This should be the last day up the mesa.

Went up there yesterday afternoon without Little Bear – which he resented – because I needed one more marathon plant-watering session and that’s too long for him to stay in the Jeep when it’s hot.

LB wishes to place it on record that he disputes this finding.

Anyway I got the greenhouse Monday evening but didn’t water anything else because the soil was still moist. Yesterday things were drying out, and it might rain or it might not but I wasn’t getting paid to find excuses not to water plants. So I did the garden and the courtyard, which is time-consuming with lots of back and forth. Two of the three dogs have by now decided that I must be okay since I bring food, and besides I’m the only human they see, so they’ve turned into obstructive love sponges. The third dog is still Waiting for Vizzini, hiding under the deck and barking whenever I approach. That one is unfriendly to a bitey degree, so I just make sure he has food and water and check to see if he’s still barking.

In addition to the plants there was also some heavy bucket back-and-forth for the horses. There’s a hose that’s supposed to be able to slowly fill the trough from the water tank, but yesterday it refused to run. Fortunately there was still lots of rain barrel water. Unfortunately the only way to get it from one place to another was with a lot of back-and-forth trudging. In the middle of that one of the horses decided to eliminate the middleman and drink right out of the bucket. Considering the condition of the trough water I couldn’t in good conscience refuse. He was good natured about it, but it did slow things down. More. So all in all (sorry, LB) I still think I made the right choice about canine companionship.

It rained a good soaky rain here last night at 10, but that doesn’t mean it rained at all there. Guess I’ll know when I get there. I was getting paid to do it, so even if rain made my efforts moot I regret nothing.

With the start of Monsoon there’s a lot of new misty moisture in the air, which made the various layers of mountains visible. From the top of the mesa driveway I could look out over my stomping grounds, which from here seemed a long way away even though it’s only about five minutes drive directly or 15-20 going around the bumpy bits.

Unfortunately all I had with me was the Tracfonecam…

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It’s a really lousy picture, but play along. The camera is on top of one of a line of mesas on the east side of a big plateau. That irregular dark line near the horizon is the ridgeline marking the west side of the plateau. The ground falls out from the other side in a series of cliffs that form the eastern edge of the valley which is my proper stomping ground. The horizon is the ridge on the other side of the valley, about that far again away. The Lair is in a hollow down in that valley, somewhat protected from wind and lightning. Personally I understand why people insist on building houses on the heights, the view is great, but I don’t really agree it’s the most practical choice.

About Joel

You shouldn't ask these questions of a paranoid recluse, you know.
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9 Responses to This should be the last day up the mesa.

  1. Kentucky says:

    I note that “rock guy” has been at work there.

  2. Norman says:

    Kentucky sorta beat me to it. Whomever that is really likes stacking rocks, doesn’t he?

    RE: water budgets & trudging. Any way to rig some sort of pump & hose arrangement? Short term task, it’s not worth the effort, but are there any water moving tasks which might benefit from a cheap pump/hose setup?

  3. Joel says:

    Oh, sure. In fact there might still be one squirreled away in Ian’s powershed. When there were more people at Landlady’s place we used to ferry drinking water to the gulch in barrels. We had a fairly cheap pump-and-hose arrangement for transferring it to 3- and 5-gallon jugs. Worked great.

  4. MamaLiberty says:

    I do understand the compulsion to build/live on high ground. The house I bought here is on top of a hill, and the surrounding view is magnificent. There are some serious negatives about it, of course, but most of them can be endured, if not countered. The wind beats up all the vegetation and makes trees grow funny… but then, I knew that to start with.

    Beautiful picture, Joel. How do you transfer it from a tracfone to the computer? Mine has no ‘port’ except to plug in the charger.

  5. Zelda says:

    That rock edge is beautiful. Would it really serve as a protective barrier to a vehicle or is it just decoration? How long has Rock Guy been building at that location?

  6. Joel says:

    Any time I take a picture with the Tracfone I have to email it to myself. You can send a picture to an email address just as easily as to another phone.

    This guy’s been here for over fifteen years, and is a compulsive worker. The rock wall is the least remarkable thing about the driveway – he dug it out of the mountain like a bunch of coolies making a road to Burma – except he was the whole bunch. It’s one of the first stories neighbors will tell when you move here; we use him to frighten newbies.

    He established himself in a barn on the flat, then dug the driveway – by hand and mattock, which took years – then started on this art house which has only been complete a couple of years. He sunk everything in structure without much thought to infrastructure – the water system is a constant trial, he lost two wind generators to lightning before giving up, his battery bank is no bigger than mine – and as you have seen he does just seem to enjoy stacking stone.

    What he’s built is beautiful and I never get sick of visiting – but I have to admit that even with better work ethic than I have I wouldn’t be tempted to emulate much that he’s done. But that’s freedom: On low budgets he did things his way, I did them mine.

  7. Jean says:

    To Mama Liberty: I use bluetooth to transfer my pictures from my tracfone to my laptop. I am running linux mint on the laptop. After the initial cursing and threatening the two devices with the trap machine, they just started working. That’s my only explanation.

  8. MamaLiberty says:

    Have to see if I can find someone show me how that works. I don’t have a clue. Only carry the phone for emergencies and don’t use it as an actual telephone because I’m too deaf (even with hearing aids) to understand anything a caller might say. Just noise to me. But I would like to learn how to upload pictures to my computer because I might wind up taking some in an emergency and need to let others see them. I’ve even had situations already where that would have been good, but couldn’t do anything much with them.

  9. Joel says:

    ML, try this: add yourself to your phone’s contact list. You should see a box for an email address: type yours in that box – leave the phone number box empty – and then save the contact. Take a picture, select Send Picture, and select yourself as the contact. The picture should appear at your computer as an incoming email.

To the stake with the heretic!