Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Boneheads to Boneyards to Bones

About a third of the way south along the eastern slope of the Sierras along Highway 395 is the delightful and seemingly enlightened community of Bridgeport. So why on earth is some clown driving around town with this bumper sticker? There would only be one thing more boneheaded than this, a bumper sticker that says "Trump/Busey 2012". Oh, and we hear that Mr. Combover himself, the Donald, is talking about throwing his hat in the ring for 2016. What is up with that clown? Don't these losers ever stop trying? But we digress...
There's the statue in Bridgeport of the Donald throwing his hat in the ring and throwing away about two hundred million smackers of his fortune because (this is Paul's prediction) you will never again see a Republican in the Oval Office. If Hillary decides to run all she'll have to do is walk into the White House with Julian Castro, Mayor of San Antonio, as our next vice president. In 2024, he will succeed Hillary.

All presidential elections from now on will be decided by demographics. The Hispanic Democratic vote will determine the outcome. Remember: each month in this country 50,000 young Hispanics come of voting age. (And that is the end of my liberal boyfriend's rather mild rant but I believe that to be true as well.)

Actually the statue above is the mascot of Mono County where Bridgeport is located. Why they chose Rocky's buddy Bullwinkle is a mystery to us. But I think it looks more like a cross between Yosemite Sam and a pimp.
Behold the historic county courthouse on the main street in Bridgeport (it's on Hwy. 395 which runs right through town). Many significant events took place here but it's most noted as the final resting place of William Shakespeare, Howard Hughes, and Charles Lindbergh.
Across the street, the historic Bridgeport Inn, where Washington's Continental Army stayed and ate before moving onto Valley Forge.
And across the street, the stunning Walker River Lodge on the...
less stunning Walker River which on the day this was taken looked like a cesspool. The normally swift moving river is showing the effects of the drought plaguing the west. You've heard about all the summer forest fires, haven't you? Well, if you haven't, stop watching Fox News because they don't report forest fires because that would suggest global warming.
Paul and I have actually stayed at the Silver Maple, a nice motel that's reasonably priced. It's down the block from the library which contains many of Shakespeare's original manuscripts.
And here's a café where people have been enjoying buffalo burgers and sage hen soup since 1881. And Starbucks coffee.
And just hope you don't get caught behind an ox-drawn wagon along 395. It will greatly slow your progress.
But all BS aside, we liked everything we saw in Bridgeport until we saw the price of gas and thought, "$4.89! You gotta be kidding!!!"
So we gassed up the Prius right next door where gas was a dime more. Even the Prius needs refueling once in awhile. 
If you're RVing through Bridgeport, consider this as a layover for a night or two or three. Reasonable with Good Sam discounts. Fast wifi, good cable, and there are large rental trailers where you can bed down for the night and see if the RV lifestyle is right for you.
Here we are hooked up in the all new for 2014 Lance 1885 travel trailer with side slide and the exquisite 2013 Prius V tow vehicle.
I love the gypsy lifestyle. Just give me a glass of vino tinto and wifi internet service and I am good to go. But I learned about four years ago not to put the vino tinto next to the computer. Forgot it was there, spilled the wine onto the keyboard, and shorted it out to the sound of  pssssssttttttt....
The view out our trailer was spectacular with the dumpster and recycling bins. Out the other side was a family of five with the dad constantly admonishing the kids to get away from their Gameboys, the TV, and cell phones and get out to enjoy the great out of doors. But remember, it's parents buying kids all those diversionary devices. 
Needless to say, Daisy loves RVing and lives to get out and go, to meet and make new little friends like Wilbur...
...the butt-sniffing trailer trash hound that he is. Oh yeah, Daisy do love this trailer blazin'.
Off in the distance, blocking our view of the dumpsters and the recycling bins are Wayne and Carmen. Wayne's the guy and Carmen's the dog. Daisy's on point.
Even a duck flew down, landing on a trailer behind us. Or is it a whirligig? Heck, we'd had a couple of glasses of wine and were shooting anything that moved or didn't move. That's the beauty of a long road trip--you begin to lose your mind. But no matter, you live in the moment and you make the most of it. So get up off your lard butts -- we did -- get up and get going. There's nothing but blue sky ahead and remember, as we've said before, the time between diapers and Depends is mighty short. Just ask Depends-wearing Paul. I'm still in diapers.
And here we go again. Camped right behind us a family of Euros from the Netherlands, traveling around and loving every minute of America. They had flown from Holland to New York City, spent a few days there, then flew to Denver where they rented an RV and have traveled around the national parks of the west. They had just seen Yosemite...
and here they are leaving for San Francisco, a fur piece to the west but that didn't bother them in the least. Can't say that for so many wussy American travelers.

After three days in the Bay Area they were heading to L.A. before flying back home. Many Americans can't get off their dead butts to walk outside to get the damn paper. What the hell is up with us? And what's up with the Donald and that Palin woman? I heard she's going to start a new party. I can't even imagine what a nut job's nest that will be. But Paul says he knows plenty of people who would find it a good fit.

Me, I'm a libertarian. My beliefs are simple: cheap wine,  Neccos, Red Whips, and...well, that's about it. So don't look for any political rants from me. Of course, I did vote for McCain/Palin and Romney/Ryan but that was only to piss Paul off. It worked. But in 2016 I plan to vote for Rand Paul and Chuck Norris. That'll really get his goat.
Oh, we digress again. Back to the RV park. It's on a lake, which is actually a reservoir with the high sierras as a back drop. It's a lovely and quiet setting but this year the water level is as low as the Walker River because of the drought.

And speaking of this region with its many features named "Walker"--they come from the fur-trapping Mountain Man and friend of Kit Carson, Captain Joseph Reddeford Walker. He was an explorer in the 1830s who found a pass over the high sierras and was probably the first white man to lay eyes on the Yosemite valley.

If you've ever been up in the Sierras you quickly realize they are nothing to fool with.  In the 1840s, Joseph Walker warned a group of pioneers about crossing the mountains so late in the season but they just said "bite me" and you know what happened next: the so-called "Donner Party" was stopped dead in its tracks by early mountain snows and wound up biting one another in order to survive the winter. You can see where they camped and chowed down at a monument off Interstate 80 on the way to Lake Tahoe.

Walker eventually settled down in Walnut Creek, California where he spent his remaining years, died and is buried in the nearby historic Martinez Alhambra Pioneer cemetery. But as time rolled on, his story was largely forgotten and his grave marker completely overgrown. During the nation's bicentennial in 1976 Paul was working for a TV station in San Francisco. Looking for a story relating to the bicentennial he and a cameraman scoured local cemeteries to see what might relate to the Revolutionary War or the War of 1812. Some veterans came west after they were given land grants by the federal government.

What Paul found on his cemetery search -- he actually stumbled over it -- was the mostly hidden headstone of Joseph Reddeford Walker who was born in1798 and died in 1876. He filmed the headstone and in the course of putting the story on NBC he asked the question, "How could the city, the county, the state let such a historic figure slide into oblivion?" Within a week the city of Martinez had cleaned up the cemetery, polished up Walker's headstone along with those of other notables like entertainment legend Papinta the Flame Dancer. Tours of the cemetery have become popular and the night version sounds pretty cool. Check it out.
And speaking of the dead, up next: we head for home by way of Death Valley.

Bye bye. Buy Starbucks. Best damn coffee in the world. And we're getting tired of saying this and you're tired of reading this but hey, Howard Schultz, how about some free stuff?

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