Lake Marin (and “PRB”)

Before you look it up,  there is NO LAKE MARIN.  Just a reference to our RV park, which became a lake after torrential (and nearly perpetual) rain.  The bus is high and dry,  but there is a lake at the entrance. Not too worried about getting the bus out (very high clearance), but we may have to hope the Clown Car will float along after us.  

I am getting ahead of myself…

We left Walnut Creek after a VERY SUCCESSFUL Super Bowl Party.  By that  I do NOT mean we were rooting for the Patriots.  I DO mean that we ate more than our fill of Super Bowl Party fare, including Karolyn Ray’s WORLD FAMOUS Bean Dip.    Now some might say that there is a bit of exaggeration in that statement, but NO.  I was there a few years back when a mutual friend from Australia partook of said bean dip at one of the Ray’s previous Superbowl Fetes.  So therefore it is WORLD FAMOUS.

While in Walnut Creek we had a terrific time catching up with old friends.  And I do mean OLD. To keep the “Dans” straight,  Dan Ray’s Brother-in-law took to calling us “Old Dan” and “Tall Dan.”    We parked right in front of the Ray’s house, a special permit arranged for by Old Dan.  Not sure,  but I think the local officials wanted (required?) Dan to keep an eye on us at all times. 

Anyway,  during our stay,  we played Bocce Ball,  tasted wine, ate, drank and were generally merry.  Old Dan invited us back, and I think he had in mind to help him construct his imagined Bocce Ball Court in the back yard (which would involve moving tons of hillside).  Old Dan thought Tall Dan would look very GQ with a shovel in his hand.  Despite this obvious (not hidden) motive, It was AWESOME to connect with friends and take up right where we left off several years previous. 

Leaving Walnut Creek we proceeded to Marin County and a small RV park right by the Larkspur Ferry.  Passing through the toll booth on the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge,  we pulled up to the “Cash” agent.  The sign said “$5 Autos.”  He looked up at me, down the side of the bus and  onwards towards the towed-clown car.  He said, ”$20 please.”   I am wondering if he noticed I had that exact denomination in my hand and was just trying to make it convenient for me…Or, perhaps the toll was $10 and he assumed I was in a tipping mood?

Unhooking the Clown Car, we drove to the People’s Republic of Berkeley (PRB) and dinner with former neighbors from Chicago.  Sara had encouraged us to also park in front of THEIR house. Actually,  she was hoping in front of their neighbor’s,  who is fond of chanting mantras while smoking (medicinal) herbs under their bedroom window.  We would have been happy to oblige,  perhaps even aiming the exhaust pipe at that house and undertaking some engine maintenance.  But fortunately Brian was more thoughtful.  They live on a winding, narrow,  VERY STEEP street (9 degrees,  Brian said).  “RV Where Yet” would have NEVER made it up.  And if by chance we did make it up,  RV-Would-Still-Be-There-Yet.  Knowing this was why we decided to drive over to Marin and then come back.      

For dinner,  we had Thai – missed that.  I think we have not had such a meal since leaving Chicago.  After dinner we walked down the street with an intention of having Ice Cream.  Instead,  the shop had closed (15 minutes BEFORE the closing time shown on the door).  So we went back to Brian and Sara’s and had an after-dinner drink. Malört was offered.  Never had that before so was intrigued.  AAAACKKK.   After a smell from the glass and a sip,  I realized I HAD had Malört before.  But the last time,  I had used it to clean paint brushes. That Malört came in a different container. 

Heading back to Marin after dinner was a white-knuckle drive.  The weather was closing in again … HEAVY rain expected and VERY windy.  The Clown Car does NOT have a very deep wheel-base or much in the way of weight. So let’s just say the conditions were not ideal for us in particular.  It was eerie…there was NO traffic.  I wondered if the road was actually closed and we were headed for disaster.  Liz practiced tapping her heels and chanting “I want to go home…”   We took it slow across the Richmond Bridge (quite a long bridge over the SF Bay – with nothing to break the wind) back to our Marin RV Base. 

It rained all night,  and in the morning the RV Park was partially a lake.  We were dry,  but for a time no one could get in.  There was a break in the weather projected for about 36 hours,  and we planned to connect with College friend Mark Morris and his wife, Tracy. Not sure with the rain if hiking or bike-riding are possible,  but Mark reminded me that most Wineries and Taprooms are INDOORS.   Good thing.  As it turned out,  there was NO break in the weather at all.  

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