Thursday, July 5, 2012

Surprising Mom & Dad, back in Sacramento for 2 day trip

So as we were getting close to the ocean last week, I suggested to Marcia that perhaps we should try and visit Mom and Dad in Sacramento over the 4th of July since they surprised us at Clear Lake.  We told each other that we would see how things went at Crater Lake, how we would feel about leaving our "home" at the RV park, and how we could be assured that they indeed would be in Sacramento over the 4th because a 6+ hour drive to find them not there would not be fun...especially if Sandy and Arny happened to be gone too.

Well, with the fuel filter leak getting us to the Crater Lake RV Park in Prospect a day earlier than planned, and with the GREAT staff at the RV Park watching over the park in such a constant and responsible way, all that was left was too see if they would be there.  So on Sunday I headed a mile down the highway to get a cell signal and called my sister Sandy.  She assured me that they would be there because they were coming over to their house for a huge, annual BBQ they have with their neighbors, and that too are invited if we came down.  I told her we would be there...and to keep it quiet from her hubby so that we could have a "dog surprise" for Arny.

So we got up, packed lightly, and were off by 7 am.  Just 10 miles down the road is Lost Creek Lake.  It is fed by the Rogue River, and was formed by the dam constructed in 1972-1977, so it is a fairly new reservoir. 

Within 90 minutes we were near California.  It did not take long before we saw Mt. Shasta, which we tried to take pictures of during one of our day trips while visiting Mt. Lassen.  Today it was a wonderful, blue sky, and Shasta looked great.

But then we came across something which made our bodies tremble.  It was a vehicle fire on the northbound side of I-5.  Then I realized that it was not just any vehicle, it was a motor home!  Our hearts sunk wondering if people were still inside.

I told Marcia that I just didn't have the heart to take any more pictures.  Then we heard a large explosion as the propane tank surely blew.  I told her that I just needed to drive away.....the first responders were already on the scene.  I just could not take it any more...she could not either.  We drove wondering the outcome....Later, in the motel room, I did some research and found that the the motor home was having starter problems, it shorted out while they were trying to get it started.  All were fine, but the Interstate was shut down for awhile due to the fire.  That made us both feel better.

After checking in and a quick nap for Marcia, we went over to Sandy and Arny's to drop the dogs off, and then make our surprise visit on Mom and Dad at Wonderful Chinese.  We let Sandy and Arny go in, and Sandy informed the waitress that they needed a bigger table for all the food, and do they sat at a table for six.  A few minutes later we walk in, and Mom sees me first and says, "That guy looks just like David....Hey, that's Marcia....What are they doing here?"  It was a wonderful surprise, and another GREAT dinner at Wonderful Chinese.  We all then went back to Sandy and Arny's for a visit.  Then we went back to the motel while Mom and Dad went home, and we had plans to be at there house Wednesday around 10.

After a quick breakfast at the La Quinta, we took the dogs and dropped them off in the Squirrel and Dog invested backyard at Sandy and Arny's, then went over to Mom and Dad's for about 6 hours.  Around 4 pm we headed over to Sandy and Arny's with our two Marie Calendar pies for the big BBQ.

The dogs had a challenge of their own this time.  My sister Patti was out of state, and Sandy and Arny were watching her dogs, Parker and Charley.  A few weeks ago they met them for the first time, and little Parker got a bit nippy with both Bubba and Skruffy....so Patti kept them away from that time forth.  Arny felt that the dogs would eventually get along...and so did I, so with us being around for nearly 2 days, we needed to test it.  It was a little hard for about 90 seconds...after that, they all became good friends.  The morning of the 4th when I dropped them off, all the dogs immediately got along, and enjoyed themselves throughout the day.  I got these shots when we returned later on the 4th.
Sometimes they were all together...
 Sometimes they were with cousins...
Sometimes with just with siblings, as Parker and Charley were to the left on the patio (above) while Bubba and Skruff were off to the right (below)
But anytime one of them ran off to investigate something, normally a squirrel, they all got into the action to follow. (Parker got behind the tree before I could get the shot with him in it too.)

That night we all gathered and ate the food that Arny and John cooked on the BBQ or in the Fryer, along with the various things which others made or brought.  It was all so very good!
Getting ready for the dinner (above) with the cooks do their thing on the left side, and the tables and chairs set up on the right side.
Eventually it was time for the fireworks show, and it was a great show.  It is their tradition to light them from a board between two ladders.  With small kids around, this is not recommended...but only adults would be around, and this way all could enjoy them as they "fell" to the ground.
 Fireworks are hard to photograph...the colors don't come through because the bright flashes drown out the reds, blues and greens...
 ....unless there is a lot of any one of those colors within the firework, then they will show thorugh.
 And of course, "FIRES" come through real good....
....hmmm...what is that under the right ladder?
Yep, the used fireworks discarded under the right ladder did catch on fire...but John got the hose and put it out, the show went on.  Maybe that warning about lighting them from a ladder might have a good point......naw...it was just a small, little fire with no harm to anything except for John's ladder.  (By the time he got the hose and put it out, it was much larger than it was in this picture.

Unlike other displays in the surrounding neighborhoods, all the fireworks in this neighborhood get-together were legal.  Thanks to all who contributed and gathered.  It made a fitting 4th of July.  We sure enjoyed the show, and the wonderful get-together.

On Thursday the 5th, five of use gathered for breakfast at Cornerstone Restaurant, then I went off to get the oil changed and car washed, while Marcia and the dogs enjoyed another few hours over at Sandy and Arny's.  We had a great visit....wish we were not going to be away for so long, but we should be back in 10 months or so, which is a lot earlier than my last previous visit.

The drive home had another fiery surprise for us as we saw the early results of the "Happy Valley Fire", southeast of Redding.  We could see the smoke from way before Red Bluff.  I told Marcia, when I first saw it, "that (pointing to the smoke) does not look good at all..."  As we got closer to Redding, I got these shots.

As of 10 pm, the information I had gathered was that it had burned 1,000 acres, and mandatory evacuations were in effect for much of that area.

And as we came through the Shasta Lake area and got closer to Mt. Shasta, we were rewarded with more great views of Mount Shasta, this time from the Southern side.

We left around noon, and got back to the motor home around 7:15.  All was well, just as we thought they would be.  We enjoyed this short visit...but it worth every mile.  And we look forward to a down day on Friday, before one last visit of the area Saturday before we leave on Sunday.

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