Sunday, February 17, 2013

I don't think that I have made better time on the drive back from the mountains than today.  Traffic was very light on the highway and going through town.

Regardless, when I arrived up there yesterday - ummm - I think before noon - it was a pleasant surprise to find everything just as I had left it, sans the Direct TV dish had fallen over.  The ground was wet and the giant nails I had used to hold the pedestal in place had simply given way to the moisture and the whole thing had come cascading down.

There were no signs of any mice having had made it into my trailer and the trailer was clean and smelled good.  There was snow patches all over the place.  The normally dry creek was running heavily with snow run-off.  That creek used to flow year round, but the combination of a lack of rain and a rancher up the way that diverts the creek onto his property - caused it to become bone dry during the summer.  There have, apparently, been lawsuits over the rancher's actions.

It wouldn't be so bad if he re-diverted it back into the creek bed, but unfortunately, at least half the water gets dumped out the other side and down into a canyon.  Some of it comes back to the stream it's supposed to be in but it's such a small trickle of water it ends up going underground.  I have heard there are lawsuits concerning this situation.  I wouldn't know.  If I lived on that creek and had the water taken, I probably wouldn't be too happy about it either.  The fact is, there used to be enough water flowing in there that a person could have installed a hydroelectric generator.  But, my mother's property is on top of the hill.  The properties along the creek are, of course, at the bottom of the hill and on the other side of a dirt road down there.

There IS electricity up there, but the fact is, a person could run electric for free and get all the water they need, for free, with that stream.  Of course, there is enough water flowing through there right now that if you installed a couple of large water tanks you could have enough water to last you through a summer.  I'm only thinking of the situation I would like to find myself in if I can ever afford to buy property somewhere up in the mountains - I would definitely want something next to a creek.  A couple of 5,000 gallon water tanks and using water sparingly enough and you could simply fill them up during the winter and have enough water to last until the next winter.  My mother has a 1,000 gallon tank and we used probably a few hundred gallons of that water between us this summer.

Whatever the case, my mother was sighing big sigh of relief.  She had thoughts of whoever that has been stealing electricity also breaking into the shed and trailers and helping themselves.  Someone has been using electricity up there during 2 months time when none of us had been on the property.  I dunno what anyone could do with it.  It's on private property, surrounded by fence, locked gate and since no-one broke into the trailers - and presumably helping themselves to such things as watching TV and running heat in the cold - I can't really think what anyone would be doing with it.  Camping in a tent on forest land which is right next to her property and running and extension cord to use for heat and whatever else?

The dogs?  Love being  up there, but hate the ride going up there and returning.  The Catahoula just sits there on the front sit with her head against the side of the seat staring at me, panting the whole way.  Duke chokes and near-vomits the entire trip (and yes, I have tried giving him dramamine, it only made it worse).  Prince just sits there in the back sit with a very pathetic look on his face.  I could leave the dogs here, if I really thought they didn't want to go.  If I had a pickup, I could put the Danes in Kennels and tie them down to the bed and probably be a bit more comfortable ride for them - albeit much colder considering outside.

Whatever the case, I had been wanting to go up for quite a while now, just a lot of things that had been getting in the way.  It got down into the low 30's last night, but my space heater did the trick in keeping the entire trailer warm enough to feel comfortable in there.  I'm not sure what the electric use of that will be, lol, but I am sure my mother will let me know when the bill arrives!

Oh, and I did have a fire in the fire pit!  The wood was wet so it took a while to get the coals hot enough to burn logs - but there is ample pine needles around and that stuff burns like gas.  I sat out there for hours with this nice blaze going.  There are no fire restrictions right now because of all the snow and rain, the ground is saturated and trees are definitely nicely watered.  Which is good, because that wet wood was creating a lot of smoke.  It was drifting over the valley and undoubtedly the Forest Service saw it.  I say that because a helicopter came flying over after about an hour of it.  They take forest fires seriously up there.  There have been several major fires and they do extensive damage.  I have been camping for decades and I know how to put a fire out and make sure there are no live coals left burning underneath.

But it was easy in this case: a bucket of water and it was completely drenched and out.  Checked it again this morning before I left to make sure of that fact.  People have been thrown in jail for starting massive forest firest - some intentionally and some not intentionally.  The latest was a couple of guys that had a fire and then just left it.  They put the fire out, yes, but they didn't make sure the coals underneath were also extinguished. I think that fire burned up near half a million acres.

I dunno.  It seems to me it's only common sense to make sure your fire is completely out and it's not that difficult to simply take a shovel and extinguish the entire thing with dirt if you have no water available.

It's great that my mother lets me use her property, free of charge excepting to reimburse her for electric use - I am thankful for the opportunity to have some place to go to, out-of-town, better than a hotel stay somewhere, home-away-from-home - but in reality?  Her property is not the kind of property I would want for a retirement home.  I just think it important to have access to water on the land itself - via a well or stream - or if a lot of rain, water collection barrels.  In her case, you have to either drag a trailer to the nearest place which is about 12 miles away or have a truck deliver it at no small expense.

Speaking of hotel stays.  I have been playing an online casino game - not for money, you get free chips daily - but this particular site gives you "gold coins" for credit to acquire all kinds of things in Las Vegas.  The most intriguing is the free hotel stays.  I almost have 100,000 gold coins and can already get a 2 night stay for 35,000 of them.  But there are MUCH nicer rooms available but for a lot more gold coins. One of my tenants is planning a trip in August and we have discussed going together, pooling 3 people's worth of coins and getting a lot of freebies out of it.

I don't really want to go to Las Vegas for gambling, but rather for some of the shows you can see up there.  I  do like Blackjack, though!  I think it's a 4 hour trip up there?  Drive up, stay free for 2 nights in a very nice room, get free food and other perks and then go home.  An almost free vacation besides the gas up there and whatever expenses I might incur.

Well, August is a long time from now, just musing.  I still am weighing the idea of a cruise somewhere.  I don't care about the Carnival fiasco.  That is not enough to stop me from wanting to go on a cruise.  The odds of something like that happening are pretty slim, I am guessing, you don't read about that happening on a weekly or even monthly basis, so take my chances.  And anyway, those people are all being comped.  I understand it was gross with vile and putrid conditions on that ship.  From my perch, though, make the best of a bad situation and know that you are going to get a free ride on another ship.  If it happens twice to you, then you probably ought to stay away from boats, lol.  I don't wish anyone suing that company luck, either.  You assume a risk potential on anything you do in life and perhaps they should just be happy the boat didn't sink or run into something while it was floating listlessly without power.  I know I wouldn't be happy about the situation, but I doubt that I would sue the company.

Enough for one entry.  I missed church today but I knew I would.  I haven't missed a day in a long time now, so no biggies.  The rest of the day I am just doing some cleaning and watering, see if there is anything worth watching on TV and that's about it.  Another work week en-queue and my goodness am I ready for some more time off!  Lol.


Well it's almost 3 pm and I haven't heard from the manager about a run for tomorrow, so I'm going to assume that it isn't go...