“Remember when raking leaves was Quiet? Social? Contemplative even??
In our quiet little corner of the mountains –- Davidson River Campground –-Full Scale WAR has erupted. The camp hosts have been issued LEAF BLOWERS! These are noisy, stinky instruments even in the hands of young, tanned experts with rippling musculature, but, mercifully, these experts are on the clock and usually make quick, efficient work of it. Our friendly, conscientious Camp Hosts are invariably military vets with their branch of service prominently displayed; they have wiry constitutions, born of hard and dusty work and they have time on their hands. Just after 08:00, when the generators begin to restore batteries drained by all-night furnace use, the Hosts gird their loins –- Baseball cap, work gloves, BACKPACK BLOWER.The rich cacophony fills this little valley. Some sweep the vacant parking pads, but because the “Electrical Loop” is fully subscribed, their Squad leader banishes leaves from under, around and on top of your RV, maybe even from the grill of your car…
This morning we climbed the North Slope Trail to the rim above the campground. The noise diminished with altitude gained, but just as we rounded the mountain and the last sounds of internal combustion were replaced by the murmur of the river we saw them –ENEMY RENFORCEMENTS. A fresh downslope breeze brought a torrent of new fallen leaves. We did not hurry this new intelligence to headquarters; we were sure that scouts posted in camp chairs would dutifully report and the weary troops would rally to the fray. What we had not expected was the arrival of heavy artillery of our own. One staff member had been issued the equivalent of heavy artillery –- an M-1, A1, pickup-mounted, generator-powered, PRESSURE WASHER. Assigned targets were the 4’’ thick picnic tables and their rich patina of moss and naturally recruited fungi. The results were devastating, and deafening.
Our post-lunch reverie was punctuated by bursts of heavy pressure washer fire and the steady drone of blowers repulsing the advancing onslaught of the yellow/ red/ brown peril.
Pacifists, we rigged up our fly rods, armed ourselves with streamers and Parachute Adams and began our own amphibious assault.