50th anniversary of the run this year. Hard to believe.
It's nice to take two whole days to prep, I can really think about things. Packing is a real art, it's taken years to figure out how to get it just right. I must fight the urge to pack every corner of every crate; I keep forgetting that everything's going to be re-packed in a hung over delirium and it has to fit easily, not efficiently.
Glued up a couple more crates, this time to fit the propane tanks. Having to strap the tanks down during transport is a bummer, and it's so much nicer to have them just sitting in a box. It also artfully camoflages them in the field. I had been procrastinating on the glue-up, and not moving on the crate project at all, because of a variety of irrational regrets. For one, I had ordered up a thousand dollars of custom moulding for the edges, aimed at making a hundred crates, and the groove that the sides fit into is a little too big. Oops. So I spent more money finding just the right cotton book-binding tape to try out a new glue-up method using glue-soaked tape that could possibly see a crate assembled in one step. That turned out to be possible, but way too finicky. So in short, I thought "screw it" and just glued up some crates with what I had, big grooves and all, and they turned out OK. The joint that results is not perfect but there's so much glue in these things that I don't think a perfect bond is really necessary.
Happily encamped at Long Ravine. Much drama getting here and though it isn't secluded, it is fun. Lots of good looking rednecks, a handy dockside store, live music tonight. Quite the party place.
I had been feeling lethargic and flat but yesterday's excitement snapped me right out if it. Nothing like a little terror to get you feeling motivated, right?
The reservoir has a muddy cove with a huge submerged tree stretching out into the lake. We swam out and rested on it, six people and five dogs, all sunning like otters. Very fun swimming with a pack of dogs like that. Quite worth the trip.
Well, if things don't go badly sometimes it wouldnt be an adventure would it?
The road to this weekends campsite was more difficult than expected. Sixteen miles from Colfax, through iowa hill, and down to the river - except the road didn't actually go that far. The camp is dry so we cannot stay.
The road was barely passable and the trip took more than two hours. We could not turn around and had to cut down a tree to get through. My half tank of gas is more than half gone and that was mostly downhill. Another car has a brake problem and we have a broken trailer. We are well equipped and everyone is ok but getting back might take a long time indeed. John has our coordinates and will send rescue if needed.
And we have Internet. Of all things.
Definitely the worst clusterfuck ever. Could get real expensive.
Update: yeah we had Internet but I could not post. I'm now back on pavement but the trailer has not arrived as of 2:45. Will wait till 5 and go to Iowa hill to get assistance if necessary.
Update 2: they made it with the trailer, now in Colfax regrouping. All cars having trouble but at least we can get service if needed. They want to stick it out and find a new site. Will report more later.
Wow. The pictures may not look like much but they have NAILED it. One of the best dinners ever. Dining alone and loving it, other people are just a distraction when it comes to food like this.
Off to Florida tomorrow. I sure love a good junket.
( Pics )
Got up early this morning in G'ville and went for a slice of pumpkin bread at the Coffee Bazaar. No sooner had I sat down with my coffee than a disheveled looking guy at the counter next to me started banging on the wall and staggering around. In a few seconds he got tangled up in a stool and was headed earthwards. I'm totally useless at handling incapacitated people, but another customer helped keep him upright and he didn't get hurt. It was a little scary because I had to restrain him to keep him from smashing the window, and you never know if someone in that state is going to freak out and turn on you. Fortunately there's a fire station right across the street and paramedics came right away. My coffee spilled and my breakfast was soaked in the process, but I wasn't exactly hungry after that. What a way to start the morning!
Got into Christchurch yesterday. Life seems surprisingly normal despite widespread, if spotty destruction. We were in town less than an hour before the first noticeable aftershock - there are still several table-rattlers per day. There has been very little crime and disorder. Soldiers are present all along the perimeter of the downtown cordon and an imported Australian police force occupies the art gallery. Most citizens seem pretty chipper, But some older people still seem a little shell shocked.
Older stone buildings have the most visually dramatic damage, and here that means churches. The sometimes-successful attempt to remove the steeples intact hints at an intention to repair them. Less visible, but more devastating, is that nearly all high rises have been condemned and will have to be demolished. Most single family homes seem OK, but exceptions are numerous and sometimes dramatic.
( Disaster porn )
Stopped by a chip shop and tried an unusual local seafood. It's a kind of abalone, which sounds like it ought to be good, but it isn't. I thought it might be better now than on my last visit, but its not. At about half the price of a premium filet such as orange roughy, it's not expensive, and the color doesn't turn me off, but I just couldn't finish it. Not offensive, just wrong somehow.
Stumbled on "Military Weekend" at MOTAT today. There were reenactments and exhibits from numerous groups. Took many photos but will have to wait until getting back to make an album.
This one seemed particularly timely given current world affairs:
Also worth noting, one of those rare men I would totally jump despite being clean shaven:
The older guy, not the kid! As if I have to tell you that...