Monday, May 16, 2011
We thought we'd never leave. But somehow there we were, staring out the window at the live oaks stuck into the gold hills like decorations on a cake, and the giant metal oil birds peck-pecking for the sludge we all live on.
We pulled into Paso Robles, CA around 8 pm, giving up the drive only four hours short of our original goal. We were not making it to Red Rock Canyon tonight. Even better, after following what initially sounded like decent advice at a local grocery store, we ended up at the “campground,” also known as “Wine Country RV Park.”
Wine Country RV Park consisted of asphalt alternated with concrete, in addition to small rectangles of grass where picnic tables were planted and watered nightly between midnight and 7 am.
It's been quite a while since we've gone south. We are pretty much NorCal people. Whenever I told people we were thinking of visiting the Mammoth Site – a tar pit of prehistoric bones in South Dakota, they'd inevitably bring up the La Brea Tar Pits in Los Angeles. Sure, I could go through L.A. county, when otherwise we'd have to drive days out of our way to South Dakota, completely mucking up my plan for a southern route and forcing us to travel through Nebraska or Kansas or Iowa, perhaps rain-soaked Missouri.
South Dakota it is, then.
The RV Park confused Isaac, a seasoned camper. The luxury bathrooms were just beside the pool; both were empty; the token lawn chair display beside the behemoth living rooms on wheels, unoccupied. You think there can't be that many people willing to steer 45 feet of vehicle around, but then you enter their great pueblos and lo-and-behold, it's a far-reaching sickness. Enthographers and anthropologists be forewarned: don't expect much contact with this crew. You will probably just have to catch them walking their dogs – the size of which is in direct opposite proportion to the size of their ride.
There's our little out-of-place van, lost amongst the giants
I have forgotten many, many things from my grad school days. (My grad degree was my original purpose for heading out to Monterey.) But there is a line on of my profs said that I recall often from Second Language Acquisition class. I can't quite remember the context within which it was told to us, but I've used this information on innumerable occasions. I find it to be very helpful to set myself straight when I start to get all freaked out and fear-driven. (MIIS people, if you are reading this and it sounds familiar, please help fill in the background.) What Leo said was, “An organism will not carry with it what it can easily find in its environment.”
The human is one hell of an organism.