In wilderness again…

…Drift Creek is where I ended up a couple of weeks ago, after looking at the real-time wildfire map and air quality forecast, and road conditions. Not all that far from the coast. Near the trailhead there was a glimpse of the river meeting the ocean.

After gaining that elevation on the drive to the trailhead, the hike was all descent to the creek-side campsites. Listening to birdsong much of the way:

v

I ran into what I thought was a family (I later learned it was a boy scout group). Right/conservative-looking folks. But really, they were just more army surplus than rei aesthetically. Nice folks. A really nice kid in the group pointed me toward some great campsites along the creek when I asked if they knew of more downstream. My glance at his sheathed hunting knife might have looked like I was concerned, but in fact it was just that it was the same one I almost bought.

Kind of related, it’s odd how people on the left and right seem to fall in line and have hostility toward each other. The Right and Republicans should instead be grateful right now to the Democratic Party/DNC: in effort to protect its (Democrats’) wealthy donor-investors from its strong candidate (Sanders), who probably would have beat the Republican in 2016 and 2020, the Democrats/DNC instead knowingly ran its weak candidate — which handed victory to the Republican in 2016. This Democratic Party/DNC incompetence also paved the way for three conservative supreme court justice appointments (two were confirmed a while ago, one soon to be), plus many, many lower federal court conservative judge appointments already in place now. The Right should be delighted with the Democrats/DNC for bringing the USA a far-right White House and a now-heavily conservative supreme court — and for now re-gifting the Right in 2020 by again removing its strong candidate (Sanders) and instead running its weakling. This weakling candidate pick is also a gift to the Right because even if the president loses this November, it may make the loss so narrow that it bolsters his justification to doubt and contest the results with the help of his new, heavily conservative supreme court that the Democrats/DNC precipitated/paved the way for.

And the Left should not be hostile toward the Right/Republicans, but should instead be furious with the Democrats/DNC, who achieved exactly the opposite of what its supporters (the Left) wanted. Even if their weak-pick candidate were to win this time, the damage is done: we’ve already had about 4 years of a White House opposing the Democrats’/DNC’s supporters’ wishes in terms of domestic and foreign policy, and the supreme court has already been transformed into a service provider of conservative and extremist Republicans. (Out of respect for conservatives, it should be acknowledged that the Republican Party/RNC is currently extremist rather than conservative). The Left who voted Democrat in 2016 is still about to vote Democrat in 2020 even though the Dems/DNC are recycling their 2016 failed strategy of running their weak candidate. Anyway, the Left/centrist liberals/further left should be hostile toward the Democrats/DNC, not toward the Right/Republicans.

I don’t think the Democrats/DNC delivered the 2016 Republican victory and three conservative supreme court justice appointments intentionally; it’s just that they have a business to run — the Democratic Party/DNC, which, with intention, secures its wealth largely by legislating its donor-investors’ wealth. S0 the Democrats/DNC must protect their donor-investors from the likes of strong Democratic candidates like Sanders, and won’t have such a candidate interfering with its enterprise. Protecting donor-investors takes priority. The Dems/DNC did all this damage in the name of protecting its donor-investors from its strong candidate. Again, the left should be hostile toward the Democrats/DNC, not the Right and Republicans.

What a bunch of misplaced hostility there is.

Thwarted from visiting public woods for now…

…by a second force this summer, the smoke. For now I just look at backpack contents until it makes sense to pack again. Early in the summer the pandemic had many trailheads closed. The smoke and fire risk now have a lot of federal lands in my area closed. Some state forest is open though, which is closer anyways, although I loved being in wilderness a few weeks ago.

So lots of time at home lately, resorting to exercise on a mat, seeing from the mat my world that is currently inside my house.

And from above the kitchen sink:

Food-related aesthetics in general, I’ve been noticing while spending so much time indoors.

As I was marveling at the fact that frozen burritos microwave in only 1.5 minutes, it occurred to me: if I run out of burritos before ranch, I’ll have to replenish the burrito supply. But what if after replenishing it I run out of ranch before the burrito supply runs out? What then? Can this ever really end without perfect timing?

Samples of what the smoke mixed with fog was like up until today:

In town there is homelessness growing or simply less harassed during the pandemic and allowed to stay

We’ve got an unemployment rate not seen since the 1930s Great Depression, and it grew in record time. And now in my area, towns need rebuilding since the fires, and roads and trails need clearing since the wind storm. In other areas, towns need rebuilding since the tropical storms. The New Deal comes to mind; there’s a lot of work needing done, and a lot of people needing work. In the 30s the Democrat-Republican Investment Tool (our two party donor-investor bribe system) took turns establishing it, snatching it away, and restoring it. It’s time to restore it again or something like it. Many jobs — in service industry, retail, hospitality, travel, airlines, on and on — simply won’t return after this health-economic-political storm. Public lands have been neglected-underfunded over the decades, and that neglect may very well have contributed to the destruction-by-fire of towns and timber. Instead of care, neglect-and-insure has been the mode. The insurers are going to fail everyone: their shareholders, policy holders, municipalities — I don’t know what all the list of the let down will include. The tax payer will be forced to step up, but we have far fewer tax payers than we had before this spring. And for some in high-fire-risk areas insurance policies will be made unavailable or out of reach pricewise, which means home equity lines of credit will be made unavailable too.

I wonder if employers and populations in tropical storm areas will simply be moved inland. Forest management might be able to reduce disasters in high-fire-risk areas, but not in tropical storm areas.

What will be proposed? I think it will be a combination of universal basic income and some form of New Deal.

I’m going to visit state forest today.

A nice overnight backpack…

…for me in national forest. I was near water on some stretches of the trail.

It was nice to sleep in the deep woods again.

I awoke to temperatures in the high 30s F on this August morning at about 4500 ft., then warmed myself with a hot brew.

But the ongoing political unrest. I guess it’s just one part of the perfect storm underscoring the inevitability of universal basic income (UBI). The storm being the lack of jobs increased by the pandemic, swift rise in unemployment, and political unrest in which years of insufficient income and unaffordable housing and health care factor in. Many of the jobs existing pre-pandemic won’t return. Judging from my town, many people have recently joined the ranks of the homeless. Cars are now parked at homeless encampments, and I think some may have been parked in their lots and driveways not long ago. Blocks where there were sporadic tents near businesses now have shuttered storefronts with side walks lined with tents, in some parts of town. It’s not as hidden as it was, either because the pandemic is causing municipalities to stop scattering and pushing around the homeless, or shelters more easily reach capacity due to social distancing requirements. Many homeless are not what I call needy. I can’t call anyone needy who simply has the same needs as I have: access to food, water, shelter and a toilet and shower. To me a needy person is someone who’s after the unnecessary; like a bullying or controlling individual addicted to the control, an addict needing unnecessary chemicals, other excesses, etc.

But back to the political unrest, on the electoral level. It doesn’t take a lot of imagination to envision the worst case November scenario. We’ve got a president with a real estate development and entertainment background who wants a show, be it his reelection inauguration or a dramatic rejection of defeat. If he can’t have an inauguration, he’ll have a bigger show. Worst case, I’m imagining. If he holes up in the white house after his defeat, I can see white supremacist and other right wing militia trying to guard the white house. But retired military brass oppose his reelection. Powell has said the president’s “drifted from the constitution” (and Powell said he’s voting for the Democrat instead). Mattis is not voting Republican in November and has said the president is actively dividing the country, which smells slightly of succession. These are politically heavy endorsements of the Democrat. Retired military brass are likely in touch with current military brass. If the defeated president holes up in the white house guarded by right wing militia after the Democratic win, the USA military may very well shew away the militias and evict the squatting president to vacate the building for the president elect.

The president could lose in November. Prominent Republicans including the agriculture-tied Lincoln Project, and the retired military brass, have abandoned him and endorsed the Democrat. Libertarian-Republican Weld is now endorsing the Democrat. Evangelicals haven’t abandoned the president, yet. If the president loses the evangelicals, all he’ll have left is the white supremacists, which are too small a voting block for success. I’m sure I’m leaving out some voters.

The current chaos threatens domestic and world markets. The market will be protected, maintained, propped back up. UBI may play a role in the USA.

I admittedly think about in-town life when I’m in the deep woods.

Hikes and Rides

Being homebound during the week got me out for the weekend. Yesterday was for a big loop ride. Rode all day, and even stopped for a break for a short hike to catch-up with a friend south of home. But just after Redmond, I had to stop for a shot of these senior members of the Cascades SW of the town:

Then today a hike in an area closer to the hometown. For some reason the rivulet patterns in the ditch caught my eye. Mini dams made of pine needle, twig, and silt. Can’t discern them well in the picture, but I consider them the sculptures of winter rain runoff:

Sounds in the woods again captivated me. The wind, creaking, and birdsong:

And this bird beautifully flew over me when I was experimenting with the zoom on my camera. (You really need to select the high definition setting at playback):

Being stuck at home all week is really making me and allowing me to explore on the weekends. It’s mainly solo, but still very nice. Seems to occur at the right pace when solo.

In the greenery

I did get out recently for time among the trees and critters. This time of resurgence of people heading to the accessible and established trails has me finding little used areas near them. Walking in them offers something peaceful contrasting with goings on in the city. My neighborhood is about the same, but downtown isn’t. I walked into this green area:

undefined

undefined

It seems the sounds are more telling than snapshots:

The birds:

And more of their songs:

When leaving the maintained road or trail and going deeper into the woods, I think about how I could be prey to a bear or big cat. And how organisms just eat each other. And how our procurement of meat and poultry differs from their predating. And how our level of consciousness enables us to be above unnecessarily killing and eating compared to other animals’. We don’t even need meat because we’ve developed cultivation. People, including me, are appalled by the current culling occurring due to the meat and poultry industry losing market share and labor force during this pandemic. But they’re not talking about how animals are killed under normal circumstances for our eating. As much as I enjoy meat and poultry, I don’t think I’ll return to buying and eating it. The idea of breeding and “raising” animals to just be killed, sold, and eaten is something I can’t keep hypocritically opposing. I feel bad for the involved labor force too, but they obviously don’t have it as bad as the animals. Of course I’ve no sympathy for the farmers and agribusiness. They’re lamenting their loss of market, labor force, livelihood, and tradition. But their livelihood depends on death. Sympathizing would be absurd. They’re lamenting culling over butchering. It’s hard to believe I’ve supported this. And that I still miss eating these animals. I don’t even physically feel different vegetarian than I do omnivorous. And regarding tradition, as a teacher of mine said, traditions are made to be broken.

It occurred to me on the trail…

…last weekend that the reason progressives are going to cast the fear vote in November (vote for the “lesser of two evils”) is that they are trained to think just in four-year spans or less. And by thinking ahead by only four years at most, they’ve maintained decades of Democrat-Republican office holders taking us to where we are. That is, we’ve had decades of the DRIT (Democrat-Republican Investment Tool) taking turns serving its investors (high-dollar campaign donors). I think progressives need to vote based on candidates’ platforms. Some mislabel this “voting with your heart” instead of your mind. But I think it would be voting with your mind; casting the fear vote is “voting with your heart”. But that labeling is nonsensical party PR to an extent anyway. Voting based on platform would mean progressives vote for Hawkins (or another progressive who is actually running) in November now that the Democrat wing of DRIT spit out Sanders again (i.e., the Democrat wing is knowingly running its weaker, investor-friendly candidate again, just like the last time they spit out Sanders). An effect of progressives voting based on platform could be the collapse of the Democratic wing (“party”). Yes, they’d have another four years of the current Republican presumably, but collapse of the Democratic wing would leave the Republican wing with no un/intentional partner in crime with which to continue more decades of investor rule (return on investment). The Democrat wing is the more insidious of the two; they actually entice progressives with a progressive candidate, withdraw the progressive (DNC tricks just spit out Sanders for the second time in a row), then scare a Democrat vote out of the progressives. We’re seeing it repeated, and even with the same progressive candidate-lure, Sanders. Progressives will cast this fear vote (vote again for the Democrat wing’s weaker candidate), to avoid four years of the darker shade of darkness from the Republican wing (but may fail to again) but maintain decades more of darkness from the DRIT. The Democrats accidentally protected the Republican last time by running their weaker candidate, and they’re protecting him again by running their weaker candidate now. And progressives again go along with this out of fear (instead of switching to a candidate whose platform they agree with/support). The Democrat wing in effect tries (and failed last time) to protect itself with [the fear of] the Republican wing candidate, but ironically instead protects him by running their weaker candidate.

Progressives’ goal in voting right now should be to collapse the Democrat wing (“party”). Progress they want won’t occur until this happens and opens up room for a viable progressive party or candidate. There won’t be a viable progressive party until the Republican wing’s better half (Democrat wing) collapses. This collapse can be initiated by progressives simply voting based on candidate platform rather than on fear. Some darkness (relative to the Democrat lighter shade of darkness) would continue for another four years at least, but progress usually takes sacrifice. Besides, we’ve already had decades of the DRIT tag team serving their donor-investors (the alternating shades of darkness). And decades more of lighter-alternating-with-darker darkness will continue if a short-term darker darkness isn’t tolerated/endured first for another four years. Again, this takes thinking in terms of decades, not in terms of four-year election cycles.

That’s my email signature anyway. I could be wrong.

Anyways, the hike was really nice last weekend. Again, we went to the east side of that mountain in the background:

It was a rainy, warm hike in badger creek wilderness. Birds were singing among the oaks and rocks:

The stream was running background vocals:

We woke to a fog bank sleeping right next to us, floating atop the valley (so, at about 4000 ft.):

undefined

My old pack was running on empty despite being full; the shoulder straps gave out, but after a couple of decades of use.

undefined

My favorite bike shop was with me in spirit:

undefined

I am grateful to my hiking bud for inviting me.

Off-trail

To avoid the crowds returning to the trails, I tried bushwhacking a short distance today in a seldom visited area near no trailheads. I hadn’t done this in years. The negotiating and balancing make it surprisingly strenuous compared to on-trail. It makes me understand part of the reason wildlife is made up of such lean creatures.

.undefined

undefined

The sounds are nice too. While the video is nothing special, I like the sounds in it.

Same with this one:

Short after telework hike

I managed to get a short hike in this afternoon. It was a great opportunity to enjoy the fair weather, but also to see what my new hiking boots are really made of. I did a detour/scramble over a ridge, gaining an additional half inch of elevation approaching the pass, for spectacular views of and access to the east and south grass strips below, which also needed mowing. Today’s mileage, not counting the mower jamming on sticks and requiring backups, was 0.246 miles. It would have been a route of more mileage if the mower blades hadn’t been recently sharpened, as I had to re-cut none of the grass. My total elevation gain out-and-back was 1.0 inches (0.083 feet).

Woods, cars and bikes

Still just looking at backpacking equipment. Checking fuel cans’ weight. Seems I have everything to hike into national forest but permission. It’s odd; we don’t have much resembling authoritarian authority on these restrictions; we probably wouldn’t even be cited for breaking rules. But I’m home until this all “flattens”, as they’re saying. But I’m certainly thinking about the first places here I backpacked after the move. I’ll return there; there’s something sentimental about the places.

undefined

And of course this backpacking gear is the same that’s used for moto trips. I’m nicknaming this bike Emptybags. They need filled with simple food — baguette, coffee, oatmeal, nuts. That’s all I need to live on on these trips. And water. The rack will have the tent and sleeping bag. Emptybags for now, national forest for later.