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back from vacation

The Popster and i drove about 4,600 miles across the southwest over the last 2 + weeks. It was a great trip, not perfect but relaxing and very nice. We drove out pretty quickly, with The Popster doing almost all of the driving. We went out 56 and drove straight through missouri, kansas, oklahoma, texas, new mexico, arizona, and on into nevada. we went across the hoover dam and got a good look at the bridge they are building across the canyon. we drove along lake mead and tried to stop for a swim but the lake level was so low it would have been wading in mud, which the dog enjoyed doing.

we holed up in mesquite, nv in a casino hotel for a couple of days, mostly just resting from the grueling drive. Myrtle and i did a long morning hike and we found a stuffed hedgehog dog squeeky toy. There was a backpack there too but i put it out in a sunny spot to dry out and never made it back to pick it up before leaving. The Popsters visits with his mesquite pals was brief and anticlimactic after the long drive.

we drove into california and up to the bay after stopping at an anchient peoples museum that had an old anasazi house and a recreation from the CCC days as well as a reconstructed pit house. if i lived in the desert i would have to live in a pithouse and only come out at night in the summer. we also went to the valley of fire, a cool redrock dessert. the three of us hiked out in the heat to mouse’s tank, and i saw more petroglyphs than i’d seen in one place before. very cool ones and i am eager to go back when i have more time. i would like to take a long winter some time and devote it to documenting hyroglyphs. some day. i thought it was cool that so much of the good surfaces were used in this canyon but i didn’t see any in any other canyon.

the tank itself was very cool and probably accounted for the longheld sacredness of the canyon. it was really more of this mossy kind of grotto than what i would think of as a tank. Mouse was a troublesome old Pauite who holed up out there in the middle of nowhere and caused mischief before they put him down.

at three months of no smoking my only regret is not to be able to easily make a tobacco offering when i go to indiginous sacred places. i’lll work around that next time, should’ve bumbed one from the popster. all in all vaca was less challenging on my no smoking than i had anticipated.

after valley of fire and the long drive across california we slept for 1/2 a night in the berkeley marina parking lot. there is something restful about sleeping under the ocean breeze. brother john came out and woke us early and we went to Nations my favorite california chain for 2 eggers and chili-cheese omelletes with lots of bad coffee. we read a chronicle and discussed the demise of the newspaper.

we hiked the dogs around point isabel, my favorite dog park in the known universe. a 2 mile loop trail along the bay with great views of The City and the goldengate bridge. Myrtle was in heaven going around saying “hi” to all the dogs and people in the park.

we went back to the woolsey house and discussed its impending demise, zoning and unfixable problems with the house and its plummeting value and reverse mortgage. i imagine that will be the last time i see it from the inside. but then again maybe not because i learned before it was a beany factory boarding house it was the hog farm, wavy gravy’s commune, and before that it was a Beat house. it was nice to see Pete who i used to live across from. John moved up to my old space so we saw quite a bit of Pete. I met his brother who came up from florida to help take care of him. hung out with greg the most, donna was sick and didn’t see much of her. scotty was surprisingly happy to see me, as i never thought we were that close and even stacy seemed pleased with our little family reunion.

we spent a day driving through yellow stone. the falls were huge, like nothing i’d seen. we could not walk to the bottom of bridal veil falls because of the spray. all the upper parts of the park were closed with snow so we just made a day trip of it. we did go up an overlook none of us had been too and dad and myrtle had never seen the park so it was pretty fun.

at the bay we hung out, john made chili and we had zachary’s stuffed pizza (yum). i missed my friends in concord.

we caravaned down to joshua tree national park area and we camped in BLM land. when we arrived we came to this wide open expanse where there was an occasional pick up or camper with dirt bikes riding around. we drove to this outcropping ahead of a rocky hill but there were some trucks parked out of site behind it. we decided to drive to the foot of the long rocky hill and camp against it. we drove forward and were looking at potential campsites when the pick ups began shooting assault rifles not far from us so we drove around to the other side of the range of hills and camped.

the site was pretty enough but littered with debris, thousands of shot gun shells, and myriads of shot up stuff including a card table and two manequin torsos. it was sunday and when it got towards dark everyone but us left. we cooked a meal and i slept out under the stars with the full moon brilliant like street lamps.

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