Heh, Pat Houghton: July 12, 1972

Heh Pat: I doubt that you have forgotten any detail of this date 42 years ago. Absent your company, I have to go back to my journal. And here’s what I noted on July 12, 1972, starting with the ride into Chicken Spring Lake.

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I note that we packed in enough food and built that evaporative cooler fast enough that we were able to have fried chicken for dinner on the second night in. Or, I don’t know, maybe on the first night we stashed the chicken in a milk can in the creek.

Note the exciting elements of trail building here, as in repeated references to “rock moving.” Remember how excited we were when the explosives arrived? (Although I still wonder about the extent of our blasting). I actually own a rock bar today, but try never to touch it, and laugh when I do.

Meanwhile, I’m sure you recall how broke we were, federal fire overtime or not. I guess was pinching pennies enough that I recorded expenses on our trip with Matt to Santa Fe for fiestas in September 1972.

I guess we were able to get away during fire season because we were working 10-days on, four-days off on the trail job. (And did we make it from Bishop to Santa Fe and back in four days or did we get Labor Day because we were on a USFS job?) It’s also hard to believe I got lunch in Milan, N.M., for  62 cents.

Your lunch tab in Milan probably would have been double mine. You had a huge appetite in those days, as I recall, even though you were pretty skinny for a firefighting, trail-building machine.

Hope you are feeling better today. And thanks to Judy for her journal posts on CaringBridge.com.

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