Sunday, November 12, 2006

A visit to Graeagle

At Ted and Jackie’s house in Graeagle

In the back bedroom, a decidedly feminine atmosphere that is for me uncomfortable. On the shelves, portraits of Jackie’s older brother (who died in a Japanese POW camp), Jessica and Jessica's Aunt Susan.

A steady rain tapping on the metal roof gutters. I took the trash out earlier and found freezing rain (sleet?) (This is a little more disconcerting than previous visits, since I’m riding a motorcycle this time.)

A wonderful dinner tonight: prime rib, baked potato and asparagus, with a bottle of "Arboleda" Carmenere that I had brought.

***

Alarm set for 6:00 a.m. this morning, it was too cold to get up. Crawled back into bed. This apartment is cold, but I hate to turn on the heater. I use it just to take the edge off when I get up.

Left all my packing for this morning. Envisioned going to Graeagle, then later to Modoc County to check out a 320-acre parcel on the market. "What will I need?" Left tools, first aid kit and cooking utensils behind. Focused on clothing and camping gear.

***

Listened to an "NPR" interview with Richard Perle this morning (he was on the line from Provence, France. The bastard should not be allowed to defile such a beautiful place!)

It made me ill to hear his familiar pompous, condescending demeanor as he explained his rationale for American forces staying on in Iraq.

He still claims Saddam was linked to the terrorists. When the reporter challenged that the evidence has been refuted, he simply stated “well I’ve seen the evidence and have come to a different conclusion.”

(This is the same way Karl Rove responded to a reporter who challenged Rove by stating the polls projected a loss for the Republicans. Rove said “you have your facts. I have the facts.” Fucking pompous assholes, so typical of this Administration.)

Perle said “it’s nonsense that we went in (to Iraq) to impose democracy”. According to him, our goal was to “manage the risk” that Saddam represented. Rewriting history as he speaks.

George W. Bush did not say repeatedly that we were going to bring democracy to Iraq?

Asshole liars. I think the term "obfuscation" has never been more widely used than at present, and usually in reference to the Bush Administration.

***

When I was loaded up, walked over to tell Charlene and Henry my plan. I was under the impression I was coming back Wednesday or Thursday, then driving south Friday with Jess, but that trip south is a week later – Henry straightened me out.

Off at 10:00, two hours later than planned. Chilly and mostly overcast. An accident near the Glen Ellen Inn had traffic on Highway 12 blocked. I didn’t get a clear look, but after the ambulance left, and traffic was allowed to move, I passed a downed motorcycle, with perhaps a dozen more parked on the shoulder, their riders milling about. All the bikes appeared to be “crotch rockets”.

“Basque Bakery” in Sonoma was jammed, but I waited to pick up one of their “Basque Rounds”, a muffin and a couple of cookies.

The late start meant I had plenty of company on Interstate 80. Split traffic frequently, while maintaining 80 mph much of the way.

Dry roads. Still, I was anxious climbing into the Sierra. How cold would it get? Passed the elevation markers. 1000, 2000, 5000, 7000 feet. It got cold, but not painfully so. The heated grips and electric vest making it tolerable.

The ride was pretty easy, the bike having no problem powering up the hills, passing cars and trucks. I didn’t drive quite as fast as I would in the BMW 328i, but fast enough. (Why was I in such a hurry all the time? And why am I still?)

Shocked to see new development at the I80-CA89 interchange. The forest is being thinned to accommodate new neighborhoods. I guess it has been nearly two years (Christmas 2004?) since I’ve been up here.

The “Whitehawk” development is undergoing expansion and development as well. Newly-widened highways, trees coming down. Soon this will simply be the “exurbs”. (Perhaps it already is.)

And on the southern edge of Graeagle, a development has commenced in the forest.

Arrived to find Ted hobbling with a cane, but doing better than I expected. “I said I didn’t need any help, but it would be great to see you,” he had told me.

Jackie is struggling with dementia. So sad to see her short-term memory failing. Susan just left this morning. (A changing of the guard. But I might not be so helpful – I hope I’m not a burden.)

Tried to help out where I could: build a fire, do dishes, open wine(!) But they do so much, it must be more relaxing for them to have no one here.

Retired about 10:00, two hours after Ted and Jackie, staying up to type this.

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