By Slim Randles
Two kids were arguing just outside my window the other day. Now that school’s out, they have more time for the important issues of life, of course. This time, the subject was ghosts and whether or not they are real.
People my age have to plead guilty to the capital crime of having gray hair, and therefore aren’t qualified to participate in such weighty matters. But if they had asked me, they might have been surprised. Of course there are ghosts. We’re surrounded by them.
Maybe they aren’t scary or grab you from behind, but they are ghosts just the same. See that rusting tank on the edge of town? That’s all that’s left from when George Dodson started that tannery back in the 1920s. He was doing all right then, until the Great Depression came along, and George and the steel tank became ghosts … a part of our history, but still somehow here with us, still a part of what makes this community our home.
Just up Lewis Creek a mile are the sloping concrete walls of what used to be a dairy. As kids, we’d sneak over … quietly, so we didn’t spook the cows … and watch the men milking. The huge Holsteins walked in from force of habit like animated milk factories, which they were. Seems like there should be something someone could do with that old milking barn. Now it’s just hard to go by and see the weeds thickening around it as it lies there in the unrelenting sun and cracks to pieces.
Down on Main Street is the old ice cream store where we used to go the very first time we had nerve enough to ask a girl to go with us. We’d bite the ends off the drinking straw covers, dip the remaining ends in chocolate syrup, and shoot them with a puff of breath to stick on the ceiling, like stalactites of young love.
But today it holds the video rental store. Times change. Businesses change. People come and then leave us. But the ghosts remain. And the ghosts are the ones who make us what we are today.
I wish those kids would ask me about them.
Brought to you by the novel Sun Dog Days, available at www.slimrandles.com.
Coleman 3-Room 8-Person Tent - 13x13'
Who needs a camper when you've got a Coleman tent? This spacious 3-room tent is perfect for families and sleeps up to 8. Room dividers turn unit into 3 rooms for privacy and organization. Main dome features 2 oversized doors meeting at a right angle, turning this room into a screened-in porch. Smaller sleeping domes attach to the other 2 walls. Ceiling vents provide air circulation throughout entire tent. Rainfly includes coverage of windows and doors. Also features carrying bag, 2 storage pockets, water-repellent thread, webbing and zippers, inverted seams with inside stitching, leakproof welded floor seam, polyurethane-coated fabric, shock-corded fiberglass poles, pole sleeves and frame clips. Sleeps 8. Blue and gray. 27 lbs. No. 9261C133D. Imported. 13'Lx13'Wx72" center height.
Wenger WG31209 Massif II 4-Room Radical Dome Tent
* Measures 18 by 18 by 7.6 feet (W x D x H)
* 4-room dome tent with 172 square feet of floor space
* Polyester taffeta construction with 600mm coating for rain and wind resistance
* 1 main room and 3 satellite rooms; each include a Dutch "D" door for easy exit
* Includes mesh utility pockets, mud mat, and roll-top folding table
4-room radical dome tent made of polyester taffeta tent body and rip-stop design. Rainfly features double pass polyurethane coating. Polyethylene rip-stop floor.
Coleman 8185B559 Taos 25 Degree Mummy Sleeping Bag
The Coleman 8185B559 Taos 25-Degree Tall Sleeping Bag is a comfortable three-season mummy-style sleeping bag. At 32-inches by 82-inches, the tall-size Taos fits most body types up to six-feet-two-inches long. With 38 ounces of Hollofil-808 insulation, this moderate-temperature sleeping bag keeps you warm in temperatures down to 25-degrees Fahrenheit. Features include a nylon cover with a nylon liner, and a stuff sack.
All Coleman sleeping bags are designed with ComfortSmart technology to keep you comfortable. The Taos' ComfortSmart features include: ZipPlow which plows fabric away from the zipper to prevent snags, Fiberlock which prevents insulation from shifting and increases durability, Thermlock which reduces heat loss through the zipper thereby keeping you warmer, and Zipper Glide tailoring which allows smooth zipper operation around the corner. This Coleman sleeping bag is designed to provide the most comfortable overnight stay in cold weather.
K-Cliffs Harvest 7000 Cubic Inch Internal Frame Hiking Backpack
* 12"x15.5"x12" Lower compartment or sleeping bag compartment.
* 2 Zippered Side Compartments (9"x 5"x 4").
* Two waist level water bottle holders.
* Thoracic strap between shoulder straps.
* 10"x 10"x 5" Pocket in top cover.
7000 CUBIC INCHES OF PACK SPACE. Dimensions of Main and Lower Compartments - 39"x12"x15.5". The main compartment is top loading with a flap and top compartment that clip down over it. This includes three draw straps in front which allow for expansion. Lower area is accessible by an outside U-Zipper or by the main compartment from the top. Long-Distance padded shoulder and waist straps. Multiple adjustments on shoulder straps and waist straps allow you to choose a good fit for your back. Also - Shoulder straps can be disconnected at the center of the pack and moved up and down for proper adjustment. Total of 6 adjustments of 1.3" each. Air Flow Back pads for the maximum in comfort. Rear Gigantic ZIPPER acts to compress pack loads for greater stability and comfort. Side, Top, Middle and Bottom Compression straps for the most secure loading. Plenty of extra straps, bungee shock cord and loops for ice ax, walking stick, climbing gear or what have you. Already a popular pack in Asia, new to the US. Two Internal Frame Stays and flexible back panel for one of the most stable and comfortable frame and support systems available. All Stitching is folded and rolled for greatest durability (double stitched at critical points all around the pack ). Complete Rain Cover located in pocket on lower compartment. 100% Okbuybuy GUARANTEE.
Night Owl Explorer Pro 5x Night Vision Scope w/I/R Illuminator
Scope things out—even at night—with the powerful, ergonomically-designed Night Owl Explorer Pro 5x Night Vision Scope. Infrared illuminator lets you use for night fishing, nature viewing, search and rescue, or general surveillance. Scope is compact, easy to operate and weather resistant and features a powerful 5x image magnification.
Garmin eTrex Summit GPS with Electronic Compass and Altimeter
The GPS for serious mountaineers and outdoor enthusiast has arrived. With a powerful twelve parallel channel receiver, it provides amazingly accurate bearing information as well as serving as an altimeter and electronic compass. Quickly and easily calculate your rate of climb to satisfy curiosity or help decide whether or not you have enough daylight for the return. Waterproof for marine and recreation use, its compact design allows you to take it with you anywhere and access information via the operating buttons located on both sides of the device. Precision GPS, electronic compass, and altimeter all in one 12 parallel channel receiver Designed for marine and recreational use Waterproof: submergible to 1 m. for 30 min. Compact design.
Bigfoot - DVD
Narrated by Leonard Nimoy
"This is a very good Bigfoot film and well worth your time and money." - Garry Daniel
Canon 10x30 Image Stabilization Binoculars w/Case, Neck Strap & Batteries
Whether you are sitting in the nose-bleeder seats of a stadium or an opera house, with Canon's 10x30 IS binoculars you'll get an outstanding close-up view of the action. The binoculars are designed to fit perfectly in your hands and have a rubber coating for nonslip grip and protection from damage. The focus dial is center-mounted and the image stabilizer controls are easily accessible from either hand. Canon's optical image stabilization technology eliminates shake and reduces curvature of field. The image stabilizer operates with two AA batteries. A BP-B1 battery pack is included. The lenses are coated with Super Spectra multicoating that improves image quality by maximizing contrast and minimizing color smear.
Scenic Byways of Northern California
By Marie Weisbrod
Visit the remote Northern California region from the Siskiyous to the Cascades. Meet the locals, learn the history, enjoy the landscape that includes whitewater rivers, old growth forests, and lava-strewn backcountry.
Wenger WG31210 Davos II 3-Pole Backpack Dome Tent
Lightweight and versatile, this three-pole dome tent from Wenger assembles in seconds thanks to its color-coded ping-and-ring attachment system. The tent's shock-corded fiberglass frame weighs a mere 9 pounds, 10 ounces--light enough for most hiking backpacks. Plus, two-door access and double roof vents, make this model far more versatile than other two- and three-person tents. The tent's sidewalls are made of polyester with a 600mm coating--which resists rain and dew--while the floor is made of durable nylon taffeta. For added convenience, the main circular door is designed to hinge to any side, letting campers find the setup that works best for them.
Other features include a gear/loft organizer, two mesh utility pockets for gear storage, and a flashlight loop. The tent comes with a 600D polyester zippered duffle bag for transport, along with pole and stake bags, and measures 8 by 7 by 4.3 feet (W x D x H).