Elk Meadows Ronnyvoo – Camp Life

Elk Meadows Ronnyvoo

6-22-2014 0815

Camp Life

The sun had not yet made its appearance, although the fire was warm and bright. Daylight promised the advent of yet another gorgeous day.

I looked out from my tent where I was making preparations for today’s departure to see Kathi… or, at least a reasonable facsimile of an early-morning version of

Breakfast cooking

a Kathi… I reflected a moment on how fortunate I was to have such a friend… Indeed, the three who attended this camp are of a sort that any person would marvel at their presence. Strong… Resilient… and Intelligent.

I had just left the fireside noticing the paucity of available firewood in the pile. It warmed my heart to see this woman, fresh from her night’s rest, with her arms totally laden with wood… sufficient to last us, probably, for the few hours left to us here.

Since Sue and Arla had left camp, Kathi had stepped forward to assume the booshway duties. While others had contented themselves with sitting on their collective butt and allowed this to happen. Dinner last night had been left entirely to her devices though all were quickly in line when the call came that it was ready. It was Kathi who cleaned up after… and even offered to make coffee for all…

I listened as Kathi approached the fire and asked those recumbent… “Have you brought in firewood yet?”

“Well, no,” was the response. “I’ve only just gotten up.”

“Yes, so have I, but to have a fire we need firewood and the standing rule is, ‘if you come to the fire, bring wood.’” Kathi then deposited her load on the depleted stack and sat to enjoy the fruits of her labor while no one moved. Bugs returned to the fire from his morning chores with an arm load of wood… none other came in.

Our guests from the low country, Bugs, D’Anne and Deb Discussing events of the morning

Breakfast came and went. Our guests from the low country were obviously enjoying the manifestations of our hosts. This morning alone, a new rock stack had been discovered as well as some glyphs and there was ongoing “conversation” with our big guys.

Deb had regaled us with her description of the vocalizations she had heard that sent her back to camp poste haste! Bugs and D’Anne had stayed out longer and had listened to even more of the back country talk but, eventually, even they had returned to camp filled with the excitement of the day.

While awaiting the return of our wanderers, a small party of hikers consisting of four men and two dogs, one

Pack Dog… carrying his own dinner… notice the slim pickings in the firewood stack

with his own pack, passed by camp on the road that would lead them down the mountain. A moment’s conversation told me they had hiked in over the divide from Dalton Creek. They returned mere moments later, retracing their steps to pass us again, this time in the direction of the end of the road. I assumed they were seeking the trailhead that would lead them on into Blue Creek Wilderness… an assumption that bore fruit moments later when I saw them headed in the direction of that trail and from which they did not return.

Upon the return to the fire of all three guests, Deb began to describe the discovery of this rock stack that was left in the vicinity… indeed, within feet of the small structure Arla had left a few days prior. It was at this point that obstructionism reared its head. “Oh, those hikers went that way – they made it.”

I rolled my eyes and counted to ten slowly in order to stifle the retort that built within me. Instead, after a moment’s calm, I said, “No, that is not possible. They were gone from us only long enough to have walked a hundred yards or so up that road… this shrine at the grotto is quite a distance beyond that.”

The reply was, “Oh, they had to come in that way, didn’t they? They must have made it then…”

I immediately and quietly rejoined, “No they did not come in that way… they hiked in from Dalton Creek Wilderness. If they had come in the road, it would have had to be at night as I have not left the vicinity of this fire since we returned from the Bigfoot Community camp on Friday evening.”

Small Car on Log

While Deb was talking with me concerning the events she had been enjoying, she arose from her seat and walked toward the creek with the small bouquet of wild flowers she had picked prior. Her intent was to lay them on a downed log that spanned the creek. With a slight exclamation and in her very best Aussie accent, she said, “Look here… what is this,” as she pointed to a tiny toy car that had been left there. Deb continued on to describe how she had been searching thrift shops since her arrival for just such items as her husband at home collected them and she wanted to find one for him as they were not available in Australia. This tiny replica of a 1955 Ford Thunderbird, complete down to the portholes in the hard top was obviously old. The wheels and axles were missing and it had been left behind some time in the distant past to be found by our hosts and deposited there as a gift to our resident from “down under”.

Again, obstructionism reared its head when I heard, “Oh, some child must have been playing with it and left it there…”

I looked around at this person and just shook my head a bit… we had been camped in that spot, by this time, for over a week… a week during which NO child had been nearer than ten miles to that spot and probably not less than thirty miles!

I had a picture of that same log taken only days earlier that showed NO TOY CAR on it. Arla had walked across that log and there was no toy car on it! Yet today, there it was… We finally decided that, after querying all in

1955 T-Bird

camp, it had appeared on Saturday evening and Deb found it Sunday morning.

As we were marveling over this find and reflecting in the joy of the discovery and all it meant, I looked up to the second log that paralleled that on which the tiny car rested, also down and spanning the small stream to see a piece of well weathered grayed and worm holed driftwood perched precariously thereon. Once again, our skeptic stated, “That had to have fallen from the trees above…”

This time, I’m afraid I went a shade out of respect and replied, rather sharply, I regret to say, “Driftwood does NOT fall from trees! That piece of wood was placed there by a hand! It got there no other way!”

Even if the slab had been of the same type consistent with the surrounding trees, predominately Port Orford Cedar, and green or, at least, round in limb form, I would have serious doubts as to how it could have fallen vertically and lodged in that precarious position. This slab of driftwood was not in this spot on the day prior, Saturday, as Bugs had walked the log that day. Further, these two downed logs are immediately adjacent to our cooking area. The ice chest rests in the shade of the log holding the car and access between the two is used regularly by those descending to the creek for water!

Driftwood piece showing position on log

I find it very humorous that in our discussions of their gifting, on multiple occasions, Kathi had asked for firewood as a gift. I’m not sure, no one could be, but is it possible this is Kathi’s gift from them of fuel for our fire?

I find skepticism to be a healthy thing in dealing with interpreting the antics of these people, but when it becomes obstructionism, and ALL things are attributed to some oddball chance, that is beyond being skeptical… far beyond being of an open mind and is counterproductive. Question everything, but be willing to accept “I don’t know” as a possible answer. Not all things are quantifiable… indeed, with these people, most

The Board… do you think this could have fallen from a tree?

are not… but all things are qualifiable! Cling to that for now until we can learn more.

Thom Cantrall