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Archive for July, 2009

Peace and quiet?

Backpacking in the wilderness is normally a quiet and peaceful activity. Our trip to Long Gulch Lake was a bit different. When we got there, we kept hearing cow bells. Sure enough, there was a small herd of angus cattle in the basin, most of them wearing cow bells. So much for the wilderness experience. But that wasn’t all of the disruption. We were getting thunder and lightning each afternoon. The first afternoon we got some hail too. The second afternoon the lightning was really close. Shortly after the brief storm, we heard the spotter planes looking for lightning fires. Then all hell broke loose. Three small lightning fires had started near us, one less than half a mile away, the other two just over the ridge to the southwest. Two helicopters descended on us (literally!) while spotter planes circled. One helicopter dropped a fire crew on a meadow next to the lake and got out its 420 gallon water bucket. That helicopter pilot was crazy, dipping, scooping, and zipping away to the fire over and over. Very fast. The other helicopter had a longer rope on the bucket and a smaller bucket, only 250 gallons. That pilot moved much slower. The helicopters scooped water all afternoon. The fast one then picked up the crew in the meadow and left. The other one left also. A mop-up fire crew hiked up the trail and made sure the fires were out. They apparently spent the night over the ridge near the other fire locales. We didn’t get much fishing done because of all the noise and water scooping. But at least the cows left for the day.  Apparently it was too noisy for them. I don’t know how they could tell over the noise of their bells.

The lake was quite pretty, and there was lots of wildlife. We saw many birds, deer, a weasel, lots of squirrels, and a toad. The two barbies that went on the trip had a good time.

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The signs need replacing. It says Trinity Alps Wilderness, Klamath National Forest.

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Husband Steve builds a fire after the thunderstorm.

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Steve checks out the meadow. The lake is in the direction he’s walking, but behind the bushes.

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Long Gulch Lake in the morning.

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Sun on the cliffs.

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Lots of greenery.

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Morning sunshine at the campsite.

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The barbies set up next to the meadow.

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They have a nice view of the meadow and stream.

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They brought a lantern.

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The rope in the picture is our counterbalance food bag set-up for bear protection.

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Pretty view in all directions.

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Steve enjoys the morning.

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He looks at a map in preparation for a hike.

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He hikes up the trail near Deadman Peak.

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He has a view of our lake.

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And Long Gulch.

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And the drainage on the other side of the ridge.

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Another battered sign.

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I fished while he hiked.

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This was my view from my fishing spot.

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This is the fire that started near us.

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Black-tailed helicopter buzzes the fire for a good look.

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Then it lands, off-loads the crew, and gets out the bucket.

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Getting ready to take off.

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Up!

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The bucket holds 420 gallons.

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Dip it in the water.

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There it goes into the water.

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Up!

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Back for another load.

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Down into the water.

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And off to dump the load.

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Here comes the red-tailed helicopter with the smaller bucket and longer rope.

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Down goes his bucket.

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And away he goes!

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Black-tailed speed demon back for more.

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He was really fast.

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The barbies started watching the show.

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There goes black-tail again.

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He’ll be back.

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The barbies have a pair of binoculars.

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Steve starts a mosquito-repelling fire in the background.

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Keeps the bugs away.

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The ladies go wading.

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The water is perfect for foot dangling.

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Flowers just downstream from the ladies.

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They are having a good time.

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This tree is cool.

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Nice place to hang out.

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Then back to camp.

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It has been a busy day.

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We’ll just hang out here in camp.

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Evening view.

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Early morning visitor.

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Hello Mr. Toad.

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Let’s go wading again.

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The water’s great!

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I’ll just sit on this rock.

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You should get in.

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I don’t feel like taking off my britches.

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Morning sun on cliffs.

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Morning lake.

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Flowers.

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Pretty flowers.

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Okay, I like the flowers.

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View on the way to the spring.

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We camped over there.

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The spring.

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Cold drinking water.

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Back to our campsite with full water bottles.

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Yarrow and ferns.

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Barbies ready for the hike to the car.

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Last look around.

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Idiot check.

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Idiot check the barbie camp too.

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Steve is ready.

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I’m ready.

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Barbies say let’s go home.

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I will be gone a few days

We leave for our backpack trip tomorrow, so no new posts until we get back. If you are new here, or just a bored regular, go dig in the archives. You can access them either with the calendar or the archive thingy. I’ll be back Thursday night. I’m taking two barbies on the trip. They have their backpacks and camping clothes.

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This is me in my favorite hotspring in Nevada. Not going there, just thought I’d leave you with a nice picture.

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Cherry pie in July

I love pie. Especially summer pie. Yesterday I picked cherries. We have a dwarf cherry tree in the front yard. My mom planted it for her dog, Wolfie, when Wolfie died. The cherries are just slightly tart, making them good pie cherries. I grumbled through the pitting process, but it was worth it.

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My little town of Arcata is a pretty nice place, especially in the summer. One of my favorite summer activities is going to the Farmers’ Market on Saturdays. It is on the plaza, our town square, which is where most annual Arcata events are held. Some of you might remember my last post about the Farmers’ Market. It is in the archives somewhere. This time a couple of my barbies went along. They visited with the vendors and bought a few veggies.

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We stopped to admire the lemon cucumbers and cherry tomatoes from Green Fire Farm. I think I’ll get some lemon cucumbers next week. My cherry tomatoes are just getting ripe in my back yard, so I didn’t get any of those.

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They sure look yummy though.

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The color of summer.

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Green Fire Farm also has lovely zucchini squash. I like to put it on the barbeque. The ladies were helping advertise.

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I love all varieties of summer squash.

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Redwood Roots Farm always has white salad turnips, at a great price too. They are delicious raw or sauteed in butter.

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Their radishes always look gorgeous, but I can’t eat that many.

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I also get beets at the Redwood Roots booth, but I forgot to photograph them today.

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Fresh broccoli, cabbage, and baby bok choy.

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Is that yum or what?

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A big bunch of dill.

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Fennel bulbs too. I like to roast them or put them in soup.

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I can’t remember what the purple things are. This is at the Mountain Home Farm booth.

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A big basket of carrots, young and tender. Get out the juicer!

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Some cool round zucchini! The ladies running the Mountain Home Farm booth were very friendly. We bought some basil there.

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We are having SO much fun! We got some broccoli and turnip greens.

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We’ll just stand and admire the rainbow chard because we have plenty in our yard at home.

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Taking a break in the tomatoes at the McIntosh Farm booth.

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Mom wants a couple of heirloom tomatoes. Those purple bells are cool too.

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We should find a bench to sit and watch the market.

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What a great day at the market!

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It sure is!

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Hi from Arcata!!

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We can’t leave the plaza without the usual picture of President McKinley.

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Should we stop for coffee and an almond croissant?

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A big shout out to all of our fans!! Thanks for joining us at the market!

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Camping at Medicine Lake

Medicine Lake is one of my favorite camping spots. The lake sits in a shallow crater atop the Medicine Lake shield volcano on the Modoc plateau. It is a sacred place for the Pit River tribe. In fact, the last two times we have camped there, it coincided with their annual Medicine Lake gathering. Last year we were there right before the gathering. This time we overlapped. Our last night of camping was filled with loud drumming sounds coming from Medicine campground, which they reserve each July for their gathering.

To the southwest of Medicine Lake is Mt. Shasta. Just to the north of the lake is Lava Beds National Monument. We always drive up to Lava Beds to explore the lava tube caves.

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Our nice campsite.

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Look up.

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Lamb chops for dinner.

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Table is set.

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Evening visitor.

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Standing by the fire.

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Bedtime.

A paper-loving squirrel visits the campsite in the morning while I am fishing and husband is taking a walk.

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He attacked the toilet paper too.

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We follow a trail around the lake, and it takes us to a lovely spring.

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Nice view of the lake from the spring.

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Icy cold water cools down barbie and water bottle.

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Spring flows downhill to meadow and lake.

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I soaked my feet in it.

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Later in the day we walked to a different part of the lake.

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An interesting swarm of bugs in the trees.

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I stay in the shallows.

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Husband Steve wades far out in the lake.

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You can see by the change in water color where the deep water starts.

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Creature from the Black Lagoon.

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Stopping to look at tadpoles. The last time we were here, they had already turned into frogs and were all over the shore.

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I look too.

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There’s one.

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View from the lake.

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Looking back at the shore.

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Standing in the water.

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Little flowers at the edge of the meadow.

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Poop.

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Looking back at the lake as we walk back to our campsite.

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We decide to take a late afternoon drive around the area to check for next year’s campsites. Campground fee going up next year so we are looking for free camping. This is no-name lake. Pretty spot but no good campsites and too shallow for fishing.

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Very pretty though.

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Getting ready for dinner.

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Driving to Lava Beds the next morning.

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Here we are.

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Nice cinder cone.

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Much hotter here than at the lake.

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Tule Lake Wildlife Refuge, a haven for migrating water birds.

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Captain Jack’s Stronghold. Asshole U.S. Army up to it’s usual bullshit of corralling Native Americans on reservations. Some Modoc tribe members revolted and hid in the stronghold. They held off the army for quite a while until the army cut off their water supply at Tule Lake. Assholes.

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Jupiter Cave.

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Desert Mariposa Lily.

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Catacombs Cave. My favorite. You could spend all day exploring this very large cave, but we only spent a half hour or so.

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Lots of cave features.

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Stairs up to another intersecting lava tube.

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Steve didn’t appreciate me flashing the camera in his eyes.

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Ceiling drips, bumpy floor.

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Lavacicles on ceiling, coated with mineral deposits.

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Which way?

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Valentine Cave. Another totally cool cave. This bench was created by a lava flow that wasn’t as high as the one that formed the cave.

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I love lava tubes.

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Cool, huh?

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Wet ceiling features.

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A split in the tunnel. Left or right? They actually meet on the other side.

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Flashlight for scale.

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Right.

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Cave entrance from inside.

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Looking back at left fork before going out into the 90 plus temperature outside.

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Mushpot cave. Beginners’ cave near visitor center. Lights along walkways. Accessible for disabled.

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Neato! Reminds me of a ride at Disneyland.

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Lots of lava tube features to see.

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Interactive signs that light up different features.

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Heading back out.

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Barbies packed up their campsite on departure day.

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Heading home.

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Sun-dappled road.

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Mount Shasta.

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Lunch stop on the McCloud river on our way home to the coast.

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I promised that I would do another round of plastic violence against plastic Queen Sarah, so here it is. There were some technical difficulties during the violence part (trying to photograph flying rocks with a point and shoot was harder than I expected), but the objective was achieved.

This is a re-creation of the quitter speech, but the audience did not sit idly by while Queen Sarah gasped her way into the quitter record books. Instead, they told her to sit down and shuddup.

Ken is playing the role of Lt. Governor Parnell, aka Gov. Lite, aka Caribou Ken. The role of daughter/unknown cousin/female sidekick is played by blond barbie with sun dress and silver shoes.

Disclaimer: I do not advocate real violence against real people, but in my own plastic fantasy land, I’ll do whatever I damn well please. This tale is dedicated to all of the long-suffering Alaskans who had to endure the partial term of Sarah the Horrible. Long Live Alaska!  Sarah, don’t let that door of yours hit your bony ass on the way out.

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The tweeting twit has a meet and greet with the media she professes to hate. Fat ass Gov. Lite has his pants on backward. That doesn’t bode well for Alaska.

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She really just wants to show off her fuck me boots and hair extensions.

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“I’ve invited you all here today to hear my latest word salad, you betcha, also. too.”

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“Am I a babe or what?”

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“I am the governor of Alaska, but I don’t need a title to throw all of you under the bus.”

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“I’ve decided to abort my term because work is really hard and I don’t like it.”

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“Only fighters quit and swim upstream.”

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“I’m the point guard babe so I’m going to pass the fish and go make millions.”

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“Those evil hater bloggers can’t talk mean to me if I don’t have a title. I know my First Amendment rights.”

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“Only lame ducks are stupid enough to actually govern.”

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“The media and bloggers are costing this state trilllllllions of dollars because they are haters.”

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“But I have my PAC and TrustMe fund so fuck you, also, too.”

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“I’m taking my skeletal hands and awesome hair extensions to a better gig.”

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“I’m retiring my plow and movin’ on up.”

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“I’m doing this for Alaska. I already did more than every governor on the continent of Africa, so I’m outa here.”

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“I have a higher calling.”

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“I am a celebrity so I don’t need this bummer gov gig.”

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I’m handing the reins of my great administration over to my fat ass do-nothing Lt. Governor.”

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“The bus is parked behind my office if you need it. If you are planning to stay in that stupid mansion in lame ass Juneau you’ll have to get your own bus, also, too.”

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“Hey, which one of you haters is throwing rocks at beautiful me?”

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“Aackkk! Help me! I’ve fallen and I can’t get up!”

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“Help me, lame ass soon-to-be-gov!”

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We have a crack problem in the new administration.

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Mr. Do Nothing has forgotten how to do anything.

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“Ubiquitous female, help me get your mother/aunt/boss up.”

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The media rejoices as the dead fish gasps.

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“I think they broke her designer glasses.”

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Rejoicing continues.

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Incompetent staff/family isn’t much help.

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Touchdown!

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Three point basket!

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“She doesn’t look so good.”

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“I think she’s going with the flow.”

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Ding dong the fish is dead!

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Game over!

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Higher calling my ass.

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Gov Lite asks ubiquitous female daughter/cousion/sidekick if she wants a job in the new administration.

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“What the hell. I never liked her anyway, ” says Ms. Ubiquitous.

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“No more of those nasty mooseburgers she made. How about some sushi?”

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Trophy!

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Whoohoo!!

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Game over. You betcha….Also…………………Too.

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The usual gang of barbies tagged along on our trip to Medicine Lake last week. Soon to be ex-gov, the famous Twitter Quitter, was also along for the ride, but she was not welcome.

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The whole gang piles out of the car, ready for some camping fun. The Twitter Quitter isn’t invited to the party. My one and only Ken doll gets to play multiple roles on the trip. Here he is pretending to like Sarah.

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Sarah flirts with the dude. Wink wink.

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Hanging out with my husband.

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Camp is all set up. Ken decides to ditch Sarah in favor of campsite full of babes. Sarah spies on them from behind the tree.

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There she is.

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What a sneak.

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She is so jealous. That’s what happens when you are a mean girl.

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Everybody is having fun except Sarah.

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She is planning revenge, but she’s out of buses.

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They know she’s there but they think it is funny.

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Two of the ladies decide to check out our fire.

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They like each other.

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Sitting around the campfire.

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The fire is warm but Sarah is cold.

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No fire for Sarah.

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Everybody is having fun. Some are naked from a trip to the beach earlier in the day.

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Ghostly images in the dark.

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Ken likes naked women.

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Sarah wishes Ken would look at her like that.

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Ken is a naughty boy.

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Earlier in the day, readhead went with us to explore a spring.

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Very refreshing!

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Wet barbie, wet shirt.

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Two of the other ladies went to the lake earlier.

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It was a perfect day for a swim.

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The water is great!

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This is fun!

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They like hanging out with my husband.

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