Tuesday, August 2, 2022

September 17 & 18

When I registered at the Walnut the day before I haughtily told the nice lady Annie, who was from Connecticut, that I only needed one night and I was going to return to the woods the next day. But, I’ll be damned if I wasn’t back over there when they opened the office at one-minute past 9am, asking Annie if she had a spot for another night, which she did. I didn’t really like paying a fee but I rationalized it by telling myself it would be at least three hours in the van there and back and at almost six bucks for a gallon of gas I wouldn’t be losing too bad. Well, yes I would, but it was so easy just to stay here.

I spent a lazy day here working on the blog and watching people back their big campers in and out of their spots. It’s a thing of beauty to see the counter-intuitive action of turning the steering wheel on your vehicle in the opposite direction of where you wanted your trailer to go. I congratulated a guy who put a thirty-foot Airstream in a spot in one try. He said, “Thank you,” and looked at me like I was nuts.

Across the way from my spot I saw there was an ally sporting a Bills chair, but I didn’t see anybody pull in or out in the time I was there. While I haven’t traveled much, I am one of these people who loves to tell everyone I meet I’m from Buffalo, like it’s the center of the universe or something. Most people have some connection to the northeast in one form or another whether it be an uncle in Elmira, a grandfather who came west from Syracuse or Annie in the office from Connecticut. But since this guy from across the way was a no-show I told myself he’s probably in the 716 for the home opener.

In the early afternoon I took a walk down Nordhoff where the RV park was located to Tampa Avenue. The In-N-Out was on Tampa as was a mix of a thousand other businesses. There were both chains like Petco and Costco and start-ups like the Sit ‘n Sleep Mattress, 85 Degree Bakery, Urban Doors and many others. It always surprises me to see the endless amount of private sector stores and businesses and donut shops when I come here. These L.A. people have a thing for donuts like Spudnuts on Reseda Boulevard in Northridge and other places.

I spent a quiet night at RV Park and in the morning took another hot shower and then headed toward RJ and Karen’s. I only planned to be there until Tuesday morning (it was Sunday) so I stocked up on some groceries and picked some IPA’s for RJ and a litter Kettle One for Karen—pro tip, never show up empty handed. It might sound weird but shopping at places you don’t have a familiarity with can be pretty stressful. Back in Buffalo I fly through Key Liquor, Wegmans and Aldi. Here and everyplace else I’ve been it’s such a chore. I walked up and down the aisles at Vons so much one of the store employees randomly stopped me and said, “We don’t have nail clippers, you’ll have to get those at Walgreens.” When I asked how they knew I wanted nail clippers, the Vons employee said, “Oh, we see a lot of people like you.”

So without nail clippers I made it to RJ and Karen’s in Eagle Rock. Like Joy and Andy from the first part of this journey I met RJ by way of the Paul Westerberg Message Board, “Man Without Ties” back in 2003-04. We kept in touch through various platforms over the years and when Caroline moved out here, we finally met in person.

Not only did I connect with RJ and Karen, Caroline did as well. Caroline had an instant bond with Karen who is old school goth. She was one of the founders of “Hot Topic” and currently is one of the principals of the “L.A. Comic Con.” And RJ was just cool and low key and very impressed with Caroline’s initiative and nerve to move here from Buffalo.

After we greeted each other, since it was Sunday we sat down and watched some football—Karen was out of town till later that night. RJ is a Saints fan and their game was all but decided when I got there—an ugly loss to the Bucs and Tom Brady. Then we hated on the Cowboys together, but they pulled out a win over the Bengals with a back-up QB. Caroline stopped by after that and we went to dinner at the La Fuente Restaurante Bar & Grill which was pretty good, but I ate too much.

Even though I really only met RJ for real about a year ago it was so cool we could sit for hours on end watching football like we had known each other our whole lives.

How we got here...
An Ode to Fire and Donna
Chronological Posts From The Road 
Going Mobile: What We Learned
Our Rig: A Pictorial Essay

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