Some people didn’t get the link to the Ruby, Arizona photos in my last entry, so here it is again:
Now, back to the chronicle of my swing through California.
Dave and I climbed the “C hill” part way, and I photographed Sceloporus orcutti, which was my objective. It’s a pretty lizard that only occurs in that part of the country. I think the common name is granite spiny lizard. We went to the UCR bookstore and I got a T shirt. Dave drove past a gate and parked totally illegally while I was there. We ate at the Sub Station, which was an old tradition. We stopped and visited Evelyn Carillo, who I haven’t seen in 25years. She was a part of our group in college, and had been on a lot of bike rides and hikes with us. Life has taken her many places, but she ended up back in Redlandsjust a few block’s away from Dave’s. She’s a professional photographer now, and we had a lot to talk about.
That afternoon Dave and I went to the Sand Sports Show in Orange County. There were lots of rails, dune buggies and ATVs. There were some nice Manxes there,like my old one. The best vehicle in my opinion was the one painted with a Nightmare Before Christmas theme. I bought a hydration pack for a really good price.
Dave and I loaded up kayaks and went to Dana Point for kayak fishing (in salt water!). Itwas kind of windy, so I would paddle to the upwind side and drift along ajetty, using large anchovy live baits. I caught 4 juvenile white sea bass and one sculpin. Too bad the sea bass weren’t grown up, as they are big, tasty fish. There were pelicans and seagulls everywhere,and if you’re bait came to the surface they were right on it. I did end up catching a juvenile seagull. We saw a few sea lions, and when the tide went out the little crabs came out to play on the jetty. Chris and Zack had been at Boca Chica Beach and met us at Dana Point, then we went to dinner at Islands. Fine burgers indeed. Salt water fishing from a kayak was a dream come true. Thanks, Dave!
9/20/09 The journey north.
I helped Dave unload the kayaks and gear, and I hit the road. There was no traffic, being Sunday. I had lunch at Taco Bell in Buttonwillow, and called Grandma Ruth to let her know I was coming. She said my cousin Mike Borba was there.&
nbsp; I was looking forward to seeing him. We used to hunt and fish together in Colorado. I stopped in Newman to see Grandma Ruth, but Mike had had to leave. He had to get some deer to a processor’s before they spoiled. I showed Grandma some pics on the iPod. She actually knows a lot of animals. I continued on to the ranch to see Dad. We had dinner at La Fuente (not El Fuego, as Dad said) with Mike and Racin. Back at the ranch I picked figs,and talked to Kristen and DJ. I went outto stay at Mike and Cindy’s.
I slept in some and hung around the house. I was feeling kind of sick with a case of theruns. I thought was just having the revenge of the Mexican food. I had a nap and felt better in the afternoon.
I went out to the ranch and got the Honda Trail 70 started in less than 10 kicks after two years of inactivity. I went with Marlene & Dad to Costco &Chili’s. When we walked into Costco I felt pretty cold. I said, “Marlene, do you feel cold?” She said, “No.” I said, “Then I have a fever.” She touched me and said I was burning up. I was shivering in Chili’s and had to go outside and warm up in the 100 degree heat. I only ate one chicken tender. We went back to the ranch. Mike came and washed his pick-up. He and I pulled out the safe. The combination was locked inside (by one of my other brothers). After consulting my Dad and sister, we decided to crack it. It took us less than five minutes. We drove the pins out of the hinges and pried off the door with crowbars. Sentry makes crappy safes. We had to do it. It would have cost $225 to have a locksmith open it, and you can get a new, perhaps less crappy safe for that. Inside was the combination and various other potential valuables. My goal was the title to the Honda 70, which we found.
I think this is the day I just stayed home and did nearly nothing all day. Actually, I processed al ot of the photos from Ruby, and worked on a presentation of it.
I was feeling a bit better, and went out to Lunch withMarlene. We did some shopping afterward. I didn’t even buy anything atREI, though they have many things I covet.
I had decided to go for a bike ride in the morning. As I was getting ready in the driveway I heard the phone ring. I unlocked the door and ran in the house. The dog was barking like mad and I was trying to figure out which button to push on the phone, and finally got to talk to Mark. I took the bike ride on the canal path in Oakley. This was particularly interesting because whenI was a kid you could get arrested for even going near the canal. I had pizza lunch with brother Mark. In the afternoon I went out to the ranch Dad and I made a run for car parts . Mike and I loaded the Trail 70 into the backof the truck, which was more difficult and hotter than I’d imagined. We went back to Mike’s for barbecued chickendinner. That evening Melissa took me to the Wild Idol in Byron for a night out. This bar has been there in various incarnations since I was a child, and probably long before. Four of her crazy friends joinedus there. Well, maybe just two of themwere crazy. I’d met some of them on Facebook before, but it was nice to meet them in person. They’re always playing shennanigans on each other and taking goofy pictures. The band was pretty good in the classic rock genre. I ran into the lead singer during a break, just before we left. I told him they were rocking hard that night. He thanked me and asked if I had won the lottery, being there with five young ladies. I said, “Yes, this is my harem. They’re all mine.” But then I admitted they were my niece and her friends. I drove home, as I was stone sober and Melissa was not.
In the morning I finished uploading photos, and set up aFacebook account for Mike. We readied for the planned big barbecue at Marlene’s. I set up a bunch of artifacts from Ruby in the back yard, including my bitchin’ boxes of bugs. Mike made his famous ribs in a barrel. We ate and swam and ate some more. I hadn’t seen my niece Andrea in years; her brother Colin was there too. Andrea is gorgeous and Colin is a fine young man. My nephew Tim had a new girlfriend(Kelly). There was much drooling and commentary over Marlene’s new Camaro, which she had picked up the night before. It’s red and very nice. We went inside for dessert and while everyone was eating it I gave a presentation of various photos from Ruby. It seemed to go over pretty well, even though we couldn’t get ideal screen resolution with the TV. We had one last swim, packed up and went backto Mike’s.
Cindy made waffles for breakfast. Mike and I worked on my pick-up truck, and amended many minor maintenance issues. Marlene came over and she let us drive her new Camaro. There’s nothing quite like a new sports car. Later Mike and I took his 1927 Ford Model T for a drive. We stopped at my Uncle Evo’s and all three of his sons were there. We had a nice chat. We went on to the ranch and saw Dad, Kristen and Jordan. I picked a few figs and we looked at some of the old stuff in the barns. I drove the ’27 back to Mike’s, which was pretty fun. I repacked the back of mytruck so I could see out the back w
indow again. Dad, Marlene, and Melissa came over for a little rewarmed ribdinner. We drank some of my wine. Later we got in the hot tub for a soaking.
Finished packing, said goodbye and hit the road about 8a.m. Most of the day was noneventful and quite boring. I made good time, about like usual, as this is the third year in a row I’ve made this drive. I didn’t have Savannah along to help this time,though. I did see a pair of chukar flush from the road. It’s the first time I’ve seen them in the wild. A rock flew upfrom an RV and chipped my windshield, which is only a couple of months old. The universe still finds ways toaggravate me. Mike called me in the evening, which helped break the boredom. I spent the night in Salina, Utah.
Utah, Colorado,Kansas. Colors in aspens, snow on the peaks. The Oscar Mayer Wienermobile was the highlight of the day. Otherwise, it was Dull. Night in Salina, KS.
More awful Kansas. I decided that the wicked witches were from the East and the West because that is the longest axis of Kansas, and a chore to drive through. Finally, Kansas City and into Missouri. The final miles went by fast and were completely uneventful. I got home at2:30 p.m. The trip was 4688 miles total, and2033 from California.
Photos from the California leg are here:
Again, there are no captions there, as there are on Facebook.
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