Beware the Albatross
Well, we were awake at 6.45am. Guess that's what happens when Nick actually gets to bed early. Weird. We had originally thought to be on the road around 7 am, but getting the children wrangled and the chicken, and everything, we took off at 8am. While we were supposed to all be driving caravan style, Jerry required coffee, so we pulled ahead to scout some and arrived to Clear Lake later than the ancient Plymouth Voyager. We passed an amazing looking wakeboard park and a children's water obstacle course. Our companions to the left were mountains we were thrilled not to be bicycling over, as the Honda Element we were in danced around 7% grades up and down hill and I held the poor chicken in my hands. But then we rolled up to our first glimpse of Millicent.
I missed her at first, actually. Being preoccupied looking for the airplane bus behemoth, I missed the muraled bus with the back down awaiting our loading of all the sculptures! We did get to see the Albatross, the nose of a 1958 rescue seaplane which will, in fact, be attached to another flat nosed school bus.
The busses get converted into RVs, having working toilets, showers and several other components, so one doesn't need a CDL to operate them. The one we are riding in will sleep up to 12 people, ostensibly, depending on how friendly they are. Nick and I made all the beds with fitted sheets, and some with top sheets and blankets, even and helped get the vehicles from Davis unloaded and all their gear into the bus. Then the sculptures. Yesterday we saw our first Hoosier dirt track tires. The vehicle that Nick or I will be helping drive, Fired Up, has three of them. We drove it straight into the back of the bus.
Apparently, it's geared so well, they once drove it vertically straight up a tree à la The Gods Must Be Crazy. In the garage, we met Elliot, the tinkerer at the center of this estate of one habitable trailer, two garages, a barn, and owner of two school bus/RVs. An old truck driver, he is soft spoken, grizzled and mildly crazy, as well as a hoarder. He has been up for nearly 48 hours now, we think, working on another last minute sculpture for some guys that contacted him. So today, instead of driving up to Arcata early has been spent with each of us taking turns in the garage or babysitting children and the chicken. It's been good for Nick and I, his brain finally starting to feel rehydrated, though I'm still holding my belly in my hands after the ride here, and a little apprehensive about riding in the bus. Apparently, at this rate, we won't be rolling out til late o'clock, so hopefully we will all sleep through the ride.
Elliot's garages and barns are like a kinetic museum in and if them selves, with various sculptures of differing pedigrees and stages of construction or disrepair packed in between all the bikes covered in Playa dust. Everywhere one looks is a delight or distraction for an adult. The little people were another matter, constantly darting in and out of the garage where metal was being fashioned.
Aside playing in the plane, in an effort to keep the children occupied, Peter brought out a Hoosier tire that's not mounted. He proceeded to fold himself inside of it, and then got both his children, 9 year old Sam and 6 year old Lilly, inside the tire with him. He challenged Nick and I to do the same. Watch the video, if you haven't. Worth it.
The tires provided a good hour or two of fun, what with the monkeys in a barrel, and balancing on top, etc. It kept the children busy for quite a while. After a quick trip to the grocery store, we came back with a box of Bertie Bott’s Every Flavor Beans, which also amused them for some time. Hopefully they'll crash soon from exhaustion . Hopefully this machine will be done soon so we can get to Arcata. Lots of wishes, not much to be done for it. Oh well, I've got a few books stashed, and Nick's always got video to edit.
No cycling today