Sunday, June 21, 2015

back from a California wedding trip

I'm back on Cape Cod with the remains of the tropical storm Bill rumbling and raining outside. I STILL haven't held a tiller in my hand since last summer, but maybe tomorrow. Today I'll deal with cleaning up, freezing strawberries we picked yesterday, and generally catching up.

I enjoyed a good bit of the trip to California. My mom took me out to a little-known fish-and-chips shop where the food delighted me and a menu typo amused me.

I spent most of the two weeks trying to get rid of things left from my thirty years out west: tools and trailer and canoe and the piles of miscellany we collect over time... and sold the canoe and gave away various tools. I hate to throw it away and would prefer to sell or give it away. One could look at it as progress... or kick and moan at the fact that about 9/10 remains.

I also found time to visit some friends for a HOT hike (I've really missed these hikes and chats!), but didn't see about 95% of the friends I've left behind. Maybe next time...

Cynthia came out on Friday 6/12 for the rehearsal dinner. I picked her up in San Francisco at noon+ after a morning of errands in Santa Rosa (like getting a new piece of plexiglass for my cracked front hatch!) and we drove through the cool coastal fog and the roasting Sacramento Valley and into the sweet scented mountains, arriving just in time for a bit of socializing and a wonderful rehearsal dinner.

The wedding schedule left most of Saturday open (the excessive heat delayed the wedding until 5pm), so we hiked down, down, down to the Yuba River where others who had taken a shorter route already enjoyed the waters. I pointed out a species of blackberry I had never seen and Cynthia found a ripe one: I heard that it was tasty.

 We swam through clear pools and light rapids, then hauled ourselves onto a gravel beach.
 Squawfish (Sacramento pikeminnows) swam around our toes and snapped at midges dancing on the surface.
 A father and son made their way down the rapids and chatted with us, the lad telling us that some of the fish in the big pool above us were two feet long! The father lent us his mask and we got to see the fish. Pretty nice fish, even though only about 18" long at most. Apparently they are a native fish and a BIG predator of young salmonids.

The hike back up the hill in the excessive heat really kicked butts and left us with some sore muscles.... still, we survived and enjoyed the day.

We did a similar thing Sunday in a more accessible spot, but Paul and Carey brought a big basket of wedding leftovers and we took turns leaping off rocks and into a nice deep pool. One had to careful when walking around: the rocks were polished to a nice gloss from millions of footsteps.

Monday we headed to a cabin with my folks and brother, his family, and my niece Maya. While they enjoyed a ropes course nearby Cynthia and I worked on an excellent dinner of black bass chowder, bread, salad, etc, etc, etc. Then she followed it with an excellent pancake/bacon/eggs/fruit breakfast.... a flicker watched us from the hole in a snag by the back deck as we ate.... then we left to catch our red-eye flight.

Let's see.... have I forgotten anything? Oh, right! The wedding!Paul and Carey had a wonderful ceremony. Their daughter walked down the pathway as the flower girl. Dancing, dining, new and old friends, family.... good time: Carey and Paul did a heck of a job putting together an awesome event! Too bad I forgot my camera at the actual ceremony!! At least I have this one from the rehearsal dinner:

That nearest tree trunk looks like a sequoia, known for surviving for ages, despite hardships. I hope my brother and Carey's happiness with each other does the same...

Well, that's all for now.