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Sculpting in Grass and Sand

I have been thinking about doing more videos for this blog.  There are only so many things that are actually fun to watch: a raptor dive-bombing a prairie dog, a herd of horses blasting across a grassy field, a dog running in slow-motion as in a dog food commercial, or a sexy lady walking down a sidewalk in high heels.   And yet there are certainly a lot of videos out there.  Many of them use a standard trick of the movie industry: they make the camera move to hide the fact that nothing interesting is actually happening.  Or they just give up and stick a talking head in front of the camera. That is why I appreciated a windy day recently near the Oregon Trail: the grass was only a foot or so high, but it was fine in texture, so the wave motion was lovely.  My little dog and I were revisiting her favorite sand dune.  When I saw this I had to smile: I smiled because of something Thoreau had once written, in "Walden."  Normally his mind worked like a still-photographer instead of

Ripples of Time

 More practice at posting via phone, because my laptop is dead: Another photo close to the Oregon Trail.  It pleases me that this part of history actually has an effect on me.  And perhaps that makes sense for a dispersed camper and mountain biker. But other parts of history also seemed interesting to me, but perhaps unimpressive to other people? For instance, the little dog and I were mountain biking on a rather straight dirt road, and found this old wooden bridge:  It was quite a bridge in its day, say, two generations later than the Oregon Trail itself.  Perhaps it shouldn't have surprised me so much;  after all, the name of the dirt road was 'Old Post Road.' The area had one more pleasant surprise for me, one more manifestation of the 'old historic road' idea: I ended up camping near a mile of 'old highway', shown below. I was surprised by the yellow paint.  This old highway lapsed into non-use after World War II perhaps. How can we explain the appeal of

When a Laptop Crashes in a Small Town

 Am I really going to type a post on my phone, now that my laptop died in a town where it will be hard to ship a new one in? Maybe I should just turn this into a photo blog.  After all, most of my photos are taken by the phone. Trees DO lean when lava comes to the surface, and ponderosa pine roots do not develop normally.  I was careful where I camped. Let's see if I can publish this post.

Survival in a Rural Area (Repairing a Van Door's Hinge)

Every year I become more interested in how animals 'make a living' in a land that is nothing but rock, aridity, bark, and pine needles.  There are lots of rodents to eat -- maybe that keeps the food chain going. If a city-slicker lands in a small town, and sees none of the big box retailers they are used to, they probably think they can't survive.  But then they discover there are more possibilities than they thought, initially.  Besides, these days all you need is a post office and you can buy so many things online. One thing that rural areas are good at is welding/repair shops.  Recall from a couple posts ago, how my van had a hinge/door bond fail.   Without too much trouble I found a welder.  He thought that hinge was glued to the door; was he being facetious?  Although I strengthened the bond by screwing through the hinge into a wooden block installed inside the door, something more permanent seemed desirable. Here is the welded door hinge.  Not too pretty.  If it is st