Donomore Cabin 2017

Donomore Cabin 2016

July 23, 2016, Curt Offenbacher and his work party camped at Donomore to continue the stabilization of the 1935 line cabin.  L to R:  Carol Knapp, Ken Sproul, Ginny Sproul
Offenbacher, Stephen K. Lewis, Janet Sproul Moser, Gwen Mitchell, Bert Moser, Jim Lewis, and Curt.  And Gayle Lewis. (click on photos for more captions)


Pausing for a picture.


Curt and Steve study the roof before planning to apply the ridge cap delivered to the site earlier by Justin Pereira.


Bert and Ken position a center support pole, Jan and Ginny shovel the soil out of the cabin, and new floor joists go in. The side door was rehung.

Shade, food, drink, chairs.  Time for a break.

Artifacts were returned to the site after documenting their presence.  A Tang jar lid! Cold cream jar?  Medicine vial (screw cap)?  Olympia beer can.  Flatware and a cigarillo tip!  Anything over 50 years is historically significant and should remain on site.

Steve uses cable and tie downs to pull the outhouse upright, put in new supports and repair the boards.  Safe for another winter.


And this.  Check your spare tire or inflation.  It was a three-Suburu day!

T-Rex from Nova Scotia and Lefty from Mississippi enjoy fresh fruit and
Guiness.  The SOB runners did not stop in either direction.


Project Manager, Curt.  Also known as:  Doesn’t-know-when-to-stop.


And next year.


When everyone has recovered and the Offenbachers plan their 2017, we will choose a date.  There are window to be glazed and matched with openings.  The other side of the floor could use some repair.  The loft needs to be finished and ladder mounted.  The “front” door should be replaced and the porch as well.  There are poles and lumber for the porch. There are cabinets to use somewhere inside.

We left a pile of “flooring” debris that was too much to haul out.  We are hoping someone with a trailer might do that this fall.  There is also rolled carpet that needs to be hauled out.

The outhouse is filling with bottles and trash and won’t be serviceable if users continue to deposit trash.

With a better roof and a complete floor, the cabin is a better shelter even without window covering.

The road is reasonably good and the area clean. Safe for another winter.  Enjoy!



Garage Sale Magic

There is so much more to a garage sale than the bargains.  Today our town had the first day of its annual after-Labor-Day city-wide sale.  Mostly street party, the days are full of good deals and neighbors getting together entertaining visitors who come for miles to shop for that perfect find.   We had a garage full of odds and ends left from Mom’s last apartment.  Having a sale seemed like a good thing today, not for the money, but for the connection to the our town and to remember Mom on the day we would have celebrated her 90th birthday.

One of the busy browsers headed to the back and then popped back out.  I asked if she was looking for something special.  “Yes. A tiny cast iron frying pan (she makes a circle with her hands) to fry my single egg.  I lost my husband recently.”  I went to our kitchen to retrieve the tiny pan we had “won” in a host basket but had never really used.  I wondered every time I moved it around on the counter why I kept it.

A pan I surely didn’t need but that was meant to fry a single egg and reflect upon a husband lost found its place on Garage Sale Day.  It was not about the deal.

Random Photos of the Donomore Cabin Project

Debris out

Debris out

North Roof

Roof in Need of Repair


The Boss organizing the crew: Herb Malone, Mike Spees, Susan Rayls, and Mary Westerman.

At work

Shoring the East Wall


Gentle support, awaiting instructions…

Guys Who Know What They are Doing

Dave Beach and Curt Offenbacher on the roof.

Roof Repair

Curt on the roof with the salvaged “new” roof panels.

West Wall

West wall door and corners repaired, roof repaired.


Artifacts the crew found in the clean-up, photographed and replaced securely for the future. What can you see? “Cowboy trash” tells the story: fork, spoon, knives, combs, shoe heel, bottle opener, bottle and can tops, file, bone from the stew…

PCT Hikers.

Jim Lewis with the last three Pacific Crest Trail hikers to walk through as we packed up. They finished the food and shared their stories and appreciated ours. (Note our poster to tell the story for those who pass by or come to rest.)

Donomore Cabin Preservation 18 July 2015

Surveying the detioration on 26 June 2015

Surveying the deterioration on 26 June 2015

The Donomore Cabin sits in a finger of the Donomore Meadow just over the California line. The roads are in reasonably good condition. The Pacific Crest Trail crosses in the front. There are still hunters and ranchers using the area and from the evidence of trash left behind, some others as well.  The cabin is located in the Siskiyou National Forest.  It is joined closely to privately held property that has a cabin which is for sale.

This project that started with a quick day trip just to “visit Donomore” in the fall of 2014 inspired us to attempt to at least clean up the debris and do some preventive maintenance on this old cabin built by the stockmen of The Applegate in about 1935.  Today, a descendent of early settlers holds the grazing permit.  The USFS is unclear about who is responsible for the place. Clear is that it is not high on their list of priorities.  We find it historical, evocative, and special.  Our family worked with others to build it and  use it until the late 1960’s. We checked on cattle and left the work of the ranch behind to relax.  We have taken the initiative to clean it up and stabilize it if we can.  All in one day. You are invited to help or to observe.

The Plan of the Day and detailed driving instructions are attached.   There are a lot of ways people can help.  We need a photographer, runners, construction/repair helpers, debris and trash collectors, observers, and people of good cheer.  If you are not able to physically help us we would enjoy your company to share the magic of the meadow.  We expect PCT hikers passing through so we hope to be “Trail Angels”, too.

If you have questions, please email me at gayleyrn@hotmail.com or call 541-899-7023  Some of us may be camping. There is a flat large camping area at the foot of this meadow spur below the cabin.  There is a spring but no latrine facilities.  Pack it in.  Pack it out.

Plan of the Day

Driving Directions


The Donomore Cabin

Guarding the PCT

Guarding the PCT


Stories tell us Indians killed the Frenchman settler Donomore and the Portugese miner  Silvee near here during the “Humbug War” in the summer of 1855.  Settlers continued to graze their livestock, hunt, and mine in the area.  At the turn of the 20th Century, a cabin–the “Freshour Cabin”–was build in the Donomore Meadow.  That “lower cabin” collapsed in the late 20th Century.  Today, the “Offenbacher Cabin” build by stockmen including the Kubli’s and Offenbacher’s in about 1935 still stands watching over the Meadow.

The Donomore Family Experience

Now that we are asking questions about the Cabin in the Donomore Meadow the answers and pictures are coming together. We have now heard about the Indians killing Mr. Donomore and his neighbor.  Are there remains of that cabin?  What are the details of the event?  And how does one acquire a permit to run cattle and where are those records? How is the cabin used and monitored today?  What  resources are there to keep it from disappearing by neglect and abuse?

I have vague memories of a trip as a little girl in a blue-checked shirt with the extended family, pick-ups, horses….  And later of short road trips to the Meadow full of spring bloom.  Here is another picture that shouts “happy!”:

Lance, Walt, Lon, and Diane Offenbacher June 1963.

Lance, Walt, Lon, and Diane Offenbacher June 1963.

When Minutes Matter in Nursing

Two years after retiring I realize the toll of forty years of attending births. This Labor and Delivery Nurse speaks as if she is in my head. She gets it exactly right. And I cry every time.



My first day of orientation in OB, I watched a delivery for the first time and was in awe. That day, I watched everything unfold as it should.

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A Pizza Christmas Eve

We gathered around her bed in small groups, in shifts. Relief from the crushing chest pain and the fear or  hope that this was the end came with morphine.  “I am sorry I am going to ruin your Christmas”, she said with sleepy eyes and hands folded as if in prayer.  “Have pizza on me.”

We made the short foggy drive to the Chinese restaurant down the street from the hospital.  Pizza out just didn’t seem right, but Grandma was writing the check, so we ate.  Not much cheer this time.

When they moved to town from the Ranch, my grandparents always hosted Christmas Eve in their tiny bungalow.  The heat was on, the food just like it was on the stove at the old place:  too much of everything.  Turkey.  Rolls. Sweet potato pie. Green beans. Jello salad.  And don’t forget the popcorn balls and ribbon candy.

With time, cooking was too much trouble. For any of us.  So Grandma bought pizza and the kids brought the salad.  And later, she said, “Buy big pizzas on me” and we delivered to her.

Her last Christmas Eve, Chinese had to do.  She died quietly on Christmas morning.

Nearly thirty years later, pizza it is again.  What would Christmas Eve be without it and why should anyone cook tonight? Thanks, Grandma.


Bill Byrum at the Donomore Cabin c.1940