I’ve been wanting to walk up the hill to the west but an attentive bull has been hanging around the last several days, trolling back and forth on this side of the hill, vocalizing softly but constantly. First day he appeared he looked straight at me and now he’s been hanging around.
Today he wasn’t there so I grabbed the daypack, the dog, and the Multipurpose Walking Stick and headed out.
The other day when I was looking on Google Maps I saw what appeared to be irregularly-shaped denuded spaces but thought it was an artifact of image stitching. But I saw today they are really there:
Muffin was getting a little weird, which usually means she needs to burn some energy off. We walked a ways up the road to see what was on the other side of this sign:
Didn’t realize it at the time, but I think the white spot on the right edge of the pic is the van and picnic table structure.
We walked up the nearby hill “to see what we could see”. There was a sign that said something like
West Jacobsville 1 mile -->
East Jacobsville 2miles -->
From the crest of the hill you could see for miles and I saw no kind of ‘ville. [Note: I loaded up Google Maps later and saw no ‘villes anywhere near, either. Maybe a historic reference? ]
There was a cattle guard at the crest, which Muffin now can cross although she doesn’t like to. There were cattle nearby and she tends to bark and growl at them so we turned back in order not to disturb the livestock.
Took this pic as we turned around:
A travel trailer has arrived, there’s me, and the local cowherd’s trailer. He was somewhere on his ATV with a roll of wire mending fencelines.
I was hoping this place was so run-down that there’d be no weekenders, but three cars pulled up in the last hour with a ton of kids, Big Gulps, and crookedly-applied bumper stickers. They are currently failing to set up a large tent. It’s like watching the Keystone Kops go camping.
I’ve been doing a van cleanout and re-organization since I have the time, the room, the cleaning water, good weather, and shelter to put everything under.
As I started this project a groundhog (?) came up within a few feet of Muffin because she was lying still. It stood there for a few minutes before leaving. When it hopped to leave Muffin leapt up and tried to put her teeth on it. No luck, it retreated to a hole.
Finally had a successful run of rainwater catchment, though it was rough at start.
I rejiggered the tarp when the clouds gathered again:
This method has more surface area but is less likely to funnel rain where i want it. More experimentation needed. It rained medium-heavy for a short while and I was feeling optimistic – before I went to bed there was a steady stream of water going into the bucket. Rain let up and I got up in the night to check on it — the bucket had been spilled (knocked over and several feet away in the mud) when the tarp moved in high wind. Argghhhhh! The water from the brief period of good rain was lost.
This view is what I see past the laptop. The red circle is at a spot that had been tempting me (click for full pic):
That spot called me because (from the camping spot at least) it appeared to be as far up the rock face as you could get on foot. So Sunday the 5th Muffin and I decided to make the approach. I loaded the camelbak-style day pack with water, some granola bars, a charged phone, her folding silicone water cup (like this one except plain red and $2 in the camping section). Some basics stay in there all the time: pocket knife, small flashlight, etc.
About a mile off the dirt road I let Muffin off-leash. I didn’t want anyone/anything around as we’ve only been together since December and I don’t know how she reacts to everything.
When I take off here leash she stands there and I tap her on the rear while saying “OK!” She starts running like a possessed creature for about 100ft, stops and looks back. I’m there? Good, run more. Stop, check, run. If I change directions she makes a high speed flyby past me in the new direction and starts the process again.
We got up there in maybe 3 hours. I was fatigued as it’s a consistent uphill jag and most was loose sandy material over rock. She was breathing harder, too, and not running so fast any more. I lost the rubber cane tip off the bottom of my MPS (multipurpose stick: broom handle / camera mount / walking staff / laundry plunger).
I’ve got a bit more family visiting to do before heading for warmer areas. This month will be an anomaly regarding driving. I have/had about 1500 of miles to cover for visits before I head out to snowbird.