Saturday, November 29, 2008

Heading Home

Tonight will be my last night visiting. Tomorrow morning, I head for home. Living in other's households is awkward at best regardless of the degree of hospitality and I look forward to returning to my familiar surroundings. Still, sleeping in one's own bed is always the best.

Judging from the recent news out of Bayview, with the boat fire and ensuing death of an Athol man, and the rare appearance of a mountain goat tangling with it's own image in a sliding glass door up[ on Howard Street, it is obvious that the sleepy late fall/early winter Bayview that I left, woke up with a bang.

It seems like most every year we have deaths by drowning in the lake and this year is no exception. Some of you remember up close and personal, the effects of gas fumes igniting from a foreign source, this time, a propane portable heater. I don't have the information on whether this happened But they probably just gassed up, since that is generally when fuel fires start when blowers aren't used liberally.

The goat was probably an outcast Buck that wandered down from Bernard Peak and saw his reflection as another buck. This being the rutting season, he undoubtedly left the battlefield still horny. (Pun intended)

The hospitality of my hosts, Jim & Jean Campbell, and the visits coordinated with Larry & Liz Justus were great. Also, the folks at the Wellton VFW, which made me welcome on our visits, as well. Others we ran into were Jerry Mutton and his friend A.J. Hare and Dale and Vicki Parowitz, former owners of Gibbs Tavern and subsequent Bayview residents. They purchased a home in the Foothills area near Yuma. I missed several others some by just a few days. Dave and Annie Morrow got there about three days after I left. Dick & Annie Gasper and former Bayview residents Lou & Peggy Wilson also were yet to arrive.

This is undoubtedly influenced by my wish to get back home, so since I'm in Manteca, near Sacramento, I'll take I-80 through Reno to Winnemucca thence straight up 95 to home, weather permitting. If I get up at a decent hour in the morning, I should make Bayview by Monday Night football time. If anyone needs to reach me, I'm on a cell phone 208-623-8589. See you all soon.


I got up Sunday morning too early. I laid back down but sleep wouldn't come. Suddenly, an epiphany occurred. What if I just got up, packed my stuff and lit out?
I did so. Cranking away from the curb at 5:45 am in dense fog, I found my way to California 120, a shortcut to I-5. I buzzed up to Sacramento, where I shwooshed into I-80 headed for Reno, Nevada. I reached Reno at around 9:00 am at which rime I called my son, the host to point out that I had left suddenly. He pointed out to me that he, in fact had noticed, also. I got to the Treasure Valley around dusk, but it was way too early to check into a motel, so I trekked on down the road. I ended up just driving straight on through and arived at 12:30 am, eighteen hours later, Monday am. The new River Journal is out, so I'm headed to Athol for a copy.

Heading north and east, I caught Winnemucca about lunch time. I scarfed down a value meal at KFC and headed north for parts not explored for many years. More of my adventures when I get more sleep.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Interesting Times

I met a real friendly dog in my travels from Wellton, Arizona to Manteca, California. Normally that isn't news, except this dog worked for the government. Shortly after turning north on Highway 95 from I-8, I encountered a customs stop. These stations are placed strategically several miles within our country. Their purpose is to interdict illegal immigration and drug trafficking.

I was duly stopped while a dog handler snooped my car. Suddenly the dog became excited and came up to my window and jumped up. Thinking he was just being friendly, I started visiting with him. At that point the officer directed me to pull over into an inspection place. Just before complying, the dog handler, who appeared to be the senior officer, asked me if I had any prescription drugs on board. I replied that yes, I had several. Asked if I was carrying hydrocodone, I told him I wasn't, but I did have some codeine. He then released me to continue my trip. I believe that if I were a younger person, possibly of Mexican descent, I'd still be there with my car in pieces.

The amazing thing about this dog is that his sense of smell was so keen that he could detect capsules at several feet while still in the bottle. I'd hate to be a smuggler with these folks guarding the portals. They are really good at what they do.

Following this adventure, I spent the next eleven hours travelling to Manteca, California, where my son lives. One problem I noted about the long stretches of I-5 was that four lanes of traffic were insufficient due to a huge volume of truck traffic. I would come up on a convoy of five or so semis, just when the rear trucker would decide to pass the others. Sometimes this happened on an upgrade, causing this action to happen in slow motion while this one truck would overtake the other four or five trucks before moving over. With car traffic averaging 75 to 80 MPH, needless to say this bunched up traffic terribly. This example was repeated every few miles or so. Perhaps these truckers watched too many movies like,"convoy" and were playing games. At any rate, it lengthened the trip considerably.

Well, vacationing is fun, but I'm looking forward to getting home right after thanksgiving. Hopefully, the weather will behave, and I can take I-80 from Sacramento to Reno thence Winnemucka and right up 95 through the Salmon River country. If not, I'll swing west through the Blue Mtns to Tri-cities and up to Ritzville.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Country is Too Dang Big

Well, here I am in beautiful downtown Manteca, California, home of Dave Oliveria of Huckleberries on line fame. After contacting Dave's brother, Edward, I learned of DFO's birthday which is today. I quickly blew the whistle on him in his mega-blog.

I departed Wellton, Arizona, after a whirlwind tour of the area, the VFW, in which it appears there is a different party every night. We went to Lost Cojones, Mexico, er ... Los Algodones, Mexico, which in Spanish is "Cotton." I didn't see much cotton, but jewelry was everywhere, plus Nick-knacks of every kind. I bought a plaster of paris hand painted turtle with baby turtles crawling on it's back for Debra, the wonderful lady that lives next door. Debra is picking up my S/R's in the morning as well as feeding my cat.

Some things you can buy cheaply in Lost Cojones are: Booze. A one liter bottle of Kahlua like coffee liqour is $6 as well as a bottle of one hundred 300 Mil. Amoxicillin for the same price. One can get just about any prescription drug down here without one. A bought a very nice full size sombrero with red velvet and a lot of gold braid for $22. Leather goods are dirt cheap as well as silver jewelry. Those in the know take refrigerator magnets with them so they can tell Steel from the real thing.

Burger night at the VFW, which happens on Mondays, is unreal. Last Monday I attended with Liz & Larry Justus along with Jim & Jean Campbell. Jim can't stay away from a kitchen and yes, you guessed it, it was he that was flipping the burgers. 278 of them. In the depth of Winter, they have served as many as 425 in one night. November is still lightly attended, because many don't migrate south until after the holidays.

I made Manteca in one hop, taking around 12 hours for the trip. I left at 8:30 am Mtn. time and arrived at 7:30 Pacific time in Manteca. I'll be here through Thanksgiving, then back north where I will spend the rest of the winter contemplating those expats sipping a cool one on the patio in 85% weather, which it was while I was there.

I filed a story that should have published in the S/R Thursday, (today) from Wellton and my other story in the River Journal that will come out 12/1 before I left. See you all around the first give or take a day.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

I'm Tired!

Since visiting with you last,I hit the road. My last road trip was prior to my establishing a blog, back some four years ago. Since then I have posted on this blog 537 times. During my original coast to coast road trip, I e-mailed DFO at Huckleberries on line, the spokesman-Review, who then published my adventures on what then was, I believe, Hot Potatoes.

This week I took off for southern Arizona in my car, not the motor home. My destination ... Wellton, Arizona, winter home to many Bayview area snowbirds including Jim & Jean Campbell, my hosts,and former owners of the Capain's Wheel in Bayview,and Liz & Larry Justus of the Lakeland RV Park.1512 miles and a sore butt later, I arrived in Wellton, Arizona, about 30 miles east of Yuma.

Today, we visited Lost Cojones, Mexico, where I spent money I couldn't afford on many items I didn't need. I have just been informed that the correct spelling of the town in Mexico is Los Algodones. During the visit in this colorful place, we found many advisors that were aparently placed strategically, so that we could be guided to the can't miss sales of almost everything. These wonderful people were very effective at their jobs and I left empty pocketed.

Driving back from the California side toward Yuma, we spotted a Wal-Mart which of course we stopped at. As we exited the store, waiting for the rest of our party, lo and behold, Dale and Vickie Parowitz, former owners of the Gibbs Tavern on Northwest Blvd in Coeur d'alene appeared. Then Jerry Mutton and A.J. Hare, all either residing in Bayview or recently departed. All totalled, nine meeting in southern Arizona at the same time and the same place. It is indeed a small world.

I'll be heading out to Central California, where I will meet up with most of my children and some of my grandchildren. What I really need to do is go home where I can rest up. More later.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Whether to, Or not?

I haven't ever written about my personal life. One, I consider that rather private, and two, almost always when you attain my age, you tend to drag emotional baggage with you. Today, I'm going to do just that. I am, other than when I attend the local watering hole, or visit other establishments, a Hermit. I am capable of holing up at home and speeding through several novels. Reading has always been my escape/entertainment.

Niggling at the edges of what passes for my mind though, is the realization that I am missing a part of life that is shared by the vast majority of my peers. That would be companionship by a member of the opposite sex. I haven't even dated for the last ten or so years, choosing the coward's way out, that of evasion and non-involvement. After a few years, I became comfortable in that role.

Still, when I get ready to go on a trip as I am going to do in the morning, I wonder what it would be like to share it with another person, sleep with another person and share the discoveries that occur on such trips. Catching a big fish is great, but it's even better when a significant other oohs and awes over the great feat just experienced.

On the down side, and there is a huge down side, most of the good ones at my age are happily married, leaving me to pick through the rejects, bitter divorcees and other malcontents with the accompanying emotional baggage. So, the question begs. Do I step up to the plate, take a few swings, or creep back into my comfortable womb of solitude. As I get older, the realization that it's almost over and a little late prompts me to ask myself these questions. The fact that Bayview is a graveyard for single guys is another factor.

I will head out tomorrow, headed for Arizona, thence to central California to visit my grown children and their children and in a couple of cases, their children.Still, I wonder what it would be like to share all of these things. ...

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Time Out

It's about this time of year that we look around and realize that many of our friends aren't around any more. These people disappear in the fall and miraculously reappear in the late spring. They come back with tans and an attitude. I decided since I haven't taken a vacation in four years and some of my grandchildren that were in elementary school are now in High School and soon will be out on their own, that it was time to visit both.

I will depart Wednesday for southern Arizona, where I will visit with our expats down there. After a few days, days that I will be spending primarily with Jim & Jean Campbell, former owners of the Captain's Wheel in Bayview, I'll trek on to Central California, where I will stay in Manteca, through Thanksgiving.

During my trip, I will attempt to borrow a computer from time to time and will pass on any interesting experiences. I will also attempt to write my twice-monthly column in the spokesman-Review from there. Hopefully, Management will have got their act together and we will know whether neighborhood news is still going to be part of the mix. If not, well, there are other venues and I will seek out some of them. Although I've got a late start, becoming a part-time journalist at age 69, I am enjoying the experience not to mention the extra retirement income that it produces.

I should be back by December 1st. I hope you all enjoy your thanksgiving dinners.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

An Historic Moment

There are certainly many emotions out there about tonite's election results.Some think this is the coming of the new order, and others sink down in gloom & doom. Actually, neither side should be complacent, for even though change is in the works, nobody really knows where it will go. Many of us saw devastation in the results of the presidential election. Others saw glory.

I looked upon the face of what appeared to be a young black girl during the victory celebration in Chicago. Her countenance was of sheer wonder. As her eyes glistened, I saw something I had never seen before. It was a look of hope, a look of absolute confidence. Until that moment in time, I never realized that it may be that a black person has never in our history had the opportunity to have that look.

I an proud to live in a country that can overturn a government peacefully, as we are about to do.Regardless of what others around the globe think of us, we represent hope. The hope that no matter how bad things are, they can get better if we get involved. In Equitorial Africa, people don't get involved, they simply follow their leaders. For that matter, so do those that live in the north of the African continent.

The future of this country, and for that matter, the world, rests in the next few years. Energy, food production, heavy industry, and many other areas of production will probably haunt us for many years. If we escape the deceleration of our economy and avoid a depression, it will still take many years for this country to recover from our foolish mistakes. Having been in the lending business, I can attest to the fact that only government interference caused the reckless lending practices in real estate. We now have to pick up the pieces. Whether we can will rely on the new president, Barack Obama. If he fails, this country is in for horrendous times. If he succeeds, he will be a hero.


Two or more years is just too much to put the American Public through. I am so sick of the campaign I could puke. Friends don't speak to each other, those with differing views aren't even cordial any more and many avoid contact with anyone that is the slightest, politically inclined. Name calling is even with adults at an all time high, which is generally when frustration overcomes intellect. Added to that is the tendency of both left and right to move even further, if one thinks that's possible, to their respective left/right positions.

Today it will be over. When the dust settles we will have a new president, a new Senator and possibly other new faces as well. Some are so disgusted with the present government, that instead of voting straight ticket, they are just voting for whomever is in opposition to the incumbent. Perhaps, after the crowing slows down, things will calm down.

One thing is for sure. Who ever loses the presidential election may, after all, be the winner. When one looks at all of the problems we are entangled with around the world, and domestically, it is scary. Economically, we are treading where we have never gone before in an attempt to stave off severe deflation. The new president, as well as the congress is going to have to stop pontificating and do something even if it requires them to cooperate with each other. One serious misstep and we my start having bread lines again after all these years of prosperity. I have in past posts gone into what I think brought us here, and they don't need to be repeated again ... at least yet.

Get out there and vote, even if your choice is the lesser evil, it's better than dropping out. If you don't vote, you have no moral right to bitch about the outcome. Well, I'm out of here to do just that.