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Dear readers –

It was my desire to restore HH to its full & colorful glory, and the beginnings of the road trip are here. Alas, my circumstances have changed, and creating my own CaringBridge blog is best for all of us. Please visit my entries at;

http://www.caringbridge.org/visit/lifespath

and I’ll do my best to entertain, inform, and otherwise grievous harm to the English language.

Let’s make lemonade together…in Light, Love, Joy, Gratitude, Harmony – It Is I am

Kimball

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I was on the road at 3:00 am this morning. One plus about leaving at the gawd almighty hour: no traffic. That’s saying something about Denver.And it seemed le I was in a whirligig, cover five freeways before I got onto I-70. I set the Garmin to show me the elevations as I did the next 775 miles. Denver is in fact Mile High. And then it went higher and higher and higher, finally reaching the summit of 11,000 feet. All within 45 miles. The speed limit as I remember was 75 mph, which I kept to for the most part. There is plenty of signage – too much, in my headlights they’re a real distraction most of them – and slowed down once or twice. The Eisenhower Tunnel speed limit was 50mph though. I was the only one close to that, as everyone else was pedal to the metal.

When I reached Utah, the day was breaking, and as the sun crept over the horizon (sound familiar?) I found an overlook and stopped to take some pictures. They’re posted on FB for now, but when I have time, I’ll add them to the narrative. When I-15 veered off from I-70, the craziness began. Huge caravans of 50+ drivers ass to nose going 85mph+. I never did find a driver to hide/follow behind, not even a semi. Eventually the teeming masses dissipated and driving returned to normal. When I got to Las Vegas, it turned out that I skirted most of the traffic to get to my AirB&B where I am writing this now. Bob & Saauna are my hosts, and very nice people, friendly and helpful. Shauna recommended Gordon Biersch for some craft beer and a burger. I am now officially ready to hibernate. On the way back to my car, Linda texted me from Mojave Valley in Arizona, and guess what? She & her sister are on the way I was going back! It will be fun seeing her again.

To sleep I go…typos will be correctly later…

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Not high in Mile High

Almost another 500 miles and I’m now settled in the AirB&B in Denver. Since I’m leaving for Vegas almost 800 miles down the road, I’m going to leave when I waken – the earlier the better. Gas is $2 and holding, so that’s good for road tripping. (Recreational ganja is $40 for an eighth. And it’s an-no to take it out of state, so don’t ask you guys. Anyway, the stores are closed now, so there)

When I left Lincoln NE, it was 7F, and when I got here, 67F. I did a strip tease on the way. Down to my henley when I arrived. The speed limit on I-70 is 75 mph, and for the first half of the leg, I got 24mpg, buffeted by the winds. The last half my mileage went up by 2mpg, all this doing a steady 75. I passed trucks, everyone else passed me. I stopped to see a sod house in Gothenburg, NE. A little way up the road, was an original Pony Express station. A hundred miles later, out in the middle of nowhere (and there’s plenty of nowhere there) I ate a Lucy’s Diner. Half full with nothing but ranchers and farmers, with an antiquated PC streaming related news in the corner. Burger & fries: $8.

I flesh out these entries when I have more time, but these brief update will remind where I’ve been. Tomorrow I’ll no doubt be totally wiped, so there.

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One down, three to go

First of all, I am very very tired, and a bit grumpy, but I put my toes in the water, and here I am, in Lincoln, NE. One for three “little” legs on my way to visit family and friends on the Left Coast. Home Sweet Home. My nervous energy is dissipating thanks to a pastrami burger from Barry’s Tavern. Very good burger. This being Nebraska, they served no craft beers – really. But Bud Light & Coors was $2 on tap. It was served cold. And Kaylin kept me company while I scarfed.

Speaking of temperatures, twenty degrees warmer 450 miles away from MN.NE has a silver lining after all. Then there was sunlight. Two pluses and counting. I can take one night anywhere.

Alright, the blog is going again. Next is an AirB&B in Denver, then the long stretch to Vegas – 775 miles. I can do it, I can! You might ask why there’s no pictures – did I mention I was in Nebraska? ‘Nuf said.

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_DSC0162Text will follow later. Just had to upload these videos while I’m taking care of other busniess. At Cape Overlook, OR. It was nice to have two different sand types, soft and hard. As this is self-videoed, the framing could have been better, but what the heck. And that’s a peace sign coming out the moon roof, not a high sign to Oregon drivers!

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Traffic was nonexistent and if it weren’t for the “Slow to 10 mho” signs, I would have had more time to look around. So I would stop here and there and take the photos. It makes me realize how big our country is, so vast and open. A ranger at Chuchupate Ranger Station told me there were many virtually unexplored areas throughout their responsibility, including numerous archeological treasures, which remain off the beaten track. Another sign that gave me repeated pause: “Watch for Falling Rocks.” I closed my moon roof, as if that would do any good.

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[note: trouble with formatting continues….I’m going to let it go for now…sorry]

Finally! My road trip is being realized at last. I left Barry first thing in the morning and got gassed at Costco, breakfast at iHop (spinach/mushroom omelet), and returned to Ivy Lawn for the third day in a row. No matter, I got the plot location from the office, and spent the good part of 30 minutes trying to find the plaques. Plural you ask? Yes, my grandaunt, Ethel Percy Andrus, her sister (my grandmother) Maud Service, and my aunt Ethel Andrus Service are side by side. I cleaned around the plaques and thanked them for the memories. Then off to Ojai where Ethel Andrus had founded AARP back in the ‘Fifties. They have changed the senior’s residence name to Gable of Ojai, and it took me a minute to orient myself to what was, and now what is. I was warmly greeted by the director and others, with Christine giving me a tour around the grounds. I met Betty, 102 years old, and wrote on a dry erase board to see if she remembered Ethel. She shook her head “no.”  To fill in some of the family history, I made arrangements to talk with Craig Walker, who is in the process of creating a permanent exhibition of Dr. Andrus at the Ojai Museum. When I return to Oxnard next week (ugh) to get my car restored, I’ll also meet with Craig over coffee.

Ivy Lawn Memorial Cemetery, Ventura, CA

My grand aunt, Ethel Andrus

Family affairs in order, I drove off in the vain attempt to locate another side of the family tree, to wit, Mildred Kimball, my maternal grandmother. In the early 1900’s she was hired by a small Mexican community, as a teacher. Unfortunately, I left the copies of her letters home, at my home. One recollection I have is her traveling the last eight miles to the rancho in a buckboard. Barry thought she might have left from Lockwood Valley, so that’s where I went, their real estate website implying there was a historical presentation there. As it turns out, there’s no there there. I drove right through Lockwood Valley and didn’t know it. I really don’t know what I would have asked even if someone had been available, clueless as I was. Regardless of the search, the drive was wonderful, with lots of sunshine, winding roads, and a spectacular view from the summit of 5,104 feet. There was virtually no traffic going either way. That gave me brief moments to marvel at this tortured land, where unimaginable geologic forces wrested an ever-changing topology into what we see today. Extremes in weather and tremendous forest fires (900,000 acres in the last seven years alone) give meaning to the word “wilderness.”

Summit Highway 33 – looking back, west

Summit Highway 33

From the summit of Highway 33, looking east

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

On the way back from Frazier Park I stopped at Reyes Bar & Grill, 1.5 miles off Lockwood Valley Road. Tony, owner and barkeep is quite a character, and entrepreneur, owing thousands of acres and any number of businesses, including an aggregate operation off the Cuyama River. Thirsty, I had club soda and lime, finally relenting and had a shot of Jim Beam Devil’s Cut, one of the smoothest whiskeys ever, and I should know (not). His bar was recuperating from Memorial Day, with the campsite overflowing with locals and out-of-towners. His regulars came and went while we chatted, and then three of his six kids came back from school, and he served up some watermelon and ice cream.

From Reyes Bar & Grill, I continued westward along Lockwood Valley Road to Highway 33, north to Highway 166 to Santa Maria, 101 to SLO, and Highway 1 to Cayucos where I’m writing this on a sunny morning at the beach. I had fish & chips with local brew or two and Schooners, sitting outside on a raised deck overlooking the waves rolling in. I had a nice talk with another diner, Suzanne, visiting from Salt Lake City. It is so nice to have a conversation where communication is valued, and we had a laugh or two, and discussed far ranging topics that had us closing up the place.

 

One half of Frazier Park , CA

I’ve decided to spend another day in this small community, taking a walk or two, camera at the ready. The Cayucos Motel is more than adequate for my purposes, and Christina, the hostess, even put a breakfast tray in my room, since I tend to rise early, and the continental breakfast is not available until 8:00 a.m. Nice touch. I will fill in this “Day One – Part 20” entry as my thoughts return to me. “Part 20?” I’ve been away for twenty days now, and “Day One?” The first solo element of my road trip – as I said – finally!

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