My wife and I went to the waterfall today. I didn't want her to get worn out, so we drove the Jeep down there instead of walking. This is the first , or bottom fall. There are two higher ones in this location.
There are two creeks you have to ford between the house and the falls. The forest service road is not maintained anymore, and hasn't been for many years. This can be tricky. It isn't that there's so much water flooding through the creeks this time of year, as that the banks keep getting steeper. This is the first ford, where two creeks flow together. The second is not as wide, but the far bank is about to the point where I am going to have to go down there with a shovel and pick and work on it if I want to keep driving on that road.
This is the pool at the bottom of the falls. It's deep enough behind me to swim in, and my kids used to come down here and swim when they were at home. The water is pretty cold, though.
This is the second fall.
This is the first fall. The water really comes roaring down it, and it's very steep. If you are courageous enough, you can follow a trail to the right, to the top of it. We settled for just walking up to the foot of the fall. The pool at the bottom of the first fall is the deepest of the three.
It's a pretty place, even in summer when the air is hot and humid, it's cool down here by the falls. The water is pure, and because this is off the beaten path you don't have people throwing their trash all over the place.
I'd really rather walk down here, because I don't like leaving my vehicle by the forest service road, and you can't see it from the falls. But my wife has asthma attacks sometimes, and I don't want to have her off in the woods when that happens and no vehicle. As it was she wound up having to use her inhaler today, but I think it was just that we didn't take enough rest breaks.
When we got home I worked on the "tin can" lines for awhile. I am about a quarter done now. I have used up three 150 foot spoils of cord, so I guess I will need to go buy 9 more. They aren't expensive though. Running out of marbles, too.
If I'm going to be walking around outside at night, it'll be nice to know no bruins or hogs are out there waiting for me around the corner.
Those two chickens my daughter brought down are getting to be enormous. I'd hate to walk into one of those things by accident. They have turned mean. One of them pecked the fire out of me the other day, poked a good sized hole in my shin. My fault, really, I know better than to let a rooster walk up on me like that.
This tree right by the porch is full of chickens at night. As I've mentioned before, they are good "watch dogs". Anything unusual at night sets them off and they can raise a ruckus.
I was talking with a friend via blogs, and she mentioned that she likes to have a bagel with peanut butter every morning, but that peanut butter doesn't keep well. That made me wonder if they made a dehydrated peanut butter, and sure enough:
I found this on the Walmart on line order page. I can't remember exactly what they wanted for it, but it wasn't much. I have margarine powder, pudding powder, drink powder, and powdered eggs but I don't think I have any peanut butter powder.
This month's American Survival Guide came. It's got articles on making fires, dressing for the field, cheap knives, some book recommendations and an article about people who have survived wars and such in the past. I haven't really read it today, just thumbed through it.
I was surprised I hadn't done a post since Thursday, but we have been just taking it easy up here. I work outside a little bit during the morning, then we go for a walk, and we spend the rest of the day reading or seeing something on television. There's not much to tell right now, really.
Thought for the Day:
Some books: not the best but interesting.
I finished these over the weekend. They all came for our local library. My wife is a voracious reader. She likes mysteries, and goes through a whole book bag in a few days. I got these three while she was plundering around the library.
When I picked this up, it didn't have a cover. So I didn't realize it was largely religious in nature. I was interested in reading about the British and Australian POW's who were forced to build the rail line for the Japanese through Burma and Thailand. They were treated as badly as any prisoners of the Japanese , and probably a good deal worse considering the death rate. The first part of the book was interesting, as it detailed the authors attempt to escape the Japanese after the fall of Singapore. He almost made it to Ceylon in a native sailboat, but they got him.
The second half is about how he and many others "found religion." in that hideous environment. After the war, he became a preacher and spent the rest of his life doing that. My father in law did exactly the same thing. During the fighting on Okinawa, he promised God that if he lived, he'd devote himself to God's work. This he did, taking my mother in law, my wife and her siblings to some of the worst hell holes in Africa in the 1960's after he finished the seminary, just as soon as he could get the mission board to send him. My father in law was a hard case, there was nothing weak or "sky pilot" about him. He lived about two years after he retired, but Africa pretty much did for him. Some people go that way with their lives, and other people ask themselves why , if God lets hideous things happen to good people, is there much reason to exalt him if he exists. I'm not impugning anyone's religion or trying to stir up a religious debate. I'm simply saying that people who have traumatic experiences either go one way or the other. That's it.
I checked out this book expecting it to be pretty dry. The author was a pink faced cherub, He went to school, held a number of "make work" jobs like driving a bus, then he decided to become a historian. He never served a day and never saw the elephant. Still, his approach was interesting, because he essentially was analyzing data obtained from questionnaires given to serving soldiers in the British and U.S. armies during World War II.
Some of the things he discusses are peculiar to that conflict, and I can't say one way or the other if he was right. But some of the issues he looked at are common to any conflict, and there I think he was pretty much on target. It was a bit of a struggle to get through, because there were some of the chapters on subjects I'm not particularly interested in. Overall though, I thought he did a pretty good job where it mattered, and I finished the book.
Everybody who knows anything about World War II knows what happened to Germany, and to the Germans, when the Russians overran Eastern Germany. I think most people believe, though, that the parts of Germany which were occupied by the Western Allies had it pretty soft. This book gives the lie to that bit of fantasy. True, in most cases the Western allies did not indulge in orgies of rape and mass murder, as the Soviets did. But some of our actions in Germany are hard to explain. This book covers the period 1945 to 1950 in Germany. It filled in a lot of gaps for me, and it was easy reading. I'd say I learned more from this in terms of post war Germany than any other books I've ever read. It made me think more highly of Winston Churchill (I already admired him greatly), and more highly of Harry Truman. It also made me even more convinced that a Democracy, however great a system it may be, is a breeding ground for scoundrels, charlatans, and mountebanks. Plato has first claim on that sentiment but I strongly second it. The actual airlift just provides a frame work for the political narrative, and while it's interesting it's treated in a peripheral fashion. The real story is the brutal Russian occupation and the efforts of the Western Allies, (some more than others) to resist it.
I wouldn't buy any of these books, and I wouldn't say any of them are "fun" or "relaxing" reading. But you can learn a lot from them, each in their own way.