A View from Sierra County

Small town life and politics, lots of knitting, and travels with and without my five burros

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Location: In the Sierra Nevadas, United States

I blog about rural living and social issues, and the creativity that comes from knitting, as well as post random pictures of the Sierras and my burros. "In order to be an artist, one must be deeply rooted in the society" - Simone de Beauvoir


Monday, July 10, 2006

Saturday Sky and Summer Things

I had a wonderful, rejuvenating weekend away, and so my Saturday Sky is a few days late, and of course has a tale of adventure to go with it.

I left work Friday afternoon, and headed over to Mohawk (near Graeagle) to meet my dear, long-time friend Suzie who had convinced me to go to the Taylorsville Solar Cook-off and Blues Fest with her. This is the 16th year for the event, which brings a few thousand people to the county park on the edge of Indian Valley, in a town with only a few hundred residents (and only 86 miles from home). Suzie had arranged to borrow her dad's motorhome, so we camped in near luxury, commenting on how much harder the ground had gotten in recent years.

Suzie driving the RV

Saturday morning, we started our day listening to music from friends, Penny and her husband Dude... Penny is an elementary school principal in the district where Suzie and I have worked together, in her non-musical life. It was then that I discovered my camera's batteries were too low. I didn't manage to get any other pictures than of the sky shown above, taken about 1:30 in the afternoon, while we were wading in the creek next to the campground, along with about 100 other people, trying to cool off from the sweltering 88 degrees or so heat. You can see some photos of the event here.

Lucky for us, cooling down a bit made us take notice of how hungry we had gotten, and we headed back to the motor home and were eating a late lunch when thunder, lightening, and marble-sized hail started... the music continued under the shelter of a huge tent awning while it rained for the next two hours.

Suzie took a nap and I worked on my Trekking sock in dry comfort, but we were able to catch the last of the music when the rains stopped. Some of the people who had set up their dinners to cook in solar cookers were disappointed; they hadn't started early enough to catch all that morning sunlight and dinner wasn't done... others feasted on leg of lamb, roast chicken, various stews and casseroles, cookies and brownies, and that's just what we saw cooking. Most cooking is done in dark pots, so we couldn't always tell what it was. Suzie, my DD Nikki and I had set up a solar cooking site when we attended back in 2001, making brownies and a chicken/veggie dish, but this time I decided to attend on short notice and didn't dig out the solar gear, which I haven't used yet this season. If you would like to explore solar cooking alternatives, check this site out.

The event has been sponsored every year by Blackhawk Solar of Quincy, and they offered a great deal on Sun Ovens at the festival - $200 for an oven to take home, about $50-$75 off usual retail prices. Suzie picked up one for a friend and one for her son. I learned about two more great local food sources, Mountain Meadows Mead and Tehama Gold olive oil, and will be writing about them for the Eat Local Challenge website this week, so come by and visit. Liz is hosting a "Local Meal a Week" challenge over at Pocket Farm, a gentle way to become part of your local food web.

We had to pack up early on Sunday, but I was able to get some batteries for the camera in Quincy, and get this photo of her parents' view over the Mohawk Valley as we were cleaning out the motor home:

I also managed to produce a FO while at the event, a Feather and Fan facecloth gifted to Anita, my adult ed program supervisor, today for her birthday party with a group of co-workers (sorry, no photo, but it was beautiful in natural cotton, and accompanied by soap from a fellow crafts co-op member, and one of my photo cards), as well as getting past the heel on Trekking sock #2!

Most importantly, we felt like we really had a summer outing, doing "summer things": camping, listening to live music outdoors, swimming in the creek and eating summer fruits. Happy Summer to everyone else out there, and make sure you are making room for your own special summer things.


Blogger Jennifer said...

What a fun weekend!

We've been doing lots of summer things here with the kids. We've been doing a "park tour" where we explore a different neighborhood park every time we go to the park, which is practically everyday. My son also started T-Ball, a very summer sport. :-)

7:08 PM  
Blogger margene said...

Thanks for the reminder to do all things summer while we can! Looks like you are taking advantage of what's in your area.

8:04 AM  
Anonymous Kristi aka Fiber Fool said...

Sounds like a wonderful sort of weekend (rain and hail aside)! Thanks for the soalr cooking website too, that should definitely be an option here that I hadn't even though about...

8:50 AM  
Anonymous evagorman said...

I'm so glad that you had a great time in our fair corner of California. The rain and hail were such a sight! And I had to laugh as I was driving back from Quincy when the hail storm hit. I was in a short skirt, tank top and sandals and it reminded me of the last time you were caught in a hail storm! I just love our summer weather!

Next week is the Gold Digger Days fair in Greenville, so come on up and enjoy yourself again, in Plumas County!

9:41 AM  
Blogger The Purloined Letter said...

Local olive oil? Wow. There are times I wish I lived on the West Coast!

I still have not tried solar cooking. Certainly sounds like a great adventure.

10:56 AM  

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