(Evening of Day Three)

Previously: Simon, his 88-year-old brother and two children, Chris and Robin, drive into the northern Sierra Nevada Mountains to hike. After Thayer has a bout of dehydration, they make new decisions about where/ what to see.

We head into Yosemite, with the hope of a campsite or cabin, but the area has no vacancies.

We backtrack, having been told that there might be openings at Lee Vining, or around Lake June. The search is on. Nothing at Lee Vining, but soon we locate an A-Frame at Lake June.

7:30 PM Robin insists on paying this time. She says she feels like she crushed Thayer’s dream of trekking into the backcountry and panning for gold when she diagnosed him with dehydration. (She hasn’t fully realized it was our joint decision not to let Thayer endanger himself and the rest of us by proceeding unpre-pared.) Though we had anticipated we might have some problem with Thayer’s advanced age, it was still a big blow.

Once settled in our cabin for the night, Chris pops open a bottle of wine, in celebration of hot showers! Chris and I set up four chairs on the back deck, facing a beautiful granite mountain, while Robin grabs the shower first. I set up the camera with its self-timer. After two wild tries, I get a good photo of the four of us.

Chris Robin Stargazer Thayer

Chris Robin Stargazer Thayer

Robin and Chris take over cooking duties, and we have Miso Seaweed soup, followed with chicken, green beans and mashed potatoes that I flavor with broken up freeze-dried seaweed. A great dinner after a tiring day.

After dinner, we retire to the back porch to enjoy the stars. More swooping bats! I can hear their tiny range-finding radar clicks as they zip by.

Chris and Robin see shooting stars, but Thayer and I miss them. That’s OK. In fact, that triggers my memory of lying in the grass in

Grandmother Cranston’s front yard, watching a meteor shower. This brings a thought to Thayer. “When we get back to my apartment, remind me to find Grandfather Reuben Thornton Cranston’s tack puller and give it to you.”

I ask, “Is that the grand-father who used to ride as a guard on a stagecoach in Northern California?”

Thayer nods.

I continue, “Was he the one who used to be able to shoot equally well with a six shooter in each hand?”

“Yep!” says Thayer. “That would be Grandfather Reuben!”

Simon Stargazer III (Sept. ‘15) adds, “We finished planning the rest of the trip itinerary and headed for bed before midnight hoping to get an early start in the morning.”

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