Friday, November 24, 2006

Thanksgiving Overnite to West Fork

Seeing as I desperately needed it, and knowing this for several months prior, I took a fast-pack overnite camping trip out of Chantry to West Fork CG. The route is Chantry--->Mt Wilson-->Kenyon Devore Trail to West Fork.

Started late around 11am. Made top of Mt W in leisurely time by 130-2pm. Saw a few day hikers primarily on the south-faces. Once over the top of the Mt Wilson parking lot, nada. Dropped down K-D Trail [empty] for 3 mi. Right turn to West Fork CG, made it sometime just before 4pm. Nobody was there.

Saw that fires were OK there, and got to thinking. Gathered wood, got out my magnesium fire-starting bar that I've carried for years and decided to use it. Shaved some off the bar w/ my knife onto tinder. Not quite. Reshaved several grams into a cupped leaf, added teeny micro twigs. Struck as spark from the spark bar on the other side--whoosh! fire!! Did the log-cabin layup with incrementally larger kindling, happy-happy fire.

Made dinner in the gathering night. Watched caveman TV [the fire] for several hours. Was asleep by 730. Woke up a couple of times in the nite by nite critters, the last time at 0345. Went back to sleep until 0620.

After a brewup and hot oatmeal breakfast, was gone by 0745. Now it was up the dirt road to Newcomb's Saddle, down Santa Anita Cyn thru Sturtevant, then out to Chantry.

All said and done, 20mi r/t. It was good to get out. The joke is that you will only carry slightly more for 2-4 days as you would for 1 nite, so next time I'll go longer. Now is the perfect time to get out into the local mts, as everyone is elsewhere indoors--either carbo-loading or debt stacking.

And it all looked really good when I found myself back in town on Friday afternoon to a host of annoyances that wouldn't resolve until 10 days later. But the seed was planted.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

I Too Have Touched The Screen

As Americans went to the polls today, they decided any number of important issues.

Here in Los Angeles, known affectionately as the Great Satan, and a known writer's retreat for visiting ecclesiastic dignitaries, I too voted.

I voted for:

This would restore thousands of square somethings so that supermodels could visit day-spas and low-fizz water bars untrammelled by reality. Funding to come from retail sales of OxyContin and free-range sulfur.

I voted against:

Which would have set aside at least 50,000 acres of pristine near-vertical wild-lands to nurture the most pervasive Southern California flora, but somehow tragically misunderstood. Estimated costs: $50b. Would exceed previously earmarked funds from sales of OxyContin and Viagra, along with off-shore Dominican Republic Hedge and shrub funds.