Sep. 2nd, 2008

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I returned late last night from taking Sang and Grrlpup to the beginning of their Great Adventure! I have lots to tell you but will not have time to post properly until later today - perhaps even this evening. But post I will and there are piccies. :)
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“Chapter Thirteen.  Castles in the Sky”.
Now you all know I am sure just how much I love to have Sang read aloud to me.  She has a real talent for it and some of my very favourite moments are when she and Grrlpup and I are curled up together on the couch and she gives us another chapter of whatever the book du jour may be.  Currently it is Little Women and she makes even that seem a joy  - though the first half of it would in England attract the phrase ‘a load of bollocks!’  What I have never envisioned is that Sang would take out that novel and read it to Grrlpup and I in the dark and by the light of a climber’s headlamp while we all sat in their broken-down Toyota somewhere on I5 waiting for a towtruck to appear.

We had left Portland headed South at around 4:40pm on Saturday intending to spend the night at a Motel in Medford before I was to take them to the start of their hike at the Oregon/California border on Sunday at around noon.  It didn't quite work out thus.  Somewhat south of Roseburg it became apparent that we were having electrical problems.  In due course the lights were so dim as to be of no use and then the engine quit.  We coasted to a stop on an exit ramp and then rolled down to a driveway where we could wait in safety.  Triple-A were called and a towtruck summonsed.  We were only a few pages into said Chapter 13 (you remember – the bit where Lori plays voyeur watching the girls in the woods and then when he is discovered they all play a silly game?) when a large truck bearing the name ‘Caveman Towing’ appeared. 

The driver of said truck was named  Mike and even a cursory glance at him would have told you that he had been carefully selected for this job by Central Casting.  He was built like a brick shithouse and grunted a lot. However he was most efficient and agreed to tow us to our motel in Medford where we were to spend the night.  That this was about 60 miles away bothered him not a whit.  Sang, Grrlpup and I climbed into the truck leaving a very unhappy and stressed Louie sitting on the back seat of the Toyota which by now had been ratcheted up to an angle much like that of the Titanic before it sank taking Leonardo di Caprio with it.

The following morning after a reasonable night's sleep and a hearty breakfast Sang tracked own an open auto parts store that had a suitable alternator a mere twenty or so miles away and of course would be delighted to go fetch it (Whaaaaa….?).  Sang said she had her toolbox in the back of the Toyota and was perfectly prepared to swap out the dud alternator for the shiny new one.  While admitting she had never actually done this before she remarked “Everything I have heard about them is that they are pretty much plug and play…”  I nodded in dumb agreement, confident in her abilities but awed by her chutzpah.  Well. The alternator was fetched and within two hours Sang had that beast up and running once more.  And this, folks, is where you rise to your feet and join me in a standing ‘O’ for that amazing woman.  Further applause should be reserved for what would be referred to in a magic act as “her lovely assistant Grrlpup” who says she didn’t actually do much but who throughout the entire process was cool, calm and a paragon of a helpmate and partner.  Grrlpup's not doing much sometimes amounts to her providing an atmosphere of serene sanity while all around is chaos.  It is much appreciated.

The rest of the day was pent walking around Medford and doing hike-y stuff before we went for Mexican food and I delighted in buying Sang a margarita and watched her get tipsy.

The following day wsa what Grrlpup referred to as Race Day and I’ll write about that after I have had dinner.  So, come back, y’all hear?
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Monday dawned bright and sunny and, for [ profile] sang  and [ profile] grrlpup , early.  I grunted them a relatively civil “Good morning” at o-dark-thirty and then rolled over and went back to sleep content that they had lots of stuff to get ready and I didn’t need to be concerned with any of it.  When I finally awoke they were nowhere to be seen but I correctly surmised that they were sitting by the motel pool and I repaired there taking Louie with me.  The entire rest of the morning was taken up with much packing and re-packing of backpacks and Leboyfriend lopping many an inch of Grrlpup’s hair.  I did this reluctantly and not terribly well but she was adamant that she wanted a short bob and that there really wasn’t anything to cutting it.  I suspect that had I pressed the matter she would have assured me that everything she had ever heard about haircuts is that they are ‘plug and play’.  I think Sang’s attitude must be catching.

So, while I ponced around doing my Vidal Sassoon thing, Sang took the opportunity to get out her soldering kit (we all carry one of those, right?) and made a solar panel with which to recharge her camera battery.  Seriously.  She did.  And it worked.  Sometimes I wonder what they are doing with a guy like me whose reaction to disaster (a corked bottle of claret, say) is to go immediately to the top of the chain of command and by the application of stick and carrot have things put right by someone else.  I am a most fortunate man.  And I try never to forget it.

Finally we checked out of the motel and after another heart breakfast set off for their departure point – over Mt Ashland and down to the California/Oregon border.  Travelling directions had been secured by Grrlpup from someone on a PCT message board.  Whoever he may be he needs to be struck forcibly behind the right ear with a  weighty blunt instrument.  He sent us by what transpired to be a very rough forest service road which was full of potholes and took hours of nerve-wracking driving by Sang.  She did an excellent job but we arrived at our destination stressed and tired.  I took a different route back and it took no time at all on proper roads with yellow lines down the middle.  Grrrr!

Once at the top, the three of us and Louie walked a short distance along the PCT to the border so Sang and Grrlpup could sign the register and pose for a photo-op.  Then it was time for them to put on their packs and set off, leaving a somewhat emotional LeB to wave as they disappeared out of sight.

The delay of a day in their departure means that their itinerary had to be adjusted slightly but I shall be driving south next Saturday morning and bringing them supplies and good cheer.  I can’t wait!  When I return next Monday I shall report on their health, happiness and progress.  If you should wish to send them a message, email it to me and I will print it and take it with me.  In the mean time I am house-sitting, looking after a despondent Louie and taking care of a bunch of stuff they didn’t get around to doing before they left – returning library books, that kind of thing.  And, yes, I’ll be missing them.

I'll post photos as soon as possible and will post the link here.


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