Monday, March 17, 2014

More adventures and a slightly larger misadventure....

“the only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones who never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn like fabulous yellow roman candles exploding like spiders across the stars.” 
― Jack KerouacOn the Road

Grey whale spouting in Southern CA

Well, the last few days have definitely been an adventure.  Friday morning I headed out to Tombstone, AZ, with the goal being to see a gunfight at the OK Corral.  Well, I watched the Helldorado gunfight instead, which was a comedy, and a little too slapstick silly, but overall enjoyable.  Then went on a trolley tour of the town, and stopped at Boothill Cemetery to view the graves and then stopped at the guest shop, which had some great souvenirs related to the area.  There was one gravestone, for a person who was lynched by a mob.  During the trolley tour, we learned he had been part of a gang that had killed several people, but since he was not directly involved, he was just jailed instead of killed.  Only, the townspeople were so upset, that they pulled him out of the jail and lynched him.  Now, the sheriff was in trouble, since he knew exactly who had been a part of the lynch mob, but considering the circumstances, didn't really want to punish anyone, so when the coroner said he may have died from "emphysema, which might have been caused by strangulation, self-inflicted or otherwise.", he ruled the death from natural causes, and avoided prosecuting anyone.  

After leaving Tombstone, I made a quick swing through Sierra Vista to see my aunt and uncle  that I hadn't seen in a while.  That left me just enough time to swing north, set up at my campground and shower, and then head over to a square dance with Mike Sikorsky, one of my favorite callers.  Hopped on 10 through Tucson (traffic was ridiculous), then went to get off on my exit north of Tucson, to head over to Eastern Phoenix (Mesa area).  I came off the ramp onto a dedicated lane, and there were 2 cars beside me, that I kept my eyes on, since they would have to get into my lane if they wanted to get on the interstate.  The second car put on his blinker, so I made sure he was aware that I was there, but was almost past the on-ramp, so stopped being so worried, when the first car all of a sudden realized he needed to be on the interstate and cut across my lane and onto the ramp.  Unfortunately, I was right there.  I saw him coming close enough to scoot over with him, laying on my horn in hopes that he would stop before actually hitting me, but no such luck.  He completely scraped the passenger side of my car.  So, had to wait for highway patrol, fill out the accident report, etc.  Thankfully, the car is still drivable, though USAA's automated thing says it might be totaled.  Waiting to hear from the person today on what to do from here.  :-P

Stayed at a KOA Friday night.  Woke up the next morning, and a lady had heard me coughing and gave me a "Fisherman's Friend", which was wonderful!!!! Cleared the cough right up, and helped with the chest congestion.  I highly recommend it, even though it tastes kind of like licorice.  Took a tepid shower with no water pressure, before hitting the road again.  The guy in the next tent site was using an ultralight tent like the one I purchased for my hike, so we talked about putting up the fly on it, since I haven't used that kind of tent/fly before, though I did set the tent up once to see how it worked.  He was a young man (19?ish), from London, biking across the US from San Francisco to Florida.  He flew most of his equipment over with him.  He said it is common over there for people to take a year off and do something like this.  After he left, I told the lady who had given me the lozenge about this, and she replied that this bike "trail" from San Francisco to FL is becoming very popular, and there are maps of routes to take, things to do, etc.  That explains all the bikes I've been seeing traveling.

Saturday was all about getting to San Diego, and that was my only goal.  I did get some great pictures along the way of Saguaro cacti, and the Imperial Sand Dunes.  The Imperial Sand Dunes were huge and beautiful, and right along the road.  I'm learning to get great pictures while driving. :-)  Once I hit the California border, it was interesting that all I saw mostly was AZ and CA license plates.  In AZ, there was a mish mosh of plates, due to the snowbirds that all go there for the winter.  I kind of miss that.  Seeing the same license plates get kind of boring.

Sunday started interestingly.  I had debated Sat night about which church to go to, and had looked at two in the area.  Then, a friend posted on facebook about his church, which I had forgotten was in San Diego!  So, I got to attend church with some people that I knew, which was great!  Then went out on a whale watching cruise.  It was great!  We saw dolphins, sea lions, seals, lots of birds, and, of course, whales.  This is the time that the grey whales migrate north from Mexico, and we found two of them and followed them for about 2 hours.  At first, they were awake, and going up and down, and seeing flukes, and all kinds of fun things, but then they went to sleep, and so stayed very near the surface and spouted occasionally, so got some great close up pictures of them.  The most amazing part to me was when they were just below the surface, and you could see their tail going up and down in the water.  It was hard to see  how big they were overall, but you could see this huge tail moving.  A-M-A-Z-I-N-G!!!!  Loved it.  Then on the way back to where I was staying, I saw a Trader Joe's.   Made my day.

I was going through some of my pictures, and found one from Cozumel, where I was taking a picture of an iguana that was just sitting/walking across the stoop of the parking lot.  What I never saw, was the iguana hanging out on the side of the tree behind him.  I also forgot to mention a few things that happened on the cruise.  One of the other dancers and I regularly ordered and additional appetizer or entree that we wanted to try from the dinner menu.  One night, when I had particularly stuffed myself during the meal, our waiter came around to ask what we wanted for dessert.  I looked at the menu, looked at him, and said, "One of everything".  There were easily 7 desserts on the menu.  He said, "Which one?", and when I repeated, "All of them."  He got quite a shocked look on his face.  I had to laugh.  "Just kidding, I'm too full for dessert." That was the only night I skipped dessert.  Also, during one of our evening meals, the captain came on and announced that we were slowing down and turning around, because they had seen a potentially stranded boat, and had to go check on it.  Turns out the boat was full of Cuban refugees, and they had been stranded on the ocean for several days, so they brought them on board and took care of them.  That night, when we went to dance, we realized that they were keeping them in the room across the hall from where we were dancing!

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