Travels With Oso con Migo
Odyssey In America
OAE On The Road Again --
To Estivate or Vagabate; That is The Question
To Estivate or Vagabate; That is The
it is time to daydream about being
somewhen else, or someone
else, or somewhere other than the middle of an AridZona desert in
heat of Summer. Spring here now. The desert poppies are
yellow and orange. The beaver tail and hedgehog cacti are blooming
and scarlet. The days are longer and just right warm enough for all
My friend Betty has taken a job asjitney
driver in Glacier National
Park. It is always fun to drive when someone else is filling
News from Palmer Station
One of the Fraser-Patterson field team members, a fellow New
was transiting across from Palmer to Litchfield Island one day and
looked up at the front hill - she is convinced that the Old Man was
reincarnated [perhaps as a devil?] on Litchfield!
"Every year, without fail, we outlaw more things, catch more people
doing them, and put more of them in jail. The outlawed behaviour
goes away, because, directly or indirectly, it's supported by the
strong, invisible, unrelenting force called vision. This explains
police officers are more likely to take up crime than criminals are
take up law enforcement. It's called 'going with the flow.'"
--Daniel Quinn in Beyond Civilization
No expense will be spared protecting our children from themselves,
least until they are old enough to go off to war with one
A few days ago I received a letter from my
venerable grandmother. The
news that I have more or less emigrated to AridZona has finally
percolated up to her and she wants a letter and photo of me at my
location. The last picture I sent showed me dressed in ECW gear face
face with a penguin. The one before that was from Mount Washington
ice covered beard.
Its not that I'm at all embare-assed to show her how I'm dressing
days--actually, she is rather fond of red hats, has several
herself--but I am concerned that the shock to her sensibilities of
seeing so much of me all at once might upset one of her
So I took one of my recent photos--me face to face with a
cut it in half to send her. The next day I discovered I'd
sent her the bottom half. Was that a Freudian Slip or what? Then I
remembered her eyesight is not all that good.
Today I received another letter from her: "Thank you for the
picture", she writes. "Change your hairstyle. . . . it makes your
look too long."
Saddle Mountain Reprise
Finally made it to the summit of Saddle Mountain again. This time by
way of the new path being constructed by "Ted The Trail Maker" as he
seems to be known hereabouts. The approach is from the east, the
as the way I went up the first time however it is very
different. At the same time easier and more
difficult. Whereas my old route went up and in, as it were, this new
path goes in and up. That is rather a simplistic description I know.
The upper reaches of this trail are a scramble, hand over hand,
terrain that even with a lot of trail building will be scary to say
least. I like my old route better and may have to provide Ted with a
bit of competition.
Also got two caches along the way. See GCDF0B
notes and more pictures.
With regard to the trail description at my Saddle
Mountain Hike page, here are two
WayPoints on the new trail:
T4: N33 26.393, W113 02.115; T5: N33 26.275, W113 02.281
"Come quick! You have to see
this what I just
found!" Thus commenced
the Saga of the Homeless Hummingbird. Probly fell out of a nest way
high in Old Man Pine. Certainly not old enough to fly and not much
hummer either. More like afrog from the croaking sound. Betty put it
on a fence post "...where the cat won't get it..." and we all went
in search of hummingbird rescue supplies. The bird bonded to Betty
she took it home and fed it sugar-water from an eye dropper.
What do hummers eat? They must eat something, they don't get any
protein from nectar. Baby hummers don't like Spam, nor cheese. They
expect masticated gnats regurgitated by the mother. Ahhh... Betty?
Eventually she concocted a broth of gnats and flies skimmed from the
hot tub and fed the bird--now named Henrietta--a drop at a time from
the end of a toothpick. Henrietta survived her first night in
house. The next day she flew from the nest box up into a tree
On more than one occassion we observed other female hummers feeding
and the day after that she flew away with them. Yeaa Betty
All Fools' Day
So far at least it seems to have slipped past un-noticed. The last
days of March I went off to Pinal County Park for a bit of a retreat
and some uninterrupted letter-writing. Some radio playing and
mechanical fixes, and a lot of time picking up trash, thinking about
what to do next. Robert Heinlein wrote, in The
Long: "When a place gets crowded enough to require ID's,
collapse is not far away. It is time to go elsewhere. The best thing
about space travel is that it made it possible to go elsewhere."
space travel is not an option; for that matter, Earth travel is just
about out of the question. "Stop the World, I want to get off" comes
mind but where would one get off to.
Another Mile Stoned Along The Way
I woke up to Joni Mitchell singing about Looking at Clouds from Both
Sides. After twenty-four hours of fasting and then three ounces of a
cocktail of mono- and di-basic phosphate I was ready to wake up for
lunch, and then some. The worst part of the ordeal was irritation
tenderness caused by... Naah... You don't want to read about that
Perhaps the best I can say is to recommend that when it is your turn
plan to hang out in a nice warm and comfy shower for the two-three
hours after you drink the cocktail. Thanks to Betty for the Taxi
Service to and from and for watching out for me and thanks to
for picking up the tab. A Colonoscopy is not something you would
to spend your holiday money on.
It is interesting that the fasting part the day before the procedure
did not bother me at all. I never was actually hungry; however the
not-eating disrupted my routine more that I might care to admit.
Several times during the day I just didn't know what to do next. And
the experience of not remembering, after waking... I don't remember
waking, don't remember getting dressed, and you'd think with that
such an unusual and special occasion that it would really stand out.
Betty says we went to lunch on the way home and I paid. I don't
remember that either.
Another Special Day of Remembering
I've been sorting and copying
old 35mm slides
lately. Remember those?
From the old days, when cameras used film? Archiving the good ones,
trying to identify the faces and venues and dates. Once in a while
sending a copy to someone still in touch with me. Jim wrote back
one such picture. Eight boys from June of 1969 on a Scout hike in
mountains of NH. What are their names. Where are they now. Jim, in
middle, between Tony and Bobby, writes that he is busy these days
his church and the Little League.
I feel so wasted and useless when it comes to that sort of activity.
4H, Scouts, likewise. I guess I'm living too far out in the sticks.
would like to have some of my time taken up by a few kids. Instead I
walk around out back alone and pick up the trash left by men who
obviously did not benefit from relationships with a mentor. Last
along with the usual assortment of beer cans and water bottles, I
brought in a bowling ball that had been shot up by large caliber
National Mental Health Day
Here is something to get your brain working this morning!!!
These are not trick questions. They are straight questions with
straight answers. If you don't get the right answers then change the
questions. Failure is not an option.
1. Name one sport in which neither the spectators nor the
know the score or the leader until the contest ends. Can you think
2. What famous North American landmark is constantly moving
3. Of all vegetables, only two can live to produce on their own for
several growing seasons. All other vegetables must be replanted
year. What are the only two perennial vegetables?
4. What fruit has its seeds on the outside?
5. In many liquor stores, you can buy pear brandy, with a real pear
inside the bottle. The pear is whole and ripe, and the bottle is
genuine; it hasn't been cut in any way. How did the pear get inside
6. There are four root words in standard English--in my dictionary
least--which begin with the letters "dw" and they are all common
Name two of them. And the other two?
7. There are more than 14 punctuation marks in English grammar. Name
least half of them.
8. Name two vegetables or fruits that are never sold frozen, canned,
processed, cooked, or in any other form except fresh.
9. Name 6 or more things that you can wear on your feet beginning
the letter "S."
Petroglyphs behind the Eagle's Tail
From the trailhead at the Eagle
Area the petroglyph
site is 3.5 miles of mostly flat trail and wash walking. Nearby a
of matate are found to the southeast on the edge of the wash. The
petroglyphs wrap around the point formed by the confluence of two
washes. Once upon a time there must have been water in these washes
support a community living here. Since there is no water in the
now you have to carry your own. Bring lots, especially in the
If you want a guided hike to this site
let me know. Wherever you find petroglyphs, please don't touch them.
The oil in your skin, sun screen and the like, will damage the
Be Well, Do Good, and Please Write.
I do not know what I may
appear to the world; but
myself I seem to have been only like a boy playing on the
diverting myself in now and then finding a smoother pebble or
shell than ordinary, whilst the great ocean of truth lay all
before me. --Sir Isaac Newton
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Copyright © 2007, A.J.Oxton, The
Cat Drag'd Inn , Tonopah AridZona 85354-0313.