Saturday night of the Valentine's Day persuasion: while driving across the 92 bridge from Oakland to San Mateo, I roll down my window to give the toll booth man his well-deserved $4, say to my friend Erika, "man, something sounds weird...", and half a mile later blow out a tire on the freeway. FYI: there is not much of a shoulder, but for the width of Raul the Jetta himself. FYI: regular tow trucks are not allowed on bridges, but the Cal Trans man is! You learn something new everday. FYI: Roadside Assistance pulled through this time, and did not lose their chains while trying to rescue my poor self.
Sunday of St. Valentine's Day realization: all of my posts seem to revolve around my car. I really should either get a life or call the guys on Car Talk.
Further on that day: the prospects of leaving for a 3 day backpacking trip are tarnished by the fact that I need a new tire, that Cindy (friend who just flew in) and I haven't been grocery shopping, and also haven't figured out the best place to go.
Monday morning, President's Day: "Cindy, where should we hardcore ladies go backpacking?" "Anywhere with sunshine!" Agreed! I mean, how hard can it be to find sunshine in the great sunshine-y state of California?
Having narrowed down our choices to Santa Lucia (SLO), Pinnacles, and then Big Sur, we also had the ever-sunny faraway Death Valley and Joshua Tree as back-ups. Here's then what we found out whilst already driving to our destination unknown:
Santa Lucia: flash flood warnings
Pinnacles: the ranger just laughed. Wind. Rain. Horrible. And they don't allow backpacking anyway.
Big Sur: 90% rain.
Death Valley: 100% rain.
Joshua Tree: same.
What then seemed like our best bet? Our optimistic 10% chance of no-rain in Big Sur, so there we went!
Of course the trails were all closed and/or washed out...
And though I DID remember to bring the tent packed away in the big ole backpack, I forgot the tarp. And not to be pessimistic, but having woken up to a tent sitting in 3 inches of water before, it's not necessarily the funnest* thing in America.
*sometimes I think the non-word "funnest" describes a situation perfectly.
So what then did we end up doing?
A TENT CABIN!
We still didn't have electricity.
We still slept in our sleeping bags.
Mr. Darcy still got scared "spitless" and was left shaking. Poor buddy.
We did pretty much lay in our sleeping bags all day and read; books read: The Brothers K (excellent!), and The Promise of Paradox by Quaker author Parker Palmer (also, so interesting...).
And I still am a pretty good camp cook - I must get it from my parents who trained me in their gourmet ways with omelettes while on camping trips.
We were ready to go after 24 hours, but we did get good sleeping, resting, reading, praying, thinking and being time.
That is all.