December 2, 2007

Up the mountain for a day of food, friends and songs

MURPHYS, Calif., USA - We took a much-needed break from our packing and planning endeavors this past weekend, zooming up the hill to Camp Connell to visit friends Sanders and Pat Lamont at their cabin. (Cabin? It's a castle....)

It was also a good test run for the Trooper, which has lived most of its life in the flatlands and not been challenged much by hills. When we leave for Mexico in 11 days (Jaysus! 11 days?) there will be plenty of hills - and a 3, 500-pound travel trailer dragging behind. (Whoops, I forgot about the two cases of beer & the two cases of wine. Better add 75 pounds to the total.)

No trip to Camp Connell is complete without a visit to the Lube Room, a local tavern where we had dinner Friday night. (Would you like a hamburger, a hamburger and fries or a hamburger and onion rings?)

Then Saturday we wandered the streets of Murphys, the small mountain town where the Lamont's daughter Ruth, son-in-law Brian and grandchildren Delaney and Connor live.

Ruth & Brian and Co. moved to the hills (3,000-foot elevation) from the SF suburb of Pleasanton and now are the proud owners of an eight-acre ranch that has a fabulous house on it.

They scored big time with the place. But what a contrast! Suburban Pleasanton is, well, very suburban. At the secluded Murphys' house (a half-mile up a one-lane road), Brian watched a bear saunter by his home-office window the other morning.

And they get regular visits from a bobcat. Just ask any of their surviving chickens.

In our travels we also visited a gift shop where we found what might be the perfect musical accessory - a wooden pig you run a stick over to get some music.

We may need to get a whole set for the band we are putting together, The Four Headlamps. More on the band in a future posting.

Musical pig
With an oink, oink, here and an oink, oink there ...

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