Tuesday, July 22, 2014

This and That

Last Friday I had to go to the DMV to get my photo taken for my drivers license renewal. I dred going to the DMS as most sane people do. Normally it's a place of nightmares...or at least it was in New Jersey. Long waits, confusing signage, unhelpful, snide clerks who believe they are doing you a favor by just showing up...that sort of thing was the norm in NJ.

Our little DMV office in Wellsboro is open just three days a week (Wednesday, Friday and Saturday) and I thought it would be pretty crowded so I went over at 8:30 AM when they open the doors. Turns out I was very, very wrong.

Wednesday is the day they have set aside for tests. Saturday is a catch-all for everything else. Friday...ah, Friday. That's the day they do nothing but photos. I was third on line behind two older women. The only delay was waiting for the laminating machine to warm up. In and out in a flash (no pun intended).

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Monday, Terry and I went over to Murphy's Blue Berry Farm and picked a tad over 14 pounds of blue berries...in about an hour. (Terry beat me by about half a pound.) We like to go on Mondays because Murphy's is closed on Sunday so the bushes have an extra heavy crop of ripe berries when you get there bright and early (8 AM)  on Monday morning. Although we rolled into the parking area at 8:10, there were already a dozen or so folks, whom I'll call professionals, hard at it on the eastern end of the berry patch. Murphy's pays these folks 80 cents a pound for their effort. We paid $2 a pound for the berries we took home. (Is "blue berries" two or one ("blueberries") word?)

At home we put two cups of berries in a quart freezer bag ending up with 16 bags for our larder and about three cups left over for immediate consumption. (Ice cream, cereal, vanilla yogurt, bakes in muffins, added to or on pancakes...blue berries go with lots of things.) Since we still have lots of jars of blue berry jam, strawberry jam, and, thanks to our friends, grape jelly, we're probably not going to be making any from these berries. Come August when the blackberries on the hillside start to ripen I'm likely to try some blackberry jam, however.

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After berry picking, I took the title to my ATV over to the notary to (finally) get it registered. I've had the Yamaha Pro Hauler since 1991 but never got it registered because I was just using it on my own property in New York and Pennsylvania. New York regs say it doesn't have to be registered if being used for "agricultural purposes or not for hire snow removal on your own property." Well, the 34 acres in New York is not listed as agricultural and any CO or State Troops with a bee in his butt could make a case that hauling firewood out of the forest in July and August or a deer in October or November--even on my own land--does not meet the letter of the law.

Of course, I also had to pay the sales tax which I did not do back in 1991. At least this time it went to PA and not NY or NJ which is where I lived when I purchased the thing. (The dealer--in New York--told me I didn't have to pay him the sales tax but could be liable for it when/if I registered the ATV. He also told me that, at that time, using it on my own property would not warrant registration.)

I also had to stop at the local Allstate office and get the dang thing insured. Hellow! I'll not be taking it on any joy rides with souped up teens and twenty-somethings guys. Heck, it's only 250cc and was meant to haul stuff through forest and glade. The 1989 Yamaha Pro Hauler was one of the first if not THE first ATV that could be classified a UTV. Seats one but it has a three foot by three foot deck behind the driver to haul just about anything from hay to firewood.

By getting the ATV registered and insured, I can now take it up the hill in Pennsylvania and legally ride through the state forest. Not that I have any intentions of doing so--too damn dusty!, but if I wanted to, I'm now legal.

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So today, Tuesday, I loaded the ATV on the utility trailer and drove up to the Bolt Hole to 1) see what needs repairing. (Not "if anything needs repairing" but "what needs repairing." There's always something.) and 2) do some more work cleaning up the mess the logger left behind. Other than a quick one day up-and-back I did in early April, I haven't spent any time at the Bolt Hole since the end of the first week of July, 2013. Little thing called "bilateral knee surgery" has kept me away.

Fifteen minutes into the trip north, I suddenly remembered that I had left the gas can for the chainsaw back in the Aerie's garage. *sigh* I decided to soldier on and scavenge a can from the supply in the Bolt Hole's garage. I'd also take a larger can to get real gas (no ethanol!) to use in the lawn mower and other small engine beasts.

One thing I noticed upon arriving at the Bolt Hole was that Mark has been doing a great job cutting grass with the wreck of a riding mower he purchased last summer. The second thing I noticed upon opening the door was all the cob webs. Would have made Indiana Jones feel right at home. With all the bewebbed tombs, catacombs and caves he travels--many sealed for eons--one has to wonder what all those spiders who spin those cobwebs eat?

The first thing I did was fire up the well pump and check the system for leaks. One year three pipes (PVC) had cracked and the basement was a shower until I got the pump turned off and did all the cutting and splicing. This year...nothing! Not one leak. I turned the cold water faucets off in the sinks and shower and waited for the hot water faucets to flow freely before shutting them off, too. Time to turn the hot water heater on. You do NOT want to turn it on before you fill the tank. Fifty-five degree water hitting a hot heating element inside the tank produces a very ominous "PING" telling you it's time to turn off the pump, drain the system and replace the heating element.

I needed to get some tools from the fist floor utility room/closet so I could open the basement window for ventilation purposes but the damn latch (old fashioned thing that drops a bar into a notch) would not open. I finally had enough jiggling and lifting on the handle to see that this was not going to work so I picked up the splitting maul that stands by the front door and gave the thing a shot. Popped open like nothing. I then removed the latch from the door and the catch from the slightly worse for wear door frame. THEN I could go back to the basement to open the screwed shut window and install a screen.

Now I could unload the ATV and put it in the garage, park the trailer in the barn, scrounge around in the garage for (and clean out residue from inside of) a couple of gas cans, and then head back down to get some premium, no ethanol fuel from the Citgo (Nice and Easy) station.

I had stopped there on the way up to pick up some groceries (OJ, eggs, bacon, butter, English muffins) and noticed they had the right stuff (non-ethanol gas). This time I also picked up some bug repellant (left it in my fishing bag), ant killer, and a few other odds and ends. But, damn it! I forgot to pick up coffee! I've got plenty of tea and one or two coffee bags (like tea bags) but that won't last me long.

Back at the Bolt Hole (and kicking myself for the forgotten coffee) I proceeded to vacuum up as many of the cob webs as possible. All the dead bugs' wings (bodies must have been eaten by shrews and/or mice) also got sucked up.

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So here I sit at the Bolt Hole with (few) cobwebs thinking of the work I've ahead of me tomorrow out in the woods. If the predicted T-storms arrive first, I've plenty to do inside in the form of cleaning with sponge and mop. (I wonder what it was that died under the tarp folded in the living room? No bones remain but a nice six-inch diameter smear of dried goo decorates the floor.)

In the meantime, the pitter patter of tiny feet on the tin cans on the shelf reminds me I've got to go bait some mouse traps. I'll try some zucchini bread tonight but should have some bacon fat soaked paper towel for tomorrow.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Back from our fishing expedition to Gouin Reservoir in northern Quebec.

Joe and I had a good (not great) week at one of Caesar's North Camps fishing for walleye and northern pike. This was a new cabin/area on the reservoir for us and we had some difficulty finding the pockets that held large numbers of walleye but succeeded in locating at least one area that held enough to keep us interested.

Being one of the southernmost cabins, there were also more boats from other camps/outposts than we were used to. What was strange/different was being asked (in French) by some of these other fishing parties where they might find the walleye. A clear indication that we were not alone in our quest. I blame the relatively poor fishing on:
1) the lunar phase (A waxing moon culminated in a full moon on our final day.),
2) the wind (Strong winds out of the south and west passed over a vast expanse of open water creating whitecaps and 2-3' swells--so strong one day (we called it "Windsday") that we were not able to get out 20' boat with its 20hp motor out of our protected cove. We were forced to fish in more protected areas or risk water sloshing over the transom.)
3) the rain (Lots and lots of rain--we had only one day without any rain and several periods where it was a veritable monsoon with walls of rain cutting visibility to 10-15 yards--if that. Luckily, we did not get caught out in those!

It was also clear that some of these folks--if not the vast majority--did not fly in to the area but used a boat launch somewhere reasonably close. One does not show up in a 25' fiberglass boat with a 175 horsepower engine if one has flown into a "wilderness" cabin!


The cabin in which we stayed was snug and warm. It had bunks for four people, a hot shower and indoor toilet, propane stove (with an oven) and propane refrigerator. (A veritable antique of a fridge but it served its purpose even if the freezer was very, very slow to actually freeze anything.) We only had one leak from all the rain and that was, thankfully, in the kitchen area and not the bedroom.


The few from the dock looking west. The Cabin Cove was a long skinny cove protected from the strongest wind/wave action by a pair of sand bars on the south end. It stretched about a half mile from those sand bars to the back end to the north and provided some pike fishing.


The 20' fiberglass boat with its V-hull and 20hp engine was a workhorse as we ranged far and wide in search of the (mostly) elusive walleye. We went about 4 kilometers to the west, 5 kilometers to the east and 3 kilometers to the south shore of our area of Gouin Reservoir. Caught some fish in all areas but, as I said earlier, never found the huge concentration we were hoping for. Perhaps they were around some of the exposed islands a kilometer or so out in the Big Water where we just never felt comfortable anchoring.

We would fish a couple of hours in the morning before heading back to the cabin for lunch and a break--and, hopefully, to clean the morning's catch. After lunch we would head out again, usually in a different direction, for another four or five hours of fishing then back to the cabin for dinner. If we didn't stay out too long in the afternoon, we would go out for another two hours or so in the evening. We usually caught something on each of our forays.

A stringer of walleyes and one pike. That's me in this photo.

Joe with the same fish.

Any walleye we took had to be between 14 and 20 inches to be a keeper. We caught a few shorts and several that were too long. The largest was 22" and weighed 5 lbs. The walleye were our primary target and supplied us with two of our dinners. They also filled some freezer bags so we could bring home our limits of eight walleye each. We caught a total of 60 during our stay.

Pike were also on the list and we would go trolling or cast to weed beds in the many coves along the shores. For us to keep a pike it had to fit the 25-30 inch slot we established. (I don't think there's an actual legal size, but those were our standards.) We caught lots that were smaller (12-20 inch fish) and three which were over 30 inches. The largest was a 34" that probably weighed in the 7-7-1/2 lb range. We did have to harvest a 31" that weighed in at 6-1/2 lbs. It was severely injured in the landing/unhooking process and would not have survived if released.

Our licenses allowed us to take up to 10 northern pike each but we ended up bringing home just three of the 40 fish we caught.





We established a clear division of labor. Joe did all the cleaning of fish, food purchasing and cooking. Joe also did most of the fish catching. I did all the packaging of fish, cleaning (dishes, etc.), and driving--whether it be on the road or water. The 620 mile drive up took about 13 hours including a brief nap along the way. Heading home was just about 12 hours (no nap). And we got through Ottawa with no trouble at all. That's a first for us in some 18-20 trips we've made to Caesar's.



There was a nice fish cleaning station set up in the shade of a fir tree that included running water to clean the table and fish as you worked. Skins and carcasses would go back into the lake or out onto the sand bars. The gulls (herring gulls and ring-billed gulls) and a bald eagle would clean up those. We primarily used the lake as our disposal but our neighbors were feeding the gulls so when they left....

Putting the remains as far from our cabin as possible assured us that no bear would come nosing around. Even so, the one night we put the skins and carcasses on the sand bar to watch the gulls squabble and the eagle swoop in for his share, there was a bear on the beach a half mile or so from the sand bar.


Being an avid surf fisherman, Joe has lots of experience in fileting and skinning fish. His tools of the trade include two sharp knives and a steel to keep them that way. A can of Deep Woods Off can be a necessity if the mosquitoes and/or black flies are bad. The other thing that's a "must" is that can of beer. Sometimes that one can can become two if it's been a productive day on the water.

Saturday evening, we got things prepped for our departure on Sunday. Everything in the cabin got squared away, our paper/plastic garbage got burned as per instructions, the floor got swept, and all our gear--fishing and otherwise--got packed up. We had bee told to expect Ollie between 7 and 8 AM Sunday morning.

When we woke at 5:30 AM everything looked good. The cove was glass. It was overcast but not raining.

By 6:00 AM there was a slight breeze out of the south--the direction from which our flight would come.

By 6:30 AM it was raining steadily and by 7:00 AM it was raining hard.

Our flight did not arrive between 7 and 8 AM. We sat out on the porch and read while we waited--and waited. Joe ran out of reading material. I had found a tome by Tom Clancy and FredrickM. Franks called Into The Storm. It's about the actions of General Franks and the Army's VII Corps leading up to and during Desert Storm. It's very interesting and very long. I started it Windsday morning and was up to page 500 before the plane finally arrived to pick us up.

Joe made another pot of coffee and we sat some more as it continued to rain. We ate some left over kielbasa for lunch. And sat watching it rain.

Finally around 1 PM the rain stopped. Not long afterwards there was the sound of a plane flying from the south--the first we had heard all morning. During the week there were a dozen or more planes flying within earshot--except for Windsday.

At 1:30 PM Ollie's Cessna set down on the Cabin Cove and taxied over to the dock.



Ollie hopped out and apologized for being late as it had started raining at Clova at 6 AM and never stopped until around 1 PM. Two new fishermen got out and they unloaded their gear from the plane. They had packed the plane the night before in anticipation of an early departure!

While Ollie did a quick post/pre inspection and orientation for the new comers, Joe and I moved our gear to the dock so it could be loaded. When Ollie got everyone squared away, he and Joe loaded the gear as I went over the map with the new guys showing them where we had had some success during the week. We were in the air heading back to Clova by 2:00 PM.

At Clova, we quickly deplaned and got our gear into the truck. Ollie was loading the Cessna AND the Beaver with another crew that would be heading out. (He told us he had at least five crews that were supposed to be going in/coming out. He and his third string pilot--number two was in the bush refurbishing a cabin--would be in for a busy afternoon!)

The Cessna back at the Clova dock.

Ollie's Beaver at the Clova dock.

We had flown out to the cabin a week earlier in the Beaver, known as the Workhorse of the North. What a beautiful plane! It amazes me that they actually stopped production of the de Havilland Beaver back in 1967 after just 1600 had been manufactured. Now, almost 50 years later they are THE plane of the back country and deservedly so!

By 2:30 PM we had the Tundra gassed up and were on the road south with plenty of memories and a cooler filled with fish filets.

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Almost Home

Just racking up the miles as we home.

Yesterday morning (Friday...I think) we were just inside Louisiana's southwest border in the town of Sulfur. That night we were in the northern Alabama town of Fort Payne. Tonight we are in Woodstock, Virginia just south of Winchester and seventy miles away from Pennsylvania. But first we will have to complete forty miles in Virginia and around fifteen miles each in West Virginia and Maryland. (Don't blink!) The total distance to home is about 280 miles (just about five hours since it involves travel on Route 15 north of Harrisburg to I-80).  We've been doing close to 600 miles a day since we left Corpus Christi, Texas. (Maybe a little less that first day since we did stop at the Aransas Wildlife Refuge to do some birding. Maybe a little more the second between Sulphur and Fort Payne.)

We'll be home a couple of days early but that's fine. I've lots to do before I pack for a fishing trip at Caesar's Outpost in northern Quebec. (You can find a link to the outfitter on the sidebar.)

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For the first time since we left the Omaha, Nebraska region after the torrential rains of the 3rd of June that we had serious rain. (Actually, just about the first rain period.) Visibility dropped to maybe fifty feet and traffic slowed from 75-80 all the way down to *gasp* 55 miles per hour! Yet even that lasted just long enough to wash the road grime off the Tundra and drop the temperature fifteen degrees from 79 to 64 degrees. (It had been as high as 93 when we were crossing the Alabama-Georgia-Tennessee portion of I-59 this morning.

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I had no luck getting online last evening because I could never get a sign in screen. I finally figured out why. I had inadvertently changed my default browser to AOL when I installed updates two days ago. AOL requires I enter a password to sign in. I can't sign in until I agree to terms and enter the network password. It's a catch-22 situation. Tonight I went and (temporarily) made Internet Explorer my default browser. Got signed on in no time. I should have played with the photos but wasted too many minutes trying to get on line that I was too frustrated with the computer. Instead, I used the iPhone to get my email done and look at Facebook and then went to sleep with a headache.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Still More Texas? There's a lot of it!

Stopped just across the Texas-Louisiana line in the town of Sulphur. (Appealing, no?)

We left Corpus Christi a little after 7:30 this morning and headed north along the Texas Gulf coast toward Houston. Along the way we stopped at the Aransas Wildlife Refuge to do a little birding. Very little as it turned out. Being the heat of summer, most of the birds have long since moved north. The best times would be the fall, winter and spring. Fall and spring bring the migrants moving along the central corridor, and winter brings some birds that stop here rather than move further south...like the whooping cranes.

We did get to view some of the mammals that inhabit the place. Lots of white-tailed deer wandered about in the late morning and some had their spotted fawns in tow. Three wild hogs (feral crosses between Russian boars and domestic pigs) were feeding on the marsh grasses along the gulf and two javalina or peccaries briefly popped out of the brush. Terry was very happy not to see any of the snakes and the only alligator I wanted to see was on a platter.

We did see plenty of Northern Cardinals, Mourning Doves, Great Blue Herons, Red-winged Blackbirds, Wild Turkey, Turkey Vultures and Black Vultures and one Red-tailed Hawk--all species we can see back home in Pennsylvania. Snowy Egrets, Great Egrets and Cattle Egrets were also abundant, The first two we can see on the New Jersey coast. Other species that we won't see back home appeared in just one or two individuals and included Painted Bunting, Bob-white Quail, and Scissor-tailed Flycatcher. Terry also claims to have seen a Roseatte Spoonbill while we were driving along. "Had to be," she says. "Big pink bird with a weird, flat bill." I was busy paying attention to the road *ahem* so I didn't see it.

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We skirted southeast of Houston before reconnecting with I-10 and heading east toward Louisiana.

I will never complain about the 312 miles of I-80 in Pennsylvania again. Used to be you'd hit the western end of that highway and think you were almost home to New Jersey but three hours later you were still only at mile post 300 and hadn't yet reached the Delaware Water Gap. Well, I10 in Texas is 880 miles long! Granted, it crosses the state by making a V, but still...! We didn't travel the whole thing having dipped northward to New Mexico for Carlsbad and then southward from San Antonio to go to Corpus Christi, but we were on a good deal of it over three days. (I-5 in California is about 790 miles from the northern border to southern and is nearly straight.)

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We got our fix of birding and cajun food today so all is right with the world. Tomorrow we head east on I-10 for just a little longer and then we'll turn north on I-59 to head homeward.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Rolling, rolling, rolling....

Drove from Benson, NM to Carlsbad Caverns, NM via El Paso and a bit of Texas on Tuesday.

We stopped to enter the Caverns before looking for a motel room and it's a good thing we did...but more about that in a bit.

If you've never been, you've got to go! Even if, like us, you don't take a guided tour or stick around for the famous bat flight at twilight, the self-guided loops are easy to follow and highlight the major features of these limestone caves. There's even an elevator to take you down the 600 feet to get to the Big Room. The sheer volume of open space is amazing. The walking loop around the Big Room is 1-1/2 miles long. We missed a few things by not walking down, but my knees are very thankful for that decision!

I've tons of pictures, but I'll spare you until I get them all downloaded and run them through Photoshop.

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Leaving the Caverns about four in the afternoon, we started searching for a motel room for the night.
None in the immediate vicinity of the caverns and none in the town of Carlsbad to the north.
None in Pecos either. (None in Midland or Odessa should we think of going that way.)
Did I mention there's a oil and gas boom in Texas?

Makes the play for natural gas in Pennsylvania look tiny in comparison, let me tell you! Every motel was filled with oil workers. White trucks (the preferred color of the petroleum industry) were everywhere. We headed south toward San Antonio.

On a two-lane, undivided road with a posted speed limit of 75 mph...and lots of water trucks hauling fluids to and from oil rigs...semi-tractor trailers hauling lengths of pipe and God knows what else, and lots of white pick-up trucks that laughed a 75 mph. As night fall approached.

Eighty plus mile later we were in Fort Stockton refilling the Tundra and making phone calls to find a room for the night. The third call (Comfort Inn & Suites) said, "Why, yes we do." We rushed right over and checked into a beautiful suite at a more than reasonable price.

And nothing but the Dairy Queen was still open and serving food.

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Wednesday we started a great deal closer to (and a whole day earlier than expected for) San Antonio, Texas. The high desert of Texas slowly gave way to more and more greenery and the drilling rigs seemed to decrease. Or, at least the became less visible in the more butte and mesa table lands. (Unfortunately, there was a stretch where those mesas were studded with windmills.)

We approached San Antonio around 11 AM and the traffic unsettled me. The downtown setting of the Alamo was not what I envisioned. I prefer to Remember The Alamo as sitting in a small village with wide open plains in front of it. Terry said she could pass on the River Walk as she'll be returning in two years with the Embroiderer's Guild of America. (And now I learn that tonight, Wednesday the 18th, there was to be a Championship Parade along the River Walk to celebrate the Spurs winning their 5th NBA Championship. Might not have been able to find a motel room there, either!)

And so we rolled on southeast toward Corpus Christi and Padre Island. We too I-37 all the way to the water and turned right. Drove along the shore road and drooled over the multimillion dollar homes erected there for the next major hurricane to sweep away. Then we went looking for a motel room at three in the afternoon. Just in case.

Got a nice room and a seafood recommendation for a place called Doc's Steaks and Seafood under the bridge going to Padre Island.

Drove south onto Padre Island and kept driving south until we reached the Padre Island National Sea Shore. Got to the visitor's center just 15 minutes before it was to close for the day. Had a lovely talk with a ranger about the best time to come to do some birding. Then Terry went to dip her toes in the Gulf of Mexico.

On the way back to the motel we stopped at Doc's and had a wonderful meal while watching the sun over the Intracoastal Waterway.

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We're several days ahead of schedule and a few hundred miles further south than here I thought we were going to hit the Gulf shore, but that just means we get to see more of it as we drive north starting tomorrow. Then again, the USS Lexington is docked in town and there's the Texas State Aquarium, and the Port Aransas Birding Center is just up the road....

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Speaking of birds, we have seen quite a few different species along the way. Great-tailed Grackles (the look like little black roosters and sound worse), White-winged Doves, Eurasion Collared Dove, Black Vultures, Little Blue Heron.... (Birding at 75-80 mph is tough! Most of these were seen from parking lots at motels, gas stations and rest areas.)

How I Spent My Father's Day Weekend.

Good grief! I just now realized that I didn't tell about what we did in Anaheim beyond that we delivered Jess' stuff to her.This should also explain the reference to "kidney stone" I made in the previous post.

Well, Terry and I spent Friday with Jess at the Discovery Hall in Santa Ana. Jess thought they were going to have an "explosive" exhibit from the Myth Busters, but that didn't start until Saturday. Still, it's a very interesting, kids' oriented, hands-on place that was very entertaining...until the kids showed up. Then it got loud. As loud as four or five school bus loads of sixth graders can make it. And trust me, that's LOUD!

We beat feet and traveled over to the Bower Art/History Museum. Much quieter. They had a gallery dedicated to the works of Chuck Jones. But "that's [not] all folks!" They also had a special display on the mummification of animals as votives to the gods. There was also a presentation about blood sacrifice made by the Mayans and other cultures. And another about the early history of Upper California. And no little humans making lots of noise.

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Saturday, Terry and I traveled south to Carlsbad, CA just north of San Diego to visit with old friends Ellie and Wayne whom we had not seen in over 30 years. (Thank goodness for the internet and Christmas card letters!) It was like we had never parted.

I wasn't feeling well, however, and felt worse as the day went on. We went to take a walk around one of the lagoons that's been set aside as a nature preserve and then to a mexican restaurant for lunch. By then I ws nearly doubled over with pain in my lower back and nausea, too boot.

I ordered a bowl of tortilla soup ("guaranteed to cure all that ills you" according to the menu) but got only two spoonfuls of broth before it was decided that I needed to get to the hospital ASAP. Lunch was bagged up and off we rushed to the ER at Scripps.

I was in the door less than two minutes before I was swept into a bed, had my vitals examined and had blood drawn. I was administered a shot of morphine and whisked off for a Cat Scan.

The first dose of pain killer didn't work and my pain went from 8-9 on a scale of 10 to 11. A second shot of morphine was given and a diagnosis came back that I had a 4 mm diameter kidney stone that had (at the time of the Cat Scan) almost passed into my bladder but was hung up in the area of the sphincter muscle that prevents urine from flowing the wrong way. The ER Doc was amazed I wasn't complaining of even more pain than I was. (They consider a 5 mm stone the maximum passable size.) "Most people with a stone that size," he said, "come in to the ER saying it feels like they've been shot."

In any case, the second shot of morphine--or the quick ride back from radiology--jarred that sucker lose. Soon after I was feeling fine. (Maybe that was the morphine too, but by then I didn't care.)

Scrips in hand, Wayne took me to a local CVS where I got more pain killer and a generic form of Flowmax. Now I felt no pain, but had to pee every two hours.

Being under the influence of prescription narcotics, Ellie and Wayne insisted we stay with them for the night. (Did I mention that Wayne is an attorney?) So we went to their home and finished the doggy-bagged meal we had started seven hours earlier. (Maybe the tortilla soup did do me some good after all.)

By Sunday morning, I was feeling fine and, after breakfast, Terry and I bid farewell to Ellie and Wayne and headed back to our motel room in Anaheim.

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Sunday we had a lovely lunch/dinner with Jessica before she had to go to work. Terry and I then sat in the motel spa for half an hour and then packed the truck for an early Monday departure. I was feeling fine with no after effects from the kidney stone and had stopped taking the prescribed pain pills.