Sorry about the long delay in getting this letter out.
Eighteen-wheeler is a another word for big truck. They have two axles
at the back, two in the middle, each with four wheels, and then an axle
at the front with two wheels. There are trucks on the road here with ten
four-wheeled axles and the single two-wheeled steering axle: 42! I don't
know what they are carrying. Imagine... just the tyres for such a truck
cost as much as a small car.
The next day, while I mow the back yard Nude sets up to build his next batch Heron Head garden tools. The yard is an obstacle course of garden paths and fruit trees and the fine old ticka-ticka-ticka rotary push mower turns the windfalls into applesauce. The Heron Heads are a combination cultivator, ice ax, and geologist hammer. From the looks of the angles and edges they look like they could also double as can and bottle openers.
Jersey Shore is Amish country. Out back of Patterson's is a large furrowed
field of some tall grass crop. While I was mowing the short grass in Nude's
back yard with the old rotary mower a boy in that adjacent field was mowing
the tall grass with some sort of horse drawn mower. But the interesting
thing was that mower, while it was pulled by a horse for this kid who's
way of life eschews autos and tractors and electric powered appliances,
was being powered by a small smelly smoky gasoline engine.
But in all this travel this is the first place that expects guests to
sort their trash beyond just removing the aluminium cans. "No burning of
trash at sites. Fee of $1.50 per bag. Has to be sorted. Garbage in one
clear bag, cleaned recyclables in another clear bag; bring to the clubhouse
Sunday, 10 a.m. to noon. If you do not wish to separate your garbage, take
it with you." I don't have any clear bags...
From Venice Florida to the Arctic Circle and Chula Vista California to here. Now it is time to clean house and catch up with the snailmail.
I'm back to visit with Kenny and Jane on their hill in Center Conway
and for the first time come face to face with the devastation caused by
last winter's Ice Storm. The hillside looks as though it has been left
over from a clear-cut. The canopy of the forest is simply not
there--lots of topless trees with branches and crowns laying about at their feet, vast numbers of birches and oaks bent over in graceful, deadly arches, snags of spruce and maple laying leafless in the branches of their surviving neighbors. But even the survivors are at risk. It may be not unreasonable to say that 90% of the trees are lost: those that are not down already will die within two to five years because they have no crowns to support further growth and the split and jagged wounds of broken boles above the lower tiers of branches will invite fungus and disease into the forest.
My last guests were two Through Hikers, end to end hikers along the Georgia to Maine Appalachian Trail, who, like me, were nearing the end of their adventure. I picked them up with their bags of groceries at the Fabyans market and carried them back to the Crawford Notch AMC Hostel where they would spend a night or two before resuming their hike to the northern terminus of the trail at Mount Katahdin. And we each asked the other: --What are you going to do next?
I don't know. Start over, on another adventure of course, but of what sort? The options are countless, I canna make up my mind. See my resume if you will. If you have any ideas please take a moment to write. I am looking for work in areas of campground host, campground maintanance and light construction, computer consultant, programmer. Short term contract or seasonal situations preferred. Salary, stipend, quid pro quo, considered.
Stay Gold, bcnu, Send Money, Love, ajo
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Copyright (c) 2002 A.J.Oxton The Cat Drag'd Inn