I would say I'm into the third chapter of this adventure, one being Little Rock to San Diego, where I rendezvoused with Diana, two being the trip up the California coast to San Francisco with Diana, and three, the stopover in the SF Bay Area. Four will be a visit to Sacramento area friends. Five? Not sure which chapter Ecuador will be! So, to finish chapter two:
The beach near our Carpenteria camp site.
Cruising Carpenteria Thursday afternoon
Reynaldo's had DELICIOUS flan!
Grape cultivation has been significant in this area for many years.
Beautiful tile work depiction
We finally discover why Steve made that statement abot Carpenteria (Blog #8)
Jnani, Diana and I spent Thursday and Friday nights at Carpenteria State Park before Jnani continued on to Los Angeles and we completed the journey to the San Francisco Bay Area on Saturday.
Jnani brought a big tent to sleep in. None of us had a clue how to set it up. I saw that the family next to us had a similar tent, so I walked over and said to the young dad, "And who put up this tent?!" The fellow hesitated, and I added, "because he is obviously a Tent Installation Specialist, and we need help badly!" He then broke out in a smile and said he and his son had, but that he was afraid I was a park employee the way I asked with such authority. I laughed and asked for their help. Shay and son Lucas, about 13 years old, came over with me and helped us find the front zippered door, which we couldn't even find (DUH!). They went back for a hammer for the stakes and proceeded to enthusiastically put up the tent (with our assistance). was born. Shay's wife Jennifer came over, as well as 10-year old Carly, during the tent raising and thus another friendship was born.
Lucas and Shay (in ballcap) figuring things out
Diana helps out
Jnani tripping the light fantastic as Lucas surveys the progress
The next morning with coffee-in-hand -- yay! That's the tent of our new friends in the background
NOW the story gets really good!!! Since we didn't have a prior reservation, and since California State Parks tend to get totally booked in the summer, and ESPECIALLY on the weekends, and since it was FRIDAY morning we were told we had to move, since our site was pre-reserved for the weekend. WAAAAH! We were told that if we wanted to stay another night, we'd have to enter the lottery and see if our name was drawn. So Diana and I went over to the ranger station and added our name to the list. After a long wait, our name was called! But the space available was on the other side of the campground, probably 1/2 mile away.
We went back to Jnani with the news. Her response -- "Let's schlep the raised tent on top of my car to the new site!" I'm thinkin', "OMG, Jnani's at it again"(she's brilliant, and a VERY creative and non-linear thinker)! So I head over to talk to Shay and Lucas and see if I can enlist their help in this kooky project. I didn't mention that Shay is actually a state parks ranger himself and runs a park in the desert region of California. He's young though (late 30s?) and appreciates our thinking *out of the box* and said, "Let's do it!" So, off we go, embarking with them upon another joint project!
Jnani and Diana stablizing it on top of Jnani's vintage Honda
The show begins! That's Shay in the tank top holding on the the tent. We attracted a GREAT deal of attention all along the way. Campers shooting pictures, laughing, wishing us success, calling others to look at the sight, etc. It was indeed a sight to behold!
Lucas and Shay runnning beside the car, hanging on to the tent, about 1/3 of the way there.
Lucas, Diana, me, Shay, Jnani -- all VERY happy with our success! Another park ranger appeared. We were fearful he would reprimand us, but instead he said he just came to give Shay and Lucas a ride back to their tent and he took the group photos!
I had led the way on the circuitous journey on my bike
The Pacific from our new digs
Jnani built an awesome campfire which we enjoyed Friday evening
Early Saturday morning, the three of us enjoying the beach
Jnani clowning around in the surf
All good things must come to an end, but we're milking our time together to the max! (A toast with my morning coffee.)
Diana is an excellennt driver, and helped considerably with that chore!
We have arrived
we are home
in the here
in the now
-- Gatha for the In and Out Breath by Thich Nhat Hanh
-- Calligraphy by Thich Nhat Hanh