WOOFing, On The Road…Day Two
Filed Under: Lifestyle, US | Posted: 03/19/2009 at 12:49PM
Comments | Region: United States
Driving Through Nevada and to Portola, CA
The next day was another marathon drive, road construction and smoke from fires in California. The farther north we went, the smokier it got.
The day wore on, the smoke got thicker and we got to Fallon, NV late in the day. We checked out the motels, all of which seemed to be owned by the same family of brothers and relatives, which meant the prices were the same at all of them. Gas was cheaper than Tonopah but we didn’t need any. On an average, gas was about fifty cents a gallon more than what we were used to paying in NM, but we were conditioning ourselves for CA, where we knew it was going to be expensive, no matter where we were.
We gassed up in Sparks, NV and were pleased with the mid-forties MPG we were getting. We definitely weren’t traveling light. When we got to Portola, CA, I repacked the car , since everything I thought we’d need was on top and everything we really needed was on the bottom. I took a lot of photos of what was packed away in our small four door sedan turned pseudo pick up truck. The photos have been made into a slide show and are posted on www.mileageman1.com. It’s not possible to take a long, extended trip without always taking more than you’ll need. or think you will.
Our next stop was in Portola, CA. On the way we toured the beautiful Sierra Valley. Unfortunately, the smoke from the forest fires limited the opportunity for landscape pictures. We spent a very enjoyable 2-1/2 days with Celinda’s cousin and her husband. Before going to their home, we had lunch in the town park. Big trees, displaced sea gulls, lawns and picnic tables greeted us and it was too much to resist. Karen and Mike’s beautiful home sits on a hillside with a magnificent view of the mountains. They are great people and we look forward to seeing them again when we pass that way in the future.
While we were there, we had our first opportunity to experience of the main objectives of our trip, organic farms and farmer’s markets. Everything was fresh, direct from the farm or sea and the people were friendly and knowledgeable. Time was short but I got lots of pictures, which will be on www.smalltownswest.com.
One of the other objectives of the trip was to go to my fiftieth high school class reunion. I’d only seen three people in all those years since high school and I was glad they’d planned to have names tags for everyone so I wouldn’t be too embarrassed. As it turned out, the ones I talked with the most were those who I hung out with the least, or at all, while in school.
It’s strange how time can be perceived. It can seem like yesterday and forever all in the same time frame. Some things seem like they just happened recently and others are a lifetime away in our minds. Some of my classmates have faired well and others have already passed on. I had hoped to be able to spend a day or so with friends that I’d stayed with during my hike, bike and kayak odyssey in 2000 but they were on their way to San Jose early the next day to help their son move. Maybe we’ll get a chance if we pass that way on our return trip.
We’d planned to expand our WWOOFing (world wide opportunities on organic farms) experience after leaving the reunion but where we planned to go was in the firestorm area and the smoke was almost overpowering, even in the valley where no fires were burning. As it turned out, the lady who was the driving force behind the reunion, and who’d been my contact during the last year or so, told us to “Hang loose.” In a couple of minutes she was back with a good friend from school who offered us a place to stay in their guest cottage.
We stayed the night and could have stayed longer except they were in the process of finishing their new home and guest cottage and had workers coming in the next day to seal the new concrete, which meant we’d have no way to get in or out of the cottage. We went through our WWOOF book and Celinda made a phone call that proved to be a real jewel for everyone involved. Our next stop was only a few miles up the road at an organic kiwi orchard in Palermo, CA, where we’d meet some people who we’ll be friends with for life, maybe longer, depending on your beliefs.