A stay-put day. It’s nice not to have to pack up and leave. And it’s nice that today is free. The camper was a toasty 64 degrees when we woke up and outside was a cool 58. Today was an errand day and a day to hang in camp. Mabel knew the way to the dog park and she liked that this one was big enough to run around. We walk through the redwood grove portion of the campground and see other campers, many in tents. It feels like you are back in the woods here, out of the way of everyone even though you are at a KOA. This is the coolest KOA I have stayed in so far and it’s all because of the redwoods.
I put on a pair of jeans today, the first time on the trip that I wore long pants. Today was also shopping and haircut day and the internet told me there was a salon at the local Walmart. I would kill two birds with one stone. I honestly did not know what kind of haircut I would get at a Walmart but it had to be better than the current state of my hair. For me it was long, and I hate long hair. If it was up to me I would go with the Bruce Willis crew cut but Sheri won’t let me, something about a misshapen head. I think my head is fine and can pull off a Willis any day. There was hair touching my ears and bunching up in the back, almost enough for a little man bun. Social media feedback said the longer hair looked good but I am a man of comfort, so it was going to be cut. I was annoyed with my hair in North Carolina and cut some off at that KOA’s bathroom, but it was now time for professional attention. I hope I can get it at the local Walmart.
Mabel stayed in the car as I was thinking it would be a rather quick in and out. Unfortunately, it wasn’t as I had to wait for my beauty appointment. The lady was nice, made small talk, and adequately cut my hair. I didn’t leave feeling like a new man but I did like the shorter locks. The hair cut was actually a necessity. A recruiter had called a few days ago and I had a video interview next week so I needed to look presentable.
Groceries came next and Walmart’s prices are lower than Safeway, noticeably lower. I threw a box of brownie mix into the shopping cart to give a try in the toaster oven I had brought. The oven worked fine but I haven’t used it much. French fries came out good, and bagels toasted to satisfaction, but the Paul Newman’s pizza in Salinas was a big disappointment. We shall see this afternoon what it can do for brownies.
Mabel was waiting when I got back to the car and I felt bad leaving her for so long. She got extra attention and walking time back at camp. It is a joy walking her through the redwoods and I have that John Muir feeling again, just not as strong.
The brownies came out good and I fixed a box of Chicken Helper for dinner. It makes two servings so in effect its only half the cooking and cleanup, plus it was pretty tasty. Now I know the “Helper” line of boxed dinners isn’t healthy but I am on the road so will have to make exceptions. I will walk extra to burn off the salt.
Early in the evening, Mabel and I drive into Crescent City. I wanted to get her some exercise after having to wait in the car at Walmart. We drove through town, partially retracing the steps we took when we came through yesterday, just in reverse. I find a place to park near the beach and we get out to walk the asphalt path that runs above the shore. I can hear music from a brew pub across the grassy field behind us and contemplate a late beer but figure this is Mabel’s time. We walk down to the break wall and then cut onto the beach, Mabel interested in the seagulls. Connected by the leash we run after them together, I slow her down and there is no success. Are seagulls protected? I remember something about a fine for killing them when I lived in Sag Harbor. It was a beautiful night along the shore and we get our steps in, eventually returning to the car. The seagulls getting their revenge, one was standing on my roof and I could see evidence of others.
We will have a fire tonight, our first one of the trip and I buy wood and ice at the KOA office. It feels weird to pay for wood only to burn it, like I am throwing money away. Ice is kind of the same thing but I know it is a necessity. The neighbors give me some of their fire starters and I look for an old newspaper that I am positive is somewhere in the car. I didn’t find it so resort to using cardboard. My Boy Scout skills are pulled into play and I eventually get a fire going in the ring at my site.
Unfortunately, I didn’t fully enjoy the fire even though it was a nice night for one. For one thing, I was alone and a campfire is made either for warmth or socializing. And second, I was doing laundry so my mind was on that rather than enjoying the fire. For some reason I feel antsy tonight and am unable to relax, another reason for me losing interest in the fire. It might be a feng shui sort of thing related to the camper. This site was backwards regarding the power and water so I had to swing the camper and face it away from the entry. Maybe sleeping in a different direction was enough to throw me off. My grandfather would have said the camper sat “bass ackwards”, one of those old Sag Harbor sayings. In Needles he would have said it was “hotter than the hinges of hell.” And it was. I had also been trying to upload a post tonight and for all the campgrounds beauty, the wireless was weak and available only in the lounge. Thankfully my hot spot worked but that too was slow and causing frustration. So the fire was an afterthought and I left wood for the next campers.
I gather my laundry after it was done. There was a nice woman from Alaska in the laundry room who is travelling with her young family. Kids create a lot of laundry! Her husband is in the oil business and they were looking for places to winter, I guess he has something going on in California.
This campsite, nestled into the redwoods, is noticeably darker during the night and day. It was also cooler than the rest of the campground but I didn’t care, the surroundings making up for any shortcomings. It was getting late and the fire had been put out so I crawled into bed.
Thankful tonight for a cool campsite.