Friday, June 26, 2009


Pine Mountain News

June is just about over. Next week will be July already. Here on the mountain summer seems to finally be arriving. We just passed the longest day of the year, the days get shorter and the nights longer from here on out.

Area News

CAL Trans is working on interstate 5 again. They are on the northbound side from the Los Angeles county line to the Grapevine. Most of the work will be at night so look out for cones and construction workers if you are traveling Interstate 5 northbound in the evening for the next few weeks.

Poem of the Week

I sip with Dionysus

by emily d stine

I'm dining on a gyro in Greece sunning myself
at a private beach and loving everything about
clear blue seas except for pesky sea urchin
stuck in my foot. We journey back into
Athens to see the ancient Acropolis at dusk.

The sun is setting and the tourists are scattering
and it's as if we have the monument to ourselves.
We breathe in the dust staring downward to Athens
imagining ourselves goddesses in the setting sun.

As the last rays die out from the horizon, we take
a quick stroll down the hill from the Agora to the
ancient street of Tripods, which once connected
to the Theatre Dionysos. Now it is a flea market for
tourists, how time distorts things. Dirt enclosed by a
fence, a landmark. We wallow a bit in history,
sip wine in the dark at a sidewalk cafe, eventually
playing the role of tourist ourselves under the
watchful eyes of Parthenon.

-- emily d stine a poet of sorts

Travel Story of the Week


by Jordan Williams

I arrived in the Honduras by boat, which is sort of a novelty these days. I was coming in via the Caribbean, and there were, fortunately no pirates. Not that I wouldn’t want to meet Johnny Depp, but still. Why I was on a tiny boat headed to the Honduras in the first place in another story entirely, but the trip was without incident.

The Honduras is one of those little gems of travel. A small country of about seven million wedged between Guatemala and Nicaragua, bordering the Pacific and the Caribbean, and it doesn’t get a lot of tourist trade. There’s no good reason for this, since the weather is nice, the scenery is beautiful and the people extremely cool.

The boat took me to Roatan, an island about thirty miles or so north of the mainland. The Caribbean is beautiful, but I was glad to sink my feet into the white sand beaches and kiss the dry land. Roatan has a plethora of natural life to see, and the scuba and snorkeling there is some of the best, with ship wrecks and sea turtles to keep you company.

I did indulge in some snorkeling the second day I was there, but I spent my first day there eating the great native food, and looking at iguanas. There’s an iguana refuge on the island and what can I say, lizards are cool.

The next day, I spent the morning snorkeling and went for an afternoon fishing trip on a chartered boat since, apparently, I couldn’t get enough of boats this trip. I didn’t catch a thing, but then, I was mostly there to drink beer and look at the sea. My companions did catch a mess of Bonefish, and the guides seemed to know what they were doing, despite having the world’s most incompetent fisherman (namely, me) onboard.

After that, I headed for Tegucigalpa, the capital and largest city in the Honduras, and no, I still can’t pronounce the name. The city is to the southwestern side of the country, so I traveled by truck. If you can manage a trip like this, I recommend it. The ecology in the Honduras is like nothing you can imagine in the states, and there are forests there that have existed for thousands of years.

The Museo para la Identidad Nacional was one of the first places I went to when I hit the cities, after I dropped off my bags and, of course, sampled the local cuisine. The museum, as you might guess from the name, is dedicated to the country’s history and has exhibits of Honduran art. For about a dollar fifty to get in, you could do a lot worse.

Like many Central American cities, Tegucigalpa is a couple of hundred years old, so there’s lots of historic architecture to see, like the Our Lady of Suyapa Shrine or the Cathedral. There’s also a zoo at Picacho Hill, which features a lot of the native wildlife of the country. I wouldn’t miss it if I were you.

Despite a few bumps getting there, I enjoyed my time in the Honduras. If you’re looking for a more typical kind of trip, I recommend Roatan and the other islands. For the more adventurous, backpacking around the country would be a lot of fun. Either way, there’s more than enough to keep any eager traveler occupied

Pine Mountain Evening

It is evening once more at the Pine Mountain ranch. We have just finished dinner. We had mashed potatoes, steak, fresh peas from the garden, and fresh baked dinner rolls. We are now moving to the family room for cookies and our coffee of the day. Tonight we are trying Organic Rain Forest. This medium body, Vienna roast coffee from is rich and fruity. It makes you want to swing through the jungle on a vine. Laurel and Grace are playing scrabble again and grace is winning. I am at my desk working on some writing projects. There is a warm fire in the fireplace. My cookies and coffee are finished now. Grace beat Laurel at scrabble so everyone is ready to get some sleep. Good night all see you next week.