Post 148: Leaving Boonville
Boonville was another very difficult place to leave, not just because of the place or the people, but because of the lifestyle there. There was the 'Pub Quiz' at the Boonville Lodge, which team Poor Circulation of course won, .... the visit to Emerald Earth, an 'Intentional Community' where I was fascinated by the ecology, the lifestyles, the hospitality and warmth of the people, ... the interview with the Anderson Valley Advertiser, .. the Whiskey Party with Mathew and Jennifer, ... the Birthday Party where I learned the intricacies and rules of 'Ranch Botchee', "Horseshoes' and 'Frisbee Golf', .. assisting Wes the intrepid stilt-walker practicing for the annual Boonville Parade, ...... like the warmth of the people here, ...... the list of activities is endless. I will be returning here on the 12th September for the Boonville Fair and Rodeo, .. though I sincerely hope not as a contestant. It will only be for three or four days, but I doubt that my second departure will be any easier than my first.
From Boonville I headed South to Healdsburg in order to meet Ron and Judy, my brothers 'In Laws' and kind donors to my chosen charity. They treated me to the best breakfast of the journey so far and before leaving, presented me with an annual pass to the American National Parks. I was beyond words, I hope that I thanked them sufficiently for everything that they've done to help, ..... but when coming face-to-face with such generosity, my words often feel inadequate.
One of the main problems here in America is 'Choice'. In every aspect of life here there is simply too much choice. In Russia, you order coffee with your breakfast, .. and coffee is exactly what you get. Here in America, order 'Coffee' and there follows a three minute conversation, .. at the end of which you may or may not get what you actually desired in the first place. Choose any aspect of life here, .... and the menu of options will be equally extensive.
And so it was, ... armed with a map, a free pass to all of the National Parks, $400 of budget and 12 days to kill, .. I left Healdsburg and headed North(ish). The choices of road and destination were endless. Within 100 square miles of Boonville I could find you a day-long 'Best Biking Road Ever', .. for each day of the week, ... possibly each day of the month, .. too much choice.
Finally I made a decision, I head through to Lake Oroville where I camp alone in the forest. It's 'Labour Day Plus 1', America has gone back to work. I drink too much beer, lay back watching the night sky a'la 'Gregory's Girl' and then drift off to sleep in my tent. I'm woken as dawn breaks, the alarm on my Tiger is sounding. By the time I'm 'decent' and investigating (like anybody is going to see me out here), the intruder has gone. A couple of hours later a Park Ranger passes, he identifies the paw prints on the Tiger's saddle as 'Mountain Lion', ... common in these parts. Time to move on, ..... next stop Lassen Volcanic Park.