Out of the frying pan, into the fire

Trip Start Jul 18, 2010
Trip End Aug 16, 2010

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Flag of United States  , California
Sunday, August 1, 2010

Rising early, we set out on Rt. 28 through Lake Tahoe National Park. The moon hung in the bright blue sky as we rolled through the pine scented mountains. I realize that I keep bringing up the smell of pine, and there is a good reason for this. The mountains of California have a very particular smell, one that is very familiar to me. As a child, I spent many summers in this area, my grandparents owned a small summer cottage in Keddie, located about 70 miles from Tahoe. As we meandered through the area, childhood memories flooded my imagination. The “crick” as Grandma called the large creek that flowed behind the house, contained crawdads. I became adept at treading water because I was afraid to put my feet down for fear they would be pinched. All of my memories of Grandpa were here. He loved to hunt and fish, and often did so with my father. I remember them cleaning fish and pulling feathers from ducks (ick). These are some of the fond thoughts I had, triggered by the unique smell of the area.

We stopped for Sunday brunch in the small town of Quincy. Quincy is where Grandma did all her shopping and sang in the church choir. The Morning Thunder restaurant is obviously a destination for weekend bikers, the food was unique and outstanding! The collection of motorcycles that lined the street provided a diversion while we waited our turn for a table.

After our wonderful brunch, we continued on down the mountain. The farther we went, the warmer it got. By the time we hit the foothills, the Goldwing was registering an air temperature of 101 degrees. (NOTE: the Kawasaki registered only “damn hot.”) We were quickly approaching the Central Valley. I said to Nick, “see that valley out there? That is where we are from.” Nick replied that it was stupid hot here. I agreed and said, “take a picture so I remember not to come back here.” He responded that he already had. My family is from the lower part of the Central Valley, the San Joaquin Valley. I am not very fond of this area, it is very hot, dry, and smells bad on a breezy day. Unfortunately, we had no choice but to stay the night in Redding, it was getting late in the day and our next leg would be more twisty mountain roads. One does not attempt those at night without deer repellant, and we were in short supply.

On a good note, after a refreshing dip in the Best Western pool, we ate a wonderful dinner at the adjoining restaurant. Nick and I decided to take our dessert back to the room with us and ordered our treats “to go.” Much to our astonishment, the sweets arrived in mega jumbo sizes. Holy cow! Neither one of us could finish the enormous servings, despite how tasty they were. And those pictures? Lies, all lies. Donna totally set me up.

Riding shiny side up,

M, D & N
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