Sounds in Woods, Speakers and Audiences

Headed out to national forest. It’s curious that a wilderness area so close to a popular spot is always empty. It’s wonderful. I intended to spend two nights in it, but stayed only one because of the forecast and the desire to have another lunch time diner breakfast.

I don’t usually have pre-trip excitement while prepping, like I did years ago. But once I’m out there, it’s at least as enjoyable as it was long ago. Shortly after walking over the wilderness boundary, I found this lake not far in. I nearly stopped and set up camp up the bank for the night.

I instead camped a few more miles in. So quiet in there, it was. Until about an hour after I fell asleep. A piercing loud coyote call, from about ten feet away. I could not see her. I regret not starting up my phone and recording; it was alarmingly loud and close, followed by faint calls back to her. I’m pretty sure I wasn’t her audience. The sounds were impressive, and as beautiful as something jarring can be. The foot falls were so stealthy I did not hear one step even though she had to have been just feet from me.

The morning was fairly warm for late September at five or six thousand feet. It’s nice to go about starting the day at the right pace instead of the unnatural pace of a workday. Even when I’m alternately moving fast instead of sitting in the green silence sipping hot coffee, the pace is natural instead of rushed. On the way back up from the slowly flowing stream, with water for boiling and making coffee, I see some art by Brothers Rivulet; I always enjoy these patterns left by rain runoff:

And some uprooting art of entropy:

A view of the campsite from a critter’s perspective:

Another stretch of quiet coffee time, after breakfast:

Then pack and move on while deciding whether to complete the loop today thus avoiding a forecast downpour and making a stop at a diner, or stop and enjoy the wilderness for another afternoon and night. I opted for a seat at the lunch counter.

It had been a while since a full pack hike. It felt good to start with a light breakfast. So opposite of a sedentary workday started with a big meal. The small breakfast made me feel light, slightly hungry soon in, and energetic. Scents and sounds of the woods. Birds and little mammals calling to each other, perhaps warning of my approach. Mutual aid, they say, and as Kropotkin did earlier.

A morning glance at the moon that kept my tent mildly lit all night.

Sleeping in a tent led to thinking of ongoing pressure on housing availability and affordability. It occurred to me that we won’t have stabilizing legislation applied to or restraining residential real estate owners until business groups point out that these real estate owners/investors are necessitating business-unfriendly minimum wage hikes with their unregulated residential rent hikes. That is, residential real estate owners are indirectly extracting money from small businesses by raising business employees’ residential rents, necessitating minimum wage hikes and higher pay. (The worker-residential tenant is sort of a pawn and collection agent for the residential real estate owner/landlord; he inadvertently passes an increased chunk of the small business owner’s profit to the residential landlord.) The current speaker-to-audience dynamic is delaying legislation of adequate rent control: currently the speakers are tenant groups and social advocates, and the audience is landlords and legislators; when the dynamic we need is small business groups as the speaker and landlords and legislators as the audience. Seems a simple speaker-audience mismatch. Rearrange a little, and there could be unintended mutual aid. Hmm.


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