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On vacation during a pandemic

by John Hefner
The new Johnson Lane dog park is almost ready.
John Hefner

My apologies for being out for so long. This new normal is really testing me lately. We were on vacation to Yellowstone during part of June. I have always wanted to go see Old Faithful since I was a child. I got to fulfill that dream and we had a great experience even though there were challenges. The biggest challenge was when we left our RV on the east side of the park. We were heading west and had two summits to climb with my truck and travel trailer. At the gate the ranger said it was starting to get icy as a storm had come in and to be careful. Well heck I am from the Sierra, I know how to drive in weather. Let me tell you, I have never been so scared in my life. By the time we go to the 8,500-foot level of elevation the snow was sticking. We were going up the grade in 4-wheel drive. The rig was basically crawling up the pass sideways pulling the trailer. Fortunately, a plow came by on the other side and I was able to get in the plowed lane and make it down into the valley. By the time we got to Fishing Bridge I talked to a ranger and he said it was unexpected and they just closed the pass. I would have rather gone up and petted a bison. (Not buffalo, bison).

As for the rest of the trip we had a good time and got to see a lot of animals and features. This turned out to be the best year to go since tourism is down so much. No large tour buses pulling in dropping off hundreds of potentially infected people. I would highly recommend you go this year.

On to local information which is why you read this article. We are so close to the completion of the Dog Park we can all just taste it. For more than 30 years the Johnson Lane Park has not welcomed dogs. In a few weeks we will change that and they will have a beautiful park to call their own. The sod has recently been put down. Parks and Recreation are keeping the gates locked so the sod can take root. According to Scott Morgan it will take at least two mowings before they do a soft opening and throw in the tennis balls. He will save an official ribbon cutting ceremony for later in the fall hopefully, after the pandemic has slowed down. Regardless, we owe them a huge thank you for listening to use and getting this done. Thank you Parks and Recreation staff the park looks wonderful.

July 4th is coming up soon. Bill Muerle approached the sheriff’s office about doing an organized cruise on the 4th. This would not be a parade with a band and overheating cars like we experienced last time. Unfortunately, the sheriff’s office has stated they cannot devote resources to traffic control, etc., in the current geopolitical environment. They also can’t stop a registered car owner from “randomly” driving around taking their classic car for a spin. I would suspect that around 10 a.m. on Saturday morning Johnson Lane residents could sit out on their porches and see a few classic car owners just “randomly” driving by their streets. Naturally, they would be good citizens and obey the traffic laws, not impede traffic or break any of the other rules of 2020. I know my pony needs to get out and take a couple of laps. Additionally, let’s be clear, this is not an organized event of any sort. There should be no expectation of liability on anyone’s part including this author or any other individual in the community.

One last update, this might not get out before it happens, we received a notice that the county has contracted with SNC corporation to do chip sealing throughout the community. The notice states the sealing will begin Wednesday. No one should be parking on the street from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. If you are in their way, they can have your car towed at your expense. The notice asks you to turn off your sprinklers and not let water run in the concrete gutter (HAHAHAHA, like most of us have those). It goes on to say due to the number of streets scheduled, they can’t tell you the exact date or time the sealing will occur. “Driving or walking on this new material before it has cured will damage the seal and will stick to your shoes, be splattered up on your car, and will track onto concrete driveways, carpets and floors.” They also recommend you take wide turns during the curing phase as sharp turns can damage the surface.

Wow look at us, getting a new park and kind of resurfaced streets all in one year. Happy 4th of July everyone be safe and be considerate of others and their pets. The pups don’t like hearing the big booms as much as I love them, they hate them.

Please send any announcements or organization information to Johnsonlanejournal@outlook.com