It has been a busy week.
Last saturday was the fourth of this year’s radio events … the Headwaters UltraMarathon/Trail Runs.
This event tracks the folks through each station so locating anyone within a mile or two is fairly easy. Tracking is really important in this event since there is no way to use SAG wagons. It is all foot trails.
Tracking in most marathons, such as the Bay to Breakers in San Francisco or the Boston Marathon or many others, isn’t necessary since they run through civilized areas. But the Headwaters is through beautiful, but fairly wild, back country. In spite of the route and because of intensive tracking, it may be safer for participants here.
Last year I had been at the first station where both the 50K runners and the 10Kers go through. It was rather hectic, but didn’t last too long. Fortunately I had a helper who called out runner numbers for me.
The route of the 10K was changed this year so it didn’t overlap the 50K while those runners were on the course.
There were about 100 participants this year. I worked as recorder in tandem with net control, responsible for keeping the overall records. It was a bit stressful due to the responsibility, but well worth it. No one got lost and the final runner was never out of our “sight”.
Four radio service events down … two (or possibly three) to go.
Sunday we spent the day visiting with a nephew. Eric is the older of George’s sister Sally’s sons. We last saw him a couple of years ago, so it was a nice (but too short) visit.
He arrived saturday night and spent sunday discussing the Dibelka family involvement in WW I with George. George’s Dad had been a Lieutenant with the 33rd Division of the 129th Infantry (an Illinois unit). I don’t have Pop’s military records since they were lost in a fire, but I do have a history of his division so we have a pretty good idea of what he did in the Great War and plenty of reasons why he came home changed.
George had heard a couple of stories, which I had not heard until he shared with Eric, such as the one about the officer responsible for calling the artillery targets during one of the offenses. As the shelling continued, the shots kept landing closer and closer to the allied lines. When the shells started landing much much too close to the trenches, someone shot the artillery officer. The shooting was never called to question or explained, but the general agreement was that he must have been an enemy supporter or a spy.
Next report in re the cruise is the time in Tracy Arm Fjord … what a trip.
The adventure began with “crossing the bar” between the bay and the fjord. The water there is less than 80 or 90 feet deep. The ship slowed to a crawl and a pilot came on board. As it turns out, the ship draws less than 30 feet so things weren’t as iffy as it seemed.
And the water courses were captivating. I kept thinking about what George could do with that kind of flow and fall.
At the inland end, the fjord divides into a north and a south branch with a glacier at the end of each. Our ship went down the south branch.
A lot of people on the ship had paid about $200 each to take smaller boats closer to the glacier face. But the waterway was so open the big ship was able to get quite close with plenty of room to turn around (and that’s an experience what with backing and pushing the stern in one direction or the other in order to swing the ship around).
The comedians on board had a ball with the small boat goers at the evening shows . They had some choice bits about folks who paid big money to get about 200′ closer to the glacier than those of us who stayed on board.
The area near the glacier was filled with what are called “growlers”. Those are small icebergs which make a sound like a growl when they scrape along the side of the ship.
There are no big mammals in the fjord waters, but we did see some seals.
And seeing the process of reforestation along the fjord sides was interesting. As a glacier retreats the first vegetation to develop are lichen, then small bushes appear, and finally the evergreen forests. All of that was easily seen as we traversed the fjord.
Next week … the Skaguay report.
On to the eye report … monday morning we spent almost two hours going through a series of tests of George’s eyes … having pictures taken and exams done. He has macular degeneration in both eyes, but the right one is the dangerous one … so far.
During one exam, the doctor asked if he had been a premmie. I don’t know what the connection is. I’ll either research it on line, or ask the doctor when we see him next.
The upshot, after all the tests, photos, and exams, was that his right eye will most likely respond to the new treatment (the doctor said he was “extremely assured”). It is not a cure, rather it is a delaying action giving George a few more years of sight. So the last couple of minutes (even seconds) were spent having the doctor put a needle in his eye and injecting the “healing glue”.
There have been no bad side effects. George seems to have a high pain tolerance and is having minimal irritation.
There will be a series of treatments. Our next appointment is 10/10 at 10. How’s that for a “one-armed” result?
Last week there was a discussion at the radio club concerning how meetings should be conducted … informal vs. Robert’s Rules.
I had told them, when they nominated me as President, that Robert’s was the only way I know to conduct a meeting. Then last month I received some emails with statements contrary to that “style”, criticizing the agenda and stating all the members really wanted an informal meeting.
That sort of hit me. If true, I needed to resign and let someone else take over.
So before calling the meeting to order, I asked the members which style they really wanted. There was very little discussion. The “vote” was unanimous. I am still President.
It had been a win-win situation since if they chose “structured”, I stayed as President … and if not, I had more time for spinning etc.
Speaking of spinning … I finished spinning the Sitka RavenFrog fiber and have it almost completely 3-plied. It is beautiful and will make a great shawl.
The rest of the fiber I net-ordered from Skagway (Skaguay – more about that next week) arrived monday.
And on monday I stopped by Webster’s on the way home from the retinologist and got eight ounces of fiber to spin for Spinzilla in October. It is BlueFaced Leister and silk. I’ve never spun Leister before, but Chris (from Webster’s) assures me it’s a dream … and the little bit I fingerspun at the shop supports that. I’ll get it all drafted and ready to spin before Spinzilla begins so I can spin spin spin without interruption.
The fires around us are still resisting being controlled. We’ve been having smoke haze most days. In fact, it was so bad the end of last week that one of our radio folks had to cancel her participation in the Headwaters event because of her lung situation.
The worst is when the wind is from the west. The fires out by Happy Camp are the nastiest.
There was a serendipitous event as a result of the cruise. I was unpacking my suitcase to clean it and repack the travel essentials when I found a tintype of my grandfather which I had been given the last time I used the suitcase. That had been the trip to visit my mother’s cousin in Alameda over a year ago. The tintype had gotten lodged in one of the pockets and as I cleaned … there it was.
In it, Grandpa Curtzwiler is about 20-years-old with his hat at a very jaunty angle.
I had forgotten it, so finding it was a blessing.
Just finished reading a Nevada Barr mystery. She sets her stories in National Parks. This one was in Big Bend on the Rio Grande.
I knew where she was going by about page 40, but the fun was in watching how she dealt with the tale in order to reach the end. No real surprises, but a fun, easy read.
Next? A return to history.
”Some days fly by, others seem to take forever, but each day is special.”
Mine have been flying by. Hope you are enjoying yours.
So … ’til next week …