided it was their fire, left smoking, and we went up to look. It was still smoldering and they’d left a couple of mashed cans in it. We poured water and stirred.

Turned out that we were on the way to Mumbo Lake. Coming up the ridge we crossed a couple of patches of snow. At the top we could see Ward Lake and also talked to a man who was camped there and had come up to take pictures. We circled around above Ward Lake (where I slipped in the loose rock and gouged my hand a bit) and made our way up a series of benches to the ridge above Salmon Lake. Lots of wild mint in bloom along the way and we came across an air mattress torn to bits by bears. Marvelous view from the top–Sawtooth Range and others behind- glacial polished, shining. Down over more piles of rock. Jim spotted a big golden-colored bear down in the canyon below—huge.

Salmon Lake nests in the rocks along with two small ponds and another below. Heather in bloom, mountain hemlocks, some white pine and fir. Lots of smooth granite rock. Fish jumping all over. We all went swimming—very cold but stimulating. Fixed dinner and ate it up on top of a mound of smooth granite looking out at Caribou Mountains.

Lots of joking about our reserved tables and the view included in the price. Lasagna, peach brandy and vanilla pudding, preceded by soup. After cleaning up the dishes Candie suggested a bonfire so we had a warm fire to sit around and talk for a while. Finally went to bed and froze most the night. I tried sleeping on an insolate pad—warmer than an air mattress but it sure is hard.

Sunday we fooled around camp for quite a while. Candie fed a chipmunk and a golden-mantled ground squirrel—the ground squirrel coming to about two feet from her. I’d taken my usual early morning tour and discovered one more little pond. Saw the heron again and think it must have a nest in one of the big trees up there.

We went up the hill from camp and in practically no time were up on top. Started down the ridge and soon could see not only Deer Creek Meadows but also up into Black Basin (which I think must be a hanging valley). Finally came to a grassy ridge over which the main trail is supposed to go. We didn’t go as far up the ridge as we should have and ended up zigzagging steeply down the right side of the head of the Salmon Creek Canyon instead of taking the trail down to the left. Went through some pretty places though. Lots of Indian Paintbrush, lupine, etc. and in one spot a field of Western Pasque Flowers, though right by a snow bank they were in bud and about two inches high. 75 feet away they were 10 inches high with a big furry seed head. We ate lunch around 2:30 after coming to the trail, right where the water comes across the trail. Could look up and see where the water cascades down from Salmon Lake just before we dropped down to eat lunch by the creek. Missing the trail had meant a lot more work and sore knees but it wasn’t too bad.

From there on out the trail was easy. Wound through a big meadow and suddenly the trail turned to road. Scot Carter has logged all his land and has roads all over the place. I don’t see how he could do it to such a lovely piece of land. I remember going to a meeting where he spoke about his family’s love for the land, etc. and implied that some people thought the U.S.F.S. should have it, etc. Then he turns around and does this to it. Really bad coming out of the wilderness into that kind of thing.

We got home around 6:30. The breakfast dishes were still to be washed but Linda had started chicken cooking. She helped fix dinner and ate with us.

Monday I took laundry over to Florence and Leonard’s and washed a couple of batches of whites. Was just finishing when Nancy and David and family came in. They’d been staying out Canyon Creek.

Bought gifts for Jeffrey’s birthday that afternoon and made a few calls for nursery school. Eventually left for the ranch after picking up Jessica Twight from the Joneses.
Bob went to Redding and then got out to the ranch around 9:30. We made homemade ice cream and Rebecca and Jessica picked blackberries for it. Had pizza for dinner.

That Sunday evening the two older children were still awake at 9:30. The next day was Jeffrey’s birthday and of course he could hear me rustling wrapping paper. Jeffrey had pulled out a loose tooth and that was under his pillow—too much excitement. Then I heard Bob’s feet thump-thumping down to their end of the room and back and after that things were quiet. I have found only this one bad photo of Jeff, along with Clarke and Scot Muir for Jeff’s birthday. I’m thinking maybe, instead of a regular party, he had Scot come out for overnight at the ranch.

Jessica and Rebecca got along quite well. She was a year older but the entire time was full of talking, giggling and running. The second and third nights she was at the ranch we sent them out to the VW to sleep. The third night Jeffrey was out there also and Clarke until we went to bed when we brought him down to the house. Clarke was really disappointed when he woke up in his own bed instead of in the VW bus. The others knew he was being brought down but I hadn’t told him, assuming they would. I felt really badly about that. We ate lunch down at the creek both days, as Bob was working down there.

“Jessica talked about liking it here and at the Jones’ because it was so old fashioned—we had to hang our clothes out and had no dishwasher! I guess her first two or three years left no lasting impression on her because she hates bugs, spiders, banana slugs, etc.” She lived a very rural life in those first few years. Horace, Nick and Cedric came out for lunch Friday and took Jessica back with them.

Hall’s Gulch

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This seemed to have been a summer for making up for time lost or perhaps looking forward to far busier times when there would be less camping time. More photos, less writing this time. And I found a good photo of Clarke’s birthday party in this little yellow box of slides. I don’t know why so many of the slides are dark when copied.

August 12th—a little after 7:00 a.m. We are camped along Hall’s Gulch, the five of us and the dog. We hiked in yesterday, a Sunday. We drove through someone’s yard and ended up parking near a summer camp.

Clarke carried a little pack with his clothes in it. Jeffrey carried his and Clarke’s sleeping bags. Rebecca carried her sleeping bag plus all her stuff. We ate lunch where Fool’s Gulch enters Hall’s Gulch. We hiked only a mile and a half but it was a hot day and quite a struggle for Clarke. I membered our taking Rebecca in to the Sinks. Four miles up the Canyon Creek Trail, when she was four years old, and how she was getting sick at the time although we hadn’t known it. Much too far for a four-year old, even under the best of circumstances.

We stopped and sat on the trail while Bob went down toward the creek and searched for a good camping spot. The kids were cross and tired. Rebecca had sore feet and I thought she probably needed new boots. She had some jerky with her and passed that around.

I walked on up the trail and came to Hall’s cabin, a little cabin set back in the trees; dry meadow with rusty bedsprings sitting in it.

This spot is nice—a couple of big alders—lots of small ones, a small yew right by our sleeping bags, Douglas fir, maples, Indian rhubarb in the creek. Lots of slate around here. Yesterday the children were building houses out of rocks and sticks and making signs on pieces of slate to go with those—like “keep out”, naturally. Our sleeping bags are on a rocky, sandy flat about 15 feet from the water. The children are down the creek about 50 feet and up higher, where there is more duff. We brought Clarke down here last night after he’d gone to sleep and I took him up again in the morning after he woke up.

Bob took Jeff fishing up the creek just before dinner. Bob caught a fish and Jeffrey got to eat it. “Rebecca goes today. Clarke fished right next to camp after dinner. They’re using a pole that Bob Ocock left in the garage when we bought the house. “

The next day I spent a good part of the day making and repairing, mostly repairing, a stick person for Clarke, a dog for Jeffrey and hollowed out a little stick for Rebecca—a tiny compartment in it. It was nearly 11 before I was through with k.p. duties, including frying the fish for Jeffrey. Bob went fishing downstream for about an hour. After lunch I took a half hour break and went down to sit on a rock for a while. When I got back Bob was working on a paddlewheel. He had it working in the creek alter a while. All done with a knife and string. Later he went fishing upstream and brought back a live fish to release in a little pond he’d made along the creek earlier.

After dinner the previous day we walked up the trail to the cabin. It had really fallen apart over the years but there were pieces of stove around and that sort of thing. Bob held an old dustpan while Jeffrey took a stub of a broom and swept up leaves, clowning around. . We hiked on up past there a ways. Really had to watch Clarke because of all the poison oak. Finally all but Bob started back and he continued on up to where the creek divides. That night Rebecca came down with a flashlight with Jeffrey who had a nightmare. Later she came down. So Bob took his sleeping bag and went up with them while I stayed there with Clarke.

I mentioned that I’d forgotten to note that I’d killed a rattlesnake in the orchard before we left the ranch. “It’s hard to think about things like that and world politics, or Nixon resigning, which he did last week, in a place like this. Although we do have to think about rattlesnakes.”

On Tuesday Bob took Jeffrey fishing and they went about a mile up the trail. Bob caught three nice trout. Rebecca read most of the morning and Clarke lay on the sleeping bags near her and played. Then they played down by the creek. I made a little hut from woven fir branches near their sleeping bags. I used some branches we already had but and cut quite a few more but tried to do it inconspicuously and from crowded trees. The hut was big enough for all three of them to sit in, crowded closely together. It was sort of egg shaped with one side open and a window opposite. I really didn’t use enough fir branches to make it thick but it served the purpose and was fun. After lunch Bob rested a short while and then took Rebecca and went fishing. They got back just as I was getting dinner ready. They had seven fish so we each ate two trout that night, including those caught that morning. Bob cooked the fish and the children were quite impressed that he knew how to do that.

We’d seen dippers and Steller’s jays and a little wren came by a couple of times. I wrote that it was hard to hear birds because of the sound of the creek. And I blamed that noisy stream for some wild dreams that I had. But it was a good trip.

A 90th Birthday and More 1974

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Saturday we went into town for lunch. We were out of bread at the ranch. Bob had left earlier to go to Hayfork to get new boots. He’d bought some earlier in the summer but they were too tight. It turned out that he was able to get the new pair, plus Ernie Glass said he could sell the old pair so he came out fine on the arrangement.

After lunch we went to the library where signing out the books seemed to take forever. We went home and cleaned up a little. Linda Ohde’s parents dropped her off so we didn’t have to go pick her up. After Bob got back he and I went to Gilda Sanders and Hugh Brown’s wedding reception. I was really happy for her. Had a funny conversation with Barbara Simmons before we left.

After we got back to the house Bob took Linda home; I helped the kids change and put shoes on; I changed from pantsuit to dress and then we all went to Aunt Nell’s party. “That was really something!” 200 guests for dinner at Lowden Park with the Women’s Fellowship doing the dinner. The majority were over 60-years old and many over 70. They had a speaker system, which worked pretty well. Florence did a great job with her review of Aunt Nell’s life, her activities and her friends. Several people spoke. “I was afraid Bob would weep about half way through his—he feels so strongly about ancestors and is so fond of Aunt Nell. I really think he can hardly wait to be an old timer himself!” (I tend to assume that those reading my notes know most of the people I mention but: Aunt Nell Pattison, Aunt May Richards, Uncle Stanford Scott, and Uncle Ed Scott were all Bob’s great aunts and uncles, Florence’s aunts and uncles. The family owned the Scott Ranch, which got flooded by Trinity Lake. You can learn more at the Jake Jackson Museum or researching past copies of the historical society’s “Trinity”). Most of the Aunt Nell party pictures were taken by Bob/Robert Morris.

Clarke kissed Aunt Nell’s hand a couple of times, which delighted her. Uncle Stanford got up and said, “And I expect her to come to my 90th in 5 ½ years.” Uncle Ed, who was quite frail, said a few words also. Aunt Nell was so pleased and excited. She got presents and lots of cards. Rebecca made her two cards. Mrs. Rourke was there and insisted on introducing Rebecca to her husband. I saw and talked to Judy Duncan for the first time in ages. She invited us over to swim sometime.

At dinner Uncle Stanford said he’d like to come out to the ranch again sometime as he hadn’t been out there for about 12 years. Bob suggested he and Calvine come the next day. They were staying overnight with relatives in town. So they came out to the ranch the next morning with Bob and Jeffrey. I rushed around trying to get the Weaverville house in order, ironed a couple of Bob’s shirts, and still got out there in time to fix lunch for them. Noel had stayed overnight with us—she and Rebecca not getting to bed until 10 pm and then still talking at nearly midnight. I took Noel back to Florence and Leonard’s, bought groceries, picked up Ann Marie because Jeannie needed time with Fred, who was in the hospital. We got out there about 12:45. Uncle Stanford was resting upstairs. “Amid the bags of groceries I fixed lunch and finally got everyone fed.” Rebecca and Ann Marie headed back to town with Bob and Uncle Stanford.

I cleaned up after lunch (thank goodness for paper plates) and then the boys and I fixed ice cream. Pulled the drain on the pool and sat down with a glass of beer and the Sunday paper out on the porch. The phone rang and it was Jeanne Meyer saying Ann Marie wasn’t there yet. I assured her they’d left and Florence had called earlier to say she was sending some leftover food out with Bob so I knew they were in town. I called the house and told Rebecca to call Jeannie. I was still cleaning the pool when Bob got home and suggested that he and Rebecca put dinner together, which they did. Florence had sent out leftover macaroni salad and some ham so he fixed a green salad and heated up the ham.

Clarke and Rebecca had slept out in the VW van that week. It was still terribly hot. I’d had a bad dream about clouds of dust coming up from the Prairie Creek side of the canyon and then a giant clear-cut coming over the top and down that side.

That Wednesday evening I was writing by candlelight and listening to KKHI on the radio. The day before, around 10:30 in the morning, we had heard trucks coming up the road and the gas truck arrived. They left the big truck down by the creek and brought a small one pulling a lift trailer. They took a run at our hill and pulled up the slope perpendicular to the orchard, backed in between the two small apple trees, around the garden and between the garden and the plum tree to the tank. We were really impressed by his backing. Then they hoisted the tank and went down to the creek to fill it. I finished weeding among the tomatoes in the half hour they were gone. They had more trouble coming back and had to get a second run at the hill.
It was also more difficult lining the tank up correctly. When they were finished I offered them beer, lemonade or water. They took the lemonade. Don Larkin was the tank truck driver; I didn’t know who the other man was. They even re-lit the pilot light on the refrigerator.

When they were about to leave we heard a heavy plane and decided there must be a fire someplace to the northwest. Later in the afternoon many planes were going over. Some we could see and some not. I called the USFS in Big Bar and they said the fire was near Denny. We were getting some wisps of smoke in the sky by then. Bob called to ask whether planes were going over because he could see them in town. A large helicopter went over several times too. He was staying in town that night because he was leaving for Bakersfield early Wednesday morning.

Jeffrey slept out in the VW by himself a couple of nights. Even Rebecca was impressed with his bravery.

We went to Big Bar Wednesday morning singing “Country Roads” all the way at full volume. I took the garbage to the dump where we nearly collided with a woman driving a dump truck load of rocks. We stopped at the Forest Service office to see where the fire was on a map. Rebecca stepped on a bee on the lawn and had a swollen foot. I was reading Gunther’s Big Sky and getting emotionally involved in it.

I found myself thinking about my mother’s life as a mother and wife and wishing I could talk to her about it. But the stroke made it so difficult for her to talk and to put her feelings into words. She also must have had resentments, anger, sadness and so forth and certainly had more cause I thought. I got so upset over petty things and yet that was understandable I supposed because I had to deal with so many petty things on a day-to-day basis. “I’d like to be one of those calm, capable people who serenely takes care of others’ problems and isn’t disturbed by much of anything.”

On August 5th I noted that we were finally having some cooler weather. That Saturday Bob had spent most of the day in town getting parts for the gate, etc. Rebecca and Jeffrey went with him. They brought the stake-side truck out and Rebecca and Jeffrey rode “magnificently” in the back of it, having ridden home from the gate. When they got home Clarke, who stayed with me, was asleep on a quilt on the floor.

I’d pulled all the weeds out of the cement sand pile and given Clarke a hose to play with. He’d had a good time making rivers and plowing with the bulldozer. Most of the time he had it getting stuck. We’d taken our lunch down to the creek and spent about an hour and a half there.

Oliver Burglund and a friend of his came out to look at the gate site. He was going to put in the gate in return for Bob’s working on his water system. Frank Walden said he’d help too. I’d called Bob in town to bring some beer out and after he’d given them the grand tour it was quickly consumed. This would be a second gate, down by Walden’s.

On another day I got up early and went to prune brush along the road, starting at the creek and working my way up to where the horse gate used to be, just past the little spring that runs across the road. I was home by noon. “Pruning is hard work but I enjoy it—especially the quiet.” Then I fixed lunch and we took it down to the creek where Bob was stripping off the forms.

August 6th—“It rained all day yesterday. Beautiful! I could feel my whole body plumping up with moisture—the grass turned darker green, the air was soft, almost coastal, and everything smelled so good. Pieces of mist broke off larger pieces or materialized out of nowhere and came drifting up out of the trees.” I made a blackberry pie, baked cookies, cleaned the pool, read. The children too seemed to enjoy the rain. We all slept late except for Bob.

“Had a big argument with Rebecca about going to a friend’s slumber party, birthday party. Another girl whose older sister has slumber parties started this last spring. I don’t like the idea at all. I think it’s fine to have a friend stay overnight but these group things get out of hand—giggles until dawn and exhaustion all the next day. It’s Friday night and Sunday we’re leaving on a camping trip with the children. She’d be exhausted. I don’t know the parents, there are four younger sisters, etc. Good old peer pressure!”

Friday night, another big scene. I did call up Alice Jones to see when Nick, Jessica and Cedric would be up. They were arriving in two weeks and I made arrangements for them to stay overnight at the ranch during that time.

Somewhere in the midst of these happenings, Clarke had his fourth birthday.

“I’m getting mixed feelings about this business of the children and I being at the ranch all summer without other kids.”