Monday, February 23, 2009

To the Coast

A few weeks ago, during some unseasonably warm weather, I made a day trip from my home near Redding to the Eureka, California area. Eureka is on the northern California coast. Redding is at the top of the long interior valley that bisects much of the state north to south.

On the way out of Weaverville, the county seat of Trinity County. Weaverville has a population of 3,500, and is the biggest community in a county of 13,000. In Trinity County, you'll find no freeways, no stop lights, no parking meters. It was one of the original counties in California.

On the coast near Samoa, California. No hurricanes, no tornadoes. But . . .

That really is a dog, not a lion.

An honest to goodness cattle ranch house, right on the coast. You won't see many of these in southern California.

Most of my trip to the coast was in the dark, so I didn't get many photos. Leaving the coast, and climbing back up Highway 299, I look back toward the west. The Pacific is out there, over that ridgeline.

A roadside memorial. That's the Trinity River below. Highway 299 is a beautiful drive, but it can be treacherous.

The general store at Burnt Ranch, population 325.

You don't see these everyday anymore. Good thing it's there, since much of 299 has no cell phone coverage.

The Straw House, near the community of Big Bar. Sure enough, the building is insulated with rice straw, and it has . . .

a great view of the Trinity River from the deck.

Almost home, I pass through Shasta County's former county seat, Shasta. Folks who live here call it "Old Shasta," since nearby can be found the towns of Shasta Lake and Mount Shasta. About 3,500 people lived there from the 1850's until around 1880, when the Central Pacific Railroad bypassed Shasta in favor of Redding. The town wound down to a quasi-ghost town, and it's now a state historic park.

In Shasta, you'll find the oldest Masonic Lodge in California, still in use.

Remnants of what was once a thriving commercial district in Shasta.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

It's a "Life's Funny Like That" Party!

Debby's final chemo session will be tomorrow. Yee haw! I know you're looking forward to getting back to a more normal routine, Debby. Enjoy your new beginning, but . . .

Don't forget to give yourself some down time!

Our friend from across the planet, Bush Babe, came up with the idea of throwing a virtual party to celebrate the completion of Debby's chemo treatments. Since Bush Babe's blog is serving as party central for this shindig, please stop by and leave a comment. Thanks, BB.

I discovered Debby's blog early last year, and I quickly found myself drawn to her writing and her takes on life. She could be touching, and she could be howling funny. But then, things took a dramatic turn for Debby in September of last year: she learned she had breast cancer.

I was sticken by the news. I found myself hoping that Debby would prevail in her battle, and that someday we'd see her blogging regularly again. But a "funny" thing happened. Debby never stopped. She kept writing. She kept sharing her life. She shared her lows, she shared her hopes, and she managed to keep a grip on her sense of humor. She continued to show us that she's a remarkable writer. She shared her journey with us, and I for one feel the richer for it.

Thank you Debby, and God bless you.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Sky King

My Army flight school buddy Doug Johnson sent this YouTube video to me. The song was written and performed by PHI's most famous ex-employee ('cept Bob Barbanes), Kris Kristofferson.