Friday, March 22, 2019

The Quality Of Life Quotient...It Comes Down To Five Excellent Places To Live In NE California.

        I've walked, bicycled, camped near and driven on a multitude of backroads throughout the great state of California. I moved here fifty years ago to stake my claim somewhere in the "Golden Hills" and have had few regrets. I like the people. I like the birds and I've learned to love wild places in every corner of this state. Northeastern California is my favorite region. It's the region I've elected to spend the bulk of my life in. Modoc, Shasta, Lassen, Plumas and Tehama counties specifically.
        There are five villages (not cities) that I could live out the rest of my life in with a warm heart and a constant smile on my face. They all enjoy outstanding water quality (for swimming and drinking), exceptional trail and road quality (for hiking and biking), consistent air quality(for breathing and healthy  red blood cells) and, though conservative on the whole, admirable people quality. I am most interested in Quality Living. Here goes...Cedarville, McCloud, Fall River Mills, Chester and Taylorsville.
        Now, there can be hazy days, occasional bad people and washed-out road surfaces but, 350 days a year all is well in NE California. This volcanic corner of California is reliably therapeutic to almost anyone considering an escape from the manic motorcar-dominated rat-wheel life that most Californians have had to endure. At least once a week visitors to our region ask me, "What's it like living in the sticks?" I most often give them a sober report, not wishing to see a wave of them moving up this way.
        However, if you want to know what I really think...well, you've made it this deep into my blog and...I don't mind telling you. It's a quality place that you'll have a hard time beating in any other part of California.

Saturday, March 9, 2019

But, Where Do You Shower And Where Do You Pee?

       As a substitute teacher in my local school district (for eight years), I always had honest discussions with students about my wanderings and lifestyle before I became a settled and predictable adult. This was dangerous and would undoubtably lead to me being questioned by those in charge (parents and administration) but, I valued honesty and candidness with young people much more than I valued "not rocking the boat". I knew that I wasn't into the teaching profession for life.
        My wife and I had lived without an automobile for ten years before moving to Chester, California. We hiked and biked and once in awhile got on a bus or a train, when we felt the need to travel. "so, you really didn't travel." proclaimed one of the students. Actually, we traveled farther and more frequently than most people you know, I countered. We pedaled nearly 200 miles a week during that ten year span and nearly every autumn we stretch that out to one or even two thousand miles in a month.
        We rode from Chico, California to Prince Rupert, British Columbia, to Jasper, Alberta and back by way of the spine of the Rocky Mountains. Another year saw us ride to Anacortes, Washington, then to Glacier National Park followed by a downhill ride all the way to Kalamazoo, Michigan... "How did you get back to California?" train, of course.
       They found this hard to fathom. "But, what if you wanted to go to the coast?"...We'd ride our bicycles, I offered. One year we hiked along the spine of the Sierra Nevada along the John Muir Trail..."Who was John Muir?" There was a lot of educating to be done here and they weren't getting these kind of stories from their parents or there regular teachers. Yeah, I kind of miss watching their eyes grow wide as saucers, at least the few who were actually listening or half-believing me...that's the thing, most weren't.

Tuesday, March 5, 2019

After A Gazillion Hours Of Trump News

        Yes, I do have better things to do with my time, catch with the dog, ride bikes with my darling cycling-addicted wife, or sit in on one of her Yoga Beautiful classes. Maybe, play games of Scrabble without the news on in the background. However, I am feeling a congealing of all this background information in my psyche...and it's not good.
         I am a "news junkie" but, I have not been able to see into the future, until now. I went to bed last night AFRAID...I'm starting to understand how Mr. Trump's behavior is manipulating everyone, the distractions, the bullying, his pretzel and mostly backward logic and defensiveness. A full 30% of Americans think he's onto something that's going to benefit them. They still think they did right voting him into the White House. So, what can all of this possibly lead to? Violence.
        Leading into the next election, these former "Tea Party' / MAGA activists are encouraging chaos and disruption. Calling the media "the enemy of the people" is an opening of the door to anarchy...where nothing is believed and nothing is believable. Trust and Truth become an old fashioned notion, that's impossible to find. Why else would this POTUS lie so many times every day, on every subject and spend every day calling everyone else a liar...even the people he hired to run his show?
       I'm afraid we are going to witness a violence-laced attempt at Revolution. The ultimate manipulation of us "little people". This "mob boss" may continue to get his way at our expense...(or is that Pence?) I don't like it one bit and there's not a damn thing I can do about it. He is winning in the field of confusing all of us and he predicted that he would "win so much that we'd be tired of his winning". I'm tired (and terrorized) by the prospects here.
        I try to focus on the amazing 'here and now' events that come my way each day...the migration of swans and cranes making music above each evening and the hooting of owls every morning when I walk the dog out for a pee. This is the important music, and it does not goes on in spite of the annoying background static of politicos and money-driven plutocrats.