Short: I bought a truck and camper out west, Sakonnet and I flew out, drove cross country, and did some huge style fly fishing in various states with some of you lot.
Long: In Feb, bought a kick ass 1974 Ford F250 High Boy from a really good dood in NorCal. He took delivery of a Four Wheel Camper bought from a chick in Idaho. Initially, she thought I was a crook, and wouldn’t deal with me. We sorted things out, and this thing got freighted from Coeur D’Alene to Redding. John married everything up, and got the vehicle ready for the cross country trout route. Jose was kind enough to inspect/drive said vehicle in NorCal on one of his excursions to Wayne’s, as well as lay out a really great tour of some fine waters on the front side.
2 days before departure. I blew my car up. Then the tow truck. Hope this isn’t an omen.
Four hours before flight time.
AJ was a really big part of making all this happen. Destinations, timelines, guides, camping, meals, and entertainment. “I want you guys to book the earliest flight out here, so we can get up to NorCal as soon as possible.” Our plans went to hell, when the truck he planned to pick us up with, met an untimely demise. This was a day after we booked red eye flights out of Buffalo.
“I’ll meet you guys in Redding on Saturday at 9:00am. You’re on your own.”
No biggie. Hertz – you absolutely suck balls (more on those twats further down).
4:00 am came early. Especially for us northeast people who require a certain amount of sleep.
The flight into Chicago was easy. Even for me. We caught the connector to SFO, 2 gates down. Unheard of.
Back into the bird. Got split up with seating. I sat next to an Afghan that identified himself first as an American. Post 911, I really struggle with a certain faith (not fair I know, and something I’m not proud of, but I’m really trying). He was an awesome dood, and I enjoyed his company. He offered up a lot of info on SanFran, as well as a narration of what we were flying over. I was really excited he didn’t try to take down the plane.
So, we’re on the tarmac in Chicago. Saks is 2 rows up, seated next to newlyweds from Buffalo traveling to Napa. I hear this rip, and I mean RIP – and JZ is out cold, head tilted up, snoring like I’ve never heard. People are starring at him in disbelief and disgust. I laughed and took a picture.
SFO is a hell hole of an airport. That’s not factoring the fukking mexicanos or gheys. NTTAWWT.
Took us 4 hours to cross the country, and 2 fukking hours to get a rental car – WITH A RESERVATION. WTF, Hertz.
Seemed like a nice place – so why all the metal?
Lesson #1 in Cali – lines are all the rage. Line for the rental car shuttle, line at the check in counter at the rental agency, traffic, line to park at the bridge, line at the In N Out, line at Russian River, line at the gas station. I swear, I’ve never seen so many people. Waiting in lines.
Obligatory Bridge Stop
Lucinda’s had no line, and served up ice cold Pacifico and a burrito the size of a fat girl’s forearm.
More northward travel.
Next up, Russian River Brewing Co. Picked up 2 cases, and knocked back a pint.
Napa was really cool to drive through. There was some scenic shit. And the first time either of us had seen forest fire remnants.
Eventually, we arrived in Redding – 6 hours late for dinner. John, being the great host that he is, had a couple growlers of fine craft brew waiting on us. We tipped a few, and headed to bed. Not only did this guy keep/work on the truck, rig the camper, and fixed various things, he set up his RV for us to stay the night in - complete with AC and a cool fridge to keep the Pliney. Like I said, salt of the earth dood.
Tomorrow is another day.
"I took a Japanese whaling approach to panfishing as a kid." - Boomin
this made me laff
Pussy, much like freedom, ain't free.
America has become a dildo that has turned berserkly on its owner. ~McGuane 1971
Iron and I are fishing the Delaware with PXATIM. He starts talking about how he's going to buy a drift boat and an old pick up truck in Oregon and drive them cross country. I ask, "You already have a drift boat, why buy another and why all-the-way out on the left coast?" His response, "Because I can." Fair enough, I guess?
I don't remember when I got mixed up in this trip but it just sorta happened. Anytime Iron wanted my input on what rivers to hit or fish to target or landmarks to see, all I said was I just want to drive over the Golden Gate Bridge.
Socked in by fog of course.
Iron had found a truck in Oregon. I think he had help from SLSS vetting it and he decided to pass. Then he found one in Redding, CA and then the camper top in Eiderho. Payments of monies were made and Iron took ownership from 3,000 miles away.
The day I left for Iron's house (500 miles from my own) I changed a leaking tire on my truck for the spare. I didn't want to come back from this trip with a flat in his yard (this will gain relevance later in the TR).
We left Buffalo and landed in Chicager. Our connecting gate was right across the terminal from where we landed. Never happens when I travel. After we found comfortable seating with access to electrical outlets, we were told our gate moved to the opposite end of the terminal. The new gate was standing room only. Fair enough, I guess?
Yes, I fell asleep before take off. I knew when I woke up with an irratated throat I had been snoring. No one bothered to wake me up to ask me to pipe down so no skin off my back. I wasn't bothered at all about it. The next morning I woke up, I realized I would have to pay a small price for it (more later on this).
We flew over the Delta prior to landing. Everything looked cool from up above. Once we got on the ground things err not so cool.
You know what they say about revenge? Dig three graves. - Porno Mike
Maybe Joe is still mad I got some delta water in his beer in my boat
Rare breed." - MTgrayling
"You guys know the Magic Hour???? Yeah it just happened I was there!!!" DK
We landed in sunny Californiar. We de-planed, all excited to start this journey. That excitement quickly faded as an absolute clusterfuck unfolded before us.
The tram from the terminal to the rental car garage was down. Fair enough, I guess? We'll take the bus. So were 500 other people standing outside the terminal. After standing on line for half an hour we squirmed inside a packed bus with 350 pounds of baggage.
The rental car garage is like 4-5 levels. Hertz was listed on two floors. We hopped on the elevator, walked to the opposite side of the garage only to be told to get fucked and go to the other level. Walked back across the garage, down the elevator, back across to the other side of the garage and find at least 50 people in front of us on line; with no one from Hertz manning the counter or any of the self check-in kiosks operating. Apparently is was lunch time.
Finally, after an hour on line.
Now, we walked back across the garage, up the elevator... you get the picture.
Finally get the keys for the car, load up and get the fuck out of that black hole of an airport. We headed to the bridge opting to drive through the city.
Once at the bridge I had to roll up the window. Sunny and 75 turned to foggy and 59. We pulled into the vista parking lot and found parking next to this fucko.
We did the tourist thing at the bridge and hopped back onto the 101: GPS pointing toward Russian River Brewery.
Iron was hungry and so was I. We hit this town and saw an In and Out burger joint. We pulled off the highway.
So, apparently the name "In and Out Burger" roughly translates in Califorinaese to, "stand on a line out the door for thirty minutes." Fair enough, I guess? We hit a taco place down the street with no line and had some pretty good chow.
Back on the 101 and felt just like home; stop and go traffic from Sausalito all the way to Santa Rosa. When we get to the brewery we have to stand in line, again. Picked up our two case per person ration of Pliny and got outta there like Vladimir.
GPS then decided to take us on the scenic route over some windy switch back roads up and down the mountains. Pretty scenic; probably didn't save us any time but at least we were moving.
Finally hit the 5 and made it to John's house (after getting thoroughly lost on a bunch of dirt roads). Probably close to 11pm when we got there. John still had food and beers ready for us. About 24 hours of planes, broke down trains and autermobiles was done.
You know what they say about revenge? Dig three graves. - Porno Mike
-Jerome K. Jerome, 1889
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