October 7 (1977, 1981, 1985, 1987, 1988, 2001, 2004)
Weather, Changes, Seasonally, Globally

10/7/77 before dawn. i have been getting up a half-hour before dawn every day for days now; i moved my zapoteca blanket down onto the couch from my bed in the loft a couple of days ago, and with only a sheet and one thin army blanket the cold wakes me up in the last hours of the night. but i like seeing the beautiful blanket downstairs. i have finished the wall of the mandala window and begun the wall of the Big Window. it is so fine. I am on the most demanding section now, between the edge of the big window in the corner between walls 6 and 1: the pieces must be a compound angle for the corner, and a 60° for the window, and fit well at both ends because I will use no trim on the snow fencing walls. It goes slow ~ today I have covered perhaps thirty square feet.

I broke my brand-new $20 loppers yesterday cutting deerbrush over by where I imagine the outhouse will go. A little east of the cabin in a grove of oaks.

I've heard no geese for a few days now ~ I was hearing them daily for about a week. A distant storm brought strong south winds for the past two days, and clouds for a part of yesterday ~ perhaps when the wind is against them they rest somewhere.”

[Russell Towle's journal]


 [continuation from scanned journal page

“The great mysteries are the shifts and changes in these all-embracing patterns, of which the most dramatic is what we call the Ice Ages. Latitudinal drift of continental land account for some of the observed changes, but the Ice Age presents a great quandary.

Long considered to have begun about one million years ago, now three million seems a more likely figure. 3 million years is a small fraction of the Earth's age—1/1550—and one has to look way back to 200 million years ago—1/23.25 of the Earth's age—before one finds evidence of significant glaciation in the geologic record. The climatological record has been one of exceeding stability and evenness—shockingly disrupted by continent-spanning glaciers, which persists to this day in Greenland and Antarctica. We are still in the Ice Ages, which has been made up by many advances and retreats of the ice. This is a time of retreat. Times of retreat seemed to last five to fifty thousand years, or more. We're in the ten-thousandth year of this particular warm spell. Approximately. We can't tell how ‘heavy’ of a winter this will be, nor if another Ice Age looms ahead. It could become warmer and dryer. If the Greenland/Antarctica ice caps melted, the sea level would rise by about fifty feet. Perhaps more. Much of the Sacramento Valley would be below sea level.”

[Russell Towle's journal]

October 7, 1985

A rainy morning. The quickest weather change I've ever seen night-before-last—with the possible exception of the development of afternoon thunderstorms in the high Sierra—the night had been quite warm, I was sweating naked in bed at two in the morning, but around five-thirty I was awoken by strong winds and cool temperatures; when I rose, rain spotted the window; later yesterday, a torrential downpour happened; this after a week of the most delightful Indian Summer weather.


Around noon. Went out for a walk, the road up the ridge is eroding badly. [...] I worked on my roads and lit a fire in a stump hole in the meadow. That was exciting, in a mild sort of way, and fun to watch the flames down in the hole. I began gathering deer brush clippings from around the meadow, stuff I'd cut months ago, and burned them; while gathering the clippings, my eye caught a flash of gold and I reached down to find a gold pendant, with a heart outline and the Japanese symbol, pictogram or whatever, in the middle. It's probably Kelley's. I should give her a call, anyway—Jeannie gave me her new number in Reno. I looked for the chain, but no sign. Marked the spot.

Earlier, during my walk, I cleared the boulders out that were blocking the culvert near the tracks on Moody Ridge Rd., and opened up the debris plug in the upper end. It may flush out now. My good deed for the day.”

[Russell Towle's journal]

10/7/87   Afternoon. Perfect Indian Summer. I cleaned up my deck today and worked at trying to pry the Big Boulder at the Bad Curve in my driveway out of its deeply founded socket, to no avail.”

[Russell Towle's journal]

10/7/88   A cool and sunny morning, heating water for shaving, and about to launch forth upon a day to include putting in a stair railing at the Dutch Flat Hotel (a grand gala this weekend; the McClungs sponsored me to the $100/plate fund-raising dinner, on behalf of the Historical Society's drive to purchase the Hotel from Bob Pfister), and cutting, yes, more sandstone, parallel-sided hexagons, and so on, having endowed each of the large steps [a reference to the 30' diameter, split-level sandstone patio Russell was creating at Ed Stadum's] with parallel-sided elliptical polygons, of 12 and 16+1 sides, each elliptigon surrounded by parallel-sided hexagons, splaying out in directions based upon chords drawn between elliptical center and elliptigonal vertices, of inequal length but systematically so, shorter on the one side, longer on the other, marvelous flowers some four by six feet at present, the ellipses drawn with a pencil and piece of string and a toe holding one focus, a finger the other, the free hand guiding the pencil… a marvel, a marvel I tell you, of spontaneous craft.”

[Russell Towle's journal]

Date: Sun, 7 Oct 2001 15:39:19 -0800
To: Ed Stadum
From: Russell Towle
Subject: Re: Scheffauer Climb


Yesterday I led a bunch of people out to Wabena Point petroglyphs, at the Royal Gorge, also, up to Old Soda Springs to some more glyphs.

October scene in the N. Fk. Canyon, Snow Mtn. at right. 

New Damage to the Old Big Granite Trail
[North Fork Trails blogpost, October 7, 2004:
http://northforktrails.blogspot.com/2004/10/new-damage-to-old-big-granite-trail.html ]
Hi all, Tom Martin wrote,
Last Sunday, October 3, 2004, Tom Martin, Judy Martin, Leslie Gault, and Jimmy Green hiked from the trailhead on Huysink Lake Road to the Upper Big Granite Trail to the old logging road to the Cherry Point Trail to the Salmon Lake Trail and back to the trailhead.

We noticed that the road off of the Huysink Lake Road was freshly graded. First we thought that the loggers graded the road to the logging pad at the end of the road. We were wrong.

They graded past the road leading to the hunters' camp but quickly turned on the old logging trail just past the turnoff. They graded parallel to the road to the hunters' camp and continued grading parallel to the Upper Big Granite Trail for approximately one-third of the distance to the creek crossing. The grading was done so close to the trail that debris and rock covered this portion of the trail.

The middle third of the Upper Granite Trail to the creek crossing was completely destroyed. The remaining third of the Upper Granite Trail to the creek was untouched, but the logging equipment was still there. An old logging trail was part of the Upper Granite Trail from the other side of the creek to the old logging road. This trail was re-graded as a road again with big earth berms. The entire length of trail was hard to hike.

The US Forestry posted the Upper Granite Trail with a sign at the old logging road. I always thought that the US Forestry recognized this trail. Apparently, the US Forestry failed to identify this trail in the timber-harvesting plan. The loggers did stay approximately 100 feet away from the creek.
Another well established trail might become extinct due to logging.

The Big Granite Trail once began at Cisco Grove and, passing Huysink Lake at the very head of Big Valley, crossed into Little Granite Creek and dropped down and around east into Big Granite Creek, crossed, and dropped to the North Fork American not far downstream from New York Canyon. Following the construction of roads into Huysink Lake and Pelham Flat and Sugar Pine Point, parts of the Big Granite Trail became roads, and most of the old Sugar Pine Point Trail was utterly destroyed. The section of the Big Granite Trail, from the ridge making the Big Valley/Little Granite Creek divide, down to the crossing of Little Granite Creek, was almost ruined by logging, some twenty years ago or less.

Now it appears it has been further damaged.

Tahoe National Forest, I have heard, thinks of this section of private land, owned by Sierra Pacific Industries, as being "in the queue" of future land acquisitions. I'm afraid I mistakenly thought that SPI would hold off on further logging until the purchase could be made.

This is bad news.

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