Wednesday, October 28, 2015


IMG_2657 (Copy)On my way home from a doctor's appointment yesterday, I stopped to take a picture of the nearly empty reservoir. The old bridge is visible and you can trace the  winding road from the Calaveras side of the river down to the bridge. Plus there is water, no longer just puddles. The Army Corps of Engineers ordered water flows to assist the salmon and other fish smelts. They need water that is cool enough to hatch. 
IMG_2656 (Copy)Seeing the old bridge brings me three distinct memories. My mother lived with me near the end of her life and she drove that route to Sonora and claimed it to be the worst road she'd ever driven. I chuckle because I love that windy road. Maybe being raised in the flat state of Michigan gave me an appreciation for the mountains and mountain driving.

The second memory is the white water rafting trips I took when the river was natural. It was so popular with rafters that a huge protest movement against damming the Stanislaus took place. One protester, Mark DuBois tied himself to a rock so they couldn't flood the place without drowning him. An activist is what I've always been, so I  protested the dam too, by writing letters.
 Mark DuBois had to give it up because it took over a year for the dam to fill by a strong rainy season. The Stanislaus has the deepest limestone canyon of any river in the United States, which is what made it such a good ride.
Our local paper had an article last week about Mark who returned for a rafting trip once again down the Stanislaus. Had I known ahead of time, I'd have gone on that trip with him. Well, actually, that is just wishful thinking.
Another memory I have of rafting that river is of friends, Howard and Gerraine Hoyt and their youngest daughter, a real beauty at about age 16. The guys who guided the rafts were a wild bunch of young guys who worked during the summer and went on welfare during the winter. They were obviously filled with testosterone and our guide had shorts on with no protector and everything he owned was hanging pretty loose. He couldn't take his eyes off of Kelly. At the end of the trip, Gerraine wanted a picture of Kelly with the guide and she very matter of factually asked him to tuck his stuff into his  pants before she took the picture. We could see him blush under his deep tan. It still makes me laugh because none of us found it offensive or fussed about what we all noticed. Ah, to be young again. Wasn't it fun?

1 comment:

Mary said...

I continue to enjoy your very interesting and informative blog posts. Especially, since I have lived in Murphys very close to Main Street for the past 22 years. I thoroughly enjoy hearing about the fascinating historical accounts about our area and nearby counties. The Sonora Cobbler comes to mind. I had just visited his store a week or so before your post about the history. Of course, we learned some of the history from him personally. But, it was fun to read your experience with the store. Most people don't even know we "have a Cobbler" amongst us.

I relate somewhat with your downsizing situation and catching up with yourself. It is not long ago that I lost a companion through death that I had been sharing life with for five years. He was not interested in "house things-maintenance" but did he love to Play which meant GO GO & More GO. Who wouldn't want to play instead of cleaning the garage! I never thought my little property would be in such disarray - but - I sure had fun!

Wishing you and Jim - God's continuous blessings, health and happiness. It's been a beautiful story.