Monday, August 20, 2007

Signs of the San Lorenzo Valley

Our town, Boulder Creek, is one of several small towns that are strung out along the short San Lorenzo River, which runs from falls in Castle Rock State Park at the ridge of the Santa Cruz Mountains down to Monterey Bay in the city of Santa Cruz. Last Saturday (the 18th of August), as is my custom on a Saturday, I puttered up and down the valley doing various errands. This time, since I was in an Andy Rooney sort of mood, I took my camera to record some signs by the roads that have been irritating me.

Gossamer roadblock, strung from apple (left) to holly (right). The sign above the gate, facing the road, reads "Harrington" on the other side and is, in part, why locals call this place what they do.

First things first, though -- go on up to the front gate and get the newspaper for Mrs. Fort. Now, a spider spinning a web across your walkway isn't quite as daunting an obstacle as this one that Mike Peterson frequently faces, but it would require ducking if I didn't want to ruin the critter's all-night work.

Spiderwarp of spacetime.

Looks like this spider could afford to lose some weight, though.

Chicken spaniel.

After getting the paper, I noticed that Emma hadn't followed me all the way to the gate, as she usually does. Vacant or not (either the web or the spaniel), she didn't want any part of that web (which can be seen, very out of focus near us in the above view, as a bright dash in front of the Fort's front door, a bright dot in front of one of the kitchen windows, and a smear above the right edge of the walkway.) If you click on the above image to get a bigger view, notice the open, green-framed window at the upper right: that's the window by the computer where I do most of the stuff you guys out in cyber-land see.

On to downtown Boulder Creek (only about two miles from the Fort)...

Turkey Foot, August 18, 2007.

... sometimes, in the past, known as "Turkey Foot" because of how its confluence of creeks with the San Lorenzo River looked on railroad maps of the late 1800's. See the banners on almost all of the light poles? Up close, they look like this:


Every Memorial Day weekend, for three days, the main route along the San Lorenzo Valley (California Highway 9) is clogged by an "Art and Wine" festival. Denizens of the local usenet news groups have, for years, called the exercise the "Junk-n-Drunk" and don't like it much. The catchy nickname was devised by a colorful local eccentric who, among other delusions, thinks he lives in a fort.

Notice that the "festivals" are held on Memorial Day. Notice that the above pictures were taken on the 18th of August. No rush, eh? Not around here, fer sher.

Just a little outside of town, on a heavily-used secondary thoroughfare called Bear Creek Road, I parked my Jeep...

... next to this yellow sign of serious demeanor:

Okay. Thanks.

We have lived here for ten years. I have traveled Bear Creek Road countless times. This sign has been there the whole time, and I have absolutely no idea what it means.

Farther down the valley, in the somewhat posher town of Ben Lomond, is this sign -- not put up by some official agency, but carefully crafted by the mailbox owner, and sturdy enough to have survived in good shape for at least three months:

Then maybe they should move.

Now. There is at least one resident of Ben Lomond who claims, evidently in all seriousness, to be a werewolf and publishes interesting stories about how hard it is to integrate his condition into modern social norms. If so, then perhaps this sign isn't simply a misspelling; if werewolves, why not fauns? If that's so, then one wonders why the fauns are so damn' irritated.

It was pleasant to return home to the menagerie. Cooper, especially, was a comfort, as amiable and easy-going as he is:

Cooper, August 18, 2007.

He shares his feeding with Fonzie...

What's your hat size?

... and with --

... huh? ...

Um, what?

Okay. This will take some looking into, gentle reader. I'll get back to you on it when the HI-POD series is over (sometime next week.)


Dann said...

Hey Sherwood,

Realizing our insignificant differences and the...erm...persuasion of many people living in your general part of the world, I'm going to see if I can ask this tactfully.

Is there a....perhaps Freudian....reason why the locals decided to supplant Memorial Day with the "Junk N Drunk"? [a delightfully subversive renaming]


Sherwood Harrington said...

I don't know why they chose Memorial Day weekend. The event is under the auspices of the Boulder Creek Business Association and the volunteer fire department, both of which, on average, probably have political leanings that are more in your direction than mine, but I don't think that has anything to do with it.

I just wish it would go away.

Dann said...

Ahhhhh.....Convenience rather than connivance it seems.

It actually sounds sort of neat. But then again, wine and art aren't that big in flyover country. Although we are working on it. We have a couple local wineries and the city has big project in the works to convert an old factory into multiple residences/studios for artists.