Good People

I find myself questioning people some days. Jack Johnson and I seem to be on the same page more days than others – sitting, waiting, wishing.. pretending like it’s the weekend… and in between dreams. But this time my thought is:

Where’d all the good people go?

In the last couple of days I can say it’s Tuolumne County, California. Perhaps it’s just a stroke of good luck and impeccable timing.. but I like to think it’s more than that. It seems that the assumption these days are that we are all good people. We become bad people when we do certain actions. Why isn’t that the same for good people? Why aren’t we neutral until we choose the path we want to go down?

Food for thought.

Nothing brings a community together more than a Farmer’s Market, Oktoberfest, and local, live music…. am I right? At least in my dream world they do.

Lunch at Standard Pour, Sonora, CA

Lunch at Standard Pour, Sonora, CA

Every time I think about becoming a vegetarian I eat a meal like what is pictured above and my mind reverses. Bacon and pecorino brussels sprouts, local salami, and beer. I wanted another bowl of those sprouts. My friend Jory introduced me to Ballast Point Brewery, which is pictured here. Get their Sculpin. You won’t regret it.

The local music after Oktoberfest in Twain Harte was beyond good. If you have Spotify, check out The Little Fuller Band and Midnight North. LFB is a local band and they are incredible. Both bands have really strong, beautiful female lead singers who will knock your socks off if you’re into bluegrass.

At the show,  I chatted up a lady standing next to me at the show who not only welcomed me to town, but then gave me her number to call if I ever made it Lagunitas Brewery. If I did, I was told to call her and she would make a call and make sure I had the absolute best time. Strangers we are.

Sunday I made my way into one of the wilderness areas managed by the forest I’m working for.

Sundays are for the outdoors. Fall means hiking.

I planned my route to Chewing Gum Lake in the Emigrant Wilderness. Having been in Yosemite last Sunday where on my hike I ran into 20 people, and that was low for being in Yosemite, it felt normal to be back in the absolute silence of the forest.

The wind was pretty heavy as a couple of storms had rolled in covering the pass 20 miles up the road with snow. An afternoon jaunt to Chewing Gum Lake, Powell Lake, and Burst Rock was in order.

First Snow I had touched this season.

First Snow I had touched this season.

Pinecone a squirrel had stripped.

Pinecone a squirrel had stripped.

California has gray squirrels everywhere instead of the brown I’m used to in Montana and Utah. I’m not sure why this is so exciting… but it is.

Burst Rock

Burst Rock

Chewing Gum Lake

Chewing Gum Lake

On my way out I saw a couple doing some metal detecting at the trailhead, which I thought was interesting. I pulled away and made my way down the several mile dirt road. Then there was a tree in the road. It took me a minute to register what was happening. I stopped my car, cleared a couple of branches thinking that this was only an aspen… there was hope!.. and then quickly realized that the tree was still in the ground and in no way was I moving this thing alone. I remembered that this was the sole purpose that I can purchased a chainsaw two years earlier…the chainsaw that was in Utah. I decided to go back to the trailhead and ask the couple if they had a saw. They didn’t have one, but agreed that since they had a truck, they should come try and help as even though they could get out the alternate rutted out FS road, myself and the other 3 cars at the trailhead were probably not going to make it.

As we sat deciding what we were going to do with the fallen tree, another car pulled up coming from the other direction. Thankfully it was a couple of hunters in a Jeep that had a winch. They moved that tree in almost no time.

It’s the little things. Maybe to some of you this isn’t so prolific and you would have done the same thing for someone given the situation. If so, great! But think of all of the people who won’t even let you merge in traffic, pass you just to turn 50 yards later, or won’t even hold the door open when you have your hands full. Do these things make someone a bad person? Not really. But it shows something about character and lack of basic manners.

My landlords/housemates/coworkers/new friends are also a couple of good people who I’ll never forget. Their endless hiking advice, dinner invites, and creativity makes for a friendship that I’m so happy I have made.

Last night I got another churro cupcake from the bar in town. They are my new vice.

I hope the long weekend has something great in store for all of you. Celebrate Columbus with exploration and tradition for those of us celebrating Native American Day.

“Between every two pines is a doorway to a new world” -John Muir


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