I’m posting a few days’ updates. I haven’t written anything the past few days, or what I’ve written I’ve deleted. I’ve been feeling sort of bummed out but I’ll soon be back to normal and will continue to write.
Wednesday, July 1:
I drove to Susanville today and uploaded blog entries that bring me up to date through June. I will have to go back sometime during the next week to pick up prescriptions for meds they didn’t have on hand, so I can do the blog again soon.
Susanville was ok except for the heat and the traffic. It probably wasn’t all that bad but coming from Butte Lake it is a bit of culture shock. I wonder if I could go back to a small town in the future, although the day will come . . .
I took the dogs with me hoping I could find a vet who could see them, but the lady at the pharmacy called her vet’s office and was told he would be in a meeting until 3 pm, too late for me to wait. She asked about another vet, but was told he wouldn’t be in until 2:00 pm. So it wasn’t in the cards, and I was anxious about the dogs sitting in the truck in the heat. With windows open there was a breeze, but they would have been better off at home. I hate the thought of having to drive back there next week, especially since the road out of Butte Lake CG gets worse and worse each time I travel it. I am amazed at how fast most people drive it.
I have someone to work with me this week and he arrived today. It will be nice to split the work – he will take the A Loop and I’ll do B. He has camphosted at the Warner Valley CG for several years, so there won’t be a learning curve for him. -Additionally, it is another “presence” in the campground that might tone down really bad behavior, and I understand that the ranger will be here this weekend as well.
Thursday, July 2:
One of the campers brought me a trout he caught today; I grilled it this evening and it was heavenly! It was so fresh and tasty, and of a size that one was perfect for me. I didn’t realize the perks I might get working at this job.
I am so glad that Steve is here and is handling A Loop while I take care of B. He will be here over the 4th of July – he was the man who had agreed to come in and work for me while I was in Sacramento for the birth of my granddaughter, and even though she was accommodating enough to show up early, Steve still agreed to work with me over the holiday. He is an experienced camphost so could step right in.
I’m sure everyone is tired of hearing me say it, but I am so grateful to be here.
Friday, July 3:
For the first time since I’ve been here I lit a campfire. Mike came up after making his rounds of Loop A, and we drank a beer and talked. I sat out for a while after he left.
Tomorrow will be a full-campground day, at least for the reserved side. I don’t know why people crowd together when the unreserved sites are mostly open. I will never understand it. I am so used to the relaxed pace here and it’s a kind of shock to have all the frantic activity around me.
Saturday, July 4:
Happy Independence Day to all the U.S. readers!
I have a pretty full campground in the reserved section, and about half full in the unreserved. Things won’t slack off until Monday, and then I will need to make a trip to Old Station to do laundry and make some phone calls. My clothes get really dirty because of all the dust and pollen, and while I wash some uniforms by hand once in a while I’m just not convinced they are really clean or that I’ve rinsed all the detergent out. I have also been thinking how nice it would be to run all my dishes through a dishwasher, just once. The sink isn’t large enough to do a proper job, for one thing.
I lit a campfire last night and it was easier to get going than I expected. There is plenty of wood, twigs, and bark available, so I will never run out of firewood. I kept it small and except for the fact that the smoke follows me wherever I sit, I enjoyed it. I think having a fire provides a degree of companionship – it can’t talk back to you, but it keeps you company so you aren’t really alone.
Sunday, July 5:
It occurs to me that this experience at Lassen is in many ways like my experience on the Appalachian Trail. Raw nature sets the stage and makes you slow down and savor the moment, and feel at one with the universe, but for me, it is the people I meet – the ones who make you feel you’re a better person for having come into contact with them. With some, it’s just a brief conversation, or maybe two or three conversations and then you part, probably never to meet again. With others, it becomes a more in-depth acquaintanship, and even develops into friendship. One such person is David, who works in the Maintenance Department at the Park. At 24 years old, he gives me hope for our country and indeed, for civilization and the future. He is close to my granddaughter’s generation, soon-to-be-20, and she gives me hope as well.
found another unattended fire this afternoon, where the campers had obviously vacated the site without seeing the fire was properly extinguished. It is scary to think of what could happen in an area as dry as this, with humidity in some places as low as 10%, and strong winds during the day.
As quiet as it has been today with all the campers either gone or leaving, I seem to have had a lot of things to do. I’m still extremely happy to be here and enjoy the work for the most part.
I’m off to do the final run through the campground today, and then I will get out of this uniform and into sweats, and build a small campfire. It’s a good end to a good day.