It’s not even 7:00 a.m. and the phone was ringing on a bright (not) and dry (not) Monday morning. Actually it was stormin’ and blowin’ and blusterin’. But when has that ever discouraged a Volunteer from waking people up early in the morning? 🙂 Actually — I was the third person on their call list-in-case-of-emergencies and the only one who answered the phone; also the only one who doesn’t get paid. 😀
In my rain suit after rompin’ around in the rain
But, never fear Super Peter to the rescue!
Turns out it’s not a whole tree — the message lost something in translation — like those games you play as a kid whispering secrets in someone’s ear until the story makes a complete circles and is different in every detail. But, it is big enough and low enough to cause some serious damage!
If you can’t tell — I’m having fun with this! I really don’t mind the phone call — that’s what we’re here for: to be of service; to make campers’ stays on the forest more enjoyable and safer. There are so many times I have wished there was someone around to take care of something when I was camping and I’m glad — proud even — to be part of the team that does that here!
We’ve had a lot of rain over the past two weeks. In 24 hours we have added another inch to our month’s rain. we are now less than 1 inch short of our monthly average — with a lot of rain to go to get caught up for the previous three months shortfall. With the rain has come wind — and yesterday’s blog about kudos for ODOT is just part of the story. The other part of the story is the work that the Forest Service and the volunteers do. All that restroom cleaning, and mowing and weed whacking and trash hauling is necessary, but it’s also the quiet side of the maintenance topic.
Sometimes trees fall. Sometimes the howling winds blow sand across the road until the road is impassible. Sometimes power lines fall. The power lines we don’t handle — but we have still been out of power 4 times in the last 7 days — and thankful for our onboard generator and a full tank of diesel. But we do take care of a lot of other problems.
You know those big folding road signs you see on the road: Lane Closed, Keep Right, etc..: We have those here. And we use them. And traffic cones.
This morning’s call happened because a camper arriving late last night clipped a branch with their 5th Wheel camper and reported it to the the Camp Host. The host didn’t know where the low hanging branch was; so I woke up the campers (in a torrential downpour all dressed in my rain gear) to find out which one of the semi-low overhanging branches was the culprit. I sort of knew — it was kind of obvious — but I needed to know for sure.
Since changing jobs we no longer drive the truck with all the necessary gear to cut the offending branch. And because the F.S. has been collecting equipment to verify their tool inventory even some of the tools that used to live in the Work Center no longer live here. So I got to make another call: the guy who replaced us as Siltcoos Caretaker was supposed to have the day off but he got HIS early morning phone call right after I got the details about the problem.
Of course — because he is living in Lakeside instead of up here on the hill he’s a long way away. And because it’s supposed to be his day off he was out doing grocery shopping — in North Bend — that means he’s even FURTHER away. It will be a couple hours before he gets here to clean up the mess — but it’s HIM cleaning up the mess not us.
The sea was angry yesterday
The ocean has not been very inviting the last few days. All roiled up; heavy surf; ominous clouds.
Wind so strong and carrying so much rain that the sand sticks to the grass like plaster on a wall
I was interested to notice how the winds and rain interplay with the grasses. I wanted to share this image of how the wet sand almost behaves like we plaster on the wall.
After learning our lesson about traveling when there are severe weather warnings we stayed close to home yesterday — except for the short walk on the dunes and some shopping in Florence. And I think we’ll pay closer heed to our Boss’ advice about not traveling too much when the forecasts are bad. This is so different from Midwest weather that we are really learning how to live out here. The abundance of roads in the Midwest spoiled us — here we have one route — that is all. The midwestern storms are more harsh — snow upon snow upon snow — and here it’s ‘just’ rain. And the rain disappears much more quickly than back in Wisconsin — the rain we get here in a day would hang around a lot longer in Milwaukee — the heavy clay soil there almost makes a pond out of any rainfall. Here, with all this sand, the rain comes down, puddles for a few minutes or hours and then it’s gone — much sooner than would ever happen in Milwaukee. But it has to go somewhere; right?
Spring is coming
Spring is coming
Spring is coming
It’s the middle of February and spring is making it’s presence known. Daffodils (or jonquils — I’m not sure which), pussy willows, and redbuds are now flowering. There are other bushes and shrubs that are budding out too. And it’s wonderful! We would not be seeing this until May in Milwaukee and it’s a wonderful blessing to finally enjoy a shorter winter and a longer growing season.
Our little plot of earth
We haven’t figured out what to do about the small ‘garden’ plot we have outside Journey. It’s not much of a plot, but we want to put it to use — and maybe add to it — about that we have yet to see. We won’t do any adding until we dry up a little and decide if we’re going to be here through the growing season. We think we will — but one-step-at-a-time.
Mizithra / Myzithra chess
And on a completely different subject, while at the grocery store yesterday I found Mizithra cheese. And this is worthy of mention why?
Remember our visit to The Old Spaghetti Factory? And the spaghetti with burnt butter and mizithra cheese? It’s a cheese we could never find in regular Milwaukee groceries. We did succeed in finding it in a single Greek specialty store in town but only in 3 lb. balls. That much of a dry cheese is a lot to consume — if you are only two people like we are it would take a long time to eat 3 lbs of shredded cheese on spaghetti!
It turns out there is a big enough population of people who like Mizithra here that they carry it in both local groceries. Hooray! We might not find our Sartori Dolcina gorgonzola but we did find quite a different cheese for completely different uses! YUM OH!
And as I get ready to sign off for this blog the phone rings again, and we need 4 gallons of bleach and a gallon of Shower Power for one caretaker, and another host has several trees down in his campground and another volunteer has lost his Forest Service cell phone.
Such is life on the forest.
Thanks for stopping by, and I’ll talk with you tomorrow!