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Dig dig dig

One positive out of all the spring rains we’ve gotten in the past few weeks – its easier to dig stuff around the yard. Usually most of our soil outside the gardens is like concrete come summer time. I was anticipating a pretty tough dig today trying to run irrigation line over to a couple new gardens Lisa set up next the the big compost bin, but I was pleasantly surprised. Win.

I did find one unpleasant surprise – the power line for the well pump and water lines from the big water tank – only buried like 4 inches deep. I’m amazed I didn’t rip it apart last year when I ran the rototiller over the area.

Dretti and Q decided that instead of helping dig today, they would supervise. “Dig right there – put your back into it” … etc
Lots of help 😛

Spring flooding

The weather this week has been our typical March – lots of back to back rain storms. Today was the most intense in terms of rain & wind for us – by midday, the rain was coming down so hard, Lisa said it was flowing thru the grasses on the hills like a large waterfall. It was falling so fast and the ground was so saturated that it all just ran off – quickly. I guess having 2+ inches of rain in a few hours will do that.

We got a few pics of the results:

Alameda Creek:

Welch Creek up near our place:

Various images from Calaveras Rd down in the valley from our place – all our water ends up down here:

Our biggest concern when it rains is the road to our place and the steep hillsides which like to slide:

And a few video clips:

Lisa crossing flooded section on Calaveras Rd

Alameda Creek at flood stage

Torrent of water in Welch Creek near our place


March weather here is definitely living up to its “lion” billing. Lots of rain and last nite, we had winds over 60mph tossing stuff around. Still need to explore the yard to see what either got broken or got blown far away.

Mud dawgs

The weather here has been uncharacteristically warm the past couple weeks, so we’ve been catching up with yard work and various stuff outside. I emptied the hot tub and used the old water to irrigate the fruit trees and the puppies decided that it was time for a mud fest:

Goodbye Granny

About three weeks ago, we got a call from Aunt Ruthie telling us that Granny had suffered a severe stroke and was in the hospital. I snagged Greg and we flew back east to PA to see her. I always find it sad to see folks in a hospital bed when all your memories of them are of them running around, full of life. Granny was always on fire, running from one place to another, fiercely independent. She helped us a lot to get thru the death of Mom and we always thought Granny would last forever. Time finally caught up with her this year… she passed away last nite peacefully in her sleep. It was good to see her before she passed, and even tho she has suffered of advanced Alzheimer’s in recent years, I kinda like to hope at the end she knew we were there.

RIP Granny.

Granny and Gramps sometime in the early 70s

Granny loved going to Atlantic City – always hoping to hit it big, but never pushing her luck 🙂

Granny with me, Dave and Greg (I figure this is around 1969/70.

Rubicon trail

I got the chance this summer to run the Rubicon Trail – for those who don’t know, this is known to be one of the toughest/most challenging and very scenic off road trails in the US. Its officially a county ‘road’ tho once your on it, any sense of ‘road’ quickly disappears amongst the boulders and granite hills.

Loon Lake

We started off at Loon Lake near Georgetown the night before. Its a really nice lake – supposedly good fishing, so I’ll have to come back here with Lisa sometime with a canoe and try it. Didn’t see any loons tho 🙁

Jeff welding Zack's steering arm

Zack and the rest of gang with Jeff arrived into camp having run the trail in reverse the day before. Lots of folks had damage that needed some repairs before we started the trail again the next day. Its a long trip (3 days) and breaking down is common, so folks carry lots of spare parts and tools (like welders).

Cresting the top of the Granite Bowl

The first big formation is this large glacier carved granite ‘bowl’ – its pretty spectacular in its enormity.

A nice view of Buck Lake

Climbing up away from Buck Lake after lunch

We stopped here at Buck Lake on the first day for lunch. Another nice lake in the High Sierra. Lots of trout, but we brought boxes lunches.

A little tippy here

Coming down an area known as Big Sluicebox, it got a little tippy in some places. These folks didn’t listen to the spotter and put their Jeep on its side. No biggy – they weren’t hurt nor were they in any danger.

Crossing the bridge of the Rubicon River

Coming into Rubicon Springs (at the turn of the century, this place was the location of a big resort around the native hot springs). Now its mostly a destination along the Rubicon Trail for offroaders and folks coming back to fish/hike.

Our campsite in Rubicon Springs

Jeff scored a premo camping spot right along the river. We had a great swimming hole and spent all of Saturday floating around, relaxing, fixing stuff and having a cold beer.

Mechanics area - these guys worked hard to keep everyone rolling

The nice thing with doing the Rubicon as part of the Jeep Jamboree is that there is a group of mechanics that come along and get folks fixed up for a nominal donation and cost of parts. I didn’t break anything (knock on wood this time)

Climbing Cadillac Hill out of Rubicon Springs

Cadillac Hill is a nice steep climb out the north end of Rubicon Springs. Much easier going up than coming down (particularly when its wet – I imagine coming down when its wet is kind of like an amusement park ride …)

Top of Cadillac Hill - nice view of the Sierra

The view at the top was worth the whole trip – you could see forever from the top here.

A few lilly pad covered lakes on the way to the end of the trail up near Lake Tahoe

Lisa and I fished a bunch of these lakes several years ago near Tahoe – they are full of crawdads – we gave up trying to bass/trout and just took home a pile of crawdads to make some gumbo.