12/05/05 to 12/11/05
On Monday, 12-5, we braved the California highways to move to the NACO park
18 miles north of Santa Barbara.  We only saw one accident, and only got a small
chip of paint knocked off the hood when someone ahead of us dropped a mirror
the size of Texas on the road.  The car in front of us swerved to miss the huge
shatters of glass bouncing on the highway, but we are a little too big and traffic
was a little too heavy for us to swerve.  For the next 10 miles I was afraid we would
blow a tire or something, but we didn't.  We needed to stop for gas, and I wanted
to check the tires for shards of broken mirror, but through LA there are no signs
advising drivers which exits have gas stations.  For 100 miles we saw no signs,
and were getting really low on gas, so we finally we just guessed.  See, the
highways are all walled in, so there is no way to just look ahead to see if there is a
gas station.  You can only see down the exit as your are passing it.  Anyway, we
had to go a few blocks, but there was a gas station, and no glass in the tires, and
we proceeded on.  Only 5 miles later traffic started thinning out, and 10 miles later
there was a sign, showing gas, food and lodging at the exits.  We breathed a huge
sigh of relief as we drove further on towards normalcy.    

Traffic was now normal as we drove North along the coast on 101 towards Santa
Barbara.  Everything is beautiful.  Large trees, wonderful mountains, not so many
people.  Such a difference from where we were last week.  We got all settled into
the park which smelled only of fresh air.

We thought we had left the pests behind, the mice at one park, and the ants at
another, but Tuesday morning we found there was a pest here too, I call them
woodpecker roosters.  We had seen the wildlife Monday afternoon.  The same
woodpeckers we had seen up at the Russian River campground were doing the
same damage here, tucking acorns in wherever they could find a place.
Under the tree drilled full of acorns, were squirrels that blew my mind.  Even
the black squirrels in North Washington didn't compare in weirdness to these.
 The squirrels here do not climb trees, they tunnel like prairie dogs.  Back in
Missouri, everyone thinks chipmunks and ground squirrels are the same
thing, but I think I have finally found the real ground squirrels.  Crazy huh?
They
even sit
in front of
their
holes like
prairie
dogs, but
they look
just like
squirrels.
 
So, back to my story about the pests, Tuesday morning I woke up to, "knock,
knock, knock" on the roof.  I thought it was just a one time thing, and went back
to sleep.  About a minute later, "knock, knock, knock."  By that time I was up and
angry, thinking some damn woodpecker was drilling an acorn into the rubber
roof.  It sounded like it was by the TV antenna, so I jumped out of bed and raised
the antenna to shoo him away.  Then, I went back to bed (it was 7:00, too early to
get up!), only to get out a minute later after hearing, "knock, knock, knock."  So, I
had Richard climb up on the roof with the can of bug spray we had used on the
ants.  (I didn't have any woodpecker spray, and thought bug spray couldn't hurt.)  
The knocking stopped and I thought our problem was over.  

Wednesday morning, 7:00 AM, "knock, knock, knock."  Not just once, three
times, at enough of an interval to make you think it's over and fall back asleep.  

Thursday morning, 7:00 AM, "knock, knock, knock."  Now, I'm a good sleeper,
and have been known to sleep through my alarm for most of my life, so the
Thursday morning knocks didn't bug me as much, and I haven't heard them
since.  I'm not sure that my "woodpecker rooster" has stopped his morning
reveille, more likely, I just expect his knocks and sleep through them.  I
mentioned it to the manager here, and she says he knocks on her roof too.  So,
we've got squirrels crossed with prairie dogs, and woodpeckers crossed with
roosters.  

Thursday, 12-8, we hiked up to the waterfall in the park.  Beautiful.  The
mountains that surround the park are also breathtaking.  However, the sun goes
behind them at 3:30, so it gets dark way too early out here.  But the sun has
been out every day, and it's warm.  I guess that makes up for it.  (Especially
since I heard KC got 13 inches of snow!!)
Friday night, we went with our RV neighbors to a country bar for some dancing.  
Hey, we're gonna have to learn that stuff y'all, now that we're Texans.  

Then on Saturday, December 10th, although many of you doubted it would
happen, we celebrated our one year anniversary.  Now, let me just brag on us for
a minute.  Not only are we still in love after a year of marriage, but we're still in
love after living in a 24.5 foot trailer for our first year of marriage!!