Posts Tagged ‘survival


Enduring beauty….

Weathered, worn, rough on the edges……still holding your charms!



be tough…



States of Mind…

“It matters not how fast light may travel, darkness shall always be there awaiting its arrival.” Mark W. Boyer

“Rather than crying & craving for those who left our path during dark moments of our life, lets spend some time to thank them who stood and helped us to pass those dark paths.” Nehali Lalwani

Oregon-Sunset-dark clouds-SwittersB-Portland


Palms & Rain Clouds

“I know more than anything life in desert. You can tell by looking at the dirt how long ago it rained, how hard it rained, how much water came through.” Waris Dirie

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fire escape & tragedy…

I have never been on a fire escape. I take them for granted. For some reason, I took this shot of a fire escape in Seattle. This prompted me to dig a bit about the history of fire escapes. That lead to a 1975 Boston tragedy/miracle involving a rubbish burn pile, building fire, attempt rescue and collapse of a fire escape. A reporter captured the attempt rescue and fire escape collapse.

Below, a firefighter stands on the fire escape with a woman and her god daughter. Moments latter the fire ladder is raised and the firefighter gets onto the ladder in preparation of assisting the woman/child off the fire escape.

Boston firefighter Robert O'Neill is seen with Diana Bryant and Tiara Jones, age 2 years, and helicopter pilot Joe Green, above, prior to the fire escape collapse that would kill Bryant, at 129 Marlborough St. on July 22, 1975. Photo Stanley Forman

Boston firefighter Robert O’Neill is seen with Diana Bryant and Tiare Jones, age 2 years, and helicopter pilot Joe Green, above, prior to the fire escape collapse that would kill Bryant, at 129 Marlborough St. on July 22, 1975. Photo Stanley Forman

Then Boston Herald photographer, Stanley Forman captures the heart wrenching tragedy of the collapse. Forman received a Pulitzer for the images


Diana Bryant died from her sustained injuries after falling five stories. Little Tiare Jones landed atop Bryant and survived, although injured. Below, a firefighter performs mouth to mouth on the girl.



stash: vintage canning jars…….

A few of you may have followed our exploits over the last several years over at Hoarding Woes & You. There, I chronicled our cleanup of my Mom’s and Aunt’s massive hoards. Not long ago, we discovered a long concealed (forgotten) stash of canning jars beneath our (my Aunt’s) home that appear to have been deposited there in the 1960’s along with stashes of water, canned foods, fuel etc. With the assistance of  a stalwart friend (Magpie Ethel) we removed hundreds of the canning jars of a dozen shapes and sizes. We don’t ‘can’. Now we have this large collection to sort, assess value and hopefully sell. Remember if you stash your survival supplies beneath your house in a dark crawl space tell someone you trust. Otherwise someone else will have the surprise 60+ years later of discovering the cache.

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To endure: The winds rule….

“The worse the passage the more welcome the port. ”

Thomas Fuller, England, 1608-1661

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Fully Loaded……..

Winter Preparations: Mind numbing cold…second guessing your pursuit. Wearing layers to the max and still the fingers feel as if a hammer has smacked them and the toes are getting numb. All the personal drive and desire to hook a Steelhead in the cold flows is seriously challenged by nature’s weather offerings. Beginner or seasoned, are you prepared? Change of clothing? Notifications made of where you will be? Emergency plan and communications if you get injured? Have you studied up a bit on hypothermia and recognize the early warning signs? 

Hiking, photography, skiing, snow shoeing, camping, fishing in the Winter, even if in close proximity to your rig, require some forethought to what if’s and the consequences of your decisions. Gear, checklist, notifications where you will be, weather reports, change of clothing, full tank….Semper Paratus!

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Knowing Your Limitations…….

“Now then, Pooh,” said Christopher Robin, “where’s your boat?”
“I ought to say,” explained Pooh as they walked down to the shore of the island, “that it isn’t just an ordinary sort of boat. Sometimes it’s a Boat, and sometimes it’s more of an Accident. It all depends.”
“Depends on what?”
“On whether I’m on the top of it or underneath it.”

A.A. Milne, Winnie~the~Pooh


“A man’s got to know his limitations”

Harry Callahan, Magnum Force

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When it comes to taking a boat out into a crowded venue, I know my limitations. Yes, I have putzed around on lakes and small rivers, but handling a boat in a safe manner and knowing the rules of the road, so to speak, are a foreign language to me. The State of Oregon requires a boating safety course, testing and a permit to operate a boat of a certain size on public waterways. For the most part, yesterday, the overwhelming majority of the boaters were courteous and seemingly aware of the rules and unwritten courtesies of operating a boat in heavy traffic, on the river.

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But, I found one aspect of the day most interesting from a safety awareness point of view. There is a commercial channel on the Columbia River in which large vessels (lower river) and tugs and barges ply the river. Yesterday, I observed a boat anchored in the shipping channel and the approaching tug/barge encounter reminded me of why one needs to know the rules and common sense that goes with operating a boat. Hundreds of boats had figured this out save the one boater, who decided to anchor in the shipping channel.

Barge-Tug-Columbia River-Boating Safety-Photography-Oregon-SwittersB

 My brother-in-law, Richard had earlier remarked about the sounding of the horn from the tug/barge, in particular the sounding of 5 loud blasts indicating the tug is not turning, altering course, stopping (takes them over a mile to stop) and you better move or die.  Sure enough, here came a tug/barge heading upstream, cutting close to the fleet of boats, none of which, prompted a sound from the horn until reaching our point…then there it was: 5 large blasts from the tug/barge and a pleasure/fishing boat anchored in its path up ahead.

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 Every head turned toward the front of the barge; in front a smaller boat. Fortunately the ‘boater’ had, like most of the boaters, a break away anchoring system that allow one to separate the anchor/rope/float from the boat. The boater was able to start his motor and back out of the path of the tug/barge, but lost his anchor/rope/float system as the tug/barge, never breaking, chugged over the top of the whole set up….less the boat/anglers. This whole fiasco reminded me of my limitations and ignorance re that river’s protocols, shipping channel and the safety responses in the event of an emergency.

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Two men stand at the ready at the front end of the barge, rain or shine, as the barge pushes upriver. They coordinate with the bridge of the tug, which has a partially obstructed view. It must be interesting to be closing in on an oblivious boater, waiting for them to respond to the approaching tug/barge, the horn blasts etc.

Another good reason, I am thankful we were in the capable hands and conscientious minds of my brother and sister in law, who take great pride in not only showing you a memorable time, but keeping you comfortable and safe. 


Forces of Nature & Vulnerability

ramona falls mt. hood oregon hiking SwittersB KGW

All day the weather pattern in Oregon as been a bit ominous. Unusually humid, clouds rolling in and temps still high. In other parts of the country this is not that unusual. To the East, I could see the clouds stacking up and hear distant rumbles. Ultimately, a weather front combined along the west slope of Mt. Hood. Extreme downpours fell on the side of the mountain and cascaded down the valleys of Mt. Hood. One valley contains the Sandy River.

A couple hiking into Ramona Falls came upon a bridge spanning the Sandy River.. A flash flood came down the valley and swept away a bridge the man was standing upon. The wife watched the incident unfold.

Local weather channel radar showed a severe storm cell roll in shortly after noon. The unsuspecting couple and many others were likely unprepared for this powerful event. This is something you expect in November when flood water rage in this area. Other hikers were stranded from their cars after the bridge disappeared.

Be prepared to spend the night, for lightning strikes, high water, the whole sheeebang when in the wilderness. This hike, which I have done countless times, is an easy, pleasant excursion into the ‘wilderness’. Today the wilderness was truly wild.

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July 2020

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