Wednesday, May 22nd
We finally saw a rattlesnake. Today. We have them in Connecticut but I don’t know anyone who has actually seen one there. The threat of “super poisonous” pink pigmy rattlesnakes at the National Monument in Colorado had me looking down at the ground when I should have been admiring…the National Monument. And there have been signs and warnings in most every other place we’ve gone hiking on this trip. But today we saw one in wine country. A genuine western rattler.
I’m getting ahead of myself here a little bit. We checked out of our hotel in Capitola this morning and grabbed breakfast at a little short order shack the locals seemed drawn to. Emma and Bill ordered eggs and toast and potatoes and stuff. But Nic ordered biscuits and gravy and I realized this was my chance to get that checked off my bucket list so I followed suit. Nic claims it wasn’t very good but it was my first B&G ever so I didn’t have anything to compare it to. I did notice that, immediately after my second bite, I felt instantly corpulent, in a Henry VIII kind of way. Like my heart was pumping a cholesterol slurry through my vascular system. I think I have gout now.
After breakfast we made a bee line for the San Francisco airport where we dropped off Emma and Nic who had parked their car there when they flew to meet us in Vegas. We then made a run for Sonoma to meet them. We crossed the Golden Gate Bridge in the early afternoon in splendid weather with a crystal clear view of the outer bay, the city, Alcatraz, etc. Wonderful. The coolest bridge on earth and my dad’s personal second favorite (after Brooklyn).
Emma and Nic both work at the Hanna Boys’ Center in Sonoma. And they wrangled for me and Bill the school’s guest house where we are staying for the rest of the week. Huge. Cable TV. Internet. Swimming pool. Laundry. Fireplace. Really amazing. And a great break from two weeks of motel life. We totally don’t deserve it but…I’m making myself pretty comfortable right now. Hockey in HD. With cold beer. And a clean load banging around in the dryer. Heaven.
But back to the rattlesnake. After getting us settled, Nic went off to work and Emma took me and Bill for a hike at Jack London State Park. Site of the home and expansive farm of the famous author. And it was just beautiful there. Towering redwoods and eucalyptus, vineyards, London’s house, hiking trails etc. We wandered up to his gravesite where a big red rock was set on his cremated remains. And that’s where we saw the rattler. Coiled quietly in the shade, guarding Jack London’s grave. We thought from the shape of it’s head that it might be a rattlesnake, but weren’t sure. So Bill provoked it to move (don’t try that at home, btw) and, sure enough, when it retreated into it’s den, the last thing we saw, clear as day, was the rattle. Cool. Bucket list.
So we’re at the end of our road trip, but not of our adventure. Four more days here before we fly home. Can’t wait to get started.
Random notes from today: A quick word about Nic here. He’s in ridiculously good shape. Seriously ridiculous. Which is all the more amazing since he doesn’t seem to eat anything that’s good for you. At all. In the several gas or other pit stops we made after adding him to the passenger list, he was consistent in that he’d disappear and then return with the most astonishing array taboo snacks. Jerky, Doritos, Fritos, Pepperidge Farm cookies – you name it, he found it, and bought it, and it was life shortening. But he’s also exactly the guy you want in your car on a long drive. The dude who unselfconsciously buys the stuff you’d never get caught dead putting on the counter. And then shares it. Generously. I finished the cookies this morning. Boom.