Ric Carter's

The thaw is pretty well advanced along most of Shake Ridge Road, except for the drifts above Amador Pines deep enough for a herd of YETIs to hide in, which they do, giving the coyotes a hard time.

Mormon Emigrant Trail, down below Carson Pass is still socked in all the way to Pollock Pines, under a dozen feet or more of drifts. It'll be months before the Nazi cow sign emerges. Just as well.

Evie at Ridge Roost complains that all th' Lotto tickets she buys for herself are no good, that her customers get all the best ones. Of course, she's trying to save for retirement, so she only buys used tickets.
  —A Loyal Customer
  (Evie's luck will change some day)

When Jedediah Strong Smith first crossed the Great Basin and Sierras, he didn't follow that old "path of least resistance" approach, nope. Rather, he "headed downward straight into the sun; for yonder, if our reckoning was true, a crow would fly to find the rendezvous beyond the world's end."
  —from Dr. John Neihardt   (poet)
Trying that nowadays will dump yer SUV inna ditch, fer sure, dewd.
  (which could explain most rollovers)

Jackson to Carson is about 50 miles as the crow flies, over twice as far if the crow has to walk and push a flat tire.

Useful Hint to Persons Lost.   When a person is bewildered in the forests and prairies of the West,he thinks that the sun has got turned and is setting in the East. For some time this idea was strong ; but I remembered the almost parting words of an old hunter, who accompanied our party. " Look ye," said he, " you straggle so much from the party, that some day or other you will not be able to find it again.Then all you have to do is keep right away for the east. It will be sure to bring you right in the end. But remember one thing—never get bothered—when the sun rises,strike to the east, and don't do, as many have done when puzzled ; don't think that the sun rises or sets wrong: for if you do you will go to the d——l." So I turned my back towards what I had been positive was the east,and travelled in the direction , which I was equally positive was the west. —Davy Crockett   (in them days they didn't have GPS)

Looking Down Upon the Comstock Lode

Took a drive along the Comstock's historical front, lately - from Donner Lake, where emigrants ate each other, to the old Mormon outpost of Genoa, home of the first saloon in the territory -- and in between, various locales of pillage & plunder & etc. Trying to keep a good mood, but...

The Comstock Lode Rush actually began in scenic Gold Hill, a mile downhill from Virginia City. But Gold Hill, just hasn't developed as a tourist attraction, mebbe because, it's got no (zilch) flat places to park excursion busses and RVs. Some excavation and landfill should fix that.

DEC. 1883 - James J. Smith, a consummate con artist, was arrested for selling a non-existent mine to two men for $400,000. The fake mine was named the DuBuque Lode. Smith stood trial for fraud and was sentenced to one year in Carson City prison.   (where he learnt much)

Pieces of the Space Shuttle COLUMBIA might have come down in the south Carson Valley. That would acount for all those UFO sightings a few mornings back. Or maybe that theft of nitrous oxide from old Doc Dabner's Painless Dentistry has something to do with it.  
—A Veteran
  (who never touches any of that stuff)

 astronaut landing on hispanic village

  • Virginia City, Nevada (population 1,000) has worn wooden sidewalks, saloons, slot machines, gift shops & museums. 1,500,000 people visit annually, gasping for air.
  • Gold Hill, Nevada, one mile from Virginia City (population: barely) is home to the Gold Hill Hotel & very little else. But it's quiet and scenic, when not glazed over.
  • Cerillos, New Mexico (population 350) has rutted mud streets, wooden buildings, hitching posts, a petting zoo, no police force. It has a museum of Southwestern flotsam.
  • Love Valley, North Carolina (population 71) has no cars or parking meters on Main St., only horses & hitching rails. A rock festival in 1970 drew 300,000 horny people.
  • Scottsdale, Arizona (population: 130,000), called 'The West's Most Western Town,' is home to: Western themeparks Rawhide & WestWorld, and festivals, rodeos, galleries, etc.
  • Toppenish, Yakima County, Washington (population: funky), is: 'The City Where the West Still Lives.' Many locals be old cowboy types and Indians. Has rodeos, arts-and-crafts.
      —from The News & Observer, Raleigh, NC
  • Ric Carter's RIDGE RAT NEWS
    Looking Down Upon the Mother Lode

    Americans also tried to rid the state of foreign miners by requiring them to pay a special monthly tax of twenty dollars - for the privelege of mining in California. The French, along with the Mexicans and some Germans, mobilized [massive] opposition to the tax and staged an unarmed protest in Sonora in 1850 [May 19]. Their protest came to be known as "The French Revolution."
      —Jim Rawls, "Dr. History"
      (something arose besides sourdough)

    Some of the French in old California, well-organized and -armed as they were, may have found it expedient to pretend that they were Swiss, in honor of old John Sutter, whose employees started the Gold Rush and robbed him blind.
      —from a French Letter

    Cousin Phyllis suggests that I go out to Taboo Lake, t'other side of Roaring Camp, and ask the old caretaker, to show me the ancient gold mine there. But I'm always hesitant of Taboos, and Tabeaus. Might try it someday.

    Stepping out of Volcano's Superman phone booth, Lovely Linny sez to me, "Damn cellphones don't work for sh!t here, and I'm dam'glad — keeps the tourists quieter." Except the bikers. And rodders.

    Even though Volcano, with its many social and intellectual activities, might have been considered a model community by ... its more boisterous neighbors, ... it, too, was threatened by an organized criminal group which was said to number over one hundred gamblers and lawless persons. Their activities earned Volcano a bad reputation in ... far-off San Francisco. Several hold-ups of Wells Fargo shipments were suspected of being "inside" jobs.
      M.E. Crosley
    (a favorite intellectual activity was MASTERMINDING)

    March 20, 1873 - An unidentified hotel employee stole a costly watch and $400 in cash. Some of his associates hoisted him up by a rope until he admitted his guilt; then they let him go. Presumably exhilarated with the success of their mission, they neglected to demand the return of the watch and money. By the time someone thought to correct this ommission, the avaricious servant had fled the companionship of his unforgiving neighbors.
      —the Flume

    A Lucky Thought.A man in Volcano was pursued lately by a black snake. All at once it occurred to him, -- just as the reptile was preparing to jump at his throat, to run around a small aspen tree which stood in his path as tight as he could spring; he did so till he'd got the creature in a snarl, when stopping suddenly, he threw a back somerset, and the snake trying to follow him tied himself into a hard knot.   —after Davy Crockett   (a pretty snakey guy hisself)

    Ric Carter's RIDGE RAT NEWS
    Lookin'Down On Damn Near Ever'Thing

    The nice local Indian Casino advertises "The Greatest Jackpot Is Friendship." Such payouts don't have to be reported to the IRS, but don't cover the rent too well either.

    The Chief with the Twelve Feathers stands before the rising sun in the east, but only those who stand high and watch carefully recognize the New Light , for it does not come in the way most people expect.
    Navaho prophesy
      (something to keep you on your toes)

    The rangers reached their camp by noon the following day, and on their arrival, Jim Bridger met them, saying, - "Well boys, did yer kill'em all or did yer leave some [Injuns] for seed?"   Nolie Mumey
      (a question to be asked in Iraq soon)

    The Rocky Mountain Canary.
    The Burro - is a hardy, homely, pathetic, yet ludicrous little chap; an interesting bit player in the colorful drama of the American West. The Burro and the pack train are inseparably linked with the West's early history, especially with the prospector & mining.
    This faithful little animal carried the prospecting tools & equipment of the early pioneers, as they searched for precious metals between the Rocky and Sierra Mountains. Also, they worked in the underground mines, pulling tram cars, before the days of electricity and the air tram. In fact, many burros were born underground, and they lived & died there, without ever seeing the light of day.
    The little fellow can maneuver over precipitous trails where other transportation fails; he thrives & multiplies where other "critters" starve, - whoever hears his musical bray echoing from the loftiest crags of the highest peaks, appreciates the aptness of his sobriquet, "The Rocky Mountain Canary."
    P.S. they like butterscotch
    K.C., the burro   (alpine musician supreme)

    Ric Carter's RIDGE RAT NEWS: Published somewhere off Shake Ridge, Volcano town, Amador Co. Calif., despite everything - Published whenever I have something worth saying, if not oftener - This here's issue #2, still is a pretty rare item, you can show how discerning you are by giving extra copies to all your friends, if you got any.

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    Ric Carter, drsb@klaxo.net, www.klaxo.net, copyright © by OTRSS