Week 283 August 31, 2019

Happy Labor Day Weekend! We are laying low at the AirBnB we have here in the Sierras. Its been fun to notice a lone sunflower pop up on our front deck and to hear and see a bevy of quail forage just outside our screen door.

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Loren and I had two fun highlights this week. We rented kayaks from the New Malones Lake Marina — they just barely fit in the back of our van, to be able to join a ranger led kayak excursion on the other side of the lake. We arrived with the kayaks early enough to poke around the ranger station before going on the lake, and learned a bit more about the lore of the gold rush years, making this area’s nickname “Mother Lode” come to life.

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The paddling itself was fun. We all had our picnic lunches to enjoy a respite along the edge of a canyon before fighting the stronger winds all the way back to our launch site.

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Our second highlight was seeing friends who rented a cabin nearby in Strawberry. They invited us to come stay overnight. Their most exciting news is their youngest daughter is engaged. I loved hearing the story our friends shared of him popping the question, and now the couple’s dog is involved in the fun. Can you make out the heart around his neck? It says, “My humans are getting married!”

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Loren and I and our one friend hiked both days. On one we went nearly all the way around Pinecrest Lake. Our friend took us to see a cabin he has been enamored of for years. This time the owner was present and we had a nice conversation. We learned his grandfather had carved the writing on the homemade bench, “Count not here the fleeting hours,” which also held special meaning for our friend. The hike culminated in crossing the river over a log bridge, with a rope that I wished had been a bit more taut… 

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The next day we three hiked to Cleo’s Bath. Well, Loren and our friend went all the way, I only made it partway, past the crooked pine. It is a strenuous hike and I was feeling a bit under the weather… 

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So, I rested at a most peaceful turn on the trail to await their return. 

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While I sat I drafted my latest poem:

     Flies, A Limerick
     by Claire Adalyn Wright

     Ugly is the simple fly.
     Next ugly: the dragonfly.
     I tell you no lie —
     I see through one eye —
     beauty in the butterfly.

Aside from the hikes, we all thoroughly enjoyed the sounds and enchanting, changing views of the river flowing from Pinecrest Lake. We enjoyed delicious meals, had fun over a jigsaw puzzle one night, and, challenged ourselves with a round of Trivial Pursuit the next evening before Loren and I returned to our cabin in Miwuk. 

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Now it’s the last day of August and we saw a sunset almost as spectacular as the one we witnessed in the Serengeti. Autumn is here. We are noticing days are shorter, mornings and evenings cooler, and last night, we saw the first leaves that have turned and begun falling off the dogwood trees. Already.

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Loren and I have just two more weeks here at “our” cabin before we pack up and move on down the road again. It seems fitting to finish this week’s post with the great John Muir quote I found printed in a local newspaper:

Climb the mountains and get their good tidings. Nature’s peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees. The winds will blow their own freshness into you, and the
storms their energy, while cares will drop away from you like the leaves of autumn.
John Muir

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