California Dreamin’ (But Headin’ Home)

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[January 12, our last full day in Lala-land.  Final lunch on the porch.]

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[I can’t remember if it was a carry-out or make your own.]

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[But that evening we did go with the kids to Phil’s BBQ, a place we had heard about and told we must frequent from the day we arrived.  They post signs along the sidewalk outside telling you how long a wait you have to get in if you are at this particular spot.  It was a Sunday night, we had no wait.  🙂  ]

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[January 13, our final morning.  We said good-bye to the lake and the fowl.]

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[First, enjoy a bottle of “my” water on the porch . . .]

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[Then head to the San Diego airport and taxi down (or is it up?) the runway.]

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[We’re starting to get airborne as downtown appears out the window.]

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[Aloha (or is it Sayonara?), California.]

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[Point Loma and Cabrillo National Monument in the distance.  We did not go there, or downtown, on this visit. ]

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[How much should I charge Southwest to use this photo in an ad campaign?  😉   ]

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[Protected port.]

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[Nice buffer zone for the city from the ocean and the surfer dudes.]

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[I wanna take you higher . . .    ]

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[A quintessential peninsula . . . or just a piece of land jutting into the water.]

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[From altitudes, shooting as we flew away . . .]

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[I’m trying to see if I can see our place 35 miles up the road from downtown?]

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[This is the city.  San Diego, California.]

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[Over the coastal range to the interior valley, a/k/a, “the desert.”]

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[A reservoir in the distance?]

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[Borrego Springs, with the Salton Sea coming into view above.]

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[Irrigation.]

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[Irrigation, part 2.]

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[The entire Salton Sea, 15 miles by 35 miles in size, just slightly larger than beautiful Lake Darling, though it isn’t as deep!  It is 226 feet below sea level, which also makes it a lot lower than beautiful Lake Darling.]

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[And it looks like all the irrigation is to the south, likely from water before it reaches the Sea (the largest lake in California), which is salty.]

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[Quite a place . . . ]

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[On the San Andreas fault in a very hot and very dry climate.]

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[What I really saw . . . ]

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[I guess I wanted to make sure I got it!]

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[OK, the last one.]

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[The irrigation border.]

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[And now the exurbs of Phoenix come into view.]

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[Don’t know where they’re getting the water for these places.]

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[Phoenix]

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[This was the stop-over, change planes, for Indy.]

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[I’ve been here before, but didn’t realize there were two downtowns?]

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[Looks like Minneapolis – St. Paul, minus the snow of course.]

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[Yup, looks like two cities to me.]

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[ASU, of course, stands for A Sunny University . . .]

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[And a little more of the campus.]

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[Buenos dios, Arizona!]

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[The mountains that protect Phoenix from “The Scourge of the Gila Monster.”     ]

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[A tower designed to thwart the harmful rays of the sun, and other things poisonous.]

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[And we’re off again, heading to the land of the fearsome Hoosier.]

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[My guess would be Theodore Roosevelt Lake . . . ]

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[Which I’d never heard of until I just looked it up on the map.]

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[Mt. Vesuvius?]

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[Definitely some crater-like objects?]

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[Did we take a wrong turn and are now over the moon?]

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[The friendly skies . . . ]

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[The lights of Indiana . . . ]

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[Indiana wants me, but I can’t go back there . . . ]

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[Thank you, Thomas Edison.]

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[January 15, after a day of rest, it’s Minnesota or bust (and we did get busted (up), as you’ll soon see).  Passing the grandson’s university on northbound I-65, where we soon came to a complete standstill for 45 minutes.  A tractor-trailer had jackknifed, caught fire, and was blocking all lanes.]

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[Through the Netherlands . . . ]

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[Well, you need all the help you can get driving in this part of the world in winter!]

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[God’s country!  Shortly after crossing the St. Croix River from Wisconsin, you hit the state capital.]

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[And if you want to go to the capitol.  It’s been a while, but that dirty white stuff along the side of the road is called snow.]

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[The Cathedral of Saint Paul.  But if you want to go there, drive a light truck.]

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[Famous as the place of my birth.]

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[Where I alma matered from.]

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[The ‘U,’ on a beautiful (?) winter’s day.]

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[The delay on I-65 in Indiana cost us dearly.  We’re now in Minneapolis rush hour.  😦  ]

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[The Metrodome on the right no longer exists.  I think they’re turning the Teflon roof into cargo pants.]

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[And then it began.  We knew a storm was coming.  We thought we had a chance to beat it.]

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[So we had the delay on I-65, then with this it took us an hour to get through Minneapolis.  No chance of making it home in daylight now.   And that proved to be onerous . . .]

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[Just outside of Melrose, just a little over 30 miles from home, we saw a couple of cars pulled off on the shoulder with their lights on.  We started easing over into the passing lane, as required, when . . .  BOOM!  We hit something that I never saw, and Ruthie, who was driving, didn’t see until she was hitting it.  We were out in the country, pitch black, an SUV had flipped and was on its roof in the middle of the interstate highway, no lights or reflectors visible.  We subsequently learned three other vehicles hit it too.  Fortunately, no one was hurt.  But after the discussion and paperwork with the highway patrol, we finally limped home about 5 hours later than we thought we would.]

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[Kinda hard to use the punch panel.  The entire left side of the car was damaged, but it was still drivable.  A tad over $5,000, and about three weeks later, we’re up and running again.  Did kinda put a damper on the whole vacation though.  Ruthie does not want to go out on interstates, after dark, in winter, again – and I don’t blame her.]

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[But once home, the supervisor could take comfort . . .]

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[In the comforter she and Jami made together from our old tee shirts!  🙂  ]

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[Ahhhh, don’t wake me until spring!]

All sensible men are of the same opinion about women, and no sensible man ever says what that opinion is.  ~  Samuel Butler

tom11-93

[California Dreamin’, again, some day.]

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