Friday, November 1, 2013

1 Sooner Rest Stop - Thursday Oct 11 2007

A live report from Oklahoma.

We got a somewhat late start Wednesday but still made Chapel Hill in time for an early afternoon lunch on Franklin St with Stephen & Lewis. We just met after Lewis' 1 o'clock class instead of before and lucky for us Stephen's 3 o'clock meeting was rescheduled. Several pieces of pizza later we head west again and make Nashville just before midnight their time. We would have been earlier except we were slowed down near the state line by a truck wreck, the mountain and the truck had a too close encounter.

Happy smiles, fresh coffee and hot roasted pumpkin seeds greeted us. Well almost happy smiles. Donald was being gallant about his first lose in Scrabulous to Donny which had yet to actually take place as he had one more tile to play. But he played it while we were there and so his perfect record is a bit less so, still he made a great comeback and with a few more good letters the tide would have turned. They want us to stay over, but we decline. So Terri does the next best thing and sends us off with a supply of yummy looking cookies.

Donny & I have been able to keep up our Scrabulous games while on the road with a nifty device he got us that lets the laptop pull in service just about anywhere. How many mindless things can I do on Facebook while putting off trimming threads on the hundreds of SandyBands I brought along.

We are good with taking turns driving and napping or hanging out on line while 'off' duty. So far we have both driven in each of the four states we have progressed through. I had most of the shift through Arkansas and was amused at the adult mega store called X-Mart.

More from the Rockies!

2 Get Your Kicks - Friday Oct 12 2007

Chicago to LA, originally uploaded by wellingtonrabbit.

I start seeing signs for historical Route 66 while finishing up our drive through Oklahoma. I tell Donny it would be a shame to not drive on a part of it anyway. The next town we approach is Clinton which boasts a Route 66 Museum. We get off and find ourselves on a part of the actual route. We are excited. The museum proves to be a good break in our marathon west. It is a great place and, as we find out, the only one worth seeing on the entire trail, which runs from Chicago to California. Our hostess has been a volunteer in the museum since it opened in 1995. She suggests the best book to buy and also the most informative DVD. All the proceeds from the modest admission price and gift shop sales go toward maintaining the museum.

Back on I40 we discover that it overlaps the original Route 66 and so we are still on the vintage trail. We are on day two of our trek west. My goal is Arizona by nightfall.Sat, Oct. 13th, 2007

3 Continental Divide - Friday/Saturday Oct 12/13 2007

New Mexico, originally uploaded by wellingtonrabbit.

We are still making good time although we don't reach Arizona by sunset. And thus we find ourselves at the New Mexico section of the Continental Divide after dark. We have discussed staying over here so that we can see the Rockies by daylight but decide to press on. We do stop long enough to snap a photo of this watershed.

Arizona is a dark blur (Donny is driving) but we have seen some amazing things in Arizona already so don't mind missing a few sights. Donny has thought to wake me when we reach Needles, California as I imagined it to be a neat town, instead it is a huge metropolis which might have some fun parts but none visible from I40. We reach what we think is a toll road but it turns out to be an agricultural inspection stop. We are asked if we have any fresh fruit, plants or such. We don't, but ponder what California doesn't want coming into their state from Arizona. Sure we are near Mexico but not that near, or so it seems to us.

We witness an incredible sunrise which lights up the surrounding desert in brilliant colors. We are at the end of I40 which has served us well. We are near the town of Mojave and are actually still in the Mojave Desert although we passed by the park portion in the dark. We decide to eat a leisurely breakfast as we are way ahead of schedule. We find a charming diner dedicated to old pedal cars of which it has a huge display. Breakfast is perfect, fresh salsa, huge omelets and steaming hot pancakes do the trick.

We are ready for the California leg of our road marathon.

4 Off the Trail - Saturday Oct 13 2007

Sean Guerrero Pegasus, originally uploaded by wellingtonrabbit.

After breakfast I pick up a copy of the local free rag and see that just down the road in Tehachapi is an auction of Jack Palance's estate. The auction is being held at his ranch, not too common to hold a celebrity auction on site, I later read online. It is a three day auction and today is day one. Let's go I suggest. Donny looks at me, his mouth saying how do we get there, his thoughts saying, you really don't mean this. Actually his mouth is saying both things, but being the cool guy he is, he is game for the detour and we are still ahead of schedule for check in time at the hotel.

I find directions online and we soon see ourselves about 10 miles into the desert at the Holly Brooke Ranch so named for Jack's two daughters. The crowd is manageable, the auction has not started yet. We park and wander around taking pictures and chatting with the gal selling programs. The auctioneers are from Pennsylvania and she is already missing her two small children, who are going to be mad at her for not bringing them along. School, she explains. Home school we suggest.

Seeing is enough for me, although if we had wanted to stick around we both would have bid on a kegaerater for Bill Rea. He's been wanting one and how cool to have one from a celebrity estate. Most of the stuff is just that, stuff like all of us have. Some of it even broken stuff. The things folks will buy.

The vintage cars are cool, but it is basically too much dead (pun intended) stuff.

Back on the road we hit our first spatter of rain on the entire trip, but it is not enough to clean the car up much. At last around 3 o'clock California time we reach our hotel, check in and collapse. We did it, we have driven from coast to coast with a few nifty stops even, in just a little over two solid days.

We rock!

5 Marathon Day in San Jose - Sunday Oct 14 2007

Hotel Montgomery, originally uploaded by wellingtonrabbit.

San Jose is a fun, lively town and downtown redevelopment has worked out well. There is a central park and lots of clean open walk throughs lined with trees, flowers and fountains. It reminds me a lot of Minneapolis but much smaller and more intimate.

The race actually ended at the park and started close by. It was a giant serpentine 13.1 mile loop and the weather could not have been better. Alas, it was only a so so running day for me and so my finish time was a dismal 3:31. But finish I did and it was a strong finish as I always save too much for the end but it sure is fun to sprint willingly across the finish.

Donny stayed with me even after we got separated at one water stop and I wasn't sure whether he was ahead or behind me but I was not worried about him. He caught up with me about 3 miles later and would not go on. He wanted to be sure I finished. I was running/walking but it was very sluggish, just over all malaise, nothing in particular. And I did get a good night's sleep too!

The fun part was that as a potential rock star I had a special bib as we all did. The color was different, we were yellow, elites were red and regulars were white. So all along the trail folks were waving and greeting the rock stars.

And at the finish the announcer called me by first name as I approached the final mat and said I was now a...Rock Star!!

6 Coastal California - Monday Oct 15 2007

Zen Front Yard, originally uploaded by wellingtonrabbit.

Before we leave San Jose we take in the BodyWorld exhibit at the Tech Museum just down the street from our hotel. We do this later Sunday in the early evening. It is completely amazing. And it is more than just a display of disected bodies. There is Drawer Man, whose body is exhibited in the theme of drawers opening to show the interior of that particular body area. There is the figure skating pair in a death spiral pose that vividly demonstrates muscles at work, as well as the baseball player and skateboarder. There is Angel Woman and X-Woman so named because of the pose the figure resembles with her different layers of muscle exposed. There is Puzzle Man where everything is pulled apart on a plethora of fishing lines to help us better see interiors. On and on these informative and creative exhibits offer innovative ways to help us explore our bodies. This exhibit is actually BodyWorld II. BodyWorld is currently in Charlotte and is so popular that the exhibit has been extended until January.

Monday morning we pack and leave but not before we pick up a prescription for Donny kindly called in by Jeff to a local pharmacy. A tooth is misbehaving.

We decide to take the long cut via Route 9 through the smaller redwood forests to Santa Cruz and then head north to Half Moon Bay. The huge redwoods are much father north but these that we pass are still impressive and so very tall. It is a curvy road up and down the mountainside, making Colington Road a nothing. We pass many pumpkin farms and quaint small towns.

It is not long before we are in Half Moon Bay and follow directions to the cottage. We know where we are going this time, but last year we happened upon it by foot as this street is only two blocks long and dead ends for cars at one end. How did we ever find this place we marvel? It is right in the middle of the bay named Half Moon Bay and today we discover that the actual town is off of Route 1 to the east of where we are.

We have the best travelers' luck!

7 Cottage by the Sea - Monday Oct 15 2007

Hastings House, originally uploaded by wellingtonrabbit.

We continue to enjoy and marvel at how we happened upon this spot. Last year we were driving down the coast and the name Half Moon Bay caught my eye, I remembered it from a book I had read and too it had a wonderful ring to it. And so we steered off course to take a look and happened upon the only street with housing right on the beach, all the rest of Half Moon Bay is public land or across Route 1. We walked on the beach and stuck around because of a tiny cafe that was open and offered a great view of the sunset about to happen. We took some pictures and moved on. This year in our search for a fun place to stay between San Jose and San Francisco, Donny used one of our pictures that showed an address to find the area again and located this cottage for rent.

Upon meeting Linda, the owner, and explaining our saga she too marveled at this fun story. She told us that the cafe was only open as such a very short time and is actually more of a long time gathering place for some of the world's best jazz musicians. It's a private club but very low key. Members can make their own coffee and enjoy the day time ocean view as well as jam at night when it suits.

Linda's husband, a world touring classical guitar player, Richard Patterson, hangs there sometimes as does she, a visual artist. They rent our charming cottage where it works and more often the gardens, which Linda created entirely herself from an overgrown meadow, for weddings of which there is one later today. Just the couple, an elopement of sorts.

Last evening we dined in Half Moon Bay proper at Cetrella's, now on my short list of favorite places to eat. I had the pumpkin special. Pumpkin soup, with roasted pumpkin seeds added; pork with rice, steamed pumpkin and spinach in a marvelous sage gravy; and for dessert a not too sweet pumpkin tart with a tiny scoop of pecan ice cream, house made.

Donny had the soup, free range chicken and three tiny scoops of white peach, pear and a red fruit sorbet, all house made.

We slept well, lulled to sleep by the chilling Pacific air.