Thursday, August 31, 2006

Thursday, August 31, 2006
a poem in your pocket

Carried since 1964

We in Viet Nam

Well here we are in v.c. land.
We came to fight in the heat, rain, and sand
They tell us we must fight and kill
to make the world freer still

The nights are dark and lonely,
especially on patrol.
But, our hearts are full of bravery,
our minds are mean and cold.

We're all men here - some big, some small,
but in this land we all walk tall.
We think of home and our loved ones there
and we know that they really care.

At first this place was deathly hot.
Now the rains have come, with it's jungle rot.

Into our hootches we crawl and kneel-
made from bamboo, wire and scraps we steal.
They're built with heart and imagination.
There is no frivolous exageration.

Our hopes are up, morale is high
Many v.c. will surely die.
When we go out the people say
The Americans are here, night and day.

We are Marines, the best for sure.
Why? espirit de corps!

The others are here, there is no doubt
Each one is needed to win this bout.

We'll be home, sometime, someday -
until then, we'll fight and pray

© rel 1964

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Here we go: it's Wednesday, hump day! I think It'll be a busy on based on past wednesdays.
It's dark, cloud covered and very windy. Should be a challenging bike ride this AM.
I see J. checked in from university last night. How was first night back? In a short time you'll have that MBA in hand.

Plans have changed. Instead of going to Fl. with J. & D. at the end of Oct/1st of Nov., were going to go to Quebec City for a week. And the end of Nov., 1st of Dec. to San Antonio Tx. for Anesth. conference.

Gotta go do my exercises. Trek continuation later ;-)

Maitland, Ont. CA.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Work yesterday kicked my butt! I know it was only 24 hours long but it felt longer. Anyway My energy level was so low I decided that I couldn't write anything coherent last night. :-(

Mark Twain said, "Twenty years from now, you will be more disappointed by the things you did not do than by the things you did do. So, throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover."

24 July 2006: the trek continues

Ponderosa Pine.

As we hike along towards Visto Grande, we stop every 20-30 minutes for a rest break. Usually a person would lean with their pack against an availabe tree. Not us. Ponderosa pine being an indiginous tree in these parts, we would move close to a ponderosa and put our nose up against the bark and drink in the sweet vanilla-butterscotch aroma which exudes from these trees. It was invigorating, and restorative.

The moniker of Visto Grande was given to this area for the following reasons:

Continuing down to the valley, we crossed the Cimarron River, filling our water bottles as we crossed via a wooden foot bridge.

Of course when you hike down to the river, the next course is uphill again. It was common this far into the trek for someone to comment; "I don't like going downhill 'cause that means we have a longer uphill climb." Climb we did, up Bear Canyon toward Santa Claus Camp. As we crested the mountain and were just about 600 yds. from Santa Claus Camp (we didn't know how close the camp was 'til later) the sky darkened and we were deluged with rain, hail and tremendous thunder and lightening! Well, let me tell you, the last place you want to be in a thunder and lightening storm is on the top of a mountain. For 25 minutes we endured; separated and in the lightening position. Twenty-five minutes never seemed so long.------------------
The storm did pass and other than being soaked and cold no one was the worse for the wear. We all were able to get water proof covers on and over our packs and some of us donned some rain gear.

Next: We get lost again ;-) not too bad really, just a 1/2 hr. out of our way.

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Today (Sun)is a cloudy overcast day. The rain came during the night hours, soft, steady, and soaking. It continues to rain intermittently now. The earth in these parts is thirsty and so the rain is welcome.

D. and I went to the Lodge for a combination birthday party---fund raiser for T.N.. There was a good turn out. We met and sat with some folks we hadn't met before and had some fun conversation. T. wanted to know why our M. hadn't called to wish him a happy b'day :-)

D. went home and cleaned out the frig. this morn, while I stayed here at camp and cooked breakfast.

I've read and commented on numerous blogs (it's "Sunday Scribbling" day) so now its time to get on with my hiking saga.
JULY 23 rd 2006 5th day in the field.

After lunch we hike up to Ute Gultch Commissary, where we are to pick up 3 days provisions. The temperature this PM is approaching 90 degrees. Even with the low humidity, the altitude, sun and heat makes for a slow climb. We adhere to my philosophy; stay out of the sun when you can and sit when you can. At Ute gulch we take a fresh apple or orange break while resting in a copse of scrub oak, and divying up the food packets.

The final destination for today is to be Visto Grande Camp, with a stop at Deer Lake Mesa for water. We estimate it to be a 3mile hike with a 300 ft climb in elevation. The scenery is spectacular.

When we get to Deer Lake Mesa, we fill our water containers and treat them with puification tablets. (not the old iodine tabs of past times). Some of the crew were in need of a blister clinic which was accomadated. We were sitting on an unimproved road at this time. When everyone was ready to move on, it was decided to follow the road. The lead scout for this day thought, after consulting his map, that this route would get us to Visto Grande quicker. Wrong! We knew better, in that we knew empirically that we should be on a trail not a road. Long story short: we hiked up and down-up and down for 3 miles befroe encountering a sign for Harlan which set off alarms in our head!!!! wrong way!!!!! So, turn around and trek back 3 miles. Now: it's dusk, everyone is totally exhausted, and we are now back at Deer Lake Mesa. The correct trail is located and it's suggested with contiue on. My comment: NO. I'm done for today.--- Ok.--- Everyone agrees that that is probably the best plan.

Solar powered water supply station at Deer Lake Mesa.

Deer Lake Mesa Camp.

We came across two rangers and had them radio base camp for permission to change our plan, so as to stay here at Deer Lake Mesa. Once we had the a-ok. we set camp. Cooked and ate supper and retired early with the knowledge that we'd be up and off at first light 'cause we are once again a half day behind and we will have a long day tomorrow to make it up.

Tomorrow: Visto Grande-- Cimarron River Camp----Santa Claus Camp--and finally to Upper Dean Cow Camp. (Don't ya just love these names :-)) We have more instore for us than we can imagine.

Saturday, August 26, 2006

A thought for today and everyday:

If you see someone in need, hold out your hand.

When someone does something admirable, Tell them.

Look for opportunities to praise the folks you meet.

Be honest in your praise: everyone has positive attributes: recognize them and point them out.

Friday, August 25, 2006


5:45 cool--54 degrees, the River; calm to ripply. Sky; cloud filled with early dawning sun trying to peek thru.

Listening to; dianna krall--THE LOOK OF LOVE

Whew, a quiet call night! No emergencies, nor labor epidurals. Perhaps I'll get out early today.
D. has a retirement party for a co-worker tonight, so I'll be on my own for supper. She stayed at home last night becauseP. is driving today and they will go to Gouv. right from work. That way P. can drop D. off at our house (where her car will be) on her way home rather than have to backtrack to here.----- Stated as clear as mud.----

OK: Cimarroncito

We hiked 45 minutes or so from Hunting Lodge to Cimarroncito. Because of Time constraints (we still had a long hike ahead of us) We signed up for rock climbing only, and postponed doing the conservation project to our last day in the field.

Cimarroncito also afforded us the opportunity to take a shower (our first in 5 days, phew!!!), cold but welcome to be sure, and to wash our clothes.

Karen and I elected to stay back and watch the clothes dry and keep the mini-bears out of our packs. Wiley creatures they are. I knew if I spent the day rock climbing and repelling I wouldn't have the energy to do the extened hike.

Using ol' sol to dry clothes.

Next stop: Ute gulch to pick up food supplies.

Thursday, August 24, 2006


Isn't it strange
That princes and kings
And clowns that caper
In sawdust rings
And common people
Like you and me
Are builders for eternity?

Each is given a bag of tools,
A shapeless mass,
A book of rules:
And each must make-
Ere life is flown-
A stumbling block
Or a stepping stone

R. L. Sharpe

0551: First light, how quickly the summer slips away. The river is calm for the first morning this week. Autum is creeping in and I welcome it.
54 degrees--better than the 40 degrees predicted---of course the river always moderates our temp. May have been cooler farther inland.

On call today. The schedule looked reasonable whenI left yesterday. As the Dali Lama says: if you have no expectation you'll have no disappomitment. I didn't put that in quotes because I'm sure that's my memory and my interpretaion of what was actually written are different.

I'll take the car instead of the bicycle today, in an attempt to ward off evil spirits.

If time presents itself later to day, I'd like to contribute a post to Poetry Thurs.

Where did we go after "Hunting Lodge?" Cimarroncito 23 July 2006.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

I've started a new blog to post some of my Dad's literary works. If you'd like to stop by for a moment or two's respite it's here. It can also be located in my profile.
July 22nd cont. Part 2

Lunch on top of Tooth of Time was shared with the mini bears (chipmunks) A photo shoot,and then the descent (actually alittle more difficult than climbing). Returning to Shaefer's pass, we packed up our gear and headed for Hunting Lodge. We will now be back on schedule finally, and look forward to our first cup of coffe in 7 days ;-( Said cup of coffee give credance to the French term for American Coffee---jus de chaussette . (forgive any mis-spelling.----"sock juice")

First photo is of Cathedral Rock, which we passed about 1/2 hour out from Hunting Lodge. Followed by photo 2 of my hiking chum doing his imitation of Red Skelton.

Hunting Lodge: respite, coffee, and stimulating conversation. Lastly; ghost stories by the light of kerosene lanterns.

My chum-ly setting the mood for supper by playing "Amazing Grace on the harmonica.

Clothes hung on a pine needle clothes-line to refreshen overnight.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

July 22nd Day trip from Shaefer's Pass to the Tooth of time.

The morning was cool and pleasant for hiking. reenergized we trek along enjoying the magnificent scenery.

As we wound our way up the mountain emerging above the clouds I found it easy to commune with the spirits. They invited me in to catch a glimpse of their magnificent domain. The comfort of their words was encouragement enough to continue on.

I was filled with awe in the splender of it all.

Monday, August 21, 2006

Your Five Factor Personality Profile


You have medium extroversion.
You're not the life of the party, but you do show up for the party.
Sometimes you are full of energy and open to new social experiences.
But you also need to hibernate and enjoy your "down time."


You have medium conscientiousness.
You're generally good at balancing work and play.
When you need to buckle down, you can usually get tasks done.
But you've been known to goof off when you know you can get away with it.


You have high agreeableness.
You are easy to get along with, and you value harmony highly.
Helpful and generous, you are willing to compromise with almost anyone.
You give people the benefit of the doubt and don't mind giving someone a second chance.


You have low neuroticism.
You are very emotionally stable and mentally together.
Only the greatest setbacks upset you, and you bounce back quickly.
Overall, you are typically calm and relaxed - making others feel secure.

Openness to experience:

Your openness to new experiences is high.
In life, you tend to be an early adopter of all new things and ideas.
You'll try almost anything interesting, and you're constantly pushing your own limits.
A great connoisseir of art and beauty, you can find the positive side of almost anything.

Got this from Elizabeth's blog: As My World Turns

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Sunday 20 Aug. 2006

Cool, cloudy, and overcast all weekend, but no appreciable rainfall as predicted. It misted and drizzled a few times, off and on. The best that can be said is that we probably didn't dry out anymore than we have already.

Today I've read:
Ogd. Advance news
Syracuse Post Standard
Men's Health July/August 2006
Writers Digest Aug. 2006
Organic Gardening Aug/Sept 2006
France Today Septembre 2006
The Immaculatan Spring 1985 (some of Dad's poetry)
Various, and sundry blogs including but not limited to:

I did the homestead duties; fed, watered, petted and talked with the cats. Showered with unlimited hot h2o. Measured closed in porch for carpet.

Started a new blog for Dad's literary works. I'll put the addy out soon.

Dinner at lodge with B&D friday evening. Discussed the girls trip (pilgramage) to Spain in April.
Last night Dinner at B&D's next door (can't keep track of all the B&D's), met their son's inlaws from Maine who were down for the new babes christening. Interesting how much we had in common, esp. our travel histories.

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Return to Abreu
It's still 20 July 2006.
Only now it's lunch time, and we still have a full day's uphill hike to Crator Lake. :-((

We (the adults) meet with Kate (the camp boss) who has discussed the situation by radio with the health lodge at base camp. She informs us that in their opinon DK should be alright to finish the day hike with us. Since he's been given some imodium (excuse me; where did he get imodium? From us, thank-you-very-much) he should be fine. They felt that his vital signs were within normal limits. (his pulse was 90 bpm, and his B/P was 130/90).

Leigh interjects: "Kate let me introduce you to our little group: I'm a practicing physcian, rel is an anesthetist, and FR is a pharmacist. Regardless of what your offsite medical consultant may think, we think DK is impaired and for him to continue on will surely make his condition worse. If he doesn't have giardia, he is at least dehydrated. Even with the imodium, he continues to experience diarrhea. In addition, he now admits that his stool is bloody. This is a 19 year old man in prime physical condition usually. a B/P of 130/90 is abnormal for him."

"We don't mean to be mule headed about this, but................!"

Kate: "I'll radio the health lodge and relay your concerns."
We: "Thanks Kate."

Kate, explaining the adobe pit to a scout.

Borro (not to be mule headed says rel)

We take the time to eat lunch while waiting for Kate's return.

She brings us the word that in fact the health lodge now thinks DK should return to base camp for further evaluation and treatment. Kate thanks us for our resolve. She shows us on the map a shorter trail to Crator Lake. (in fact it was not only shorter, but extremely steeper and very scenic).

Thanking Kate for acting as intermediary, we set off for Crator Lake. Kate asks us to give her regards to "Stinky" a friend on staff at Crator Lake.

Crator Lake (very low and scummy/during drought conditions)

Exhausted! we arrive at Crator Lake around 1830. Set camp, cook and eat supper, and colapse. The kids went to the camp fire and the adults all went to bed.




Stinky and Doc demonstrate how to safely climb a spar pole.

rel starts up spar pole

rel at the top

The trail to Schaefer's Pass, after spar pole climbing.
We're still 1/2 day behind schedule.

Next? Schaefer's Pass and Tooth of Time mountain.
Saturday morning 19 Aug. '06

Our life on the frig ;-)

I'm going to "Where on Earth" Potsdam to be fitted for a canoe paddle. Leigh and I are doing the 90 miler canoe race in Saranac Lake next month (3 weeks actually). Last year we used our kayaks. This year we'll try the canoe. (He just ordered a racing canoe.)

It's supposed to rain today, and we need it badly. If so I'll continue the trek log later.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

The trek; day 5. Thur. 20 July, 2006
We're up at 0530 and break camp at Olympia. On the 45 min. hike to Zastrow, where we'll stop for breakfast and potable water fill-ups, a mule deer doe and fawn cross the trail right in front of us. They didn't give a care whether we were there or not.

It was during bkfst that our suspicion that our ranger might be ill were strengthened. Mind you now, the previous night he had admonished us not to wake him 'til we were ready to leave camp. Now, 45 min. later while all but he were eating bkfst, he fell fast asleep. A sleep which required much effort on our part to disturb. ????????

Once we'd refilled our water bottles and the scouts had consulted the map, we started out for Abreu (7,240 ft.) Abreu is a working homestead with goats, mules, borro, home, adobe pit with frames for making bricks. In addition, there was a cantina which offered delicious root beer, and some other assorted supplies. We rested for a few minutes, sipping the refreshingly cool root beer, before hiking on. Our final destination today is to be Crator Lake.

It quickly became apparent that are concerns about DK were correct. He was increasinly nauseated and made frequent stops with diarrhea. After a short climb, we came to an abandoned camp, Old Abreu, where FR dispensed some imodium to DK. The adults made a decision to send DK back to Abreu, sending 3 scouts with him.

So, we took an extended rest at Old Abreu to await the return of our crew with or without DK.

Sitting in a grove of gamble oak, enjoying a serene setting; water washing over the rocks below us, LH brought out his harmonica and played. The effect was one of peaceful tranqility. The smell of pine, the sweet vanilla aroma of the ponderosa bark. It doesn't get any better.

The rest of the story?.................. tomorrow