November 21 (1977, 1978, 1986, 2000)
Local Lahar and Canyon Live Oaks

11/21/77   monday, around dawn. six inches of very wet snow is melting fast under a light rain. i awoke to the soft clicking of snow against my sleeping loft window, but it turned to rain soon thereafter. i can see snow on the canyon walls down to about 3000' elev.… have to keep the stove cranked up pretty high to keep this place warm in this kind of weather—the strong south winds force their way inside the cabin through cracks between the blocking in the roof, etc.… the sleeping loft is drafty. i should start paneling it with the snow fencing soon. do some caulking.

thoughts chase through my mind about [several people], et. al. i stare at the snow-melt dripping from the roof, and wonder if days on end of this, alone at home, will drive me crazy. the paranoid twist. i stare at water dripping off the roof and wonder if it will saturate the ground around the perimeter of the cabin, causing the load-bearing boulders to sink into the mire: the paranoid twist. but true, that days on end alone in the rain and snow could be boring and tiresome, and it's true that it would be better, as far as the load-bearing boulders are concerned, to move the water somehow away from the cabin altogether. perhaps to a small, rock-lined pool nearby that is still only a dream.

raindrops cling tightly to the big window, less on the kitchen windows, and still less on the mandala. just as i had hoped. the big window, being fixed in place (un-openable) is far better suited to withstanding a direct barrage of rain. the mandala window, although fixed also, is constructed relatively loosely and there are numerous joints for water to search out, and perhaps penetrate. but so far it has been only lightly sprinkled. the door and the old round-top window from wren shack don't seem to get rained on at all, or very little.

i am contemplating a walk down to the green valley trail. have to put my long johns on if i do. strong winds.

~ just returned from a visit to the meadow. i could see that the snow went all the way to the bottom of the canyon—1800' elevation—but the storm has warmed since last night. up in the meadow a few gusts of slushy rain told me that it's probably snowing up in blue canyon, a thousand feet or so higher in elev. wish i had a thermometer.

~ night. the storm howls on ~ a steady thunder of wind in the trees and leaks have appeared! around portions of the base of the big window and the mandala.


i keep on hoping that it will snow again. most of what fell last night is gone. snow heavily until 9 in the morning or so, yeah, that would be nice. about a foot of dry snow, no, wet snow, would be great.”

[Russell Towle's journal]

11/21/78   early morning, before dawn, black as black and raining. [...]

[Russell Towle's journal]

11/21/86   Friday, at any rate; a bit of real rain last night, now fog swirls through the canyon, all gold and blue and white and grey.”

[Russell Towle's journal]

Field Notes, November 21, 2000:

“Some pictures from around the Mehrten Mudflow Cliffs northeast spur of Moody Ridge. Dave Lawler and Lucky. Cloudy day. Gnarled live oaks.”

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