Digging and Driving

Here we are at lunch out at Deer Creek Hills again.

A day of signage– digging out old sign posts and digging bigger holes for new signposts.

It’s a pretty relaxing job, compared to the other things we’ve done this year. A lot of coordination and driving around the park. Instead of solo hard work in a field for eight hours straight, we are all standing around in a circle taking turns digging a hole every hour or so.

Not complaining.

Lunch by the lake– there are a lot of flies buzzing around.

Earlier today, Syd and I were walking the hilly horizon, green and sprinkled with tiny yellow wildflowers, and tinier violet wildflowers, perfect sunbursts. We were looking for the next sign. And Syd was walking in a valley. And I’ve got my headphones on. And she runs up a couple minutes later, visibly shaken up. She had stepped on a rattlesnake, a real rattlesnake, and it had sprung up and rising it’s body aggressively at her, shaking it’s tail as she backed off. About four feet long, and thick as her wrist.

We told our supervisor about it at the end of the day, he was a bit scared. He’s worked out her for years and only seen one. We’re about an hour away from the city, and he told us we need to make a plan of action in case we ever have to address a snake bite.

When we got here this morning, we found a big spider in the grass. And Fred called over at us, “Well, it’s probably not a tarantula. Tarantulas usually just come out in the evenings here. To mate.”

There are tarantulas out here!

Did not know tarantulas existed on US soil. It makes sense, the environment is perfect out here.

Been feeling like a character from “Holes” the past few weeks we’ve been out here. The horizon is perfect, dusty and dry. We have to take two big orange jugs of water for the team daily. Fred brought a couple as well. Saying, “You can also use these to fill up the portalette halfway through the day so it isn’t quite so ripe.” Love using my drinking water jug to fill up the brimming toilet bowl.


So we’ve got the dryness, the rattlesnakes and lizards and tarantulas, and then we’ve got a bunch of holes to dig. We just dig holes all day, and then fill them back up. I always wanted to be in Holes. Isn’t it funny how life works out?  We were playing the soundtrack last week at work as we shoveled in. “Diggin’ up them holes… diggin’ up them holes.”

The redwinged black birds are right in front of me, they are water birds. Nest around the lakes, in the cattails.

Our drives around this property are crazy, bump bump bump. Eleven heads bobbing together in unison as we go over relentless trails up and down up and down. And then there are these cool mini mountains on the sides of the trails– just rocks that stick out of the ground. Straight up and down– Fred was telling us how they formed. Same process as the Cascades, just at a smaller level. They are all about the side of your hand, to the size of your torso. Lined up, and congregated together. Then spaced out. Like a little mountain rage.

Fractals in the rocks.

Fibonacci sequence in the flowers.

Seeing the patterns in the outdoors.

Seeing the patterns in people.

Seeing the tao and the universe.

Eating beans and rice that I made last night in the crock pot. The beans are leftover from Monday, but the crock pot rice last night– with garlic, cumin, coriander and curry is tasty. It lost all its texture and individuality in the crock pot though, and is now a mass of yellow oatmeal rice I’ve mixed with black beans and sriracha.

Sitting in the dirt under a tree with a laptop, listening to Guster and eating bean mush.

I’ve separated myself from my team by 15 feet or so. Typing away.

Eating an orange now. Getting juice on laptop keys, as expected.

I think we’re going back to work soon. But maybe not. They’ll come over and let me know.

Spiders with huge eggsacks all over our campsite. They’ve got this white blob attached to their butts about the size of my thumb. Thought it was the type of spider for awhile, but now I realize it’s just springtime.

We’ve got spiders in every corner of the lodge. About three or four nesting above our sink, no one’s shouting about it. We’ve gotten used to seeing them.

Did I tell you all about the baby goslings that are at our campsite? Eleven of them. One for each of us.

I’ve always got my notebook with me at work as of late. Because I realized that I have to make this mine. If trailwork isn’t for me, then I’ve got to find a way to make it that. And carrying a notebook with me isn’t going to hurt anyone. But it’s inspring me. I’ve written a lot over the past few weeks in my muddy notebook. It’s got everything on it and in it.

Carinne moved out to the campsite again last night, the rest of us are staying sleeping on the lodge floor until we get kicked out on Saturday.

But today we noticed our lighter fluid and coals were gone.

And then, 10:30 at night Carinne comes back to the lodge, “Is someone playing a joke on me, or is my tent gone?”

People went outside to look with her, and found a little pile of her belongings in the grass, her tent and sleeping bag gone.

So creepy. We are not leaving anything in our tents anymore. And apparently should not even leave our tents out there.

We want to stay on the cold hard lodge floor for the next month.

It’s not okay that people are out and about our campsite at night. Messing around with our tents, and taking things.


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