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Saturday, November 27, 2004

9:45 am. When I said yesterday that it hadnít rained on us at Shasta Lake, I didnít mean that it hadnít rained at all, or that it wouldnít rain. Shortly after I went to bed last night, it started. It rained hard through the night. I slept well at the beginning and end, but through the middle I woke up every so often, and I could always hear the rain pounding on the roof of the houseboat.

And it had obviously rained hard before we ever got here, because we had to wade through thick red clay mud to get from the parking lot down to the dock. It stuck to everything, in big sticky globs, so that none of us could get on the boat until we took off our shoes. Itís a good thing I brought an extra pair of Leviís, because the clay mud was stuck to the bottom cuff and halfway up my leg. I borrowed a plastic bag to keep the dirty pair in, so that the red menace wouldnít spread.

But itís beautiful here this morning. The clouds are slowly going away, leaving behind blue sky to complement the blue water. We are tied up in a cove next to a small dam, and there is fresh snow on a couple of the higher peaks that surround us. Weíve had a hearty breakfast, Eric has gone off on a hike, and I think itís once again time to relax. I could get good at that, with a little more practice.

27 November 2004

Morning sun reflected off the lake, from the back deck.

10:45 pm. I did spend a good deal of the day lying around doing nothing more than reading and sleeping and, uh, lying around. But, as usual, I started to come to life when the sun went down and the wine started flowing. We moved from one part of the lake to another, and we had a dice game with friends from another houseboat, after which we all sat back and watched Elf on the DVD player. (So you know this isnít your everyday houseboat.) It was another good day on the lake, and this will be our last night here.

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There might be frost on the ground and snow on the hills, but we are cozy and warm inside the houseboat, with its double-paned windows and thermostat-controlled fireplace. (We ate well, too — shrimp kebabs with peppers and onions. Mmmm.)

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One year ago: Confinement
"It's all in my head, though, which I consider to be good news. Once things get that well-defined, all I have to do is endure them until they're gone."

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