Fire power- less

Modern society is in dire need of survival training. Since the same power company’s failures resulted in wildfire, now the danger in California is mitigated by shutting off power to millions.

Last Sunday, five of us on an annual guys trip to Yosemite, found the region’s power shut down. In emergency- generator- fed light, we bought groceries (but the meat was gone) and luckily generator- supplied gasoline for our near- empty car. After entering the park and driving an hour farther on, the park halted all tent camping for safety concerns. We decided rooms in a darkened park lodge, for a “reasonable” rate, certainly beat sleeping in the car.

Monday morning, camping opened, we set about to sound what we came for. Roughing it. Hiking. Relaxing. Though the park was without power until Tuesday, we noted that the two most- visited lodgings, Curry Village, and the Ahwani hotel, with generators running, had hardly been affected. Our traditional camping game of Mexican Train carried on that evening in the back room.

Well, there were casualties during the great California wilderness blackout of 2019. A chipmunk got into the car Monday morning, smelling a leftover scone- and closed in for about an hour, tore around the formerly gently- used vehicle. However, no lives are lost in the process of getting it out.

Three men and a little trail mix coaxed the varmint out. And we coaxed the car’s owner off his varmint hunt with a long hike. However, the little beast is still an unwelcome breakfast guest.

When the snow does come to the valley, i am quite sure that the deer and bears will be hunkered down, employees will be snug in their quarters, the at least one fattened chipmunk may have a warm Honda- fiber lined den under a bear- box in the Upper Pines campground.

Bears are no match for these thieves

Itching to Explore Again

Yosemite National Park (2016)

Until 2016, I had never visited Yosemite National Park.   Over the course of several days, my friends and I camped – in tents – during the last warm days of the year. 
 I got my year’s worth of hiking and camping in that week. 
Nevada Falls

In the late Fall of 2015, my wife and I visited New York where my father was born, and both a maternal and a paternal aunt still call home.  We visited the memorial to the victims of September 11, 2001.

new World Trade Center, NYC

New York City (2015)

We walked much of Manhattan, and spent hours with each aunt.
Spent time away from work, email, text messages and stress.    And we only just are ramping up our plans as retirement approaches.

The Bull of Wall Street

Northern Ireland,  United Kingdom (2015)


Belfast, N. Ireland
Ruins of 11th C. monastery, Northern Ireland

In the summer of 2015, we visited Northern Ireland where my late mother and aunts grew up.  Made acquaintance of their friends and folks I had not seen since childhood.  Fell in love with the people and particularly members of our international church fellowship

Grand Canyon National Park (2014)

Grand Canyon, South Rim trail

In the Spring of 2014, I visited the Grand Canyon for only the third time in my life.  On this occasion I joined several very athletic, enthusiastic and acclimated hikers from my home church hiking down into the canyon to the river and back up the other South Rim trail – during the same day. It was a grueling 14 hours, but I emerged healthy and victorious.

view from the South Rim, Grand Canyon

Where do we go this year?

Squirrels underfoot


Finding peace in the nut-house


When is it Camping Season again?
It is not safe to hold political, social, or religious opinions in the United States anymore.  Unless you know you are among like-minded people.    A hundred times, I started to put down my ideas in a blog as to the nature of one polarized camp’s arguments, but with each review, I realize that either the ones holding contrary views will get offended, hurt, angry or recalcitrant.   
It was good to put the misgivings, concerns and questions about the social, economic, religious and constitutional future of this country to ‘paper’.  I got it out of my system – unless I know I am among like-minded people, it will only create disharmony.
Camping is not for everybody
No one has come to blows, had families stop seeing one another, marched in the streets or called for politicians to be thrown out, over camping.   Spouses may choose to remain home or find comfortable accommodations rather than share a tent. but rare for divorce to occur over it — At least I am unaware of this. 

Go Camping
Go out in the fresh air,  the altitude, the granite cliffs, and among the trees older that the arguments that people wrestle with since our country’s founding.    Trees, assuming fire or disease does not destroy them ,outlast the petty squabbles of humanity.   The water falling over the cliffs at Yosemite may have started as a mist in Japan flowing into the sea, Near California that same droplets evaporate and are blown over the Sierra to fall as snow at the source of the Merced.   This may have gone on for ten thousand years regardless of drought policy and endangered species acts.  It makes camping awe-inspiring and people’s squabbles less significant.