The woman with the clipboard met me at the transfer station gate. My little pickup truck was out of place among the giant garbage trucks. My paranoia screamed. I kept checking the mirrors for angry relatives. None appeared.
My load was just one tarnished old statute of civil war era family embarrassment. I was nominated to remove it and drive it three towns away because I’m the only one with a truck, and I wasn’t a racist asshole. Lucky me. I may sell the truck.
The woman shrugged her shoulders. I paid the dump fee and she waved me in.
We lived so long in California that it still seems oddly like home. We are in a campground with peacocks roaming freely. Everyone, except the weird lady in the retro trailer, has at least one dog. There are recycling bins! I can’t tell you how hard it is putting bottles and cans in a trash bin. We are back in tree-hugger land.
6/12/20 – The Warren Report
We are staying two days at the Earl Warren Showgrounds, the home of the Santa Barbara County Fair. Yes, that Earl Warren. It’s just a parking lot but there are some funky people here.
Being in Santa Barbara we had to eat at a Habit Burger. The chain started here. It only took three tries to find one that had a parking lot big enough for us.
6/13/20 – Santa Barbara Unmasked
Had a bike ride today. Mostly very nice. A wonderful bike route along the ocean. Then I turned through downtown. At first I was happy because the main street was closed to cars. Then I saw all the people. None of them were wearing masks, not even the workers at the outdoor cafes.
Saw later on the news that today was the first day the street’s restaurants were reopened. Judging from other states I expect that they’ll have a big spike in COVID cases in two to three weeks. My favorite idiot on the news was saying there was no reason to wear a mask because it was such a nice day.
Oh yeah; today I got to shop at the WalMart in Oxnard, and nobody can ever take that away from me.
6/14/20 – Pismo Beach!
Pismo Beach is one of our favorite vacation spots, and we’re in our favorite park, right next to downtown. We must shop for T-shirts. We don’t need T-shirts. We all already have Pismo Beach T-shirts. Still, we must shop for T-shirts.
6/15/20 – Bad Fire Up The Road
Shell Beach, which is at the north end of Pismo Bay, caught fire today. Lots of smoke. It’s mostly under control now, but there are hot spots and high winds. People here at the campground are showing solidarity by STARTING FIRES! Idiots.
6/16/20 – Leaky Hoses
Today I discovered that our sewer hose was leaking. It oddly sprouted a leak on top. I have no idea how that can happen. Usually it gets torn on the bottom from getting dragged on the gravel. Fortunately, it was only the gray water and not the black water that was leaking. Anyway, I went to WalMart and bought a new one. The adventures of travel.
6/17/20 – SLO
We had to drive to SLO, AKA San Luis Obispo, to go shopping. Pismo Beach is too hip to have regular stores. I did not buy gingerale. Pat got to go into Sprouts, her favorite store. Such thing become important when you travel around and your favorite stores are not always available.
Bob the Verbose, patron philosopher of cheap whiskey, stood on the street corner shouting his scriptures of nonsense at the sinfully sober crowd. Nobody really cared about his message, but the constant mentions of strong drink kept his audience, in equal parts, ready to join in and ready to condemn.
Building to crescendo, Bob halted for a mighty pregnant pause, which the inattentive crowd mistook for the end of the speech and wandered off. All attempts at recovering his hold over the audience failed in ever feebler pleas.
Bob packed up. Barely enough in the tip jar for a pint.
Las Vegas is over a mile high and very sleepy about it. Back in the valley it’s 106 today. Here it was 90, but only 15% humidity and there’s a breeze. In the 50’s tonight. Hopefully finally able to sleepy.
Patrick Swayze used to live near here. Nearly all the Tom Mix movies were filmed near here. Are you impressed? Deal with it.
6/5/20 – Oh Yeah, Altitude
I went for a bike ride today. It was hotter than I hoped, but I had plenty of Gatorade. It was hillier than I hoped, but I took my time and my legs are strong. What I forgot was that we are at 6,500 feet and the air gets a bit thin up here. By the time I got back to the campground my lungs were burning and I was well worn out.
6/6/20 – Downhill
The thin air was getting to all of us so we came down to Albuquerque, which sits at a mere 5,000 feet. We’re in a funky little RV park in a corner spot that’s a pull-in, rather than a back-in or a pull through. Perhaps back-out would be a better name.
The mountains are behind us and a drainage ditch in front. We do have a small lawn of plastic grass. It sparks memories of Gardner’s Uptown Lunch and Variety, overlooking the astroturf.
6/7/20 – Loose Wires and Hornet Nests
Had to climb on the roof today to fix the air conditioner. Fortunately there was an obvious loose wire, so the troubleshooting was minimal. Also fortunately, the hornet nest was long vacant.
Oh yes, there’s a rooster next door. A real rooster. A scream at the sunrise kind of rooster.
6/8/20 – The Wind
The wind was bad today, but until I saw the evening news I didn’t realize how bad. Here in Gallup there was a gust measured at 75mph. That’s borderline hurricane speed. Fun.
6/9/20 – Less Wind
The journey continues. We are in Williams, the gateway to the Grand Canyon. A funky little town that’s currently all locked down.
6/10/20 – More Heat
We’re in Barstow where it’s cooler than Needles by a whole 2 degrees. 98 in the shade. Air conditioner not working. I thought I fixed it the other day but it seems that was just a symptom, not the root cause. Did I learn nothing from Rocky Horror?