The flight into Orange County was good but seeing Cory after two weeks was goodest. She lives in Long Beach with her parents, my Mom and brother live in San Dimas, but we stay at her friend Marsha’s place in Irvine so I fly into Orange County. Our parents come from pretty different backgrounds but both agree that pre-marital sex is a bad thing. For the Bible tells me so. Yeah well the Bible was written for a first century culture in Asia-Minor, and thirteen was a pretty normal age to get married at. I don’t understand why people force their judgments on other adults. We’re living our life the best we know how to and shouldn’t be expected to be different people around our family. As a consequence their interactions with us are significantly diminished and we all suffer from a weaker relationship between us and our parents.
We’re still making efforts though and headed up to Long Beach for a BBQ with her parents and some friends. It was a good time but a bummer to have to leave early and drive a bunch of miles to somewhere we were welcome.
The following morning we took our time getting going in the morning, enjoying a good breakfast and a couple cups of coffee. The plan was to head South and spend time with the San Diego boys who exclusively make their living playing poker online. They’re some of the best in the world, playing high stakes and doing well enough that they just bought a mansion on top of the hill in Pacific Beach. I love those guys and wish we could have spent more time hanging, but lunch on the beach and some chill out time would have to do because we were supposed to have dinner with some old friends from camp that night back in Monrovia.
Dinner turned into game night. We lost a game of Settlers and then team Deventzen won a come from behind victory in Cranium. I like having friendships that stretch over many years. We drove back to Chateau de Marsha, had a good sleep, another good breakfast in the morning, and then were headed to my extended family’s gathering in El Toro.
They’re the families of my Dad’s first cousins on his Mom’s side. We’ve celebrated Thanksgiving, Christmas, and often Easter with them for as long as I remember and they’re all I have that resembles family beyond my nuclear unit. I always wish I could spend more time with them. It was great to hang, awesome to see Cory received well, and we chalked up another good day.
Monday was travel day and the start of our road trip to the Beale Street Music Festival in Memphis. We drove Cory’s car to the Metro station, hopped on a train that took us through Compton to another train which we took to a free shuttle to LAX. Took a Southwest flight to Denver, shuttle to my truck parked off site and packed with gear for a couple weeks on the road, and headed off toward Bear Basin Ranch.
I was driving South on 225 through the East side of Denver, cruising along at 55 MPH or so in the left lane, and I was just about to pass a truck in the right lane. I was chatting with Court Harrington on the phone when the car in front of me slammed on it’s brakes, started skidding, and turned left into the center divider. I jammed the brake pedal and there was no way I was going to stop in time. Quick peek over my right shoulder while mashing the gas pedal and turning into the right lane barely squeezed me between the stopped car in front of me and the truck moving fast in the right lane. The traffic on the left was completely stopped for some reason and the right lane was still pretty wide open. The car behind me didn’t have that window though, and as I glanced over my left shoulder I watched this little white car slam into the back of the SUV that stopped in front of me highlighted by a very loud crunch. Wow that was close.
We stopped for some Chick-fil-a in Colorado Springs and finished our drive to Westcliffe where we met Dave and Mike at Poag’s. It was good to see LaDonna the bar owner and some other of the people I got to know last summer, and laughter with the boys ensued as usual. Back to the ranch, we were staying at Dave’s place since the ranch is still very much in Winter mode, and after spending some time with Dave and Michelle we hit the sack.
Up early Tuesday morning, thanks mostly to either Wesley or Bridger’s pounding a Hot Wheel on the floor above our guest bedroom. No problem I like being up early on the ranch. Coffee, breakfast, chat, and discussion for the day’s activities. Ride now and hang out later during Wesley’s nap time or fish now and ride later? We checked the weather and it called for a crappy afternoon so we headed over to the ranch to catch some horses.
The main herd was in North, Dave and Mike’s horses, Cider and Molly, were in the main corral. Four horses including my girl from last summer, Little Bit, were in East, and we spotted them munching on hay so they were our ponies. Halters, brush, pads, saddles, and hackamores went in the bed of my truck. Dave followed us over there to help if needed. Cory and I caught Tinkerbell and Little Bit no problem and had them tied up by the time before Dave pulled up. I caught a great picture of Wesley, totally spontaneous.
Cory had not ridden since she was eight years old so I taught her everything and she picked it up great. We went for a ride all over the ranch and called it quits shortly after noon when the cold winds were trying to blow us out of our mounts.
We headed in to town for some lunch and I wanted to run my bow to the archery shop. My peep sight popped out and it takes some special tools to put it back in properly. Plus I lost a bunch of arrows in the snow this winter and could use some new ones cut. The shop is attached to the thrift store and said that it was closed. We walked into the thrift store, I asked if the archery guys were around, and a dude who looked like he knew a thing or two about archery said it depends. I explained the problem, brought in the bow for him to check it out, and he walked me back into his closed shop. He put it on the press to see if enough tension could be released to work on the string, turns out he could, and he said he’ll get it fixed up no problem. We walked to Poag’s for lunch since everything else was closed and he was done by the time we got back. My sling was broke too so he sold me one for $8.95 plus tax. What do I owe you? $9.44. Oh come on what about your time? Don’t worry about it. Well, thanks man, have a couple beers on me. I hand him a $10 bill. He flings it at the gal at the register and says give him his change, we’re square, and grins. I shake his hand, thanks Doug. I appreciate it!
Back to Dave’s place just before the snow showed up and we spent the rest of the day playing Settlers and watching hockey. Dinner was elk steaks, mac and cheese, and grilled asparagus. Sick game between Chicago and Vancouver, Burrows’ goal in OT marked bedtime, and we hit the sack sad to leave in the morning but excited to go places we’ve never been
Peace and good luck,