Friday, August 25, 2017

Tea For Three

Tea has been a thing for Vicki and P since toddlerhood, and Mama and Grandpa have often joined in the tea parties too. This summer our visit to California ended (apart from the usual packing, storing the RV, etc.) with a marvelous tea party for the girls Rebecca had arranged at Lovejoy's in Redwood City.

Yosemite, 2017

We returned to the Bay area in another quick three-day trip, this time mostly I-15, I-84, and I-80, and spent a few more days preparing for a moderately successful flea market experience at Palo Alto High School. Rather a different experience from Route 200 in East Missoula! (No one practices open carry in Middle California). After that, and its aftermath, we took P to Yosemite for a promised camping trip. We were there--Northern Pines in the Valley and then Crane Flats--five days and four nights. Yosemite was a little less smoky than Missoula, but there were still large fires in the vicinity. And people, thousands of people, including many Europeans.
Our site at the Paly High flea market

At Yosemite, P contemplating the Merced River

Half Dome from our campsite

On a hike near El Cap

In the campground, playing with a new friend

Another day, another hike, taking the Junior Ranger oath

On a hike to Lower Yosemite Falls

Close encounter with a parking lot deer

Taking the measure of one of the big trees, at the
Tuolomne Grove

With grandma at the Dead Giant

Observing a squirrel devouring a large pine cone

Northern Lights; Not

As it turned out the only lights we saw were reflected in the eyes of passing deer. We had read that there was a good chance of seeing the aurelia borealis one night from Missoula, so Vicki and Kim and I hauled some lawn chairs over to a good vantage point. (Our friends the Rotts live high above Missoula in the South Hills). We waited, hopefully, but then someone turned on his/her phone and read that the chance from Missoula was only 20% or so. Looks like our trip to Iceland is still on.
Looking north from Missoula's South Hills, awaiting the
appearance of the Northern Lights


Ditto again; this is pretty boring; my thoughts turned to poetry

"Darkness warshed over the Dude, darker'n a black steer's tookus
on a moonless prairie night..."

Click to enlarge and look smack in the middle and you will
see a yearling staring at us, wondering why humans do things
like this...

Missoula, 2017

I took scores of pix in Missoula--mostly for Craigslist and eBay and such--but despite the lack of other pictorial evidence, we had a wonderful couple of weeks+, visiting friends, seeing our former house, and doing other enjoyable things in what for us was the best place, if not the last best place... Visits with former colleagues at Humanities Montana suggested that NEH's future was brighter than I might have imagined. Vicki was able to catch up with news from her former colleagues at Sentinel. We pet- and house-sat for Tammi and Bruce, which saved us from the worst of the 90 degree smoky weather, and then "guarded" Kim and Dave's new "investment" house in the valley. The hot weather and increasing wildfire smoke put a damper on things, and (again) going through the accumulated stuff of our lifetimes at our storage unit was a bittersweet experience. So many memories...the reluctance to part with artifacts...the knowledge that soon their meaningfulness will decline and then even disappear. I did not get rid of as much as I might have, but we did thin out a bit more and better identified the remains. Via the miracle of texting and photos, Rebecca and Rachel were able to help a bit. A yard sale on Route 200 and then the monthly flea market in Palo Alto in August helped the cause too.

Perhaps the highlight of the visit--not pictured--was seeing daughter Rachel and her husband Will, and his parents, the Sehestedts. Rachel was in Missoula for a bit of a Rocky Mountain vacation, just about in between jobs in DC. We'll see her and Will again in November in DC. Early in our visit, we spent a night and day with Vicki's brother Bob and his wife Beth, who were visiting relatives in Helena. I wish I'd taken more pix--but then we hope to be back in Missoula next September.
Vicki and her brother Bob at the C'Mon Inn, in Missoula, July,

A double rainbow early in our visit, and about the only rain
we saw; in the spring 1996, I saw the only triple rainbow I've
seen, in Missoua

Our house on Horseback Ridge, 1997-2007; it sat unoccupied
for seven years before selling in 2016; we drove up, Vicki
knocked on the door, and the new owners gave us a tour and
heard a bit of the history of their new house; it's good to know
the house, into which we put much toil, but realized much
reward, is again in caring hands

Almost every morning we were in East Missoula, working
in our humongous storage unit there, going through boxes,
marking things for sale, Good Will, trash, further keeping,
whatever; as I said, I took lots of pix, mostly for Craigslist
and eBay, but also for memory; above is a shard of my 1972,
Mammut 11mm perlon climbing rope (a Stubai ice axe made
us some $ on eBay; pitons, nuts, slings, and a Chouinard
hammer will appear for sale in December); the rope took
me up and down some mountains, but spent most of its
life as a wall decoration, neatly coiled and festooned with
period ironmongery

View from Tammi and Bruce's kitchen; Missoula Valley and
environs can be beautiful

But already the smoke was gathering, primarily from the Sunrise
fire near Superior, another fire in Rock Creek, and another still
east of the Missions; above, a fire on Lolo Peak, before it blew

The Lolo Peak fire early in our visit; it and the others became
worse during our stay, and much worse still after we returned to
Middle California

Typical Missoula wit

Typical Missoula residential scene

You know you're in Missoula when Ford Fairlane Flip Tops
are a common appearance

Anyhow, we left our storage unit in its best condition ever...

Return To Missoula, 2017

We had some time constraints and a big agenda, so we made a three-day dash from the Peninsula to Missoula, a thousand miles, by way of I-80, US95, and then US12 along the Middle Fork of the Clearwater and the Lochsa River. We actually won at Winnemucca, thanks to Vicki, and the landscape became interesting after Boise, if a bit on the dry side. But we enjoyed seeing a variety of old haunts and old friends. The Lochsa is our favorite approach to Missoula, although any of its several approaches is beautiful.
The Lochsa is a tributary to the Middle Fork of the Clearwater,
(a tributary of the Salmon, then the Columbia) both big
beautiful rivers, Scenic and Natural, etc., both quite
low, despite the heavy snowfall of the previous winter

The Lochsa was so low you could have waded right across--
unthinkable in the spring or earlier summer

Why its a tributary of the Clearwater 

A favorite old haunt, Jerry Johnson Warm Springs

A storied place

Among Missoulians (remembering you, Earl and

Wilderness bridge; temps were in the 90s, but people were
still crossing over to have a look

Another old haunt, which we visited in every season during our
Missoula years; snowmobiling to it was occasionally a challenge

Our table

The ever watchful help

Another old haunt

Killed-Colt Creek, before it becomes the Lochsa; big-time
Lewis and Clark country, the bicentennial of which was a major
investment for me professionally; De Voto was a major
historian of the west, and quite a personality himself