Klamath Nat’l Forest: Relaxing Days

Center map

Free car wash!

The pitter-patter of rain drops tapping all night long on the Sienna’s roof lulled me into a deep sleep (it really is a great sound). I’m thankful that amount of precip wasn’t in the form of snow!

I am planning on getting some tire chains when I hit the Oregon border. Not allowed for sale in the Golden State, the most effective chains—ones with studs—are sold there.

Oh deer!

One of the consistent and certainly grand attractions of being in remote forests, at least in California, is seeing deer. Lots of deer. They are truly everywhere!

Early yesterday afternoon—a little peculiar, I think, since deer are usually out and about around dawn and then again at dusk foraging for food—I was sitting in the Sienna writing and just happened to look up.

Communing with nature.

Walking past the front of the windshield, not more than ten feet away, were two beautiful specimens: a doe and her fawn.

Their coats were perfect.

They must have seen my movement in the front seat, because they both froze for a moment and looked right at me.

An awesome moment.

I don’t think I’ve ever had the opportunity before of locking eyes with a deer so close to me! I was like a human caught in a deer’s headlights!

And then, off they went as I fumbled with my cell phone, attempting to snap a photo of such wonderful wildlife up close. I did manage to get a picture of their backsides for you!

Cell phone cameras.

My last phone, a 3rd gen Moto E, opened the camera app with just two quick shakes—ready to go—still, not really fast enough for quick snapshots!

But, the new phone I had to buy for this trip, a 4th gen Moto G, to get onto the AT&T GSM network—because the Sprint CDMA network blows chunks—doesn’t have that “shake for camera” feature, even though it’s a “better” phone and newer!

Dear Motorola/Lenovo,

What the hell are you thinking!? I’ve always had Motorola phones—I now have a Lenovo laptop—and I just don’t understand why you would eliminate extra cool features that no one else has! It’s only a software thing, after all (it costs you nothing to leave it on there!).

While we’re at it, why on earth would you get rid of the magnetic sensor in both of these phones so the digital compass needed for my astronomy apps isn’t there (my Motorola Photon had that 27 cent chip—and I’d gladly give you 50 cents for one)?

Okay, dumb technology design rant over (sorry)!

Speaking of astronomy…

I have been thrilled with the lack of light pollution since leaving the city. Every night there’s a clear sky—and that’s more often than not—I’ve had a view of the universe unequaled by anything other than the naked eye.

For example: typically, you can see only five stars of the Pleiades cluster when stuck in an urban environment (in English, the “Seven Sisters;” in Japanese,”Subaru”—ever notice their logo?) but, I am definitely seeing six stars, if not all seven in that group under these skies!

Oh sure, there are the other constellations—and my old favorites, Alnitak, Alniram and Mintaka (the three stars in Orion’s belt)—but, I’ve been clearly viewing nebulas and our galactic center without the aid of a lens of any kind.

And the moon!

Just wow. When it’s out, the contrast between light and dark areas on the moon’s surface is beyond stunning! I carry with me a powerful set of binoculars and have almost blinded myself looking through them at the brightness of the moon.

You can easily recreate this experience: fixate your gaze on the moon through some binocs and then, go back to the pitch black of the forest. You, too, will be stumbling around in the darkness, just like me!

Meanwhile, back on earth…

Soup for dinner: last night, I chose cheesy potato with uncured bacon, the “gourmet” version (in the plastic container).

I love soup; I always have (I don’t know why). So, it comes in very handy for the cooking conditions of this adventure!

I’m sure the checkout lady at Walmart was wondering about the fifty containers of soup I bought just the other day. But, hey, there is nothing easier to make and nothing quite as healthy as having a nice, hot bowl of soup while “roughing it” with your Coleman stove in a chilly forest!

And don’t… forget the cheese (a generous amount of parmesan, please!)—and some roasted garlic!

When camping, drizzling a little extra-virgin olive oil on the bottom of a sauce pan to brown some garlic flakes, before adding the soup, is just as good as sautéing some in a fully-equipped indoor kitchen!

Uh oh, he’s rambling.

Yes, I can see that I am rambling in this post! That’s life in the woods, you know. There aren’t very many things to worry about—or problems to solve out here in the wild—other than keeping yourself warm at night or making sure your clothes stay dry!

Even some things you might think you would worry about simply fade away. After all, any tree will do!

Had to be said!

I’ll even apologize in advance for tomorrow’s post. Unless something extraordinary happens between now and then—you know, like a sasquatch!—I’m betting that one will be just as mundane.

Happy trails my friends!

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