When I left Oregon, I was chilled to the bone, and was actually looking forward to returning to the California heat I had fled more than two years previously. It felt like I hadn’t been warm in 7 months. When I arrived at Shasta, the glorious sunshine worked its magic on me, and I began to bloom. For four fabulous days.
Since then, I’ve had a few warm days, but overall, it feels like damp, wet weather has been following me. Cameron Park had cool weather and a torrential downpour when I was there. Even Roseville had some cool, cloudy days. Then I arrived in Central California which is typically the hottest part of the state, and other than the first two days after I arrived, the warmest day has been in the upper 60s, and the rest in the 40s and 50s. I realize that much of the coolness is due to the 4000’ elevation and that I will be very grateful for it in the heat of summer, assuming it arrives. Last week we had two solid days of rain, with a huge hailstorm and thundershowers at night (our upper campgrounds even had snow). This week, it has been raining for the past 28 hours, and is supposed to continue through tonight, with a high temperature of 46 degrees. At around 3am there was so much rain at once, the weight of it caused my awning to fully unfurl, even though I’ve had it set at a steep downward angle so water would run off easily. At times I wonder if I took a wrong turn somewhere and ended up in the Pacific Northwest!
Don’t get me wrong, I love the rain -- when I can stay inside all cozy and dry. But, it requires super-human strength to drag yourself out of bed, and out into the cold, wet, campground to clean campsites and bathrooms, on days like today. Even the “warm” days have chilly mornings, and the thick tree cover prevents things from warming up, or drying out, very quickly. This morning, even Bella declined two offers to go outside, preferring to stay snuggled up in her blanket on the bed.
At 8:15am I donned my hat, sweatshirt, and rain boots, threw my tools in the trunk, and headed into the rain. I raked, and cleaned fire rings, at six campsites, did light cleaning in 5 bathrooms, and a sanitizing clean (toilet seats) on the 6th. A scheduled guest arrived while I was out there, so I wrote up their permit and car pass, checked their “Golden Age” discount pass, and chatted with them for about 10 minutes. Then I went to the cabin, swept off the large front porch and steps, dug out the fire ring for that site, and threw away a discarded rug that had housed a family of squirrels for the winter. Despite the cold, and the constant rain, I had a pretty good time doing the actual work. Stewie, one of three Fire Patrol guys with the Forest Service stopped by as I was finishing, and gave me some books on Wildland Firefighting, as I’d mentioned the other day that I regretted I’d had to leave CRR prior to doing my Wildland Fire Fighting training with the Fire Department there.
I’m back inside for a couple of hours, extremities numb from the cold, but the space heater is running and I am optimistic that feeling will return to my fingers and toes at some point. Stay tuned. I guarantee there is a post coming one day about how the heat is killing me… In the meantime, it’s perfect weather for tomato soup and grilled cheese sandwiches! :D
PS: Posting this on 5/19, it's the first day of sunshine in nearly a week, and I'm down in Porterville where it's 80 degrees!