Thursday, December 10, 2009

Snow Shoeing, Adventure, and Bishop

Hallo there, friends. Sorry about the delay in posting, we've had a pretty interesting, some might say, painful, couple of days -- but more on that later.

After our awesome day in Napa (thanks, Alex), we felt like doing, well, nothing. Yes, I know all of you out there are groaning -- but really, people, even when you're unemployed and traveling, you sometimes need a day to do nothing. We stayed in, played with the kitties, watched Apocalypto (or something like that), napped, and went for a run. Yep. That's it.

A big THANK YOU goes out to Meredith, Alex, Dumpy, and Izzy for opening up their home to us and letting us crash for a few days. A special message to Dumps and Izz -- sorry about the fact that you may or may not have almost died. You're fluffy, and we like you, even if Emma doesn't.

We left Sacramento after dropping Mer at work and making a quick stop at the grocery store and Trader Joes (yay Vegetarian Chili and Joe Joes!) and headed to Lake Tahoe. The region has been getting a lot of snow lately, so several of the roads around the Lake were closed off. We decided that driving all the way around the lake wasn't worth the risk of getting stuck somewhere, so we took the most direct route on the 50.

What I can say about Lake Tahoe -- it is definitely not ugly. Seems like you just round this corner and then there it is...this crystal blue lake surrounded by mountains. Breathtaking.
I wish we had pictures, but well, we were busy gawking and then busy trying to locate the visitor center to find out where to snow shoe that we missed the view points to pull off the road. Sorry folks!!

We got a recommendation from a very lovely man that ran a shop full of mounted fish and animal heads (turns out his "winter sports" were a little more hunting and fishing oriented than snow-showing) we headed to Spooner Lake for a little sunshine, snow, and exercise.

As we were getting ready to head out, we ran into an older couple that had just finished up. Apparently folks had been ice skating on the lake a few days before, so it was pretty solid. Walking across a frozen lake...that sounded cool!

Me walking out towards the lake:

I was having a blast watching Emma run around:

Zach was having a blast making faces at me:

And as it turns out, Zach and I are both scaredy cats -- we only got a little ways out on the lake before I started "hearing water." It's very likely I was hearing the water sloshing in the water bladder in my backpack -- but really, I'm risk averse. So the only one who got more than 5 feet from the shoreline was Emma (risk-loving).

The slight bump in the snow on the right side of the picture is the shoreline:

Feeling thoroughly tired (when we weren't on the lake we were shoeing through at least 2.5 - 3 feet of snow) we wrapped up the hike and headed back to the trail head. It was there we discovered that Emma had split her paw pretty badly. Good thing the bears are hibernating (or at least this is what we said to comfort ourselves).

Don't worry, though, we're making sure to clean and dress her wound a few times a day and she seems to be no worse for the wear.

After leaving Spooner Lake, we began the 180 mile drive to Bishop, California. This is where stuff got interesting.

We had noticed as the sun started to set that one of our headlights was out -- as we were driving through a very sparsely populated route, we couldn't exactly stop to fix the headlight, so we just drove on -- we could see just fine with our brights on, and since there weren't that many cars on the highway that wasn't a problem. So we're driving along, and a state trooper passes us, slows, then pulls behind us. Great. We're getting pulled over. We stop and the officer asks for my license and registration and all that jazz. He said he was only stopping us for the headlight, so I figure we'll get a warning and that will be that (I mean, even he can understand that there isn't exactly a Pep Boys in Mammoth Lakes, CA).

But. Wow. He was taking a really long time. I look to Zach suspiciously and ask -- is there anything on your record (because we're both listed on the insurance) that I should know about? -- because clearly my record is clear. He protests that there's nothing -- and we continue to wait. Officer returns:

"Ma'am, can you step out of the car?"

So I'm pretty annoyed. It's 13 degrees outside, and I think we've devoted enough time to my hatred of temperatures lower than 39 degrees. I get out of the car -- maybe I was swerving? It was kind of windy. Then this --

"Ma'am, seems you have a warrant out for your arrest in Oregon for an unpaid towing ticket on a Honda Civic, I'm going to have to take you down to county and book you until we can get this sorted out."

A little back story for those of you before I tell you how awesome County jail is --

About a year and a half ago, in between theft one and theft two of my Honda Civic, I came home from vacation to find my car marked as an abandoned vehicle in front of my house (since you know, it had been there for a week or two because I don't drive often and then went out of town). I try to call the number on the thingy, but no one answers so I take the tag off and then move the car, figuring this is okay.

The next day I return from work to find my car missing. At first I thought maybe it had been stolen again (foreshadowing, perhaps?) but a few hours later I located it at a tow yard. I picked it up, paid the tow fee, and figured I was done with it.

Six weeks later I got a letter in the mail addressed to my father from the County. Seems that on top of the towing fee, I was supposed to pay a fee for my "alleged" abandoned vehicle. Apparently there was a ticket on the car (there wasn't, just a sticker from the towing company). I call, try and sort it out, to no avail. The County won't let my father (me) protest the charges until I pay the fine, and since it's been six weeks, the fine is now $500. I call Dad to ask if he's gotten any similar letter (the title was in his name at this time) and he insists that I do not pay the ticket. I mean, he went as far as saying, "PAIGE, I WILL BE VERY ANGRY IF YOU PAY THIS TICKET." And I could just imagine him stamping his feet and turning that very red color that he turns when he's very angry. So I told him, hey, it's in your name -- I don't care. He took down the number to call the place and that was that.

Skip forward to yesterday. Upon arriving at the Inyo County Jail, they explain that when the title was transferred into my name, the ticket also transferred. Because I failed to pay the ticket they issued a warrant. And then it was official. I was arrested.

Now, this isn't exactly the type of adventure I thought I would be having on this trip -- I mean, if I was going to be arrested, at least I would have liked to have done something -- and since I'm risk averse (as aforementioned) this was pretty unlikely. And normally I would think I'd be reacting pretty badly. I mean, I cry when I'm cold or when I miss my friends (I MISS YOU!). You'd think I would cry, but no! The whole thing just seemed absurdly funny to me.

I guess the good news was, since it was relatively early, I didn't have but one cell mate. We'll call her Hettie. Hettie had but 3 teeth and smelled of malt liquor, but Hettie was nice enough. She didn't so much talk to me as talk around me (something about it being too late, too cold, and her dinner was burning), so I just sat there, hoping that all that saving that both Zach and I had been doing for this roadtrip would cover my bail/lawyer if needed.

Long story short -- once Zach paid the man the ticket price and some paperwork was passed back and forth, I was free to go.

We got back on the road to Bishop, and pulled into our motel a few hours later than expected, but still early enough to catch some horrendous movie on FX that Zach made me watch.

Today we spent the day climbing (more accurately, Zach bouldered. I read a Tale of Two Cities and walked around with the camera). I am including a few photos that I took that are not quite as sucky as my normal photos.

Zach on a bouldering problem at the Happy Boulders.

Getting ready for his next climb:

Walking with the dog at the foot of the hill:

Emma running and having fun:

Trying to catch the Sierras as they looked -- I'm not good enough with the camera to do them justice:

Well that's it yall, at least for today. Tomorrow we head south toward Death Valley.

And yea, just kidding, we really only got a warning for the headlight, but it did take a REALLY long time for that cop to get back to the car -- long enough for me to worry about Dad's OR warrant coming back to haunt me. :)


  1. Oh No!!!!!!! So so sorry for Dad's edict to you. I'm so sorry you were arrested!!!!!! How can you ever forgive us?????? I just don't know. Dad is not home right now, but when he does get home, I'm going to let him know that his comments and edicts landed our precious daughter in jail.... Love you, please forgive us!

  2. hmmm...I'm worried about your father now, if he misses that last paragraph. But your fiction skills are impressive. I especially liked "Hettie" and the detail about her burned dinner. Very nice. I'm thinking you could have strung that one on for days.

    As an aside, ongoing updates about Hettie and her struggles would be most welcome...