Sunday, June 6, 2010

Fun in the Chaparral...

Yesterday a colleague of mine (Aleck L., a software engineer) visited us.  He's a young guy (28) who has spent most of his life in a city environment, so there were lots of surprises for him out here in the country.  We had a great time watching him react to various things, such as the personalities and behaviors of our dogs (he spent a lot of time throwing things for Race) and the cats (he really liked Maka Lea's personality, and Halala Pala's magnificent tail), the birds on our feeders, hummingbirds buzzing him, etc., etc.  Debbie cooked a feast for us – shrimp, salmon, asparagus, green onions, and mushrooms on the grill, and an apple cobbler for dessert.  We were not hungry!

But the best part of all came near the end of the day, when we just casually mentioned to Aleck that we liked to go four-wheeling – something he'd never done.  This surprised him (he's often surprised by the things I like to do), and we asked him if he'd like to go with us sometime.  An emphatic yes.  So then it occurred to us that despite it being 4 pm, we could still make it out to Los Pinos that same day – so we asked if he'd like to go right now, and got another emphatic yes.

So we all piled into the old LandCruiser and took off for Los Pinos.  That trip was a whole series of new experiences for Aleck, and lots of fun for us to share them with him.  We were surprised at the abundant wildflowers at this late date – we saw several beautiful types that we didn't recognize, plus larkspurs, a lupine that was new to us, huge quantities of penstemmon, and some of the nicest Indian Paintbrush we've seen in San Diego County.

At several points along the Corte Madera road, Aleck broke out his iPhone and took short videos of us traversing some parts of the road that looked challenging to him.  That particular road gets more challenging as you go, so we kept running into spots that topped anything he'd seen before – and out came the iPhone again.  We all had a grand time, but we didn't get back home until around 9 pm.  That's late for us, but Aleck said it was plenty of time for him to go to “his next party” – and I do believe that's exactly what he did.  Debbie and I went to bed ...

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