It was only a matter of time before I set up camp at the local reservoir, on a work night, with every intention of working out here Saturday, coming in for church Sunday morning, then coming back out Sunday afternoon for my days off.

half moon 20 sep 2013

Field Office

It came down like this: Thursday night I missed the full moon. In years past, I always came out here to camp and view the full moon, but missed every single one this summer, for various reasons.This is the fall equinox which means that soon it will be too cold to camp at the reservoir. Birds are flying by! Autumn will be gone. So I played with the idea of doing my Saturday work out here, which is to finish the sermon, and piece together the rest of worship. Saturday is a quiet, reflective day, so I tell myself, “why not work out in God’s creation, right?” Days are warm, nights are cool—perfect sleeping weather. I already knew that I can get Internet and phone calls out here. The only concern: it can get wicked windy at the reservoir, so I checked the weather forecast before making a final decision. No wind, clear days, it is a go.

Late Friday afternoon, after all my appointments and pastoral care calls, I threw together some food, gassed up, checked the tires, filled the water tank, topped off the propane and set up Half Moon at the reservoir. My favorite spot—in one of the few stands of cottonwoods left along the shoreline—was empty. It is large and shady in the afternoon and evening. The water level is low so there will be excellent walking down there in the morning.

After a quick dinner I make a half-hearted attempt to build a fire. I should not even admit this: I threw some logs in the fire circle, tossed twigs on top, doused he whole thing with lighter fluid and lit a match. After the fluid burned off, nothing. I repeated, but again nothing. I left the whole mess and walked the 50 yards to water, looking for goodies on the ground. I came up with a long leg bone from who knows what. Again this is mountain lion country so it could be anything.


Proper fire


Bone on the sand, revealed as water level dropped

I decided to stop being lazy and make a real fire, which required rummaging through the van to find fire starter and newspaper. This time I did it right by wadding up the paper, placing  two small pieces of fire starter on the paper, piling on twigs, then a few small branches. Voila! A perfect fire, to which I added a number of logs. Tango and I watched the sun go down, and about a half hour later, the nearly full moon rose, next to Half Moon

full moon over half moon

Full-ish moon rising

I think about working out here. Am I really doing this? All will be fine. If an emergency comes up, I can jump in the van and be anywhere in town within 15 minutes. The only potential issue: charging my computer if it runs out.  I have an inverter for the van, and the plan is to plug in the computer and run the van for an hour, to see how far it charges the computer. If I don’t have any luck I will try my little solar charger that I use for Kindle. If that doesn’t give me enough juice, I will have to go home for a short time to get a charge.

The temperature was a balmy 53 when I awoke this morning. I drank coffee outside and watched for birds. I got a few photos, nothing special. The highlight was two young deer walking right in front of us. It seems that my wildlife viewing jinx is is weakening now that I have my camper.


Young Buck

yellow bird


huge sea gull

Fat sea gull

fowl 2


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