Uncle Chester reads my blog and knows that I like to ride my bike. With that in mind he suggests that I get up early in the morning and ride around the world’s smallest mountain range before it gets too hot. I took him up on the idea and set out to drive near and find a parking spot at 5:30 am. He figured it would take me an hour and a half to ride 38 miles, but it ended up taking me a bit longer to drive the Butte roads and back – 54 miles.
It would take less time for the temperature to climb. I was hoping to hike the mountain, but all the land is private for growing peaches, raising cattle, and keeping bees that make honey and help pollinate the nuts, melons, beans, and prunes (of Sunsweet Growers) also in the area. There seems to be part of a spaceship that has fallen into a field, a memorial for Major General Fremont, and a private road that warns, ‘use at your own risk’.
I stop at Bel-Air Supermarket on the way back to the house for some coffee that will be drank before my return. I take a shower at 8 am and with the others still sleeping I can spend some quiet time reading and taking travel notes. We, Chester and I, spend the rest of the morning in conversation as he creates some CDs for the road. I will get Tom’s Fun Rock: Special Jessie Edition 1&2, Road Music Edition, and Pop’s Psychedelic Edition 1&2.
On the cover are his boys: David, Joe, and Tom. The bottom reads: ‘In 1986, a 4 LP album was released, titled FUN ROCK. 3 boys played it till the grooves wore out… 25 years later, the best songs have been found, added to, and burned to CD. I dare you to wear out the grooves on this one!’ I hear their kids enjoy listening to the music their parents grew up on. I feel it brings me closer to the family and my favorite songs are Can’t Touch This by MC Hammer – a Tom fave, and Monster Mash by Bobby Pickett & The Crypt-Kickers.
By 1:00 pm, it was time to load the cooler and the car for John’s 50th birthday party at the local POW/MIA Spray Park. We load the potato salad; drive across the street to pick up Annie May, Joe’s wife; by the store to get some Mucho Mango drink, and then to the park to party in the shade. The kids, and kids at heart – Chester and Pam, will play in the water when it’s barely working and then enjoy its cooling factor when the tank has been refilled.
I get to meet Joe while he is on a lunch break from work and his kids – Johnathan and Lorauna. John’s daughter is 12 or 13 and full of conversation while I eat salad, scones, and mint brownie and wash it all down with a bottle of water – Pat brought two cases to help beat the heat. Some people leave sooner than we do, but 2.5 hours is all we can take before we decide to retreat indoors to air conditioning and more adult conversation.
Thanks to Johnathan I’m deemed not adult enough to stay inside – I am more a mommy/aunt age not grandparent like the others in the room, so I join him outside to watch him play – it’s 100 degrees. He climbs the tree in the front yard and pulls down an eight-foot stick he hid up there and then tosses his noise gun down that I play with for a bit. Soon I decide it’s time for a water and lay on the cool floor break inside.
Chester makes fun of me saying all I did was stand there. I’m young enough to go outside, but my youthful energy escapes me in this heat. Annie May takes her son home so that it will be quiet enough for some movie time. First up is A Fistful of Dollars made in 1964. My favorite Clint Eastwood film is still The Good, the Bad and the Ugly, which leaves me with A Few Dollars More to watch in the Dollars Trilogy.
Clint owns that small town, but now I’m ready for some laughs – and that’s just what I get when we watch The A-Team – a film that took too long to make for the profit it received at the box office. To wind down from the days festivities we will play a game of Orbis – a mix between Checkers and Backgammon, then trim some playing cards for another game. I’m gifted with my own Orbis game that I can play – and use to spread the word of Terran Games Good Times. Another day that ends at midnight complete.