Monday, September 22, 2008

North Coast Travelogue 9/21/08

You could almost consider yesterday a historical event for me. This would be the first time I'd be leaving the Eureka city limits for non- business purposes in years. I can't remember the last time I left town for reasons other than I had to.

I headed to the first ever Humboldt Blogger's picnic. That means there could be a lot of people and I get nervous around crowds. So, a bit nervous with anticipation, I left home a little before 11am, figuring I should get there about 11:30ish.

Deja vu kicked in as I was at the stoplight and Henderson and Broadway. I been here before, thought I. I realized I was taking the same route at about the same time I nearly always take when I'm heading to UCSF Medical Center. How weird.

Then I realized something was missing. Oh, yeah. What about my iced tea? I usually enjoy some plain old unflavored iced tea when driving. Before the light turned green I decided I'd stop by Taco Bell for a large glass of iced tea to go.

As I left Taco Bell I realized this isn't all that bad. I'm just going to Rio Dell and I can take my time, drink my tea and drive. Life is good. First time out of town in years that I didn't have to go of town.

I hadn't emptied the bed of my truck of the grass, leaves and other debris I acquire from work before I'd left. I'd briefly considered whether that might cause a problem on the freeway, but didn't consider it for long.

As I get up to 55mph, southbound from Eureka, the leaves and grass in the back of the truck really create a cloud. It seemed to mostly be a big swirl of debris that stayed above the bed of the truck with not a whole lot being blown out, but I wondered if it might bother other drivers behind me, or distract them.

No problem. By the time I passed Field's Landing the stuff in the back of the truck seemed to calm down. I realized later that much of it had been forced by the wind to the front of the bed where it wasn't as likely to be blown around. Didn't see much stuff blowing around after that.

Get to Rio Dell. Sure seemed quick this time. Usually it seems to take forever. Then I had to start figuring out how to get to the so- called Fireman's Park. Rough directions I'd read seemed easy enough. Main thing was I knew I had to find Wildwood Road, which is the main drag through Rio Dell. I knew that much without having actually been in Rio Dell in probably 20 years.

Found Wildwood Road right off the freeway. Should have taken the first offramp, though. Took a left turn, instead of right, on Wildwood. Just as well. Nothing wrong with taking a tour of Rio Dell. Fun getting that small town feeling with people on the street all seeming to look at me as I drove by; Who's that? Don't think I've seen that truck around here before?

Finally realized I wasn't going the right direction and turned back the other way. I figured I was in the right area. Found Center Street, or whatever it was called but turned right, instead of left. As I turned around and went back to Wildwood, I noticed some kind of fire department place up ahead to the left.

Might that be where the park is? I had to look for a second and as I crossed the road I saw the park behind the firehouse. Yep, this is it.

Parked and spent close to three hours at the picnic. Others have covered the picnic quite well so no need to go there on this blog. I will say that a fun time was had by all. The only disappointments being those who didn't show up. Hopefully, they'll be there next time around.

A little after 2 o'clockish I figured it was time to go. I wanted to get home to take care of any of the usual Sunday stuff I hadn't done yet.

That's when I noticed the North entrance to Rio Dell was right there close to the park the picnic was being held at. That's where I should have come in to town.

Get on the freeway and head north. To my surprise all the debris in the bed of my truck starts flying around again. Must have been the slightly different headwinds? Not to worry, though, as it stopped flying around after a few miles just as it did when I started out.

Made it home in about the usual half hour, wishing again it went that fast when I had to make that drive.

Took about a quarter of a tank of gas to get there and back. That's about five gallons. Kind of hard to believe. I usually use about a quarter tank of gas a week.

Anyway, looking forward to making that same trip to the Blogger's Picnic next year.


At 8:55 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Soooo, that was YOU speading those invasive plant seeds all over the Eel River Valley.

Rio Dell isn't as bad as people make it out to be, is it?

At 9:48 AM, Blogger Fred Mangels said...

Never thought of that. I guess I'm to blame for scotch broom and the other plants.

I've only driven through Rio Dell a handful of times in the 35 years I've lived up here. I've never had a problem with Rio Dell.

At 11:43 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi, Fred!

Interesting story.

I have a suggestion, and I'll be brief about it.



At 12:16 PM, Blogger Fred Mangels said...

Yeah, except tarps are a hassle to tie down and then you need to listen to them flapping as you drive down the road. Besides, there wasn't enough stuff in the back of the truck to put a tarp over. If there was, I probably would of gone to the dump on Saturday to get rid of it.

At 2:11 PM, Blogger Joel Mielke said...

I love Rio Dell. Especially Mingo's.
Where the hell was Steve Lewis?

At 2:25 PM, Blogger Fred Mangels said...

He says he was unaware of the picnic because he only follows three blogs and didn't see it mentioned.

At 2:47 PM, Blogger ΛΕΟΝΙΔΑΣ said...

You're lucky the Highway Gestapo (revenuers) didn't cite you. The only solid load allowed to be "spilled" on Kalifornia highways is FEATHERS FROM LIVE BIRDS! Sec. 23114(a)

At 5:18 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

what about charles douglas of

or mresquan, or the arcatareporter?

or anon.r.mous? oh wait...that dirtball's dead.

nevertheless, it seems rather cliquish. Wonder if anyone was turned away, perhaps the next bloggers picnic will have video.

At 7:16 PM, Blogger Kym said...

Well, I'm insulted! I thought he read mine and Elaine and I talked about it.

I wish I could have met everybody. The only three other bloggers I've met are Ernie, Eric, and Christina.

At 8:52 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

And then there was a hush over the crowd....."Holy f*cking sh*t everbody. Act cool, here comes Fred."


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