Sunday, July 29, 2018

Roll on the Mattole - 2018 version

With a name like Roll on the Mattole, the imagination can do a bit of fireworks. Go ahead. Ok, here's what it really means. The Roll is referencing firefighters rolling out their hoses in one of the demonstrations they do during the day. Competing volunteer fire fighting departments from around the area engage in firefighter examples of some of their training. And yes, I wrote about this before. Life repeats but is never the same.

On the way out to the Grange.
That's smoke from fires many, many miles away
Unfortunately, that training is currently being put into reality north of here, where the Carr (along with others) fire rages over approximately 90,000 acres and is barely contained. Deaths have occurred, both civilian and fire fighters themselves. So this year, the Roll (as it's called by locals, the Mattole is the river beside the place it's held) had even more significance. Fires seem to be getting worse each year here and it's more than a little frightening.

But the Roll was for fun and fundraising and it delivered on both. There were a lot of food booths, from pizza to cornish hen, to burritos and yes, there were bbq'd oysters too! There was a beer tent with cider and and wine (hooray!), so no one went hungry or thirsty.

There were two choices of toppings, bacon and garlic
or parsley and butter. Really? BOTH. that's easy.

They call them bbq'd but really (at least really as I what I think bbq means), they are just grilled. On this giant grill. And yes, I forgot to take a photo of the actual oysters, they didn't last that long and my brain was otherwise occupied.

My daughter Sarah usually works at the Lost Frenchman booth f(or her friends who own the restaurant) during different summer events. People seem to really love their pizza; I think the last one sold right before the gates were closing at 1:30 a.m.

Every customer has a story

The central part of the day is given to the Muster, when the various departments (I think it was Whale Gulch, Honeydew and Petrolia but I can't promise that's entirely true on the Petrolia part) compete. When you look at these photos, keep in mind it was hot. Hang out in the shade pretty much only hot. And then, of course, you think about the firefighters out there fighting the out of control fires...

Our friend Dave chatting with his Whale Gulch buds before the Muster

Almost ready to start

All suited up, let the competition begin!

This guy is the retiring fire chief. He was funny and touching and
informative all at once. 
Apparently there was a school bus fire back in the 80's, where two children died, because there wasn't an adequate response. Within months, 16 people had volunteered for the Honeydew Fire Department and that's how it began. These small fire departments are a big deal here and each has its own fundraiser, always with great turnouts. With mountain roads and long stretches between homes and small towns, the imperative need for this can't be overstated. While I don't go to every one of them every year, I've been to a fair number and each time I'm impressed at the closeness of the communities and the support they give each other. 

There was face painting

And mask painting

Making new friends
And no, she would NOT wear it any other way.
There was music. Live music. Good live music. It was wonderful!

There were crafts being sold, everything from hand forged knives to clothing to...well, crafty things. 

There was dancing, all day and all night long
One of the night bands was a group called The Real Sarahs. They were very, very good and I wish I could remember the name of the song I liked so much. It was one of those simple songs about true things that you can sing along with pretty quickly. Everyone was singing, men, women and kids; it was pretty magical. Thanks, Real Sarahs, good name!

Real Sarahs!
This is the Mattole river, behind all of those picnic tables. On the other side is a campground where a lot of people camped rather than drive the long drive back to where ever home was. One man I talked to told me he and his girlfriend (he looked to be in his late 70's), drove 7 hours to come to the Roll. And they do it every year. 

I was too hot and lazy to go all the way down to the river.
Well, going down would have been fine.  I
t's the coming back up part I shirked my pictoral duties to avoid.
And that is the last California fandango. Tomorrow morning I'll get in the Beasty and head east to Kansas to see my oldest daughter. It supposedly is a day + drive, but I have no intention of being in a hurry. So I'll check in with you from the road!

Have a see the scenery Sunday! Do something searchingly.

p.s. One of the most awesome things to happen was when our friend Woody proposed to his girlfriend Taylor, as their gorgeous baby daughter Chloe looked on. It was a big surprise and beautiful to be there for that. Congratulations, Woody and Taylor and Chloe!!!

Sunday, July 22, 2018

Little Black Sands Birthday & Flowering Bits Too

Beach time birthdays run pretty much through our little gene pool and that is a good thing!

There are two places we go to at Shelter Cove; the boat ramp area and Little Black Sands. Little Black Sands holds a lot of memories, so we headed there. The path from the cliff tops to the beach used to be pretty scary, rough and uneven, eroded away in some places, but these days it is like a smooth and gentle dirt ramp. I'd not seen it like this yet and worried our slippery soled shoes would mean being super careful. Instead, it was a stroll in the park. I'm not much for beach 'improvements' but this one? Nice!

I thought I got more of the path down here but
that's the top and the end of the road

When a 2 year old can walk this path unaided, Grandma is happy.
When Grandma can walk this path without sitting on her butt
part of the way? Happy.

I have no idea what these are but they fit into the cliffside like
intentional landscaping

Symbiotic mussel and sea weed

One lone gull
While it looks pretty grey, the rocks, stones and sand were perfectly sun warmed and the air was just perfectly on the cool side. Back up at the berry farm, we'd left 97 degree hide-in-the-shade weather. 

The sun was weakly out, despite the low hanging fog.

Seaweeds and mussel shells among the beautiful black rocks.
I don't know who scribbles the mysterious etchings on the stones but
they never fail to intrigue me. 

Nesta is a very patient girl.
Rock star!!
Back at the boat ramp to pick up Dave, we recreated the
family photo of Iko's first trip to the beach two years ago. 
Back up at Sarah's, we grilled dinner. Fish and good sausages, asparagus and fresh corn. That works. 

Happy birthday, kiddo!

After lots of other coloring, mainly mermaids, O surprised us with a family drawing.

Dad, Mom, Grandma, Auntie Sarah, Dave, O, Iko
with Nesta and a friend's dog Kota too.
This morning I did another garden walkabout in the early morning light. So much is blooming and beautiful, with much on the verge of bountiful.

A few squash have already made it to the table

These are from some bean plants I sent out earlier, but
I don't remember now what kind of beans. Oops!

Yesterday we got some birthday / Big Sister Day plants from Charlotte the Plant Lady.
This is a red current, and a white current came home too.
Iko filled herself up on most of the white currents.

One of the dye plants Allie has going.

Gorgeous flowers will make gentle colors.
Today, Sunday Funday, will be more 'catch up on undone things' day. I'm gathering myself together to soon head east (it's so weird to write head east) to Kansas to spend some time with my oldest daughter and older grandchildren for awhile. Poco a poco!

Have a sanitive Sunday! Do something soothing. 

Friday, July 20, 2018

The Eel

Yesterday was a hot one. It's so weird, always, to be in this place where at night I'm under the covers with real pajamas on, sometimes with the little heater going and by 10 in the morning be sweating, just like at home, but without our high humidity. It's still about sweating. And no sea breeze. So when my son and our friend Dave came over to where my daughter Sarah lives and where I'd been hanging out the last few days during The Great Truck Buy, and asked if I'd like to go to Redway beach with them, I was in!

Gate, doggie bag station for cleaning up after your critter
It's a popular spot but this mid-week day was mellow
To get to Redway Beach, which is on the Eel River (where we landed at the end of the kayaking trip on my birthday) by road, you can easily miss the turn off into this wonderful little neighborhood of unique homes tucked in among the giant redwoods. The streets meander this way and that, narrow and beckoning, but we were looking for a parking place among the cars lining the road that ends in access to the beach. Don't be thinking white sands of Flamenco, this is more a brown sand but mostly rocks. Small rocks, thousands of rocks, leading down to a bend in the river that is shallow and tranquil, perfect for cooling off.

Iko and Papa, sharing a rock
One of my favorite rock sides right here.
It's hard to imagine the time it took to make those erosions,
but I try to imagine it anyway. 
The Eel River is so much warmer than the Mattole, a branch of which is across the street from the berry farm where we go on other hot days. It's icy cold and I think I've only dunked in entirely once in all the years I've been coming out here. The Eel though, in this spot, it's warm and welcoming for floating and kayaking in the high heat of summer and definitely a good break from blazing sun. It can be a treacherous river in other seasons, but here, now, it is just, oh sweet!

From the top of the not so very long trail 
When we were ready to go, I headed up first because I wanted some time with the trees. Maybe people get used to them here, but I still stand around, amazing gazing. 

It's hard to reference the size, but if you can imagine
those leaves to be about hand size, it might help


Twins of different mothers
So goes another day. 

Since it's one minute from midnight, I'll skip to Friday and say

Have a fantastical Friday! Do something frivolous. With love.

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Oh Deer!

Whenever driving and a deer is seen on the roadside, or crossing the road (or leaping into the road or...there's a lot of deer around here), either Elijah or Allie say, Oh deer! Since I'm usually in the backseat, I didn't get it right away, but I like it. 

The other day, sitting in the Turtle, a movement outside caught my eye. Maybe it was this tiny, sparrow like bird, but no. It was much bigger.

Usually when I've seen deer out in the field it is in the early to late morning and it was now after noon, but there he was, strolling over to the blueberry patch. Well, it's way more than a patch, it's lots and lots of blueberries that get sold in the honor stand. Strawberries done, it's blueberries and raspberries now. Yum. But I digress. There he was.

I'll just go slow and maybe no one will see me

The blue netting keeps out the deer and most of the birds
His antlers still fuzzy with youth, he was still a pretty big deer. Usually there are a couple at least but he was on his own. 

I was making clicking noises, he went on alert

But maybe I can still get to the blueberries! 
Finally he saw me and decided to retreat. I thought he'd go down the drive but instead he headed across the field to the safety of tall grass and the woods.

Fuzzy photo of a leaping deer.

In the cut field, he could do some high step running.

Ah, safe in the grasses
I clicked one more time before he went into the woods and was rewarded with one more look. I'm sure the lure of berries will bring him out again, but this was this day. 

So long for now, young buck. Thanks for the visual entertainment!

Have a tapestried Tuesday. Do something thoreauvian.