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More About Happy Camp

Happy Camp, California

June 10, 2021

(AAll references to “today” should now be “yesterday.”)

I had a wonderful conversation this morning with two ladies working at the Happy Camp library. I learned more about Happy Camp. Last year, the town lost 150 homes to a wildfire started by a down power line. In a town if 1,000 people, that’s a huge loss. Some folks hope to stay, others have moved on. Rebuilding is caught up in governmental red tape. That must be terribly frustrating.

Logging was the big business in town until a couple of mills closed in the 1980s/1970s. There is still some logging but no where near what it was. The National Forest field office in town used to have a staff of approximately 150; now it is down to under 30.

The logging versus environmentalist movement plays out for real in this area. It seems to me that nature used to take care of thinning out forests through fire. But with our encroaching into the forests, we can’t have uncontrolled natural fires. To manage the risk, we need to thin out the forests. That would seem to be a win-win for everyone. Which means I am missing something.

As we talked, I said I hope my description of Happy Camp in today’s post was not harsh. The physical plant of Happy Camp is worn, but it is clear the citizens have a great deal of pride in their town.

After our conversation, I realize I need to revisit my perspective. My hometown had its share of affluence surrounded by a mostly middle class majority. There was the “poor part of town,” (which in the South meant - well, you know) but I was unaware of it in my youth. I never thought about it or the folks who lived there. Mine was a white-bread world where I had everything I needed and a good deal of what I wanted. I didn’t go to public school — I went to either a private or Catholic school. I learned to play tennis and golf. There was no question I was going to college - the assumption was I would go out of state.

My hometown formed the basis for how I view communities. And since then I have lived places that only reinforced that perspective. I never thought of my position of being one of prosperity and privileged but perhaps it was - and is.

So that is where I am coming from when I comment on a town’s physical appearance. I’m in no way judging anyone. Perhaps if I were more deft with the English language, I could do a better job of describing places. Until then, I’m likely to continue tripping my own two feet.


Today has quiet. I worked on my blog for three hours this morning. I decided to take the rest of the day off and came back to my campsite. Salad for lunch. A couple of kids came by to investigate my bike; one said he thought I was 82 years old. There goes my thought that I’m staying young. It rained — sprinkled is a better word — I haven’t seen rain for a long time. Monterey maybe? Salad for dinner - perhaps a banana for dessert? This cool weather (it is 59 degrees at 5:00 PDT) is great for sleeping, sleep apnea or not.

Keeping Hi Ho Silver organized is a daily challenge. I’m lightyears ahead of where I was in October 2019. The stumbling block is the passenger side. It’s where I keep my essentials (e.g., cameras, snacks, box of documents (wallet, passport, etc.)). I may just have to accept that at the end of each day, that area is going to require five minutes of organizing.

I surprise myself by how long I can make one set of clothes last. I’d embarrass myself if I wrote how long - but it is days. My hair is so long I just have to run my fingers through it in the morning to give it some shape. Probably need to shave — 3 to 4 days and it starts itching.

Having written about my hygiene, perhaps that’s why the kid thought I am 82?

Mosiquitos are paying me a visit. I guess I have been lucky not to have to deal with them. I’m guessing they are not by the ocean due to the wind.

Time to do my push-ups.

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