Reid and his old man are getting cranked up to head back out West again, and still fresh in both our memories (at least in mine) is a long night of fitful sleep in his Saturn along a dusty road under a bright, moonlit sky outside Pinedale, Wyoming. That was the best we could do when we couldn’t find a room for the night in this little berg on the western slope of the Wind Rivers. We don’t want to go through that again next week. Maybe the young can tolerate sleeping on a reclined car seat, but not us oldsters.
July 5, 2015
Ellen/Reid: Reid, I’m sorry we didn’t get a chance to talk on your 30th birthday. From the sound of it, Liz had a party for you and that must’ve been a lot of fun. If there are any pics, send ‘em. You only turn 30 once and those are the fateful ones, the b-days that end with a zero.
Hey man, in a couple weeks time we’ll be in the high country. Watch for a series of calls to make sure we’ve got the menu and the gear buttoned up. Remind me to get new filters for the pumps, and stakes for the two person tent. That would be a helluva thing for you to be making the circuit of the Cirque only to discover there would be no way to keep your tent upright. We can probably wait until Pinedale to buy flies. We need to attach some new tippet/leader to whichever fly line we’ll use since we don’t want a line failure at a critical moment, especially when dinner is on the hook. Katy, Tom and I had breakfast on Saturday to go over last minute items. We also secured a big Tahoe as transportation. Katy will pick it up on that Wednesday and she’ll ferry us from the airport to Jackson. We drive on down to Pinedale to the Baymont Inn. It’s one of those spots you and I couldn’t get into all those years ago. No way I want to sleep on a dusty road again.
The 4th of July party in the garage for my golf group went over really well. If nothing else, it forced me to tidy things up for once. People had a great time and we reveled well into the night. The cowboy caviar you guys all like was a hit and the grill saw some overtime use. At the 11th hour I thought I’d better check to see if there was enough propane, and good thing. The tank was nearly empty. Wouldn’t that have been great to run out in mid-broil. We had enough food to feed a small army, and what wasn’t eaten is sitting in the fridge, even after making to-go plates for everyone to take home.
The best part was blowing off a package of cheap fireworks and sparklers. A friend of mine, Paul, served as chief arsonist, and it was hilarious to watch him try to get fuses started. I re-made acquaintance with gin and tonics but no one was watching out for my best interests by shutting me off. Really, it wasn’t too bad but it was a fun night. By 1 a.m. I had everything cleaned up and ended the night sitting in the garage (Ellen, you’d be proud of me for stringing some decorative lights for low level ambiance) with a final beer while listening to Michael Burks play the blues. A good way to end the evening.
There’s been some upheaval at Caldwell. Our Session voted to end the contract of an associate pastor, and it set off some fire alarms. Ellen, you know John, and he’s been attacked unmercifully and, in my view, incredibly unfairly. He’s a good man and a great steward. I sent him a letter yesterday offering up my views of the situation and lending him my unconditional support for encouraging an environment that would draw in even the most heathen-like among us,
including me. It’s become a race issue for some observers, but that should be the farthest consideration from anyone’s mind. John, and others, have created an unbelievably inclusive environment for African Americans, Latinos, gays and whites. I’m not sure what’s going to transpire from here, but I’m hoping cooler heads can prevail. There’s no place for mean spiritedness in what ought to be civil, faith-based discourse. Said the chief sinner.
My knee is better but there’s a sore spot that just isn’t improving. I’ll check in with the oath doc to see what a next step might be. They offered up the idea of an MRI if there is no real improvement, and that might be the logical next move. I’ll hike come hell or high water since walking is not a real issue. Reid, you and Tom and Vince might need to plow ahead without me to do the full lap. I really don’t mind staying behind. That’s what they make base camps for.