Wouldn’t you know, a T&S gig at the height of monsoon.

That means twice a day up and across the plateau, then up T&S’s mesa. By whatever means necessary, because the animals don’t have a Plan B.

I decided to see what condition the wash crossings and the dirt road were in, because I already knew from this morning’s wanderings that the crossing near Landlady’s place was mildly washed out. I didn’t even make it off my own ridge: I hit a patch of quicksand on the dirt road that I just barely managed to back the Jeep out of in 4-wheel.


I could have gone around it easily enough but there was no point: The ridgetops are the easy part so I already knew everything I needed to know about the 6.5-mile long-way-around: It wasn’t passible.

Having assumed that would be the case, I had already put my best shovel in the back of the Jeep. I went to Landlady’s crossing and spent a few minutes moving some easy sand to ramp a 2-foot washout, then I took the short bumpy way to T&S’s.


Fed the horse, then headed for the house…


…and that’s when I got a very unpleasant surprise. T&S’s narrow and extremely steep driveway was a maze of washouts. It hadn’t been in great shape on Friday afternoon: Saturday morning it was effectively impassible. And that meant…


Oh, bother.


The things I do for neighbors. And also money.

This stairway was built by a sadist for a masochist but if your legs are in good shape and you’re acclimated to the altitude it really doesn’t take long. I’ve lived here fifteen years and my leg was built in early 2020 – plus by midsummer I’ve long since gotten in better cardio shape after the long winter sit. Still…


Every time I climb this thing I imagine being met by a bald guy in a saffron robe, offering tea and enlightenment.

I do it happily, because T&S’s dogs are absolute sweethearts…


…who are brokenhearted when their people go away…


…and also because I’m being paid.

But I worried all afternoon: What if that last crossing washes out past the Jeep’s ability to navigate it? I have to get to T&S’s at least once a day: I’m contracted for twice a day but the Monsoon is certain to make that impossible at least once or twice over the next eight days. I sent some texts, checked a couple of possible alternatives, and nothing panned out. So after this afternoon’s very hurried (the storm cells came early) visit up the mesa, instead of driving home I parked the Jeep at Landlady’s place.


Because there are exactly zero wash crossings between Landlady’s place and T&S’s. 🙂 I promised I’d get it done, and I will by god get it done.

And then I walked home and beat the rain by exactly zero minutes. And now it’s pounding down on the roof and the ditches are flowing at over capacity.

About Joel

You shouldn't ask these questions of a paranoid recluse, you know.
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7 Responses to Wouldn’t you know, a T&S gig at the height of monsoon.

  1. Mike says:

    Sweet mother of Gawd Joel, did somebody wish for you guys to live in interesting times?

  2. Judy says:

    I swear, it wasn’t me! Although, it being cooler is not without its charms. Probably some poor beleaguered firefighter, since half the state is/was on fire.

  3. Beans says:

    You need to get Ian to buy you all a halftrack or something.

    I think they could use your area for testing Mars buggies.

  4. doubletrouble says:

    That first doggie has the Tobie ‘sad face’!
    Yer a good man for honoring your pledge to these people- literally come hell or high water.
    Good luck Joel…

  5. Terrapod says:

    Hmm. Wonder if the electric bike can get you from Chateau Hermit to Landlady’s place? That would save a bit of wear and tear on ye olde legg.

  6. winston smith says:

    Rokon.com

    Pricey when new, but they climb trees AND swim. (essentially)

  7. jabrwok says:

    You need a hovercraft. Unfortunately they look to be a little pricey: https://www.hoverstream.com/hovercraft/snapper-ii/

To the stake with the heretic!