December 19 (1981, 1986, 1988, 2000)
With Grace and Rhythm

12/9/81   Rainy morning... It's been quite a while since I've written anything. The fireplace was completed by the time the McClungs arrived for Thanksgiving week, thank God. Since then I haven't done a speck of work. But I have gone skiing ten times. [...] Alex and I went the last two days in a row, and I am so sore. The conditions were icy, with moguls on all the steeper runs. I was unable to ski the steeper runs, such as ‘prospector,’ the day before yesterday, but I practiced relentlessly for hours on the easier slopes, and it paid off. Yesterday I tackled Prospector with an attitude of ‘anything goes’ — snowplow, stem turns, parallel turns, and telemarks if I felt like it. And I did it! After a couple of runs during which I gradually gained confidence, I began to stick to telemarks. And though I never once telemarked down Prospecter without a couple of falls, I feel a tremendous sense of satisfaction. The easier slopes now I can telemark with grace and rhythm, and don't need to watch my skis so much.


I broke one of my ski poles on my very first run with Alex a couple of days ago. In the process I tweaked my right wrist. It's swollen now, but I think it's a sprain, not a break. I am stiff and sore all over, bruised etc. ... Must have fallen 100 times in two days.”

[Russell Towle's journal]

12/19/86   [...]

It has rained on and off for the past two days, and I burned two large piles atop the knoll today. Ideal conditions. Ah, 'tis late, I'm tired, to bed... ”

[Russell Towle's journal]

12/19/88   Snowy morning on Moody Ridge. [...]

I've been working too much, and feeling cramped by low funds, so what with the demon wind and one thing and another, I am moody, irritable. ”

[Russell Towle's journal]

Date: Tue, 19 Dec 2000 08:05:40 -0800
To: Eric Beckwitt
From: Russell Towle
Subject: Re: boundary meeting


>PS: How extensive was the logging on private lands S. of the river
>before they were acquired?

Various sections along the river were helicopter logged. I haven't seen all the sites, but those I have seen are unnoticeable from a distance and in particular, from the river or the American River Trail itself. At Italian Bar the helicopter logging brought a copter crash which then burned a largish patch of the canyon wall on Sawtooth Ridge.

Incidentally, there are some really nasty recent SPI clearcuts on steep ground in Section 35 west of Helester Point, Sawtooth Ridge, in the canyon of the North Fork of the North Fork. Looks like some kind of herbicide was used which suppressed stump sprouting by the black oaks.

Big Valley Bluff, December 19, 2000

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