04/01/12 to 04/10/12 Cloverdale to Trinidad
Sunday and Monday we relaxed and recovered from our 10 mile run. Tuesday was running day, but Richard convinced me to postpone
our run one more day. Instead we rode our bikes to a waterfall hike. We had tried to get to this waterfall on the first or second day we were
in Cloverdale, but the road had been flooded. The hike was only about 2.5 miles from the park, but by the time we got there my legs, not
used to the bike, were all rubbery and shaky. You want me to climb across those rocks? And up that cliff?
Richard held my hand and coaxed me, and up the waterfall
The sun was shining and the weather was wonderful. We rode our bikes
back to the park just in time for it to cloud up again. The next day the sun
peeked out some more. After I finally dragged Richard out for a run, we
walked down to the overflowing river and played around. We built a little
stone bridge, skipped stones, and picked flowers. There were lots of debris
washed up on the gravel bars from the excess rain and flooding, so we made
big plans to head back down and have a quaint little bonfire by the river, but
it clouded up again, so we didn't.
Thursday we headed out to do some
touristy sight-seeing stuff. Our first stop
was Johnson winery where we "worked"
last time we were in the area. Ellen
welcomed us with open arms. We saw her
basset puppies. Oh my! How cute is he??
Once I finally put the puppy down, Ellen showed us her chickens, gave us fresh
eggs, offered us a gorgeous rental cabin that looks out over the vineyard, and
invited us over for Easter. As hard as it was, we left the dogs and vineyards and
chickens and headed to the Old Faithful (of California) geyser. I thought Old
Faithful was in Yellowstone. In fact, I remember seeing him there. But California
has their own Old Faithful. This one was going off every 5 minutes, so we didn't
have to wait very long.
Since the Old Faithful geyser is the only attraction, and they want to charge
money, they figured they would have goats too, to justify the entry fee. Dang.
Goats, chickens and doggies all in one day? Sniff... makes me miss home!
Then we headed to Santa Rosa to buy Richard some running shoes so he has no
Friday we headed back to Santa Rosa to exchange the shoes we bought for
Richard since they were too small. Since I had an entire evening to look at Fishy
and the two snails and wish they were goats/dogs/chickens, etc., I had time to
look up aquarium shops in Santa Rosa, so we stopped and got a frog and two
little orange minnows. Fishy was very happy to have new friends in his bowl, but
one of the snails was not. He was ready to commit suicide. He had almost
climbed clear out of the bowl, teetering on the water line, when Fishy swooped in
and talked him down. Whew.
Saturday Richard played his guitar and I was lazy. Sunday we got a long run in
and then did the lazy thing again.
Monday we got up and checked out of the park in Cloverdale, heading north. We
drove up Highway 101 through incredible scenery, giant redwoods and
glacier-colored rivers. We pulled in to Trinidad, CA about 3:30 and met Richard's
army buddy John. John picked Richard up at the exit, and whisked him off to
preview the three sites he had in mind where we could park. I waited behind
because John had his back seat folded down, and besides, how hard is it to pick
the best parking spot? Mistake #1. They were back in a flash. After official
introductions, John said he had been following the website, and particularly liked the park where I said Richard was being a butt. He was
sure he was on the right site then. After that, off we went to park in the site described to me as "the forest." John owns or has access to
several properties in Trinidad, so our choices were the "town site", the "ocean view" or the "forest". We got to forest, and the entrance was
pretty narrow, but Richard navigated the overhanging trees, the whole time telling me he was just going to pull in a bit and then check it out
and if he had to turn around and back in instead he would. Check it out? You were just here checking it out... We rounded a tight bend
and saw a nice cleared area that looks lovely, no hook-ups or anything, just us in the middle of the "forest." I was excited about the site, but
a little worried about how he was planning to get us set up. I said, "Do you think you can really turn around in there?" He said, "Sure, John
did." I said, "yeah, but he was in a little car" and I was about to mention the fact that he had left ruts in the ground in his little AWD car, but
by then Richard was already mostly in it. I quickly pointed out that he better swing wide if he was really going to make the circle, but he had
some other plan, still not sure what, and as I loudly said, "Oh Jesus!" he cut straight across the center of this low wet-looking area. We sunk
in immediately. Stuck. I asked if he needed me push. We were way beyond any pushing. As I was sitting in the truck, being calm while
Richard tried to re-arrange sloppy mud from around the tires, I thought about John saying I had called Richard a butt in the blog. Hummm...
Then I thought back to the last time we were stuck on the beach in Texas and I had failed to take pictures, so this time I jumped out of the
truck (slosh) and snapped a few shots.) Seeing me with the camera actually made Richard smile a bit. Damn, he didn't just do this for
entertainment did he?
After deciding that we were indeed severely stuck, we thought maybe we should unhook the truck, with the hope that we could angle back
in and hook up with a better grip. We fought and struggled. The hitch doesn't like to unhook unless the truck is at the same level
side-to-side as the trailer. The trailer, although dug in, was pretty level. The truck was pathetically dug in deep on the driver's side. So we
ended up with the hitch half hooked, half unhooked. Damn. Lots of tire spinning, digging, pushing (yes, I was finally pushing the truck) and
we finally had the truck free. Success. Then we re-assessed the situation and quickly realized there was no way to get the truck back in
there to hook up, at any angle. So much for that plan.
The pictures really don't show just
how bad it really was. He had
already filled in the big huge holes
the tires had made, and the wet just
doesn't show up for some reason.
Squish, squish, squish...
Although I was busy being a wonderful, understanding wife, and not saying anything along the lines of, "why did you drive the trailer into the
swamp" or anything like that, I did mention to Richard that the trailer looked a bit muddy and he should probably wash it in the next few days.
So the only plan we could come up with was wait till it dried, but we're in northern California, practically Oregon, and rain is in the forecast
every day this week. We can't stay here till summer!
Now that we had gone and torn ruts all through his property, we hopped in the truck and headed to John's house to have a wonderful meal
with him and his wife. They life on a bluff above the ocean, we walked down a short path and sat on their deck with gorgeous views. John
assured us that he wasn't concerned about the ruts, that folks around here deal with getting stuck all the time, and we should be able to get
someone out to fix us right up.
Surprisingly, neither of us slept well. It started raining in the middle of the night, which woke me up. I fell right back asleep, but kept
dreaming that we were either sinking, flooding, or floating away. We got up early and headed to breakfast before facing our problem.
Finally, it quit raining and we called John. He promptly whipped out his AAA card and gave them a call. Huh. Won't haul us out on John's
card. Huh. $150 an hour. Hummm... Won't do anything unless the truck is hooked up to the trailer. Okey-Dokey... Next plan. Hum...
A come-along, a strong tree, some boards to scoot the jacks along, and 4 long hours scooting boards, balancing the 5 ton trailer on a
pallet while we re-adjust the jacks, inching it along backwards for a total progress of about 8 feet, but a much better angle. John hung in
there and helped, advised, joked, etc. He said he thought him and Richard were just going to talk about their time in Vietnam. He didn't
know they were going to reinact it, wet socks and all. He also mentioned to me that he had suggested that Richard back in, and he had told
Richard not to turn around there where he was turning around... Then we headed to the lumber yard for 6 sheets of wood ($100). We laid
it down, crossed our fingers, and went for it. We've never hooked our truck up at a 90 degree angle to the trailer before, so that took a few
tries, but we got it done. Then we leap-frogged the boards in front of the truck inching forward until we were out of the mud.
I suggested we drive the
mile down the road -
that's right, just a mile - to
one of the three - yup, no
less than three - RV
parks and pay their price.
That way I can have
hook-ups so I can do
laundry and wash all our
muddy clothes!! When
will we learn? Got to the
RV park, got set up, and
Richard went back to fill
in mud ruts and pick up
all our wood boards and
tools, as soon as he left
to go do that, it started
pouring rain again. I was
showering and trying to
get all the mud out from
under my fingernails, all
the while thinking Richard
had probably got the
truck stuck when he was
picking up boards, and I
was just going to get all
muddy again pushing him
out, but he made it back
and all is well. Except
that it is raining.