December 18 (1977, 1978, 1985, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006)
“Slinky, carving, fast, smooth” ~ Maori Drill Sergeants

12/18/77   [This continues from 12/17/77 entry]
and mvp ‘B’ cross the channel near moody ridge road. There also is an anomalous layer of pvp ‘B’ below and to the west of this mvp ‘AB’ band. Hmmm. Some definitions are in order. Very well, beginning with the older and moving to the youngest:

1. Serpentine, abbreviated UB (uitrabasic)”

[Russell Towle's journal]

12/18/78    snow.

i am reading anaïs nin's lectures. very interesting. i feel a sense of recognition, of here's a person who has struck the same perceptual balance as me; i feel a congruence of ideas that excites me, confirms my thinking on hope and despair and the Path and relationships. without a hint of cultism or neurotic separatism. (this is the way.) (not to say that ‘neurotic separatism’ hasn't had a valid evolutionary purpose & survival value) (but isn't it becoming archaic? life gets better every day)

life does seem quite nice at the moment. feeling good about myself.

a rare version of beethoven's ninth on the radio. the possibility of hydroelectric power generation seems quite within reach, although perhaps not as cost-efficient as a gasoline generator would be. a little pelton wheel down the cliff? i'd sure like to see fred richardson.

rain streaks the big window: it's a somber, messy world out there. snow down to 3000' but too warm now.”

[Russell Towle's journal]

December 18, 1985

Soon after 8:00 A.M. […] Yesterday I went to Sugar Bowl and got comped by Rich. Fantastic skiing on cold snow with ice and moguls. Windy; easterlies howl over the summit of Lincoln; towards the end of the day, skiing on Mt. Disney, the wind actually carved the loose snow from the moguls and spread it out over the ice in between, so that I made fresh tracks down the mountain on each run. Good telemarking. Skied fast and smooth, fast and smooth, carving, slinky, skidding into mogul tops only problem, the only solution: ski faster, ski the fall line and not the contour line, slinky, carving, fast, smooth…

[Russell Towle's journal]

Date: Mon, 18 Dec 2000 22:33:32 -0800
To: Eric_Beckwitt
From: Russell Towle
Subject: boundary meeting

Hi Eric,

The boundary meeting at Auburn library went well enough, I guess. Jim Eaton was there to suggest that a larger more inclusive initial boundary was a better strategy, and to cite instances of checkerboard lands and roads and logged areas which have in the past become included in wilderness areas.

On the other hand, John Moore and Eric Gerstung were there, to show timber harvest plans for the SPI lands within the RARE II boundaries, most involving helicopter logging, a few, tractor logging. John suggested that the wiser course would be to define a boundary which included the Forest Service lands south of the river, together with the various sections along the river itself which either were already Forest Service, or have been recently acquired by the FS, or are about to be acquired. John suggested that not only would SPI oppose wilderness designation but that they would refuse to sell their inholdings and would continue their program of timber harvests despite wilderness designation.

I seconded Jim Eaton's ideas, and expressed my strong desire to see Snow Mountain and as much of Big Granite Canyon as possible, to be included, as well as Loch Leven Lakes, portions of Big Valley, and Big Valley Bluff. I have been trying to hold to the 1978 RARE II boundary as much as possible. One area which I had to concede defeat on is Section 5 east of Devils Peak, and Section 9 (tractor logging). South of these two Section 17 has had tractor logging in its north half and this north half likely should be excluded. Cedars lands near and east of Heath Springs must also be excluded.

The meeting did not conclude with an actual drawing of boundaries, but we seemed to come to an agreement that we would make the thing as large as could be, subject to the exclusion of the above-named sections.

Motorcycles on Stevens Trail
[North Fork Trails blogpost, December 18, 2003 ]
Mike Powell sent this about motorcycles on the Stevens Trail:

Hi Russell,

Please pass this on to the keepers of the Stevens Trail as you see

Last Saturday I decided to solo hike for a few hours mid afternoon on
the Stevens trail. (Note the parking lot had two cars parked when I
arrived. The weather was a bit rainy.)

As I approached the section of the trail which connects to the multiple
use roads, I encounter two guys riding their dirt bikes up the
non-motorized section of the trail toward the trail head.

I stood in the middle of the trail and motioned them to stop which they
did. I proceeded politely explain that they were on a posted
non-motorized historic trail and provide additional detail about the
section of trail which crosses BLM multiple use area. I also told them
the trail section which leaves the road and drops down to the river is
non-motorized as well. They were polite as well and claimed to have
missed the trail signs which clearly state the trail is designated for
non-motorized use. They turned around and took off and I assumed they

As I left the road section and started down the train toward the river,
I noticed that someone has removed the signage which depicts the trail
for non-motorized use and I also noticed two sets of fresh motorcycle
tracks heading down the I approached the fork in the trail
which splits to an upper and lower trail across the creek, I noticed the
tracks led down the trail recommended for bicycles and then back out
where the motorcyclist then took the upper trail. I decided to walk the
upper trail in hopes of having another discussion about their use of
motorcycles on a trail which is clearly marked at the fork. Already
small dirt sections of the trail were being chewed up by spinning

As I was not carrying my pistol this trip and before the second
confrontation, I took out my cell phone turned it on and checked and
verified cell coverage incase a call to 911 was needed. I also took out
my collapsible hike poles and extended both poles to full length...

Before long I heard the distinct sounds of 2cycle engines revving and
getting closer. The dirt bikers had reached the steep section of steps
on the upper trail and had turned back.

Again I stood my ground in the middle of the trail and decided my verbal
and physical demeanor would be that of crazed and red-faced bulging-eyed
Maori drill sergeant. The exchanges started to get a little heated but
at some point they must have figured that not only was I right but I was
really crazy so they piped down said they were sorry...I stepped aside
and let them pass and continued with my walk...

Since I used to ride a dirt bike years ago I can fully understand how
you can miss a trail sign when you are going 20-40 MPM in an area where
you are not familiar or have taken the time to know where OHV uses is
permitted or not. I believe the Stevens trail signs with the
non-motorized indicators are at best minimal and could be improved. I am
a welder and will be happy volunteer material and time to create some
heavy-duty steel and destruction-resistant signs that could be used to
clearly designate the trail as non-motorized.


Mike Powell

Well, this list includes the BLM people at Folsom. Better signage sounds like a good thing. And more Maori drill sergeants.

Thanks Mike!

Air & Light & Music & Color & Shadows
December 18, 2006

Date: Sun Dec 18 07:08:57 2005
To: Ron Gould, Catherine_O‘Riley
From: Russell Towle
Subject: Re: sunrise
X-Attachments: :Macintosh HD :18:Eagle_Puke_Moon_1506.JPG
Hey caught a nice view of the moon rising last week, see attached.

The moon itself is over the little "false" point one often hits when trying to drop down from the canyon rim to the Pinnacles. I think that's where you and Peggy hiked down to when you took those photos.

So far as the HOUT we did a bang-up job on getting the slash under control and out of view. Mainly Catherine and Kelly worked the slash. I spent a lot of time trying to improve the route across that talus slide just a couple hundred yards west of Big West Gully. It will be interesting to see how things look this spring. There is a little bit more saw work way in there—near that same talus slide, some bay laurels, and then out on Big West Spur itself, just a patch of brush sitting right on the trail.

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