Saturday, September 27, 2008

Littlerock, CA - Saturday 9/27/2008

No, this abandoned house isn't exactly typical of the homes in Littlerock, California. But dang, the town is gasping. It's only a couple hundred people smaller than Lone Pine at 1450, but it doesn't have the tourist draw of Mount Whitney or trout fishing.

Although it lies along the currently expanding Highway 138, it's reminiscent of Route 66 after it's heyday. Permanent fruit stands and the old-style roadside gift shop Charlie Brown Farms (which serves barbecue and sandwiches and dozens of types of shakes) line the main drag.

We went out this way to check out yard sales. There's a festival at Saint Andrew's Abbey every fall, and the locals know that thousands of Los Angelinos head this way to buy up the monks' ceramic angels.

We didn't find anything we wanted, which was okay. But it was also a little sad. Not everyone's up against it, but a lot of people in Littlerock seem to be hurting financially. At least they can grow chickens in their yards. (Wish I could!)

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Ch-Ch-Ch-Changes - Wednesday 9/24/2008

Or, Here Are Some Pretty Flowers for You.

See? Even I am getting bored with this posting a photo every day thing.

Or, not really so much bored as frustrated that I sometimes get behind in posting due to lack of time to post or to delays in Blogger uploading photos. And then the pix are old and the news is old.

And, truthfully, you are missing out on the pithiest of pith because often when I actually have something to say, the looming aspect of the posts I have not gotten to stifles me. So I go back and fill in, and by that time I have forgotten my Most Amazing Thoughts.

Like this one: That Henry Paulson looks way too much like one of the super-creepy gentlemen from the "Hush" episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer for comfort.

See? Wouldn't you rather have amazingly pertinent and important comments like that when the mood hits me than a photo a day? Especially when it gets to the point that I am taking photos of each and every flowering thing in my yard.

I've taken a photo a days and blogged about it since September 21, 2005. Three years!

So spooky as it feels, I'm going to change that now and just cool it a bit. Probably will still post very frequently.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Make It Stop! - Tuesday 9/23/2008

"Oh my gosh. It's 9:50 in the morning and we are still in Lone Pine!" is the post I started to write this morning.

We went into town to gas up the Tahoe before heading out across the desert, get a last cup of coffee at the coffee house and give in to the the simple lure of McDonald's Sausage McMuffin with egg. Thus one last photo of a nice sign in Lone Pine.

Back to the campground, finished packing up. Hooked up the trailer (which in itself takes about 15-20 minutes.) I took one last walk around the rig to make sure the windows were closed, steps were folded up, brake lights are working...and discovered that the Tahoe's back right tire was visibly flat.

We unhooked the trailer and tried to change the tire ourselves. The jack comes in about 12 pieces stored in a compartment of the truck. You have to unlock the spare tire with a key. Then the diagram didn't look anything like the way our tire was suspended between the back wheels.

So we called AA and settled in for a wait.

The guy came (from the same place with the Angry Mechanic) right away and fixed us up.

We just have to be really really glad that neither of these things happened when we were in the middle of the Mojave, which would have just complicated everything. A lot.

Dodger said "Home" for the first time this evening when we were done unpacking and I was working for my job. (From 4-10 p.m. Sigh.)

So we have two weeks to get the catalytic converters replaced... Is what I'm pretty sure I was going to say!

Monday, September 22, 2008

This One's for El Gallo! - Monday 9/22/2008

So, yeah, maybe it's a good thing that we're still here on Monday, a day after we expected to be back home. Because it gave me time to remember one of my goals for this visit. To bring Faygo Redpop to the Owens Valley.

If it's rare in California, then it probably isn't sold up here. This may very well be the first Faygo in the Owens Valley!! (Or anyway, the first documented.)

So. Witness history in the making, friends.

This is also quite possibly the first Faygo Redpop consumed in the Owens Valley, too.

Today I used the campground's wonderful WiFi to work at my job. Whee. I had reports on episodes of all four of my shows due on Wednesday, so it really needed to be done.

We found out that the catalytic converters had melted down inside due to clogging that was going to become critical at some point, but which was put over the edge by our descent from Whitney Portal using 2nd gear to help slow the truck and save the brakes.

Rather than wait 4 days to 2 weeks for a replacement part, we opted to have them bore out the catalytic converters for a $412.00 temporary fix. Hydra had called our dealership and I'd done some research online, so we knew that this wasn't a crazy temporary solution.


By the time we got the car back in the late afternoon, we thought it best to set off for home first thing in the morning.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Hanging Out at Boulder Creek - Sunday 9/21/2008

We spent last night sitting outside the trailer singing to Hydra's guitar playing. The neighbors were really friendly and even came over to tell us how much they enjoyed it.

I went out again in the morning with Dodger. He likes watching what's going on. He was out here in the dark last night, too.

How do you get nice trees like these next to our campsite in the desert? By irrigating twice a day, in summer.

I chatted with the camp's owner in the morning when we indulged in the free muffins and coffee, and told her we were a bit stranded. She offered us the use of a loaner car that they keep here, at Lone Pine's little airport.

"Just go in and let Red know you need the car," she told us, and got one of her employees to take us the couple of miles over there. She didn't have much nice to say about the Angry Mechanic, either.