Wednesday, October 16, 2013

The Great Adventure Begins Sort Of, Go Back Jack & Do It Again ~ Sept 25, 2013

We take off at 9:30 in the morning. The loose plan is to travel less and camp more, so we decide to stay in California: drive a day, camp a few days, drive a day, camp a few days. We've got the Redwood Empire, the Smith River and Burney Falls calling to us.

The trailer is towing beautifully. However, we get about 20 miles up Hwy 101 and notice the Explorer is not shifting into higher gears, the tach is pegged at 3,500 rpm at 55 mph. This is not good. We bought both vehicles in April, but due to my summer of TACE treatments at UCSF, this is the first time we've had them on the road as a team. Our understanding from the dealer was the that V6 would easily tow the trailer, but we discover that's not the case (more on this later).

Next tune on the radio is Steely Dan's "Go Back Jack and Do It Again". The irony of the moment is not lost on us, so we turn around and head back home. Exercise for the day: unpack the trailer and Explorer and repack the Explorer for a road trip of another kind.

The change in plans opens up new possibilities that aren't weather dependent, so we head for the Sierras. Neither one of us has seen Yosemite in decades and we've never been to King's Canyon or Sequoia National Parks. All Things Happen for a Reason 101: We find out it's raining cats and dogs to the north where we were originally headed.

It's 2pm by the time we've repacked. I suggest we leave early in the morning, but Rod's having none of it, he's ready to roll. Thinking Hwy 37 to Hwy 80 is going to be a mess we opt for the back way on Hwy 12. It's out our back door and will take us up into the Sierra Foothills. We had 50% chance of making the wrong choice and we did.
  Full Gallop (print)
Full Gallop
It's 5-10 mph for the 30 mile trek from just east of Petaluma to Hwy 80. Oh well, it's warm and breezy, the pace allows us to enjoy autumn wine country views and we've got Old Time Radio and the Blues on Sirius XM. To take liberties with the old Jerry Reed song East Bound and Down ~ We have a short way to go and a long time to get there.

Rod, uncharacteristically calm after the lengthy turtle crawl, turns to me with a smile and says " I'd rather be stuck in traffic with you honey than traveling anywhere else on the planet." What's a girl to do? 

We hit Interstate 80 and in a few miles pick up Hwy 12 again, there is little traffic heading into the foothills. We stop in Clements for dinner at La Strada 88, not because it's been recommended but because it's the only place open. Dinner, however, was excellent.

On a whim we decide to stay at the Jackson Rancheria Casino just up the road on Hwy 88. When we get there the only room left is a suite for $179. It's Rod's birthday so what the hey! It's beautiful, quiet and really comfortable.

I decide on a shower and when I closed the bathroom door I find a surprise. On the floor, behind the door, is a salmon colored negligée and a pair of G-string panties with bows on the hips (no accounting for taste). I gingerly pick them up and wrap in a hand towel. When we check out the next morning I politely mentioned to the desk clerk that for the price of the room we didn't expect what we found behind the bathroom door. I carefully unwrapped our little bombshell and she gasped and called for the manager.

They only charged us $100 for the suite. As we drove away Rod said maybe we should stop by a second hand store and pick up a few more negligées, laughing heartily we head for the Sierra's, first stop Lake Tahoe.