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Ranger Rick Nature Magazine printed a few of my articles that I submitted, including pictures. Sometimes they would accept an entry and then not publish it for a year or two as editing and space permitted, but I was always quite excited about it. It seems to me that payment was just before publication. The Arctostaphylos article was published in 1978 but accepted a year or two earlier.

There were a few years when I lived in Weaverville that I made creatures out of manzanita roots and gave them the name of Arctostaphylos (which is the genus name for this shrub). Ranger Rick used this as a crafts story, encouraging children to be creative with roots and branches found in the woods. And they used the photo of Jeff that I submitted as well as those of the creatures.

I often used them as gifts with a message, sometimes without my name attached, if I remember correctly. But usually I would claim having found one and was passing it on and that this particular creature disliked clear-cuts, for instance. It might be left on a forester’s desk. Or it might be that the creature needed some particular item or plant for food. They were meant to get a message across without anger, just a nudge, teasing a bit. Sometimes they were a message of praise or appreciation. Sometimes they were a gift to a good friend for whatever reason.

I’d find a dried out piece of root, take it home and thoroughly clean the dirt off. The next step was to wax it with paste wax and glue the eyes on. There might be a note to type and then delivery. It was fun.

October 1976

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Friday, October 1, 1976

I’m sitting up on a hill above Garden Gulch (my usual end of the trail spot). It’s a warm day, a few high clouds—sweated a lot getting here. Sugar pine, Douglas fir, Ponderosa pine, oak, and one small cedar tree and a dogwood, whose berries have turned red in view. Saw a ruby-crowned kinglet, flickers, acorn woodpecker and a Douglas squirrel on the way. Heard Steller’s jays, nuthatches and towhees.

Have been very busy and don’t know whether I can get caught up on anything, let alone this journal. The trip to get Robin and Rebecca from Scout Camp in August was uneventful, except that they apparently hadn’t gotten along very well together at camp. It rained for 4 o5 days while they were there, which probably didn’t help. Both seemed to have had a good time though.

When school started the children and I came into town while Bob stayed out at the ranch to work on the bridge. I went out one day and cleared rocks out of the road and took Bob a lunch.

The Thursday night before the pour I went out and Florence took care of the children. It was midnight before I got to bed because Bob ate late and then there were the dishes but that was better than the 2:30 a.m. of last year.

The morning of the pour I drove over to unlock the gate. Met Bob Reine on one stretch and Larry Anderson pulling a small cement mixer on another. By this time Bob had (the week school had started) four people working with him—Bob R., Dennis, Jim and Joe. All worked hard and well. I waited for Jack to arrive with the cement truck down at Prairie Creek. He was driving the big one. Then I drove ahead of him and got out to guide him around a narrow spot (the culvert with the hump).

For the first truck they dumped into wheelbarrows and then pushed those across plywood pieces to the proper place. Joe manned the chute, Dennis and Bob R. the wheelbarrows and Jim the vibrator. Bob kept the boards moving to where they needed them. With the second truck they could just pour normally. I washed tools, took pictures, did some floating and edging. I left after lunch and came back to town.

School was a little traumatic for Rebecca the first couple of days but she has really settled in now and seems to enjoy most of her classes. She’s having to put up with a few difficult teachers. She’s also taking guitar lessons on Tuesday and Thursday afternoons and piano lessons on Mondays. Jeffrey is in John McClurg’s 4th-5thcombination. He’s bringing home an occasional ”A” paper and is having no trouble getting along with the 5th grade boys. He has Cubs on Tuesdays and piano lessons on Fridays. Clarke is tired by the end of the day but six- years old seems to be a very social age and he wants Scot Lindsey or Kelly Sheen over to play at least once a week or wants to go over there.

Nursery School is taking more time this year because of meeting every Monday night. I spend Monday morning, and sometimes more, preparing for the class. We have 20 people enrolled and most seem enthusiastic. The children are, on the whole, much younger this year.

Last week I went to Santa Rosa. Had to go down in the morning as there was a 4 pm meeting. Went shopping in the book store part of the Emporium and got a couple of paperbacks, one on child rearing and one a sequel to “Eleanor and Franklin”.

The meeting was interesting, as usual, and I spoke up, perhaps more than I should have. Met Kay Morris in line at the SF airport on my way home and sat with her on the plane.

Last Sunday we went out to the ranch. I mowed the lawn, picked some corn, lettuce and tomatoes from the garden; picked up three sacks of apples off the ground in the orchard.

Bob and I went to Open House Tuesday night and Wednesday night. We alternated Tuesday because the program was repeated three times. Wednesday night was for upper grades and we got a sitter—Amy Crane.

Tonight Florence and I are going to Redding to the Community Concert to hear the Preservation Hall Jazz players. She and Leonard are doing pretty well with their work on the yellow house. Scott has been helping.

One thing I forgot was that the night we were coming in from Big Bar, because school started the next day, we stopped part way down Oregon Mt., on this side, to let the dog out for a minute. A deputy sheriff pulled up behind us to see if we were picking up a hitchhiker. He said there was a convict loose. The next day we found out that three had escaped from the new jail. Two were together and broke into Dick’s house and took guns, liquor and clothes. Everyone was really nervous in this area. I put the dog outside in front of the front door every night and searched the closets, etc. before I went to bed. They caught one in a day or two and killed the other down by Douglas City later in the week. He was carrying Scott’s 22 and wearing Dick’s shirt. The third one they felt had left the county immediately.

It’s really pleasant up here today. Indian summer.

I’m having a lot of hassles emotionally right now. Not too sure what to do about it. Have started running a mile in the backyard again. Yesterday I rode my bike to nursery school. Made it all the way up from Meyers to our driveway without stopping but was exhausted. Was still panting ten minutes later!

Rush Creek Lakes 1976

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My journal entries are starting to appear less often now, the busier I get.

September 18 1976

Bob and I are at the Upper Rush Creek Lake. The children are with Florence and Leonard. I’m sitting on a large granite boulder—not a very smooth writing table.

We started up the East Weaver Lake Trail around 10 a.m. Tried cutting around the hill from one of the turns and ended up in a lot of white fir and brush. Took quite a while to get out of that. My pack shifts from side to side every time I tip a little, which makes cross-country hiking difficult. Finally we came out of the brush and soon saw the trail that comes up to the ridge top from below E. Weaver Lake. We’ll take it going out. We hiked up the open ridge toward Monument Peak and stopped for about half an hour to eat lunch. No water but the carrots helped a little. We zigzagged up the ridge away from Monument Peak, crossed some decomposed granite and headed down a draw. Got very steep and at one point I asked Bob to come back up and get my pack to carry it over that spot (leaving his below). By the time we got here my legs were really shaking and feet very sore.

It’s a beautiful lake. Steep cliffs on three sides, big boulders all around. It’s deep and we can see fish near shore. We got here at 3 o’clock and the sun disappeared behind the cliffs at 4 :00. Cooled off very fast and is quite chilly now.

We had stew, chocolate pie and tomato soup for dinner. Bob is taking a short hike down the creek now. There are supposed to be three smaller lakes below here. There is a tiny (10 x 20 ‘ ) pond, filled with grass and rocks right by me and a longer one, which the outlet creek runs through. Fir and Mt. Hemlock here of course, and golden glow of setting sun on the tops of the steep cliffs.

We can see Monument Peak above us and will probably try to go out that way tomorrow. Shouldn’t be as steep. Downstream we can look across and see the Red Mt. /Silago Meadows area.
Very pretty earlier this evening with grey and white thunderheads and the green of nearer mountains and the greys and reds of that area.

Coming up Weaver Bally this morning we could look out over the whole basin, which was filled with fog. Beautiful.

Bob came back and asked me to look at something. In the growing dusk we went down the creek below the larger pond where the rocks are angled and shelved. The water runs down on beds of thick moss, forming small waterfalls, beds of thick moss, miniature lakes and runs. In one spot the moss is so thick that the water disappears into it, appearing a few inches later. The falls make different sounds. It’s a unique spot and I hope I can get some pictures if the sun hits in there today.

It’s almost 8 o’clock and still no sun in camp although it’s on the cliffs across the creek. There’s a light breeze, increasing the chill factor. I slept fairly well off and on last night. More than most first night’s camping out. Was cold for quite awhile at first.

(Years later, in the mid-to- late 1980s, I hiked to the lower lake from the Highway 3 side and back in one day—it was a long hike. I remember a steep trail and then quite some distance along a ridge. 16 miles round trip maybe?)

August 1976

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The Friday after getting back from the Santa Rosa meeting I vacuumed the whole house, washed some sheets at Florence’s, bought groceries, hauled garbage, etc. Was so tired I’d decided to stay in town another night. Bob wanted to go out to the ranch though because he had to be at Prairie Creek at 8:30 to let Jim Pruett in and I wouldn’t be able to get in once Jim started backhoeing. While Bob washed dishes after dinner I got gas in the car and bought some ice as I’d forgotten the ice bag, so we got out here around 9:00.

Spent an hour going over to Prairie Creek with the boys to get Bob and Rebecca because the boom truck had broken down. Fixed lunch and took it down to the creek.

We got up late this morning. I fixed bacon and eggs, had pancakes and eggs yesterday. Had cantaloupe both days. Did two batches of laundry, drained and cleaned the pool. Spent a lot of time shifting laundry from the line to porch to line again as a thunderstorm threatened. We had heavy, dark clouds, about two flashes of lightning, some thunder, and a few drops of rain.

We’re getting lots of yellow squash in the garden now. Rebecca and Clarke picked blackberries for dessert. I added a few strawberries and a nectarine. Wrote a 3-page letter to my parents.

Lots fewer ground squirrels now. I buried one yesterday that was down toward the barn.

Bob got Miller’s garage to tow the boom truck up to our garage in Weaverville. He didn’t get back until 5:30.

Wednesday, August 18th.

A week ago Monday Jeannie Meyer and I took Rebecca and Robin to Scout camp. I left the boys with Linda Ohde. We ate hamburger lunch in Grants Pass and drove through Grants Pass to Tall Timbers Camp, which is off of Stewart’s Road. A winding road of decomposed granite leads to the camp, where there is a small building housing a first aide room and some other rooms. The trees are much the same as here—madrones, oaks, pine and Douglas Fir. Poison oak also! The camp leader, Chip Watson, seemed very efficient and capable. Short, short dark hair, husky and a good loud voice for yelling when necessary! We drove off with probably as much or more uneasiness than the girls had. There were 32 girls and their units averaged nine.

Jeannie wanted to go home by the coast route and I thought at first it was a good idea, although 1 ½ hours longer with no stops, but we had to go back to Medford to get some welding rods for Bob and by the time we headed out through the Applegate Valley, which was beautiful, I knew we’d be very late. We stopped for a cup of coffee out of Grants Pass, stopped at Jedediah Smith for a few minutes, ate dinner at the Ramada Inn near the 299 turnoff from 101 and got home at midnight.

The boys were taking swimming lessons so there were frequent trips into town for that and we brought cousins Jessica and Cedric out to the ranch for a few days. The first night Cedric and Jeff slept in the tent but yesterday water got in and I had to dry their bags out before they went to bed upstairs last night. Jessica played a lot with Clarke.

I ended up signing up for adult swimming lessons after I had a problem one time getting Jeff out of the Woods’ pool when he got tired—the solution was to shake off his grip and he swam to the edge. But it bothered me enough so I figured I could use a refresher. Mostly learned what I was doing wrong and that was a big help. We have been having a lot of rain. I’ve been concerned about Rebecca and Robin having their first camp experience with this kind of weather. “I guess they’ll survive.”

Bob hired Bob Raine to work with him down at the bridge. He’s in his early 30s, an English major going to Humboldt State. He lived at Buck’s Ranch for the better part of two winters and likes being by himself.

Tomorrow we’ll go into town for swimming lessons and take Jessica and Cedric back to the Joneses. We’ll stay overnight and then Friday morning Jeannie and I will go get Rebecca and Robin. Have really been missing Rebecca.

I’ve been reading “Eleanor and Franklin”. It’s very interesting although I didn’t think I’d like it.

Sand Dunes and More August 1976

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Well, we did get to the sand dunes. Went to Eel Creek Campground , a U.S. Forest Service camp, where we stopped last year. Spent about 45 minutes there and then went on. It was sunny and bright but the wind came up after about 10 minutes and blew sand along for about eight inches above the ground. It was blowing in little plumes off the top edges of the dunes like snow off a mountain.

We ate at Battle Rock State Park where the wind was blowing so hard we had to eat in the car and it was hard open the car door. When we got down around Port Orford we stopped at the Prehistoric Gardens. Children under 12 paid $1.00, over 12 $1.25, adults $1.75. It is sort of a tourist trap but well done. A trail winds around among ferns, alders, Sitka spruce, etc. and dinosaurs, built to scale, peer out at you. It’s scientifically accurate and worth the price I’d say.

We had several narrow escapes with traffic, one being a station wagon going very slowly for several miles. When we reached a straight stretch I started to pass. It started to turn left—only signaling then. By the time we got to Brookings I was thinking of camping one more night. The children and I were all really tired. I got gas in Brookings and then when we got to the North Bank Road drove out to Jedediah Smith State Park. I was sure it would be full, and it was even though it was only 3:30. We drove on back to 101 and south of Crescent City turned off at Mill Creek State Park. The road winds down into a canyon and they had vacancies. We paid $4, bought a Sunday paper and learned that there were no phones available. We drove on down to our assigned camp (134). I left Rebecca and Jeffrey there to put up the tent, left my watch and the comics with them and drove back to Crescent City with Clarke, who was asleep. Called Bob to tell him what we were doing. Drove back to camp, 16 miles round trip. The kids had the tent up and were talking to a little girl from the camp next to us. I sent her home and wished later I’d been a little more polite about it, especially after I found out that she’d helped set up the tent, but I didn’t need any more children at that point. I was proud of Rebecca and Jeff for coping so well and I’d been worried about leaving them for that length of time.

After dinner we walked down the road to where Mill Creek runs under it. It’s a nice creek, very cold, lots of minnows. Rebecca and Clarke went back to camp and put their suits on-both finally ducked down to shoulders. We went back to camp and I built a fire from twigs and some wood that had been left in the stove. I sat and read the paper while the children played. When it got dark I took Clarke to the restroom for a warm shower. He really liked that. It was his suggestion. The fog came in during the night and I got a big drip off the trees in one eye. But by the time we left in the morning it was sunny. The children fed chipmunks and Steller’s Jays, which were running all over. I had to chase the chipmunks off the table before the children got up.

We went through a lot of fog going down the coast, coming into sunlight on the hills. Shafts of sunlight came down through it now and then. We stopped at Trinidad and bought ice as Bob had said it was very hot inland, and we had some pepper bacon that Ben had given us. We stopped at Willow Creek and bought soda pop and then stopped at Gray Falls Campground near Burnt Ranch to eat lunch. Got to the ranch around 2:00 and it was very hot.Tuesday I did a lot of laundry, cleaned the pool and mowed the lawn.

Wednesday morning, while I was fixing breakfast, I saw a coyote in the orchard. It was eating apples. Looked kind of silly but I guess they have a varied diet. I think it might have young ones nearby as Tuesday, when I went up to clean the settling tub, I saw a shiny-backed, small, animal disappearing into the brush near the mossy maples.

We went into town Wednesday. I bought a few groceries, washed my hair and packed. At 3:00 I took the children over to Ohde’s. Linda was going to take them to the pool at Wood’s. I dropped an envelope at Flasher’s for Bob and continued out to the airport.

Flew to San Francisco and ate dinner there. Then left at 8:00 for Santa Rosa with stops at Concord and Napa. It was a beautiful evening with lots of purple hills and glittering waters. Sat next to a man who works in the Santa Rosa District Office of State Parks. He said Ben (my father) was practically a legend in State Parks. Got to the Santa Rosa Airport and found that my suitcase hadn’t arrived. There was a chance it might come in on the last flight but the driver from the motel had to get back so I left. The airlines person said he’d bring it to the motel if it came in, which it didn’t. My room was upstairs toward the back half of a suite. It had a hide-a-bed couch, a bed which folded down from the wall (with a moth-eaten blanket), a bar and an ice maker which made strange noises off and on through the night.
I washed out my underwear, took a shower and went to bed, hoping it wouldn’t fold up on me.

The next morning, after breakfast, I called the airport, told them to keep my luggage if it came in, and walked to the office. Our meeting in Rohnert Park was interesting but frustrating. Spent two hours with Georgia Pacific Company getting nowhere. Fred had to leave at 12:00, Bert at 2:00, and I at 3:00 so, at 3:00 we adjourned even though Louisiana Pacific offered to fly me where I wanted to go in their charter plane! Frances gave me a ride to the airport. I ate dinner in San Francisco and was home by about 8:30.

Bob had taken the children to Wood’s pool Wednesday night, their first time swimming there with lights on in the pool. Thursday they spent with Florence and Leonard.

Crater Lake, Nehalem 1976

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The children, Bob and I drove into Weaverville from the ranch on Saturday morning. Bob came out Friday night. Before we left I put poison barley in all the ground squirrel holes I could find. Now of course I know that’s not a great idea because things that eat ground squirrels can get poisoned.

The children and I left Weaverville Sunday morning a little after 8:00. I’d planned to get up at quarter to six but the alarm didn’t go off and I got up half an hour later. Then we had to get air in the tires before we left town. We stopped at Castle Crags and ended up eating an early lunch there around 11 as everyone was starved. We walked a little way up the River Trail and also tasted the sulfur water. From there we drove on up here to Crater Lake after getting gas in Klamath Falls and making a few other brief stops. We arrived around 3:00. We’re camped at Mazama Campground.

We found a reasonably private campsite (G1) and got the tent set up with only a few minutes of quandary when it appeared that one of the post sections was missing. Jeff found it after we’d substituted a cord tied to a tree. We ate dinner—green salad with a tomato and dressing while dinner was cooking on the prima stove. We went down for the campfire program, which fortunately was short. They have a really fancy screen with the projector from behind and even can have music. It went from 9:00 to 9:30. Oh, and yesterday afternoon after we’d set up camp we drove up to the rim so the children could see the lake. We heard the talk at Sinnott Overlook and I met a woman seasonal naturalist, Nancy F., who has been here 10 summers. She teaches in Eugene, Oregon. She was familiar with my name and said she’d heard only good things about me. Their uniforms now are more like the men’s—green slacks and jackets, Stetsons. I enjoyed meeting her. She seemed a person who took her work seriously.

I slept very little last night. Was very cold. Tonight I’m going to put a blanket between the mattress and me. The children all slept in the tent, which they love, and slept right through. It had rained here recently and was a little threatening looking when we first got here. (We had a tremendous thunderstorm Friday night when we were out at the ranch. Lightening striking across the river and downriver from us. Lots of rain also. The robin’s nest blew out of the apple tree and we found three babies on the ground. Two were dead. I buried the dead ones and we fed the live one a small worm and put it and the nest up in the tree house. We don’t know whether the parents came but it was still alive when we left. In Weaverville the mother quail was sitting on her nest.)

After breakfast we loaded a lot of the stuff into the car and the rest into the tent so it wouldn’t get wet in case of rain. Then we drove up to the rim. Bought film and postcards and left the rim as quickly as possible–jammed with people. Awful. We then drove around the rim. Made frequent stops to look at the lake and a couple of stops for the children to slide in the snow. There are still a number of large patches—dirty from hemlocks’ debris and road dust. We ate lunch at Whitebark Pine Picnic Area looking out at Mt. Scott. Had it all to ourselves. We made a quick walk up to Sun Notch and stopped at Vidae Falls for a picture. Got back to camp around 3:30.

The boys are grubbing around with their trucks in the dirt. Rebecca read for a while and now appears to have joined them. They really seem glad to be out of the car. These camps are among lodgepole pine and red fir and Mt. Hemlock, mostly lodgepole pine. We have no one on one side of us, someone about 150 feet away on the other (screened by trees) and someone across from us (semi-screened). The bathroom and water and garbage can are not far. Lots of birds-tanagers, Steller’s Jays. Saw a woodpecker feeding its young ones, robins, Clark’s Nutcrackers (much to Clarke’s delight). We saw a golden eagle from the overlook yesterday and gray jays on the rim today. All three children fed a Golden
Mantle Ground Squirrel. Before we went up to the rim this morning we walked through Castle Crest Garden. Not many flowers in bloom yet. Overall today we saw Elephant’s Head Pedicularis, Pussy Paws, Mt. Ash, Bleeding Hearts, Avalanche Lilies (near Sun Notch), Forget-me-nots, Dwarf Purple Monkey Flowers, Hellebore, Shooting Stars and others, including Indian Paintbrush and Western Pasque Flowers. We also drove down to the Pinnacles.

Saturday, July 24th: We’re in Florence, Oregon at a much too expensive motel–$26.00. Dinner was $10.60. Should have camped I guess but it was windy and cool and a motel is a big treat for the kids. They took a swim before dinner, sliding down the slide with a big splash. Clarke had to be caught by Rebecca. He paddled near the ladder where I sat. We ate at the same restaurant as last year—still just as slow service.

We had a pretty good time at Nehalem—not quite as hard on me as last year. Wednesday we went with Mary and Ben to Tillamook so they could buy groceries. It seemed to take forever, and we drove down to a park for a picnic, which we didn’t have until about 4 o’clock and children bickering. Cape Meares has thick brush with trails cut through it, paved of course. Lots of brush rabbits. There was a big rock covered with gulls and cormorants and guano. There was an old lighthouse on the point. We all pushed Mary up to the bathroom, which had bars in it, much to her relief. We all went, except Mary, up to look at what was called an octopus tree. It was a large Sitka Spruce with many large branches about 12 feet in circumference. The base of the tree was about 50 feet in circumference. Jeffrey and Clarke had gone up and Jeff came down to get me. So I went up and Clarke was up there, all by himself, perched on the fence singing loudly “I love to go a-wandering”. He had started a song about the spruce tree when I got there. I think he was singing so loudly because of being by himself. My brothers and I called our parents by their first names and, believe me, with every much respect as if we’d called them Mom and Dad.

Thursday I fixed a lunch and the children and I went up to Oswald West State Park. This place has a parking lot along the highway and you walk down to the beach through a beautiful spruce and hemlock forest. Lots of red elderberry, vine maples and ferns. Rebecca and Jeffrey ended up wet to their armpits from standing in the waves. Clarke and I got wet too—Clarke especially. We went up to where a waterfall runs into the ocean and found some tide pools. The children lifted a starfish off the rocks and put it in the ocean. We then went back and ate our lunch. Then back to the sea. It was a beautiful day and we all got a little sunburned. There were surfers and there were a number of boats off the coast.

When we got home we took Mary for a walk up the road.

Friday Bing called and said he and Pat would be down that evening. They were calling from Seattle. We took some cheese, crackers, apples, granola bars, etc. And went up to Ecola Beach State Park. At first it was foggy and cool but later warmed up. After lunch the kids and I went down to the beach. There were lots of little tide pools and we got some interesting shells. Met a man from Germany who had some young boys with him and I showed them how to put their fingers into sea anemones and have the anemones close over them. They were with a relative from British Columbia.

Bing and Pat arrived around 6:30. They brought lots of food including salmon, which Ben broiled with laurel wood. We had a delicious dinner. This morning Pat gave us all blueberries to have with our breakfast.

We left around 11:30. Stopped briefly at the Tillamook Cheese Factory. Decided at the last minute to stop at Newport at the Marine Biology Lab. The children enjoyed it and then we learned that their research ship was open until 4:00 and it was then quarter to 4:00. We ran over there, buffeted by a strong wind, and got on the ship. There was a long line. As we were going into the ship a little sailboat began to have problems and everyone stopped to watch. Eventually they capsized. They tried to right it but it tipped over the other way. This happened several times. Finally they both, a man and a boy, got on the hull and a small boat came alongside while the coastguard started out from the shore. The men in the small boat lifted the tip of the sail; the man pulled on the keel and it was up. With the coastguard hovering they turned around and headed up river. It was very exciting and we really didn’t get much out of the boat tour. We got to Florence around 5:30 and there wasn’t much available in motels. Anyhow, we’re here and tomorrow we’ll stop at the sand dunes and head for home.

I’m noticing that my writing is coming less frequently and that some slides seem permanently lost although I imagine they are someplace in my possessions. For instance, I can’t find any pictures for Crater Lake for this trip.

Snakes, Quail, and Outhouse 1976

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July 6, 1976

9 p.m. Just got the children to bed. We have the lights on but it’s still quite light outside. Bob flew to Bakersfield this evening. He’ll get back to Weaverville Thursday night but won’t come here until Friday night.

July 13th
I’m writing this in Weaverville while waiting for Bob to come back from Redding with the car. We’re taking it to a Swiss man named Fritz in Palo Cedro. Bob left around 6:30 a.m. and it’s about 2:30 now.

I was just outside changing a sprinkler. Was dragging it over into the rose garden, below the big pine and madrone, when suddenly a bird squawked and flew up from under my feet! Really startled me. It was a quail, sitting on her nest and I’d nearly stepped on her. I came in and got the children so they could see too—There are ten eggs, cream colored with brown spots. I hope she’ll return and hatch them. The nest is just a slightly cleared area among the pine needles, with iris leaves lying close around it. She was snuggled down so that her back was almost level with the needles.

I had a strange dream last week. Bob was in Bakersfield and the children and I out at the ranch. I dreamed I was down by a small creek with steep bluffs on each side and, perched on either bluff were eagle-like shapes from gray driftwood. They belonged to Bob. It was heavily shaded there with just a glint of sunlight on the water. Then I was in an empty house whose walls were all cream colored—lots of light from the windows, no furniture. There was an envelope on the floor inside in front of a closed door. That particular room was much like the office at Castle Crags—a Dutch door with top half open, leading outside. I went in the next room and then went to turn a light switch on because suddenly I needed one. But the lights wouldn’t work (I don’t remember it being dark though). I went to get a flashlight and in another room there was a driftwood eagle shape attached to the wall and it was mine. On the opposite side of the room was a closed door and behind it I could hear some metallic noises and a whispering voice. I started running and yelled, “Help! Help! Help!” At which point I woke up and found Jeff standing by the bed. He had needed the light and was whispering to me about it. I guess I really scared him!

Sunday morning we had a little rain. I decided to tear down the outhouse. The ground squirrels were using it for a shelter and I was tired of seeing it there. Have done a lot of brushing to try to discourage them in that area. I sawed loose two of the front boards holding up the roof, wanting to get the roof off in one piece, thinking it might make a good tree house roof but have since decided that it’s too heavy and too rotten. I couldn’t tilt the roof back so wrapped a chain around the front edge, put a chain in the middle of that and, using the Come-Along, pulled the whole building over. It took the rest of the day to pry off the metal, dispose of the tacks and salvage a little of the wood. My muscles ached so that night that I could hardly go to sleep. We came into town yesterday afternoon.

I’ve been reading Irving Stone’s biography of Freud—thought there must have been a lot of hidden meanings to my frenzied tearing down of the outhouse!

The children and I went back out to the ranch on the 14th, ate lunch and then put a new liner in the pool. The children were happy to be able to have deeper water with the new, untorn liner. Bob called from Bakersfield.

We stayed in town again the day Bob had taken the car to Fritz. He wanted to stay in town to do some calculations on the small I-beams for the bridge and it turned out the children were able to help him for a while with that and I went outside later and held a light for him until about 11 p.m.

Bicentennial 1976

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Friday, July 2nd, Candie, Jim and Carin arrived in Weaverville a little after 9 p.m. I’d spent the day running all over getting stuff for the pack trip, etc. Also vacuumed most of the house. I had all the food ready before dinner time. Bob had flown with Lonny to Bakersfield Friday morning and got back about 7:30.

Saturday morning we drove to Big French Creek and were at the trailhead by 9:00. It was a partly cloudy day but mostly sunny. The kids traveled right along. We stopped for a snack at Oak Flat around 10:00. Someone had camped there since we were last there—had leveled off a place for their sleeping bag and left two blackened stone fireplaces. We got to Cherry Flat around 11:30 and it seemed to be just what we were looking for.

The camp is only about 30 feet off the main trail but since there’s no one else around it’s o.k. It’s covered with mossy -trunked oaks with an understory of poison oak and grass clumps. There are some Douglas Firs among the oaks. There is an established camp here with log rails, good for sitting on, and a small table- like structure suitable for kitchen use. Two areas are marked off as sleeping places, someone having taken thick chunks of moss from the trees or rocks (boulders here are moss covered) and put them on the ground for mattresses. Buckthorn Creek, which crosses the main trail just before the camp, is about 150 from here and Big French Creek about 100 yards. A small trail to Big French Creek leads to a nice pool near the mouth of Buckhorn Creek where the water is deep enough to swim a few feet—also very cold. All along the creek are large clumps of Indian Rhubarb, vine maple, alders, etc; a few tiger lilies and five-finger ferns.

We ate lunch at the pool and got briefly into the water. Bob went fishing. He got back around 6:00 with a limit of fish, having gone clear up to Willow Gulch. We ate macaroni and cheese, bread, fish, and chocolate pudding for dinner. As soon as the sun went down the mosquitoes moved in. It was very uncomfortable eating dinner. Candie and I got the dishes washed and dried. Bob played his harmonica and Jeff and Clarke stood up in their sleeping bags and swayed, bounced, and danced to the music, like two small elves or caterpillars with their hoods pulled up. Later I heard Bob and Jim singing after I’d gone to bed.

Slept off and on. In order to keep the mosquitoes out I had to have my hood zipped up. Then I sweated. Didn’t sleep much. Everyone else seemed to though.

Sunday morning of the 4th we sang Happy Birthday America, still lying in our sleeping bags—everyone except Jim who had gotten up early to go fishing. Bob was still more or less asleep.

We had hot instant cereal for breakfast, Tang and hot chocolate. I had coffee. I fixed a lunch for Bob and Jeff and they went upstream to fish. They aren’t back yet.

Candie and I talked and Rebecca, Carin and Clarke went down to Buckhorn Creek and to play. Later we took our lunches down to Big French Creek and ate, took pictures and “swam”. Lots of minnows in Big French Creek and yesterday Jim and Clarke found a salamander.

On the flat here there are a bunch of mountain mahogany trees out in the open, looking for all the world like a stunted orchard. We’re wondering if someone thought they were cherry trees and named the flat Cherry Flat for that reason. Lots of thrushes singing last evening. I called them hermit thrushes but am thinking maybe they were Swainson’s thrushes.

Bob and Jeff got back about 6:00 . I’d just started up the trail, hoping to meet them and did, just as I was going into the trees above the meadow. Jeffrey had caught 4 fish, his very first! The first one he caught was 10 inches long and the others smaller. Bob had caught 4 also and Jim 7 so we had fish with dinner again. Fortunately there was a little spot of sunlight left and I took several pictures of Jeff. He was really pleased with himself. It was good to see. Bob said they hadn’t pushed things too much, fooled around some and left when Jeff was ready to leave.

After dinner, when the kids were in bed they asked Bob to play his harmonica for them and pretty soon Rebecca, who had been playing her recorder, and he played some together. Then we all beat on plates and cups; Candie played the spoons and we sang some. Made a lot of noise. The mosquitoes weren’t quite as bad, maybe because it was a little cooler. Candie suggested that our noise drove then away as we celebrated the Bicentennial. Finally, around 10, things settled down.

Shortly after the adults crawled into our sleeping bags, one of the boys got up and Bob shined a light to help guide him back to his sleeping bag. Instead, he started farther into the woods, still being half asleep. Bob had to take him to his sleeping bag.

We had just settled down again when there was a horrible noise downstream a little way—a rather high-pitched scream followed by a lower snarling noise, very loud. We jumped—all we adults—and called back and forth in the dark, deciding it was a mountain lion. Bob and Jim moved Jeff and Clarke to between Bob and myself so if they had to get up it would hopefully wake us up and no one would wander off into the woods. The two girls were between some logs and also were not inclined to have to get up in the night to pee. It took a long time to go to sleep after that. I finally adjusted my bag so my ears were out so I could hear kids or cat!

The next morning I got up around 6:30 and headed up the trail. I went for about 45 minutes before I turned back. I passed two Shasta Lilies as tall as I am, very fragrant. The trail pitched steeply upward and came out through a rocky meadow area, green grass under oaks and dried grass in the open. The trail was very narrow and where it first emerged from the trees came out on a rocky point. I went to the edge and cautiously looked down, probably two or three hundred feet. It’s really a very wild place, steep, rugged and isolated. I found tracks in the dust about four inches across on this stretch of trail—perhaps mountain lion. This plus the sounds the night before made it seem even wilder. The sun was on Thurston Peaks, which I could just glimpse from this point, far ahead. Then I turned back. Got back to camp a little after 8:00.

Carin wasn’t feeling well and didn’t eat breakfast. Bob took Rebecca fishing. (Jim loaned her his pole). And they were to be gone only an hour. They didn’t have a watch but it was 11:30 before they got back. Rebecca had caught her first fish though. While they were gone I had taken camp down. Jeff helped fold up ground cloths. I had everything packed but Bob’s pack. Carin by now had a pretty high fever so Jim started out carrying her on his shoulders as well as carrying his pack. Candie followed him closely. Jeffrey and Clarke took off so I tried to catch up with them and did so where the trail gets narrow. Bob and Rebecca caught up with us at Oak Flat. We passed a young man coming in and Bob had met two people the day before, way up near Willow Gulch—they intended to get to Caribou Lakes—supposedly had enough food for three weeks). Other than that we saw no one else.

We caught up with Candie, Carin and Jim at Deep Creek. They’d been there about half an hour cooling Carin off. We ate lunch there and headed for the car. A short way down the road from the trailhead was a little creek and we stopped there for drinks (very hot day) and to cool Carin again. When we got to town Candie put her in the tub. They left around 5:30.

June-July 1976 Water

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June 30th, 1976

All of this traveling about, catching airplanes, renting cars, staying in motels and dining in restaurants basically on my own was new to me. Even more stimulating was studying agendas, asking questions of staff, helping make important decisions. This was a time when non-point sources were being looked at, when erosion from logging operations was being examined, and when cease and desist orders were applied to small communities for sewerage discharges so that they qualified for state assistance in funding for treatment plants. So much learning to be done, so much protection for the waters of the state. And when I first got appointed to the board there were no other women on the board although that was soon to change. At the time I was a registered Republican and was appointed by Democratic governor Jerry Brown.

On a late June Wednesday I drove to Crescent City, leaving Weaverville around 10:45. I ate a sack lunch at Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park and had three chipmunks and a Steller’s Jay begging for food. Got to Smith River just before 4:00, changed and went to the meeting.

After the meeting we adjourned to David Joseph’s room for drinks, went on to the dining room and had a delicious salmon dinner. We were out in the buffet area, because we needed a bigger table but we were pretty noisy so it probably helped that too. From there we went on up to the bar and tried to talk over the loud music of the singer; including an argument over Proposition 15. (Proposition 15 called for more stringent legislative regulation of the nuclear power industry. It was defeated.)

The next day’s hearings were quite interesting- we’d just started getting into the best one when the CDF man, who was testifying, had some sort of attack and fell to the floor on his back. My first thought was “I hope somebody besides me knows CPR.” I headed for him, feeling obligated because of my recent class. The room rapidly emptied as a couple of board staff people and I went to his aid. He’d bitten his tongue badly and was twitching quite a bit either from heart pain or epilepsy perhaps. Fortunately someone else took charge and all I had to do was put a folded tablet in his mouth when asked to do so. An ambulance was called and motel staff brought in oxygen.

That hearing was postponed. We were through by around 3:00. I left. Got gas and drove down the Northbank Road where we’d all agreed to meet for dinner at Jedediah Smith State Park. Most of the staff members were camped there with their families. I found the Kor’s camp and left my car and walked down to the river. Swam a little, floated on my back looking up at the redwoods. Baked in the sun.

Fortunately someone had purchased a steak for me, which I later paid for. I thought I might end up eating salami, which I had with me. We had a good time talking and laughing a lot. Got back to the motel about 10:30.

“I haven’t laughed as much as on this trip in ages.”

Friday we drove to Klamath and took the jet boat trip up the river to view the river’s edge and the mouths of streams running into the Klamath River. It was interesting but I wouldn’t do it again.Everything has been cut over. It has grown back but mostly to hardwoods. Every small stream had a huge deposit of gravel at its mouth with the stream coming in a little trickle off to one side. We did see osprey and their nests, hooded mergansers, Indian fishing nets (gill nets) off to the edge and many blue herons. I’ve never seen so many kingfishers before.

The boatman pointed out each and every summer home along the way. He also told us of a logging company that opens up a road for the fishermen every year by filling in a stream-bed and every winter the creek washes it out.

I got back to Weaverville around 6:30 and ate dinner at Florence and Leonard’s. Florence had saved some food for me. Bob was on his way out to the ranch but stopped for a few minutes.

Saturday Rebecca and Jeffrey were due at the Meyer’s for Anne Marie’s birthday party. We bought groceries, presents, etc. and I cleaned the bathroom. Then dropped them off on our way out of town a little after 2:00. When Clarke and I got to the creek Bob didn’t know what time it was, around 4:00, and hadn’t had lunch. Sunday Clarke and I drove into town to pick up Rebecca and Jeff and were back by noon.

Bob took Monday off so he could get some more work done down at the creek. I’ve been putting in long days and my muscles aren’t used to it. Monday I mowed the lawn. I’ve mowed the orchard twice already this summer. Yesterday I cut up two sections of firewood (Jeff loaded most if it and brought it down). Cleaned under the stairs, which took several hours and cleaned out the children’s part of the corner cupboard. Washed the outside and inside of one window. Monday I also cut the new linoleum for the bathroom, which took all morning. It needs to be fastened down now.

Bob has the two cross pieces in place between the I-beams and the middle one in place but not yet welded. It’s very slow work. He has borrowed Scoot Miller’s welder. He is going to stay in town tonight and go to Bakersfield tomorrow. He’ll be back Friday night. Saturday is our backpack trip with the Fields.

The garden is having its usual problems with bugs, mice and birds. Maybe next year I’ll skip it.

May-June 1976

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May 17th

As time went on my writing came at longer intervals. There was just too much to keep up with. It had been a whole month since I’d last written. The trip to Santa Rosa was very tiring. I left here at 8:30 a.m., got a rental car in Redding, a little Plymouth Valiant (?). Arrived at Candie and Jim’s in Willows about 12:00 and left at 1:30. Didn’t get to Santa Rosa until about 5:30. Stayed in the Los Robles motel which, although near the freeway, was quiet. The Clear Lake area was even worse than I’d imagined, very built up with lots of shacky houses, very crowded. I’d thought it was at a higher elevation also. Went through there once when I was in college—some other students and I were on our way to Crescent City to our family homes from Berkeley and dropping a student off. My father picked me up to go home to Jedediah Smith State Park.

That Thursday I drove around Coddington Center until I found the Water Quality Control office and, after dropping my car off, hitched a ride with the secretaries downtown to Rohnert Park where our meeting was being held. That afternoon we ate with the Farm Bureau and some of us went on a bus tour to look at dairy problems.
!Friday morning I got to the airport at 7:00 and was informed that Air West hadn’t confirmed my flight with Stohl so I couldn’t get on the first plane. I sent my luggage and took the next plane out, which had a female pilot! Got to S.F. about 10 minutes before they started loading passengers. Got home around 1:00.

Last Monday I took the boys and drove to Redding. Left the VW at the garage and took a cab to Cypress Square. Got new tennis shoes for both boys, ate pizza for lunch. To fill in time we visited the pet shop, floating gardens (a nursery), hobby hut, etc. went back to the car around 2:15 and then home. Then had to take some stuff down to Riker’s for Bob and pick Rebecca up from piano lessons.

One day we took the nursery school kids down to Caterson’s. They saw rabbits, cows, ducks and geese. Milked a goat.

Wednesday I tried to get stuff caught up at the house. Kim Hykas came over Wednesday evening and stayed with us until Sunday evening. Her parents were going to Monterey. They were back Saturday but she wanted to go out to the ranch and Rebecca wanted her to go out so she went with us. Bob left for Bakersfield Monday morning, and got back Thursday night. He came over to the CD Hall where the elementary school band was playing and met us there just before the program started. Rebecca was in the band, chorus and square dancing.

Friday morning I tried walking up East Weaver Creek. The creek was running across the road so I went up this side. Finally crossed over on a high log but, of course, there was another crossing to be made. I could have gone up on the original side through the tangles but hadn’t been feeling well and didn’t feel like fighting it. Went back and ate my lunch near the crossing log. As I was finishing, a young couple came up the other side. I went back on the same side as I came, finding a good deer trail, which contoured around nearly back to where I’d left the car.

Didn’t do much out at the ranch. Rested. Mowed part of the lawn and Bob finished it. He worked down at the creek a lot. Lots of stuff coming up in the garden.

Nursery school had a workday on Saturday. I didn’t do anything except go over a couple of times. Took Rebecca and Kim over to babysit. The mothers really did a good job.

Bob killed our first rattlesnake of the year; under the boom truck by the generator shed, and Jeff got bitten by an alligator lizard. The weather has been quite warm, sometimes up to 80 or 90 degrees.

Kinnik-Kinnick got hit by Mildred Giovanetti’s pick-up on Tuesday Morning. I dropped her off at the vet’s to have some cuts sewn up and picked her up late that afternoon. One cut is healing nicely but the bigger one she’s been licking a lot and seems to be opening up. I may have to take her to Redding as our vet won’t be here this weekend. While we were picking her up Elaine Livengood and her family were there. A female goat had gotten mauled by a bear and since they couldn’t save her, they were trying to save the unborn kids.

May 30th, 8:30 p.m. We’re out at the ranch and it’s raining. We came out yesterday afternoon. This morning, after a big breakfast of French toast, two eggs, bacon, milk and orange juice for all of us, we drove down to Big French Creek. I’d fixed a lunch and Bob brought his fishing pole. We got a late start but still it was a good day. Met a lot of people on the trail, most of them on their way out. It’s a beautiful trail, winds along above the creek. Lots of madrones, big Douglas Fir, vine maple, dogwood; two kinds of pyrolas, lots of Bachniakias—clusters of them– some delicate sprays of small white flowers of some kind, ginger in bloom. I’ve never seen so much poison oak—we couldn’t walk without being in it. Lots of big ferns (deer ferns?). Great, big pools in the creek, big mossy boulders and waterfalls. Looked like a water ouzel’s paradise.

We stopped for lunch near Oak Flat where the trail crosses the creek and eventually ends up at the Upper Ranch. Rebecca and Jeffrey and Bob walked across a log to the other side many times. I struggled across one log once and sat and hitched my way across another coming back. Oak Flat is filled with oaks and poison oak. Bob took the boys up the creek a way to fish while Rebecca and I stayed there to guard our stuff and the packs of two other people who had gone on up the trail (I did go look at Oak Flat for a few minutes). They didn’t catch any fish but had fun trying. We walked about four miles round trip. A good trip for Clarke. Cloudy but no rain until we got back to the ranch.

I did have to take the dog to Redding. She was there for almost a week. The vet discovered that she has heart-lung worms and they gave her injections twice a day for three days. I picked her up Monday. She is supposed to stay quiet for a month and we’re keeping her tied up and giving her tranquilizers. The heart-lung worms are a dog parasite transmitted by mosquitoes. If the parasites degrade locally it’s ok but if she gets excited they can create a blood clot and kill her.

Last Wednesday afternoon I left the children with Florence and Leonard and drove to Eureka. Stayed at a motel between northbound and southbound traffic. Very noisy. It was pretty on the way over—poppies and lupine on all the road cuts. Three other board members and I were supposed to fly to Ft. Bragg for our meeting. It was so foggy in the morning that the plane couldn’t leave and by then was too late to drive down so I came home and drove up to the ranch and changed a sprinkler–gave the garden a dampening. The mice have eaten the tops off all my pea plants. Ate lunch in Big Bar and went back to Weaverville, arriving about 2 o’clock. There was lots of traffic on the road—many logging trucks barreling along and empty lumber trucks. That road has been improved, just enough so that they go much faster than is safe.

Last Thursday was the last day of nursery school for the year. We had a picnic but fewer people than the previous year came. The mothers gave me a $15 gift certificate to Greenwood’s. I used most of it to pay for framing my bee picture.

Thursday night I had to take Jeff to Scouts. Bob had left Wednesday morning and didn’t get back until Friday noon so it was my job this time.

Rebecca had her 11th birthday in early June. Our 13th anniversary was a few days later. The children and I were out at the ranch. Bob was in Victorville and would get back the next night.

Rebecca was supposed to go to a Girl Scout camp Monday (although she’s not a scout) with Robin Meyer. We had bought the necessary clothes, made phone calls, she’d had a physical, marked all her clothes, etc. I’d even fixed little packages of things to be opened, one each day. It was to be for 12 days. Jeannie and I went together in the Meyer’s car all the way up to Medford with them. We drove up a winding road to Tomlin Forest—pines, oaks and lots of green grass, came around a turn and there was a burned building with a fire truck beside it. I hoped we’d taken a wrong turn but no, we were in the right place. The cookhouse had burned down the night before. There was nothing to do but head for home. We stopped in Medford and had a good lunch, then picked up a welding rod for Bob, which he’d phoned ahead about; then stopped at a park for a few minutes so the girls could get a little exercise and a snow cone. We got back to town around 7:00.

Rebecca’s sniffles had become rapidly worse so I had made her go lie down (combined with disappointment, relief and whatever else). Gave her dinner in bed and talked a little. Bob and the boys were still at Florence and Leonard’s and Bob made sure they stayed until we had a chance to unwind a little.

Tuesday did some ironing, some housecleaning, bought groceries, and went out to the ranch. We got there around 5:00 and Bob around 7:30 which was when we ate. Wednesday, after fixing breakfast, I hung out the clothes I’d washed the night before, washed dishes, planted the tomato plants, with Clarke’s help. Cut a lot of tall grass around the edge of the lawn, etc.

A day or two later Bob was in Victorville with a bad cold. The kids and I still at the ranch and planning to go to Patrick’s Point. We slept later than planned but I was awakened by the birds around 5:00 and went back to sleep for awhile. Rebecca and Jeff hung out the laundry. I made a lunch but left the breakfast dishes and we were at Patrick’s Point before noon. Ate lunch in a picnic area, which we had all to ourselves, then walked down a pretty, green- roofed trail to Mussel Rocks. The tide was in so we didn’t get to look at tide pools but we sat and watched the waves breaking, falling in big spouts of foam over the rocks. From there we walked about ½ mile up the Rim Trail to the trail that goes down to Agate Beach and spent a couple of hours down there. The children played in the water, the sand and the driftwood. It was clear and warm. The surf was high and rolled sand up with every wave, stinging our legs. By the time we got back to the car it was 4 o’clock. We had lemonade, iced tea for me, celery sticks and the boys had raisins. Then we drove down to Trinidad, planning to visit the Marine Biology Lab but it was closed. We drove down to the bay and walked out on the dock to look at the fishing boats. We ate dinner in Willow Creek and got home around 8 o’clock.

Lots of flowers in bloom—poppies still along the highway, azaleas, rhododendrons, purple asters and lupine along the coast. Skunk cabbage along a little creek on the Agate Beach Trail looked as if it would bloom soon. The children didn’t fight too much and seemed to think the long drive was worth it.


The next series will probably include a backpacking Bicentennial hike.