Thursday, July 29, 2004
- saw Crater Lake, several nifty waterfalls and lots of chipmunks.
- accidentally got a massive speeding ticket (was busy listening to John Edwards' speech at the Democratic Convention, not paying any attention to my speed until I saw the blue lights.)
- Despite this, pushed on to Eugene, only to find out that it is hosting the "Junior Olympics." This means that virtually every hotel room in town is full of rowdy teens. After trying 4 places (and calling others out of town,) I found one with a cancellation. My room has a stuffed dalmation in the corner. Scary.
- Realized that I totally overbooked this trip. Something's going to have to give. Think tomorrow I'm going to head for the coast and meet up with my parents for a day or two. Not sure what after that.
- Not really bad, but just funny: I ran into the stuck SUV people again Crater Lake. They thanked me again for pushing.
Wednesday, July 28, 2004
Somewhere near the California-Oregon border, I crossed a bridge and saw a herd of elk lounging on the banks of the river. There was a turnoff ahead, so I pulled over to see if I could get a closer look.
Several other people had the same idea. At first I followed their lead and bushwhacked my way through a grove of stinging nettles (ouch!) to get closer. The view wasn't that great, however.
On my way back to my car, I realized that there was a dirt road leading down to the gravel and sand-covered river bed. I was driving a rental car, and there was no way I was going to risk burying it. But I walked down the road to get a closer look.
Some folks, however, didn't share my prudence. One dumbass in particular drove his front-wheel drive SUV down, and then proceeded to bury it up to the axels in sand. His driving showed a remarkable lack of common sense -- he was able to back up, but rather than simply backing out of the sand onto firmer ground, he went a few feet and then zoomed forward to have another go.
After watching this little show for a few minutes, I offered to help push. The guy's wife also got out to help, and a Korean tourist pitched in. The three of us waded into the sand and began frantically pushing, eventually dislodging the underpowered SUV. Unfortunately, however, I lost my footing in the sand when the vehicle started moving and did a split -- ripping a rather noticable hole in my pants.
Not content to be a Good Samaritan/sucker once in a day, about an hour later I was driving down a road and was flagged down by two adults and about 10 kids standing in the middle of the road. A shirtless guy explained to me that they were out of gas, and asked for a ride to a gas station. I wasn't in a huge hurry, so he climbed in with one of the kids and we headed to a Chevron station about 10 miles up the road. While riding, however, it emerged that the guy didn't actually have money to pay for the gas. So I ended up subsidizing a few gallons for them. It may be they were really in trouble -- or that they have just hit on a scam for getting a few gallons of free fuel. Who knows? In any case, I'll live without the $6.
Spent the night at a Motel 6 in Medford, Oregon. Today I'm off to Crater Lake, and then heading back toward the coast.
Tuesday, July 27, 2004
Monday, July 26, 2004
- Rode the train into SF with my brother and mom. Walked up to Union Square. Took a cable car across the city to the Hyde Street Pier/Ghirardellhi Square area. Wandered around. Took the Muni back through the city, and then rode the train back to Pleasanton. Changed and went to the rehearsal dinner at the Pleasanton Hotel in old town.
- Sunday, we got up late, went to "Dean's," a local fixture that serves every omelet under the sun (including some with clams and other oddities). Mine was hot peper, Italian sausage, and spinach. Very good. Then my mom and dad went antiquing, while my brother and I drove across the Oakland Bay Bridge, through San Francisco, and across the Golden Gate Bridge. We then stopped and walked around the bridge for a bit, and then hightailed it back to Pleasanton for the wedding. We got dressed and headed over to the Wente vineyards in Livermore, where the wedding was held. There were about 120 people there, and dinner and dancing went on into the night.
- Getting a late start today for several reasons, but my plan is to drive up the California coast toward Oregon.
If the laptop keeps working, I'll try to post a few pictures tonight.