Palo Alto, CA

After leaving the Hot springs in Oregon I decided some mindless cruise control was in order. I hit I-5 in Medford and cruised my way south to Williams, hooked a right and headed for Clear Lake off the 20. Found the state park, empty, I’m going to miss traveling in the “off” season. Did a quick drive thru, no hook ups but some pull thru sites. Checked out the shower situation, coin op and clean. Drove back to the entrance to see what the fee is. I have become very frugal and refuse to pay hotel rates for a dirt strip & no hook up. This park is hotel rate, $55. I decide to stay parked at the front gate and go take a shower. Back at the home I fire up the lap top and discover there is a casino 4.6 miles away. I head over and park in there lot on the edge of the lake. Nice view, quiet and free.

The next morning I plug Franks address into Garmin Matt & head down the 101 thru Sonoma, wine country. The sun is out & I only have a couple hours to drive before I meet up with Frank. I’m not sure I would have picked a different route but, Matt took me across the Golden gate bridge. Toll bridge, the mh just squeaked between each booth. I don’t think you could have fit a deck of cards between the home and the booths on each side. Took some pics as I crossed the bridge and then I was dumped out DOWN TOWN. I was pretty freaked I might bottom out on some of the cross roads & I had to really pay attention to my length at red lights. As intent as I was on driving I didn’t look around so much, but I was happy to be there.

I parked overnight at the Costco near Frank & waited for his call the next morning. After Frank arrived we decided to go to breakfast, we managed to find a parking spot behind the library on a quiet tree lined street. We left the mutt to guard the home & headed out. One of the greatest things about the climate here is the outdoor eating. After settling on our table I start to take in my surroundings. Sunny and nice, I would guess 65ish. I’m wearing jeans and a t, everyone around me has ski coats, vests, scarves and some even wear gloves. I look forward to the day I need gloves on a 65 degree day.

The weather is supposed to go bad, can not take the bike out yet. Frank suggests Half Moon Bay. As we pull out we can hear the scraping of the trees on the top of the home. I didn’t think I was that close but the home is quite the beast. There is no way I can move the limbs so I just have to go for it. The sound is just awful, scraping and snapping. We pull out and stop in the middle of the street to take a look at the damage. Frank climbs up on the roof & I climb up the ladder enough to see. The limb ripped the cheesy aluminum guard that runs along the drivers side about 6″ off the roof. I never understood it’s purpose and I planned to take off anyways. It has already caused me grief earlier in the trip at Nita’s. I just didn’t plan on ripping it out, luckily the holes are small and I can seal them up easily. Mother Nature just needs to cooperate.

We take the 20 minute drive to the coast and find a state park 2 blocks from down town. After settling in we walk to town and stop for our first drink at a local watering hole. We pick a spot at the bar and can hear a loud obnoxiouse guy at the other end. This is how we met Kevin. Proud of my sarcasm and wit I enjoy quick come backs to his ribbing. We all became fast friends. After many a drink Frank and I leave to eat some sushi and drink some saki, finishing off a great night.

We wake the next morning to fierce winds and buckets of rain. We manage to muster and head to town for bloody marys. Who would be there? None other than our buddy Kevin! Many Marys later we leave our friend in search of  Mexican  dinner. On our way back to the home who do we run into??? You know it…. KEVIN! We were invited back to his condo, met his lady Laura and watched football and had a great time!!

Our weekend in HMB went by quickly. Once back in Palo Alto we managed to find a parking spot a few blocks away from Franks studio. I was given the official tour, some quick hugs and see ya laters.

Palo Alto, CA

Category: Short Stories

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