Sunday, September 16, 2012

Wine and Whine.......

I shall partake in both.  This trip has just begun but the challenges started on the second day of driving down here.  It's not bad enough that we have  a 2 day drive in the big yellow truck.  Crossing Oregon we have to pretend to be a real truck and drive no faster than 55mph.  Crossing the California border we have to go through inspections: fortunately the gal that questioned us really didn't want to deal with us, so she sent us on our way.  Not so at the weigh station south of Shasta.  I did have my seat belt on.  Kind of.  Jack says that is why the State Trouper pulled us in to inspection.  Not us really.  Jack.  I stayed in the truck for the hour he was being interrogated.  Maybe it was the t-shirt that read, "I love guns & coffee." The trooper asked him if he had to be disarmed.  Plus,  it didn't help that the license plates on the truck I leased belonged to a stolen Freight Liner.  He was oh so close to being in hand cuffs. With much research they decided us to be legit.  Only now Jack has to keep a drivers log while on the road.  A slight oversight on our part: I guess we are now officially truckers.

We made it to Petaluma on Saturday and headed to the KOA kampground for the night before meeting up with the tribe on Sunday.  Not the place you want to be on a Saturday night.  5 million screaming munchkins wheeling around on big wheels, bouncing on the big bouncy thing, overrunning the pool, commandeering the bathrooms. I wanted to take in the movie at the pool, but The Lorax just wasn't what I had in mind. We just wanted to sleep.  Not much of that happened. We did manage to get into town and have an awesome sushi dinner.  Jack texted Arlen, our fearless tour leader, and told him the good news and bad news: he led him to believe that we were on our way, but Jack was in jail and the truck was impounded.  Want to see Arlen react REALLY fast?  Sorry Arlen.

Sunday morning we were up early and headed into Petaluma to explore town and visit the quilt shop before meeting the tribe and staff to kick off the tour.  AMAZING quilt shop.  They have an inventory of over 5000 bolts of fabric!  I was in quilt hog heaven.  Jack got to chill for an hour in the big comfy chair.  Any good quilt shop has the big comfy chair for the husband.

We finished up in Petaluma and headed to the coast just north of San Francisco to the Marin Headlands Hostel.  Jack was a little concerned about the road into the park.....justified.  Highway 101 is a little sketchy in this truck with all of the traffic.  He wasn't sure about the clearance of the bridge that we had to go under to get to the entrance of the park.  After a couple of sharp scary turns we had ample room to clear the bridge.  Then he told me he was even more unsure about the tunnel.  WHAT tunnel?  No one said anything about a tunnel.  He was sparing himself days of me obsessing about the tunnel.  I have not had the best of luck with tunnels.  That story later.  We got to the entrance and found that we had 6 inches to spare.  The green light at our end was on and the sign said we had 5 minutes of green light time to get through the tunnel.  It was about a 1/2 mile long.  No problem.  Except for the guy on the mountain bike peddling about 1/2 a mile an hour.  There was no room to pass him so we had to follow him, of course with a line of traffic behind us.  3/4 of the way through the light must have changed. The traffic from the other end entered the tunnel and we were at a standstill.  The cars ahead of us weren't very happy........they had to get out and get the 10 cars behind them to back out and let us through.  I swear there is a tunnel God that I offended somewhere along the journey of these tours.  Hopefully he is now satisfied that he has thoroughly scared the crap out of me enough times to be even.

We made it to the hostel and got set up for the first night with the tribe.  We aren't allowed to cook outdoors here, so it was a dinner of cold salads and carrot cake.  Curried chicken, pasta, pea, potato and green salad with lots of sides.  Homemade corn muffins and carrot cake for dessert.  The tribe was pleased, unlike the herd of raccoons that circled camp.  What is a group of raccoons called? A ruckus?  There are raccoon warning signs everywhere.  For good reason.  The luggage truck and mechanic had to take turns manning the hose to keep them off of the bikes and out of the trucks.  Every time we got out of the back of the truck we had to lock it up..they even came in while I was in there.  It's going to be a long week.

We have a great tribe for this trip: many new to ACA and lots new to our tours.  Arlen has a great staff and it should be a fun week.  Except for the raccoons.  Oh, did I mention the skunk encounters on this trip 2 years ago?  Off we go!

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