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.

March-April 1976

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Wednesday, March 31st

A week ago I got up at 5 a.m. and left the house at 5:30. Drove to the Redding airport, got my tickets and ate breakfast. The plane left around 10 to 8:00 and, stopping briefly at Chico, arrived in a thick fog at S.F. around 9:00. We flew above fog for quite a while—looked as if one could get out of the plane and walk on it—beautiful! Unfortunately a woman sat next to me who insisted on talking non-stop most of the way down, despite my efforts to discourage her—family history, grandchildren’s pictures (she was only 44), etc. The boy on my right didn’t say a word.

At S.F. I went down stairs to wait for the Stohl plane. It was a six –passenger, two- engine plane. Three other people were going also. Planes run about every 45 minutes between Santa Rosa and San Francisco. The fog was breaking up and we would get glimpses of green, rolling hills beneath us—very pretty.

David Joseph and Ben Kor met me at the airport and we drove up to Ukiah where we had lunch with Al Beltrami, the chairman of the board. Then we went to our motel where I rested until it was time to go to a workshop meeting at 3:00 in the courthouse. Later we went to the chairman’s house for cocktails. He lives on a hill looking out over part of Ukiah, a fairly large two-story house. His wife teaches pre-school also. I talked to the 12-year old daughter about her white mouse for a while. She keeps it in a cage in her room. We then went to dinner in a local restaurant.

Thursday morning David, Ben and I walked up and down the street looking for a restaurant for breakfast. Eventually ended up having coffee and doughnuts in a bakery. Then we went to the courthouse again where the staff lawyer drew up an oath of office for me and we got it notarized.

At 9:00 our meeting started. The Water Basin Plans were discussed and voted upon. I didn’t vote because I hadn’t been involved in the hearings. Did vote on the rest of the issues though. Perhaps the most interesting one involved an oil company, which is drilling for geothermal sites on BLM land, is supervised by U.S.G.S., and wouldn’t file with the Water Quality Control Board. We had a divided vote to refer the case to the Attorney General’s Office. Apparently there are a lot of conflicts between the Federal and State Government right now over jurisdiction. Saw Eugene Wixon there (my memory is that he was a Trinity County Supervisor at the time).

After the meeting we drove to Geyserville where I had lunch with the staff members and secretaries. Then David and Ben dropped me off at the airport where my plane arrived after about a 45-minute wait. It was clear going to S.F. but windy. That is a beautiful area from the air. When we got across that branch of the Bay we flew down the Peninsula before crossing and flying up to S.F. Met Chris Bradley (former high school student when I worked in the high school library and also substituted) at the Redding airport and gave him a ride out to Cypress St. in Redding.

I got home about 8:45. No one was home because they were at Scouts. Jeannie called while I was fixing a sandwich and we talked until my family got home.

Saturday, Clarke went to Kelly Sheen’s birthday party. Rebecca got her hair cut. It’s much shorter and very wavy. Looks very nice but makes her look a lot older. Got Jeff’s hair cut Monday.

Scott worked here for awhile Sunday, taking out all the fallen barbed wire fence and hauled it to the dump. He cut brush along the fence until his chain saw broke. I took the children to the elementary school to fly Jeff’s kite but the string broke and it ended up in a tree in Lowden Park.

A week or so later, Clarke went to Redding with Clay Tucker and his parents. They left at 8:00 a.m. and didn’t get back until 7:00. It was Clay’s birthday. They watched Clay’s father fly airplanes, did some shopping, etc. Clarke brought home a bow and arrow water gun, which they bought for him. He walked in the door and threw up. I thought he was car sick but later discovered he had a fever of 102. I kept him home from School Monday.

Robin Meyer came to play with Rebecca while Fred and Jeanne took Jeff and Ann Marie on a hike up toward E. Weaver Lake.

Bob painted another coat on the metal box for Leonard’s generator. He also fixed the front and back doors so they open and close better, put weather stripping in the crack between the floor and fireplace, put the glass doors on the fireplace, and replaced the broken window in the front door.

Yesterday I decided to try to fix the sink trap and took all the pipes apart. Everything at the hardware store was too short but I got it back together. Would get it put together and a joint would leak. Would fix that and another would start. Finally, after about five hours of this, I asked Bob for help. Fortunately for my ego, he had just as much trouble. Finally he bought another section of heavy, two- inch pipe and pieced it together.

Another day I worked in the yard a lot: cut some more brush down by the redbud; transplanted some iris onto the road bank; hauled all the dead branches to the woodshed, after breaking them into firewood lengths; hauled one of Scott’s brush piles to the truck.

Friday I took a really nice walk—same route but it was warm. Took my camera and tripod and got some pictures of fawn lilies. Really could have stayed all day. Got home a little after 2:00. Fortunately Jeff didn’t have Scouts so I wasn’t needed there.

Monday had parent/teacher conferences. Both Rebecca and Jeffrey are doing well. Dale Kennedy and Betty Rourke seem pleased to know them.

April 1st the Scouts had a special magic program. I picked up Jeff after half an hour so he could go to piano lessons. He handed me a hand lotion jar and not even thinking about April Fool’s Day I opened it. Out jumped a large green thing about two-inches in diameter and about 2.5 feet long. Really startled me! He was delighted. He then used it on Mrs. Matthias at piano lessons as well as Jeannie Meyer and Bob, all with great success. He had borrowed it from Jim Ratliff.

The next week Clarke stayed with Linda Lindsey for part of two days and then a third day when Jeff joined him after school because I needed to take the car to Hostetter’s in Redding and took Rebecca to get some clothes. It was raining and the wind blowing in big gusts—made us a little late in dropping off the car. We took a taxi to get downtown to Wards. Mostly found things on sale. We’d just finished lunch at the pizza place when Doris, Linda and Lisa Ohde (Dave’s niece) came in. We visited with them while they ate and then Doris took us all to the mall. While she bought groceries the teens browsed and Rebecca and I looked for Easter toys. Then Doris took us down to the garage to get our car.

Friday night Peter and family arrived at Joneses. He was to be the guest speaker for the Forest Forum at the Gables. I’d gone down the day before to see what it was like and check to see where the outlets were. Also to see whether they had a microphone. The bartender assured me he wouldn’t need a mike and that the other diners would be kept at the far end of the room. It turned out to be a disaster from the noise and that’s all I’ll say here. It was a joint meeting with the Redding branch of the Society of American Foresters. The S.A.F. chair and the local state forester and I had all agreed it would be a good place. We had 39 people show up, not bad considering USFS had a retirement party that night that we hadn’t known about until too late to change. If that hadn’t been the case we could have rented the whole room. I was embarrassed and disappointed. Finally, the really rude table left and the questions and answers could be heard.

Rebecca went with Horace Jones and the grandchildren—Nick, Cedric and Jessica—to go fishing in the river near Douglas City. Alice brought Rebecca home afterwards. Peter had left a couple of days before that.

Rebecca had the job of feeding all the Meyer’s animals while they were gone for a week-twice a day. Two dogs, one rabbit, three ducks and about eight chickens and a cat. She got to keep the eggs.

All the insulation in the walls at the recreation building, for the new nursery school room, was put in wrong and has to be redone. The men were here to put in the sheetrock but couldn’t complete it because of that. I took the boys to the park while I went to see about that. Then took them to Brown’s for a snack. That afternoon I took the VW for a lube and Clarke and I walked home. I took my camera and got a few pictures on the way back. Walked down by myself to bring the car back.

Bob went to Big Bar the night before to attend a cutting plan meeting put on by the Forest Service.

That Thursday afternoon I went to a meeting put on by the Army Corps of Engineers. Supposedly they now have jurisdiction over all U.S. water. This meeting was to explain about permits, etc., for dumping fill or working in creeks. The miners turned out in full force and didn’t even allow the presentation to be finished. Those who wanted to hear how it affected timber and road building didn’t have a chance. I think enforcement by the Corps is totally unnecessary, at least in California, where Fish and Game and Water Quality Control are already strong and people like the miners shouldn’t have to file with both. However, the action of most of the miners seemed to be mostly to hear their own voices after the first half hour.

The boy cousins and our boys spent time coasting down the road in the wagons. Nick and Cedric also went down on Jeff’s bike so Jeff spent a lot of time today coasting down. Had a couple of good wrecks too!

One of the men at the Forum meeting Friday night was Hal Bowman, who used to work at the Castella mill and now works for Kimberly-Clark in Redding. Another, who works for the USFS in Redding at the Range and Experiment Station said they will be publishing this next year, a paper including our mother’s list of Castle Crags plants, to which they’ve added only a couple more. I gave him her address so they can send her a copy when it is published.

I took all the children out to the ranch on the 14th. They, and I until my voice gave out, sang all the way down, often two different songs at the same time. It was a pretty day, sunny and warm. Nick Twight was entranced by the bog and showed me all sorts of grubbies that he found in there: worms, leaches, water bugs, etc. He also discovered that the frogs hide in the muck. We found that where there was a bubble there was a frog to be scooped up. The others mostly played cowboys and Indians. I found an old bottle below the road below the barn.

I decided to rent a car to drive to Santa Rosa for the Water Board meeting and made a reservation to fly home.

February-March 1976

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Still recuperating from the bout of pneumonia, trying to get strength back to normal but was back to teaching nursery school children and the adult night class with a presentation about children’s literature. Kids home off and on with various ailments. One day I picked up Dale Kennedy’s (Rebecca’s teacher) homework at the school office. Florence brought up some granola she had made and then couldn’t get her car started. Bob couldn’t start it either. Leonard came up and got it started immediately. I wrote “That happens to me too.”

Bob came home with a big piece of chocolate cake left over from Roy Blair’s farewell party. I was delighted as that would be dessert that night. I’d fixed a cobbler the day before so we had the rest of that too.

On the 20th we awoke to find it snowing and accumulated about an inch but by 9:00 it had melted off the trees and sun was shining. Very pretty while it lasted. We were supposed to go to the scout dinner that night but Jeff was still sick The next evening I could hear frogs from toward West Weaver Creek.

Saturday evening I was reading John Steinbeck’s “Travels With Charlie”. Bob left for Bakersfield late Sunday afternoon and would be home Thursday night. After lunch I hauled four wheelbarrows of wood from the woodshed to the porch and dumped the rotten apples over the edge of the lawn. Children’s coughs were getting better.

Monday. After cleaning our room for the first time in months, I took Clarke down to Greenwood’s so he could spend his allowance on an orange racing car. Bob called Wednesday night. He sounded exhausted but pretty well satisfied with what he had been able to accomplish. He had been staying up until midnight and getting up before six. Did three more loads of wood.

Tuesday had been a nursery school day. I was still taking medication so had to wait an hour before lunch. After Jeff came home I took him to Greenwoods to spend his allowance. He bought a racing car and a little truck. Scot Lindsey came home with Clarke on the bus. Around 4:15 I took him along and we went over to the elementary school to pick up Rebecca who had stayed after. She was catching up on some more that she had missed and helping some other children with a play. That night I stayed up too late watching TV—watching the Adams chronicles and another program.

Carol Benninghoven called at 9 a.m. to see if I wanted to go down to Heryford’s to look at some carpeting for the pre-school room. I didn’t want to but went down. This took about half an hour. Then we went to the post office and came home. Took Clarke down to the bus in the VW so he would have a warm, dry place to wait in the rain.

Picked Rebecca up again at school and Clarke from Kelly Sheen’s where he’d gone after school. Tuna sandwiches (with freshly made mayonnaise), soup and a little salad for dinner. There were a few crocuses, some grape hyacinths and violets blooming in the garden.

And suddenly it was March 1st, a Monday. I wrote that on Friday afternoon I went over to Rebecca’s room and watched the children put on a play. It was the group that gets extra help in reading. Rebecca and a couple of others helped them out. Rebecca had made several props for them and was a participant as the front end of a cow! I was pleased that she was able to get along with and communicate with so many different children. After their skit I went over to the scout hall and found Linda Covert with the boys making paper flags. They needed stars to stick on them so I took Ron Lindsey and we went to the dime store. This project kept the boys busy until 3:00.

Jeffrey and I got home just as Clarke was reaching the top of the driveway. Rebecca had stayed at school to practice her flute with Kim. Rebecca tried to call me for a ride but I was on the phone with Doris for a long time and Florence ended up taking both girls to her house. I was really embarrassed. I picked up the girls and went to Kim’s to meet her mother who works for David Hammer. Rebecca was going to stay overnight at Kim’s and we needed to at least meet ahead of time! “She was very pleasant and also reassuring about fires.” Now I guess parents ask about guns—then, for me at least, it was fires.

Friday night we were invited to Florence and Leonard’s for dinner, along with Dick and his family. I took a big green salad. Florence fixed bread and a fruit salad plus pies for dessert. “She makes such good soup!” Afterwards I took Rebecca to Kim’s. Then I went back to help Florence with dishes. Rebecca and Kim went to a Walt Disney movie.

Candie Fields and her mother came by. They were looking for a lantern as there was no electricity on at their Douglas City place and they needed to work down there. Bob loaned them Florence and Leonard’s generator and our light. Around 4:00 we went down to see how they were doing. We stayed about an hour. Sunday, Bob went down with Rebecca and stayed all day. He helped them quite a bit. They put subfloor over the tile in the kitchen and put new tile on top. Candie and Jim had gotten the subfloor in the bathroom Saturday. Sunday afternoon I took Jeffrey down to the theater to see Sasquach. Kim was there with her brother and sister and said she’d keep an eye on him. Then I went to pick up Kelly Sheen because Clarke felt lonesome. Got Jeffrey at 4:00 and took Kelly home. Then Bob and Rebecca got back a little after 6:00.

Sunday night we all watched Sound of Music on tv.The next day we woke up to an inch of snow. I took the camera and tripod out to take some pictures. It was the first time I used my new tripod. Went in and started French toast and came back out again. A loud bird called from the cedar tree and I discovered that it was a White Breasted Nuthatch, although I had to look it up. So different from the Red Breasted!

Jeff came up from the bus stop a little after 8:00 to say the bus hadn’t come so I took the two children to school. It was very cold out. We saw the driver in her VW so she may have been driving around telling people the bus wouldn’t start or something. Bob stayed home to make up for all the extra time he’d worked the previous week and I didn’t have to bundle Clarke up to take him with us. Later he walked Clarke down to the bus stop. There were snow flurries off and on all afternoon.

Bob went out to the ranch, leaving town around 3:00 and dropped Jeff off at Meyer’s on his way. When Clarke got home he was feeling unhappy and tired, had fallen at school, and the bus driver almost didn’t stop to let him off. I did some comforting and then put on the Pooh record and had him lie down on the couch. Got his stuffed frog and covered him with a blanket. Then went out and hauled about four wheelbarrows of wood. Then Clarke and I went in Bob’s car to get Rebecca from piano lessons. Bob had the VW van. Jeannie brought Jeffrey home.

Cleaned the boys’ room on Saturday. They stripped their own beds. “It was like working in a dust bowl.”

On the morning of the 10th I got a phone call from Buff McDonell saying that Governor Brown had signed my appointment to the Northwest Regional Water Quality Control Board. The news came at a good time as I was feeling rather low about my abilities.

The morning of the 11th, while I was in the middle of washing dishes, I got a phone call from Clyde Bentley, from the Redding Record Searchlight. “He started out by asking me if I was a conservationist or environmentalist, no other choices. I said an environmentalist. He then asked whether I was a member of the Sierra Club. I said no. H asked whether I belonged to any other local organizations of that type and I told him about the Forest Forum (which was a mixture of environmental, forestry, Fish and Game, loggers, all kinds of interests). Then he asked what I thought about the miners’ problems with the Water Quality Control Board. I told him I wouldn’t know until I’d been on the board for a while. Then he asked what I thought I could add to the board. I said well, I didn’t represent housing or industry.

Got home a little before 2:00, changed clothes went to the grocery store and got a snack for the cub scouts. Then went over to help Linda Covert with the scouts.This was a busy week. It is the Community Concert Drive so I’ve been on the phone a lot.

One of the miners called me and wanted me to go to Canyon Creek to view the area that is under discussion on Wednesday. I told him I’d try. I called David Joseph, the board executive director, and talked to him for a while. Called Stan Martin, wanting to see anything he decided to publish. Of course he couldn’t do that. Also, he hadn’t heard about the appointment. (I was learning so much in just a few days!)

I gathered some frog eggs from the ditch near Bob and Alan Young’s place. Took some to nursery school, gave some to Jeff for his class and some to Clarke for his class. I wanted to get some more for us and for Rebecca’s class.

The previous weekend we had a lot of trouble with our car. Ed Poole worked on it and got a lot of problems taken care of but thought there was still something wrong with the carburetor. I’d done a lot of walking. Even walked up to the CD Hall on Tuesday, to vote….in the snow, about an inch. After many frustrating starts and stops at inconvenient times it we finally discovered that a wire, which touched something hot and had the insulation burned off it, was shorting out.

Wednesday night I took Rebecca and Jeff to the CD Hall to hear the Shasta Symphony. We sat right up in front so the children could see the pianist during the first piece.

On the 13th I took our staple gun and a mask over to the recreation building so the volunteers working on the nursery school room could use them while putting in insulation. I didn’t help with that but ran errands for everyone else. We had to push the car to get it started from the house. When I went from the rec. building downtown to get more staples it was OK. Went back to the rec. building and was about to leave again and it wouldn’t start. Bob came down and towed me. I kept the car running as I went to Heryford’s to get more insulation and to Valley Pharmacy for gauze masks. Delivered that and then came home to call in my Community Concert memberships. Went back to the park and was getting Rebecca who had helped by watching children when the car died. Called Bob and a little while later he and Candie came by. He towed me again and then he and Rebecca and Candie took Candie to her car and Rebecca stayed with Candie to help her pick out carpet for her Douglas City place. I came home and vacuumed all the insulation fuzz out of the car and fixed lunch for everyone. Candie and Rebecca soon arrived. I received several phone calls and a note of congratulations on my Water Board appointment.

January-February 1976

Posted by Susy in Uncategorized | Comments Off on January-February 1976

Saturday, January 24

Another cold day, some high clouds. Tuesday night Bob and I went to Hayfork. It was my first meeting as chairman of the Forest Forum– I was a little nervous and did a couple of dumb things—like saying dismissed instead of adjourned but otherwise I guess it was o.k. Audrey Bush was guest speaker and talked about the Trinity River Task Force. She seemed well received. Linda Ohde babysat.

Wednesday afternoon Clarke went on the bus to Linda Lindsey’s. I left the house at about quarter to 3, leaving Jeff to wait for Rebecca. Left her a note saying they could walk downtown, go to the library and go to Brown’s, which they did. Bob and I went, in separate cars, to a meeting of the North Coast Regional Water Quality Control Board. They had three members of the board, two staff members, and David Joseph, executive officer. Afterwards I went up to introduce myself to David Joseph. Before I could say anything he said, “I’ll bet you’re Susy Morris”. He said I looked like my brother Peter.

Thursday I got Sue Rose to work for me at Nursery School. I was really tired and wanted to get some stuff done at home. Also ended up being another one of those yucky feeling days. Got bread made though and chocolate chip cookies baked in the afternoon. That night I had a nursery school meeting. Bob took Jeffrey and Clarke to Scouts. I went to my meeting and Rebecca went to a movie with Linda Ohde. The movie was supposed to go from 7-9 but at 8:30 they came over and asked whether they could go to the later show since the theater had filled before they could get in, after standing out in the cold for nearly an hour. Doris fed them soup and loaned Rebecca one of Linda’s jackets. Rebecca didn’t get home until nearly midnight.

The scout meeting was successful. Jeff and Bob read the skit and the boys acted it out. It sounded as if Bob did better on the reading than I would have—probably helpful to have a man doing it.

Ken Wahl came (from Redding) to speak to the nursery school mothers. We had six absent but three brought husbands and two extra came. He was really very good with them I thought, brought his wife also. His topic was Parent Effectiveness Training.

Friday morning I took Clarke to Linda Lindsey’s and took a hike. It was cold and I ended up getting rained on but was probably good to get out. I came home early, ran a few errands and then went over to the scout house. No one was there but the boys so I stayed. Linda, the scout leader, got there 10 minutes later. The boys were wild and I scolded them some. We ended up taking them out to sell tickets for the Scout-orama. I took three of them and she took three.

By early February I was in bed with pneumonia. Bob had been gone the previous week. But, after a couple of shots in the rear from our doctor I was confined to bed—well, after running a few last-minute errands and washing and drying a lot of clothes so the children could go stay with grandparents. They were so excited about going that they charged out the door without saying goodbye. A couple of minutes later they were back in the house, with their father standing behind them, all in a row, all smiling, to say goodbye. I told Bob later that at that moment I thought, “Those can’t be my children. They are their own people!” It was really kind of exciting. I hope none of them get sick. Bob was really caring that weekend.

The next morning Bob left for Bakersfield and would be back Friday. I was supposed to stay in bed except for self-care. That morning I cheated a little. Washed my hair and typed up three pages for Sue Rose to use for the night class Thursday.

Florence left me a book called “Almost Home” about a family living on the Audubon Canyon Ranch near Tamale’s Bay. “I’m not really turned on by all the food raising but enjoyed the biological stuff. Beautiful photographs.”

Saturday Candie and Jim and Carin came by. They visited for about an hour and then took all of our children and went out to Douglas City for awhile. When they brought them back they stayed for a while too. Candie had called Tuesday at the precise minute I had been thinking about how I should be writing her a letter.

Florence and Leonard got back from a fishing trip on the Smith River. They stayed in a trailer park across from Jedediah Smith State Park –the RV park being where the motel cabins I cleaned one summer used to be when my parents first moved to Jedediah Smith after Castle Crags.

We received a one-pound can of homemade toffee from Nancy and David Adrian.

Last Tuesday, before my illness, we took the nursery school kids to Greg Olson’s (pottery maker) in two separate groups. Thursday I took Jeff down to Greg’s and he was spellbound. Sat right up there beside Greg and watched him make a planter.

Florence came up for a few minutes with Jeff at 2 and again with Rebecca and Clarke at 3. They took the kids’ bikes. Scott and Kathleen were sick too and Florence said Douglas City School was closed because of flu. She brought me a new hot water bottle because mine was leaking. I was enjoying good music on KKHI.

On Tuesday I discovered ants all over the open jar of honey in the cupboard under the stove counter. Fortunately they couldn’t get into it. I washed all of them off and cleaned out the cupboard, then fixed breakfast, than vacuumed some rooms. Spent some time cleaning junk out of the vaporizer.

Sue Rose came up around 11 bringing a pitcher of juice and a plant from the nursery school mothers. She also took my key to get the nursery school mail. Sue brought a book called “Mister God, This Is Anna”—really something! Anna was a 4-year old waif in England who ran away from home after being beaten and was taken in by an 18-year old and his family. A brilliant little girl and the book is movingly written.

Bob called around six. Said it was showering down there. The storm we were supposed to get bypassed us, just leaving cold air and wind.

Florence brought up our mail. Included was a letter from the National Wildlife Federation saying they had accepted my article and photos I’d sent and final acceptance and payment would arrive three months before Ranger Rick publication!

Children were up here for a few minutes with Florence. They’re excited about Valentine’s Day arriving, to be celebrated at school on the 11th.

To avoid forbidden exercise I was getting the Redding paper by driving down our driveway, turning around in Moon Lee’s driveway, and crossing to ours again.

Started re-reading the book “Yamsi”. It’s such a good book. What a hard life though.

Bob called Thursday night and we talked for a bout 20 minutes. “I feel as if he’s my only anchor right now.” San Francisco received three inches of snow.

Friday I gave the living room a quick vacuum. Found ants all over the bathmat at 2 a.m. and stuck it in the washing machine for a hot water rinse.

Sue Rose called and said the class went fine last night, which was good to know.

Doctor said I’m better but not well and need to spend another week in bed. Got another shot.

Amy Bancroft ate dinner with Rebecca at Florence and Leonard’s. Florence had them doing dishes afterwards.

Bob got home Friday night. The next day I fixed ingredients for French toast and cooked my own. Was eating when he got up. Bob bought groceries from my list. Then he picked up the boys, brought them here briefly and went out to the ranch. Rebecca stayed at the grandparent’s and read.

I prepared food for salad and spaghetti and was just sitting down to watch the news when Bob and children arrived. The boys were eating with us and staying the night but had to go back to Florence and Leonard’s for the rest of the week. Bob said there were no trees across the road and what rocks there were he was able to dodge. Florence and Leonard had Rotary Ladies Night dinner to go to. I think he must have picked up Rebecca to on his way back from the ranch. “It’s kind of nice to have people in the house again, messy and noisy though they may be.” I read to Clarke tonight.

I’d started reading a book called “Animal Architecture” by Karl Von Frisch. “It’s really interesting. Learned quite a bit about Garden Spiders and how they make their webs. It’s just the females that make the big webs like we have out at the ranch, and they use several different kinds of silk. I wish I could remember everything I read. I’d be an encyclopedia!”

I began doing more, whenever I had the energy. Housework of some kind was always waiting, it seemed. Over the next few days made a couple of necessary phone calls. We went over to Florence and Leonard’s to celebrate his birthday one evening. Kids all had colds but I read Clarke a bedtime story before we left. Florence brought the children up for a few hours the next day. Bob went over to see them after dinner a number of times. I would get some things done and then rest a few hours.

The children were home again and my schedule was pretty normal by the 20th. Had to miss the Forest Forum, which had a good turnout, put on by the Coastal Commission. Bob and Leonard went though.

I was so fortunate to have the help that I did—primarily from Florence, of course but others stepped up: Sue Rose took over on nursery school classes; Doris brought homemade clam chowder and a loaf of fresh bread; and others. Our little family wouldn’t have made it without Florence.

Took my Community Concert tickets to Virginia and Gordon Pierce. They wanted to hear Leonard Pennario, a pianist and composer. They also signed up for tickets to next year’s series.