Summer 2015 Newsletter

Summer 2015 Newsletter

reflection North Fork of Middle Fork
reflection North Fork of Middle Fork

I got in two good backpacks this summer, walking the American Discovery Trail from the Truckee River nearly to Auburn. The trail, largely but not entirely coincident with the Western States / Tevis Cup trail, climbs through Squaw Valley to the Sierra crest near Granite Chief, then descends along ridges and through canyons of the Middle Fork of the American River. Though some of the trail is along roads, some is also in remarkably rugged and remote backcountry.

The second backpack was in the Granite Chief Wilderness, mostly to do trail maintenance along the Pacific Crest Trail. The ridge route has become brushed in again in several places, and I was able to clear about 150 feet of the worst, though that leaves quite a bit left to do. Several days into the trip I was going down to the springs in the North Fork Blackwood Creek to resupply with water, when I stepped on a sharp rock on the outside edge of my right foot, and experienced a great deal of pain. I walked out, slowly, and headed home, and when it did not feel OK after two days of rest, went in to get it x-rayed. My fifth metatarsal was fractured, and that ended my backpacking for a while. I have been trying a lighter weight hiking shoe, and mostly enjoyed the efficiency, but have to now admit to myself that they are too lightweight for the type of backpacking I do. So I’ll get a moderate weight pair and retire the lightweight ones to hiking.

I had a cast for four weeks, and then a boot for four weeks, and after the first day of crutches (which suck), I had a knee scooter. This turned out to be a fair amount of fun, and didn’t really handicap my mobility. Being on the knee scooter, which is far more mobile than wheelchairs, I had a personal experience of the challenges disabled people face on a daily basis, getting around in a world that was not only not designed for them but is often designed to frustrate and endanger them. As though I wasn’t glad before, I am not so thankful that I live in midtown Sacramento, when access is reasonable though not perfect, rather than in the suburbs were access is nearly impossible.

At eight weeks I got my “walking papers” and was back on my bike immediately, but walking has continued to be hard and the second stage of healing has been slow. The only dancing I’ve done so far is one waltz. I attended Echo Summit Dance Camp, my local contra dance weekend, and enjoyed the music and the people, but was not able to dance. This weekend (October 9-11, Harvest Moon) I intend to do more, as much as I can. I’m going to start hiking again, slow and short walks, and hopefully work back up to backpacking by winter. If this coming winter is similar to the past few, I can backpack in the bay area during the winter, though if it is a “normal” year (whatever that is) I may have to wait until late spring for backpacking.

I’m taking a class at American River College, Introduction to GIS, Geography 330. This is the first class in a long while, and paying attention to homework has been a challenge, but I’m enjoying the class and learning some basics that will help with both work and my advocacy.

My friend Claire Bromund organizes “Wine Wednesdays,” which have shifted to Tuesdays since she is taking a class as well. Not sure what alliterative word goes with Tuesday. I make a bit less than half the weekly events, but they are a good opportunity to check out new places and hang out with a variety of people from Claire’s circle of friends.

I’m serving on the board of directors of the Sacramento Country Dance Society (SCDS) and have been spending a lot of time bringing them up to date on common practices in nonprofit organizations. As is true of many nonprofits, they almost went under during the downturn, and I’m trying to make sure they make it through the next one that will come. SCDS sponsors the Sacramento contra dances.

For the first time I attended a Republic FC soccer match. I enjoyed it, though I’m not much of a sports watcher. The fans are certainly committed. If they indeed build a stadium in the rail yards, accessible to light rail, I will go to more matches, but the current location on at the state fair grounds is really a hard access place at night. For that match, I was still on my knee scooter, and almost could not get home at all since the streets in the vicinity of the fair and the mall are pedestrian hostile, and no buses run at night. Bicycling is easier, but still awkward.

After summer break, my job with San Juan USD started again in early August. The issues with Caltrans have mostly been resolved and we are on a roll. The bicyclist education program, which is the most enjoyable part of my job, started up again in September.

I missed the July and August Sunday Streets in San Francisco, but did go to the September one, in the Western Addition. It has been a while since I’ve just participated, and that was fun, though it did not hold my interest for the entire day. The after-party with Sunday Streets workers and regular volunteers was fun.

My theatre attendance for the quarter is in a separate post.

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