October 23 (1975, 1978, 1988, 2003)
“Time is running out on me...”

10/23/75   [...]

a beautiful, cold, clear morning. i suppose i'll go back out to canyonland today and try to clear the rest of the road. i have a feeling that all this work this fall may be for naught, that time is running out on me for building a cabin, a cabañita. there is a good deal of site preparation involved out at cabañita ~ some stone retaining walls to be built, then a quantity of earth to move ~ before i can even begin setting piers. and actually there is considerable work on the trail necessary before materials can be carried in. and i can't see how the actual construction and weather-sealing can take less than two weeks. and even if i could get a cabañita built ~ how will it be living a mile or more from a passable road? twenty-five miles from the nearest friends? well, i would have plenty of time to write, that's for sure. and play guitar. […] i love that land out there ~ but i am afraid of becoming even more of a hermit than i already am. these considerations weigh on my mind ~ but i must remember that by building a cabin out there i am not constrained to live out there, that in any case i would like to have a cabin there, and really don't have much else going at the moment besides that.

the transcription of vision ~ beset with difficulties. as though the vision-place from which i must retrieve my songs is an island mystical: i row away with my cargo of precious jewels, only to find upon returning a boat full of frogs.”

[Russell Towle's journal]

10/23/78 before dawn. up very early this morning, the moon on the verge of fourth quarter, jupiter nearby. orion and taurus resplendent. […]

moved a giant rock over next to the big bow oak so i can sit and gaze across the canyon to giant gap ridge and ravine.”

[Russell Towle's journal]

10/23/88 Sunday morning. Another glorious, sunny, Indian Summer kind of day. I am plagued with a peculiar pain, associated with my neck and left shoulder. [...]

It is the season of the large pine bugs, who slither somehow into the cabin and then hike around jerkily until they die. I call them “pine” bugs because they have a sharp odor which reminds one of pine aromas. Turpentine.”

[Russell Towle's journal]

Western Conifer Seed Bug
(Leptoglossus occidentalis)

Video clip by Russ, October 2004:

More about the Western Conifer Seed Bug:

Date: Thu, 23 Oct 2003 07:34:15 -0800
To: North_Fork_Trails
From: Russell Towle
Subject: NFARA Meeting

Hi all,

Tuesday night we had a meeting of the North Fork American River Alliance (NFARA) in Dutch Flat. Jeff Horn of the Folsom BLM office was our guest speaker. Once again our President, Jim Ricker, got the word out and we had good attendance, with perhaps twenty-five people perching on folding chairs in the fine old schoolhouse built 105 years ago.

Jeff brought his laptop and a video projector and showed some pictures taken up and down the North Fork. He explained that when the North Fork American was designated a Wild & Scenic River in 1978, Tahoe National Forest became the responsible agency for everything east of the TNF boundary in Green Valley, while BLM was entrusted with everything to the west.

Thus the BLM manages the W&SR from Green Valley down to a point 1000' upstream from the Colfax/Iowa Hill bridge. Beginning in the 1980s, the BLM began efforts to acquire private inholdings along this reach of the North Fork. Patented mining claims, as at Pickering Bar and the Truro Mine, along with chunks of old railroad land, have been acquired, so that the river itself is now almost entirely in public ownership. However, work remains to be done, for instance, in Green Valley and the Gold Run Diggings.

At Gold Run Congress had created a special northward addition to the W&SR corridor. Here BLM lands already comprise most of the southernmost part of the Diggings. However, a number of privately-owned parcels are within this special Addition, including the old Canyon Creek Placer Mine, which runs down Canyon Creek to the North Fork itself. These parcels form part of 800 acres now for sale in the Diggings. I hope BLM can find a way to purchase these Gold Run parcels.

Jeff also described the BLM's efforts to clean up the North Fork. Tons of garbage have been hauled out over the years.

After his presentation, Jeff took questions. There was some discussion of Supervisor Rex Bloomfield's proposed Capital-to-Capital Trail, which initially was planned to follow directly up the North Fork itself. One member of the audience kept on hammering away at this issue, simply because he mistakenly thought that the NFARA supports such a trail, whereas in fact we oppose it. It took a while to straighten that out. NFARA would support a canyon-rim alignment for the C-to-C Trail, but we strongly oppose the river-level alignment.

It was a very good meeting and we thank Jeff Horn for taking the time to drive all the way up here. The BLM has done some fine work along the North Fork.

Our next meeting is scheduled for November 18, 7:00 P.M., Dutch Flat Community Club, the agenda, to pursue work on the nitty-gritty details of non-profit incorporation, etc. etc.


Russell Towle

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