Monday, August 5, 2013
Days July 28 through August 3 Alaska
Sunday turned out very well. I set up to run with High Country and had a lot of fun doing 4 miles of the McKenzie. That was more than enough and I was cold when I finished. I paddled very well and stayed out of any trouble. Monday morning was a drive day although it was planned to be pretty relaxed since I only had to drive 270 miles. I stopped for a nap near Eugene then went to a Starbucks to do my writing. The novel has a little more energy and I may have to main character go back into drug dealing. I drove on and when I saw a sign for a gold course, I stopped and played nine holes in a cart since it was a hilly course. I was shooting pretty well, on my way to easily breaking 50, when I got to the seventh hole. As is often the case I just swing away without scouting the hole and the shot I hit, not a bad one, ended up in a weird out of bounds area I couldn’t see from the tee. I had to take a penalty stoke and then I blew my third shot and I lost my focus and ended up with an 8. That meant I had to shot 10 on the last two holes, one a very difficult par 3 (5th hardest hole on the course) and the other a very long par 5. This meant a 4 and a 6 or a 3 and a 7 to break 50, not an easy task. The par 3 was very hard looking, traps and bushes around the green and over 140 yards to the pin. I decided to go for it and hit my driver. It was a great shot and hit the green but trickled down to a few feet in the short rough. I needed a great putt and got a good one but missed the six footer and ended up with a 4. That was a pretty good score and now to the par 5. The tee shot looked okay but you had to go over some bushes to get to the fairway and those bushes were pretty far out. I hit a line drive and it bounced a few feet in front of the bushes and shot up and seemed to go right into the top of the bushes. My hopes were dashed but I went to look anyway and there was no ball right in front of the bushes. I was ready to drop another and take the penalty when I noticed that there was a ball about 30 yards up and it was mine. I guess it had pushed right through the bushes. My next shot was solid but to the right and my third shot was a tricky one that easily could have gone out of bounds to the left if I didn’t come real close to the trees on the right. I shot a very nice shot that went a little too far to the left but ended up just in the left rough about ninety yards from the pin but having to go over a small pond right next to the green. That is probably my hardest shot and normally I would have gone with an extra club to be safe but I needed to be close so I hit my pitching wedge and just made it over the pond and the ball ended up just off the green, 40 feet away. I needed a great putt to get me within 2 feet and a gimme but instead I got a good putt 5 feet away. Make the putt and a 49—and I did. My earlier double ball was a 49 so I had two 49s, which really perked me up. I drove on and when I got to Grants Pass I could see that I had trouble. Smoke from forest fires was obscuring the sun and I had seen this before. I stopped in at the visitor’s center and they said it was way down, at least to cave junction but that the road was open. I drove with the windows up and the air conditioning on and the smoke extended almost to the coast. I couldn’t bike ride but I had to get a nap and I took one about 20 miles from the coast. I drove on and then decided to camp at a county park campground which was fine and I rode my bike around the campground for a full hour. I then went for a walk at the Citizens Dock and then dinner at Harvest Café, where the food was very decent. On Tuesday morning I got up very slowly and found out that I had slept till 8:30 and I went to do my laundry and go to the post office before going to Denny’s for breakfast and writing. It was time for my Boy Scout Tree Trail hike, and it was lovely and serene as usual. My knee held up very well and I walked a lot further in than I usually do. I was walking for almost two hours which is great. After the hike I started driving down the coast and stopped for a nap before doing my beach walk. That was also very rewarding though it was overcast. I kept driving, had some salmon candy and garlic salmon, rode my bike for a hour at one of the really long beach pullouts, and had a shower at one of the state parks. The eel had toxic algae and though I saw plenty of people swimming, I didn’t want to take a chance. I drove on to Eureka and found a place to camp about then minutes south of town and then went back to the movie theater and watched Wolverine. It was not great but I was ready for a movie. Wednesday morning found me driving toward Fremont and when I called Gloria she told me that her results were in and it was not cancer. I was very excited and happy and when she told me Rick wasn’t going to be back until Friday, I told her I would drive down and meet her for dinner. Traffic was very slow so I didn’t get here until almost eight but she made me a nice pasta dinner and we chatted for a few hours. Thursday morning we went for a long walk in the bird sanctuary and then for coffee and almond croissants at Peet’s. Later I rode my bike on the creek trail nearby and I took Gloria out to p. f. Changs, which is always a treat for me. I met her friend John who was a very interesting guy and we had some good conversations along with rick. Friday Gloria and I went into San Francisco on BART and had a fabulous lunch at The Slanted Door. We walked along the waterfront and there was a lot going on for the America’s Cup races. I went for another long bike ride and then Rick came and some guests and we had a very entertaining night talking about movies and literature. I stayed up with Rick and John. On Saturday, John, Rick and I went for a walk in the bird sanctuary and then I drove in to meet Dolores and had a very good lunch with her at Chez Panisse. Then it was back home for another dinner and more good conversations.