This is what I should've been doing since Day 1. Fuck Yosemite and Mono and all that. I am so incredibly blissed out right now I could swoon dead away.
But it came at a price...
So... Momma takes this medication that makes me have to pee a lot in the morning. I stop at a restroom at the side of the road here in June Lake. It's pretty secluded. Find out it's closed for the season, but time and pee wait for no one, so I run around to the back to do my business. There are no cars coming from that direction. That I can see. So as I finish up, a car zips around from out of nowhere, and in my haste to pull up my pants, I stumble on a log and fall down. Hard. So I'm laying on the ground with my ass hanging out of my pants, writhing in pain, as a family drives by, the mom on the passenger side taking a peek then turning her eyes resolutely away as they slowly drive by. I can't be too embarrassed, right? I'll never see these people again, right? Nope, we're now sharing a beach together, enjoying a photo break down the road, on June Lake. It's just a matter of time before they come over and ask for me to take their picture, then realize who I am, and back away slowly.
Here's the damage:
I'm mostly alone here in my pretty little spot, though. People stop every once in a while, take a photo of the lake, jump back in their cars and move on. But mostly it's me and the ducks, a couple of horny sand flies that keep buzzing by, and a trout that swims back in forth in front of me.
Even though I am on my way home to you, it will be hard to drag myself away from my perch here.
So what is it that makes it more enjoyable to sit here on the edge of a lake and stare at the mountains than to sit on a curb and stare at traffic? What in our DNA makes this universally preferable? Obviously, the quiet and the encompassing views make it possible to see and hear approaching predators. But beyond that, why do I feel compelled to sit here all day? Well, besides utter laziness.
One more stop before I head home for good: the ghost town of Bodie, to return something that Jakob stole a while ago, activating an ancient curse that has plagued us in the intervening years.
Well, time to get moving, I guess. Another place on my list of places that I want to bring you back to soon, before it gets too cold.
After turning off the main highway, it is a 12-mile drive out to the ghost town of Bodie, some of it paved, some of it not. Regardless, it is quite a trek, especially when you don't even want to stop and see the sights, just drop something off, then turn around and head back to the highway.
We all came here for a visit a couple years ago, and Jakob, unbeknownst to me, committed a big no-no. He brought a piece of Bodie home with him in his pocket. A little piece of wood. The Bodie Curse is such that anyone who pilfers a piece of the town will be heaped with bad luck. In a small timeframe following the violation, we indeed had a string of bad luck, culminating in your daddy's most recent heart attack and the quadruple bypass -- all less than two weeks after our trip to Bodie.
I'm hoping that the artifact's delayed return will finally restore our family's good fortune, at the very least leading to some kind of super lotto win.
The ranger at the entrance to the town said she would see that the item is safely returned to an appropriate spot. So instead of paying a $7 entrance fee, I just handed over the wood, snapped a pic to prove that it's no longer in my possession, flipped a bitch and headed for home.
I can't even begin to imagine where that little piece of wood will actually end up, all I know is that it's no longer in our house.
Okay, so I fibbed. ONE more stop before home. Dinner in the little town of Bridgeport, an hour and change from G'ville.
This is the exact moment where Operation Fall Color 2011 ends and Project BBQ Bacon Cheeseburger begins.