High on Life

I feel like I’m living on the clouds that float above the desert floor. I can’t help but wonder how I ever got to be this lucky?

Work at the Tribe has been fast moving; new endeavors bring new obstacles and it’s been hard to catch my breath but I love it all.
The Benton Paiute Tribe opened California’s first recreational marijuana dispensary on 4/20/2017. And while I am the bookkeeper for the Tribe, I had to help out at the dispensary on the opening day. Which, if you know me, you know this was more fun than work for me! I don’t work at the dispensary regularly, I love my position I have but was happy to help last week.
In the coming days, I’ll be getting another person to help in the fiscal department. I began to feel territorial when the shift in the team was brought to my attention, but I’ve tried to reshape my thinking about it all. This will be a really beneficial thing for the tasks at hand and for the Tribe as a whole. The more I think about it, the more I become excited to get this new person in and to work as a kick-ass team to get things organized and efficient. I needed to remember that change is good if you welcome it with an open mind.
I still have to express my gratitude for being there as often as I can. 3 day weekends and the ability to work as much as I need with a decent wage that allows me to thrive. I thank the Universe with all of my love and strength for this chance I was given!

Dad and I are 80% of the way done building our second greenhouse. We’ve decided that if you can build a cloth structure in a wind storm, you can do anything. We can now do anything. We’ve been picking and eating our baby lettuce, thinning out the crop so we can grow full size heads of red lettuce. Green onions and white onions are moving along well, as well as the kale. I’ve got 3 different types of tomatoes seedlings coming up and lots of starter plants of different varieties too. Then an abundance of bud plants: random seedlings that came out of nowhere (??!!??) and a few well-known named clones. It always feels so late in the season but I know we’re just getting started!
Hopefully we’ll have chickens soon, and then it’s on to another greenhouse with a little building to house the dogs following that! Then I can get back on my rescuing kick. It’s had to take a backseat while we set up the property. Some things seemed a lot easier when we were on the Coast, and having all of the dogs I’ve had was one of those things.

lettuce

So, there’s some really interesting happenings out here in this little area that I think are worth mentioning.
Hawthorne, Nevada, holding the Hawthorne Army Depot and an underground Navy Submarine Base is 83 miles away from us. On a regular basis (weekly) we can hear and feel the bomb testing they’re doing underground. It feels like we have earthquakes all the time, but when we hear the booming from a distance, we know it’s Hawthorne. It’s kind of unsettling and makes me wonder if they work with Area 51, which isn’t far from us as well.
Highway 6 is the road I live off of – it goes from Bishop, California to Provincetown, Massachusetts, making it a popular trucking route but oddly enough, not largely used for travelers. Pretty often Dad and I will see trucks go by with shipments unlike any we’ve ever seen. Huge, unmarked metal boxes and specially designed freights that look like they could be for governmental use or a high powered private industry. We have a theory that Highway 6 is sometimes used for the discreet moving of unknown items. It’s interesting to watch what could be the secrets of society roll on by…
And just down the road from us, on Highway 6 but across the border in Nevada, is the Boundary Pass at the base of Boundary Peak. At one point in the past, Boundary Pass was a popular resting place for those passing through and it gave work to the locals. There were 2 casinos at different times, but both of them burned down. And there were 2 motels as well. I was told that in one hotel, a man had killed 3 people and then the hotel closed down. In the other motel, more of a long term stay kind of place, a man who stayed there frequently went crazy and killed himself in his room. They said he used to pace the halls and people could hear someone pacing upstairs after he died, even when the hotel was vacant. There’s a row of old cabins that line the canyon this all happened in and apparently, they’re the old quarantine houses from Manzanar Internment Camp. They were the houses that held the mentally ill, and one of the casino owners bought them to house his workers at the time. The land supposedly was an old Native American burial ground and nothing ever worked up there, no matter how much they tried. Now everything is abandoned. I went up by myself a few months ago to take pictures and got a creepy vibe, even before I knew any of this. There’s no telling how much of this is true or not, and I haven’t done much research of my own, but the old spooks tales from the locals are entertaining and spark my curiosity, if nothing else.

Some of the cabins from Manzanar up on Boundary Pass

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This is the sign that made me want to explore up at the Pass. Spooky!

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Life is busy with the dogs and work and the garden. Then to top it all off, I’ve had the most awesome honor to get to jet off each weekend on a new adventure. Last weekend in Southern California, the weekend before on the Central Coast. This weekend Dad and I are going to fish a secret lake here in the Eastern Sierras for opening day of fishing – from dawn til dusk! The weekend after, we’re heading back down south to hit the Pacific Crest Trail out of San Bernardino for a camping trip to Devil’s Hole, near Deep Creek Hot Springs. Then I just made plans for the following weekend after that to go to Las Vegas and visit my sister, Ava, and my nephew. I’m hoping Ava will be able to get the whole weekend off so we can throw my nephew’s birthday party while I’m there!

I’m beyond lucky to go out and see this little part of the world so thoroughly and freely. I’ve worked hard for the job I have, the money I make and the time I get to spend away but I’ll never stop being grateful. For the opportunities to do so and the mindset to enjoy every ounce of what I get.

I need to make another trip back to the Coast soon after my current plans to see my wifey Tadleypole and to go berry picking where I saw them getting started the last time I was there. Kelso and I need to go off on adventures over here in the Sierras and meet up in the middle in Yosemite. I want to go back to Tahoe and enjoy the lake while it’s not pouring snow. Dead and Co is coming up in the middle of June and I hope I get tickets in time to go with Kelso and friends, and hopefully a quick jaunt up to see Bekkah as well. I want to go to Death Valley (the lowest point in the country) and Scotty’s Castle; and I want to hike Mt. Whitney (the highest point in the country), both of them so near to each other and so near to me here. I want to hike the White Mountains behind me, and check out the abandoned city in the canyon behind my house, up Montgomery Creek. I have yet to check out Alabama Hills and go crystal hunting, which is an absolute must, as well as climbing up to the Big Pine Glacier, and finding Winnedumah, hiking to the Devil’s Postpile and so much more. There is just so much to enjoy!

I hope everyone gets out to go look at the beautiful wildflowers that are blooming everywhere, and watch the birds fly overhead as they migrate. I hope you all stand before the sea in awe of it’s vastness and hold the same respect for the majestic mountains that tower above you. You can never adventure too much.

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