July 23 (1976, 1978, 1987, 1996)

7/23/76 ~ awoke an hour before dawn with raindrops splashing on my face. the rain stopped in a little while—the ground isn't even wet—but i was awake so i made my coffee and now sit on my rock perch looking out over the beautiful cloudy sky. the clouds hold the sound in and i can definitely hear the louder freeway sounds now. too bad. it would be nice if at least part of my land were exempt from freeway noise. a south wind isn't enough to keep it away when the clouds hold it down.

rock wrens and nuthatches speak.

[...] we went over to neil's and hung out for a while. neil had been talking of going up to castle peak soon, when his car got fixed. that started me thinking that i'd like to get up into the high country soon. so i suggested we go up to grouse ridge lookout for the sunset. the idea was well received [...] and we four got together and trucked on up to grouse ridge, rattle-banging along, and got a fine view of the high country from lassen and the sierra buttes down to the crystal range. just before sunset the coast ranges were silhouetted; straight down the south yuba canyon the marysville buttes rose faintly out of the haze. and a spectacular sunset: the clouds were moving in even then. such colors.

broke the starter rope on tim's chainsaw day before yesterday and tried to put it right yesterday morning but no go. so i'll try again today. i need to get moving on the cabin soon. i'm almost sure of where i will build. what exactly i don't know.”

[Russell Towle's journal]

7/23/78 dawn. the weather has been very hot, and temperatures have reached the 90s here at my cabin for the first time this summer.”

[Russell Towle's journal]

7/23/87 [...]

Having reviewed my bird book, my Peterson, I'm unsure whether that was a Lewis I saw (and heard) yesterday.”

[Russell Towle's journal]

July 23, 1996

Evening. We, that is Gay, Janet, Greg, and I, just returned from a few days down at Reds Meadow, near Mammoth, camping and hiking. The occasion: Greg’s 5th birthday.

Today I have been struggling to get the fractions into my PageMaker 5.0 Coffin diary files. Although the equations are stored within the files and need no external links, I am getting “bad record index” messages all the time and cannot print. It’s a huge hassle and may not be over yet. I haven’t the faintest idea why this occurs, and if it persists, I may have to install an older version of PageMaker on this computer and reassemble all the files.

The trip was fun, we joined Gay’s mother Robin and her friend Kelsa at the campground. Janet and Greg found lots of other kids to play with. We visited Rainbow Falls, the Devils Postpile, Sotcher Lake, and discovered a cement tub in the meadow with its own little warm spring, where Janet had tremendous fun every day. She had been irritated with the birds around here, eating all the thimbleberries, and said they were stupid, they had no brains. So I conjured a character called Bird With No Brain, and invented a number of short stories. Bird With No Brain would say, “Duh! Look at that mountain lion over there. I think it wants to play with me!” Then, “Chomp!” This delighted Janet and Greg and of course we had to retell the whole scheme to the kids at the campground, with great success, to the point I began to wonder if this Bird With No Brain might not be something commercial.

On the way home we stopped at Mono Lake, where Janet and I swam, to our regret, since the salty water stung our various scratches, and left a soapy salty film on our skin. Then we stopped again at Lake Tahoe, where the kids had a wonderful time. Greg and I explored labyrinthine passages among huge granite boulders.”

[Russell Towle's journal]

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