Sunday, February 10, 2013

The Call of the Wild

The only sounds to be heard during this early morning five mile trek through the San Bernardino National Forest were those of our snowshoes breaking the half inch icy crust which hid the newly fallen two and a half feet of fresh powder. The day was picture perfect, proven by the photographs in this blog, with the sun stretched out in the clear blue sky shimmering on a winter wonderland before us. This is not another tale of snow shoeing but one of enjoying the outdoors where no other human had tramped through in days. Enjoying nature, no matter the season, is an extremely important aspect to living. It is easy to sit in a chair watching television but when one ventures outdoors and sees nature at its finest that is what makes life worth living.

Ah, but I pontificate on the wonders of this earth and there is no need when one only needs to turn their head once in a while and view it for themselves.

 Of course, as with all our blogs this one is special and odd. Friday the 8th of February we had no intention to going to our cabin in Big Bear but simply enjoy a long weekend at our other home until we heard the local and national news.

There seemed to be a large snow storm coming to the San Bernardino Mountains with expectations of six to eight inches of snow (they missed that call by over a foot) and a killer (his name will not be mentioned since that would only give him credit he does not deserve) who was on the loose in the vicinity of Big Bear.

Hmmm, a blinding snow storm and a murderer on the loose in our neck of the woods (literally). What other enticement did we need to make the hour drive up the mountains from our desert home?

By eight-thirty in the morning of the 8th we were in the cabin planning on snowshoeing as soon as the weather allowed. It was snowing so hard that we could not keep up with the shoveling of the porch and stairs leading into the cabin. We allowed the dogs, all four of them, to run wild in the street since no vehicles were going up or down our street in this snow storm and they had a ball. But as the sun set with the temperature dipping to the low teens while the snow continued to fall it was time to call it and inside we went.

Saturday the 9th we were up and out early to clamber over the snow drifts through the national forest. The only other sound besides the breaking of the icy crust of the snow were the regular and suddenly routine sounds of police helicopters above us sweeping for signs of the elusive cowardly killer of a lovely young couple from Irvine and a brave police officer from Riverside.

With this in mind our attention was drawn to fresh animal tracks in the snow near a large Western Juniper. There were little ones seeming to be running for their lives, rabbits probably by the looks of the tracks, instantly followed by larger ones, coyotes to be sure. There were scuffle marks by bushes, escape routes by the looks, and final chases. This is the cruel nature of things but it is nature. Animals need to live and living means finding food sources. May sound cruel but it is the way nature works and in some bizarre way it does. A single female rabbit can give birth to hundreds of little ones (some estimates as many as 800 during breeding season) where coyotes usually produce an average of six pups and only fifty or seventy percent ever see adulthood. So, there are a lot more rabbits to feed the coyote population. It was the way nature was meant to work.

Not some self-proclaimed human bent of destroying those far more valuable than him. As an ex-cop, J of J&L believes this low life killer is the worst of the worst. Cop or ex-cop the term ‘protect and serve’ are not simply decorations on the side of a police unit but a soul-based belief that police officers live by.

We, of course, would not recommend this activity or constant search for adventure to our readers. Indeed, our daughters and friends warned us against this and other intrepid adventures. But being who we tend to be, J&L happens to do such things as a way to explore, understand and to share. These stories need to be written. It is who we are.

And, being an ex-cop, J of J&L would never venture into these situations without the means to defend those who are with him on these adventures.

He packs heat.

Being a non-political blog we will not venture into the hot gun control topic but only state the following – an old cop saying: “I’d rather be tried by twelve than carried by six.”

Nothing will stop the continuing adventures of J and L. In the words of Herodotus, “It is said that as many days as there are in the whole journey, so many are the men and horses that stand along the road, each horse and man at the interval of a day’s journey; and these are stayed neither by snow nor rain nor heat nor darkness from accomplishing their appointed course with all speed.  Our journey is an adventure through life and no storm, nor darkness of the threat of man will keep us from our day’s journey. 

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