Welcome beautiful, wacky Autumn 

The last days of summer garnered us a beautiful, much-needed, much prayed-for rain. It was a slow, ground-soaking, all-day rain. The total rainfall was 1.1 inches over a nine-day period, with rain falling on six of those days. 
The first full day of fall was a gloriously beautiful one. It was just a perfect time for one more ATV ride to The Mountain. When we started, there wasn’t a cloud in the sky and no breeze. Of course that changed as the clouds started building in the east.
Clouds are so pretty, whether they be fluffy and white or dark and leaden as they were just a few days before.  And, if there was a day around here with no breeze, well, the end of the world would be near.  Whatever, it was a perfect trail riding day. 
There were lots of folks getting their last few days of enjoyment on The Mountain.  There were bikers (both pedal and mountain), hikers, hunters, and sun bathers. 
Some of these folks came up from Moab over the very challenging route from there to here.  My esteem goes to those guys who pedaled their bikes over that course.
Tough folks is all I can say. The first patches of gold could be spotted on patches of quakies. Those will explode and soon the whole mountain will be “golden”. 
Now, here’s the crazy part.  First, never underestimate Ma Nature’s bag of tricks. Just when you think you’ve seen them all, out she pulls something new. She has plant life up high totally confused. The dandeions are in bloom and seed! Not only that, so were the strawberry plants everywhere we went.  They must be ever-bearers is all I can say. Wacky fall. 
A new village has sprung up in our area. A couple decades ago, “villages” would spring up in almost every wide spot as deer hunters converged on us each October.
That isn’t so much the case anymore – for good or bad.  (Besides, there are no more homemade bean and green chili burritos for deer hunt. Definitely bad.)
No, this is a different type of little community.  It is uninhabited most of the time for one thing. In actuality, it is a movie set for a not-at-all-secret big Hollywood production. Whether it will be permanent or go away once filming is completed, I don’t know. Time will tell. And, no, I’m not going to tell you where it is. It’s located somewhere near La Sal on private property. 
As folks know who are acquainted with my spouse, he doesn’t venture far from home without cowboy boots on his feet.  In Moab the other day a little girl noticed his boots.  She too had on boots.  “Are you in the movie too?” she asked. “No” he replied. Obviously, she was excited to be an extra for the film. 
Prior to retiring from my day job a decade ago, one of my duties was issuing filming permits on public lands. When meeting with the head of the “Moab to Monument Valley Film Commission” I often complained that they skipped over San Juan County in their promotions.
It should be Moab and Monument Valley Film Commission.  It was explained to me that the reason for this was that SJC did not have the accommodations, i.e. hotels and eating establishments that Kayenta and Moab have. 
Well, this time there will be some major filming done in our area as well as several other spots from Moab to Monument Valley. And, no, I’m not going to tell you where this movie set is being built.
Now, a couple of points of clarification from the last column. First, the new smiling face at the La Sal Post Office – the very pleasant Pam – is no longer the janitor at La Sal E.  Her P.O. position is all there is. As far as I know, the janitor job at the school is still vacant as are several other positions there.
Second, an update on Miss Ruthie’s stuffed critter collection:  Because of COVID restrictions, law enforcement folks are unable at this time to accept these cuddly toys. 
She is looking for worthy receivers for her accumulation of stuffed cuddlies. If you have any suggestions, please pass them along.   

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