This past weekend, my husband and I made the long trek from Northern California to Lake Arrowhead, where we planned to spend the weekend with friends as part of a delayed 50th birthday celebration for him. The seven-plus hour drive was part of the price we paid when we decided to uproot ourselves from the urban civility of Los Angeles and move to the wild west of Northern California.
It turned out we all got a little bit more than we bargained for.
There are two basic routes to get to Lake Arrowhead from our new home and the one my husband picked required us to get off I-5 at the 138. From there, we found ourselves on a comparatively desolate road, which I described as “the place God forgot.” Except there seemed to be a lot of churches scattered around, as though the people who lived there knew God forgot them and wanted to remind him. From the looks of things, it didn’t work.
We hadn’t been off the 5 long when we passed a police SUV parked facing the other direction. I wasn’t worried at first since it didn’t seem to me like we were speeding. But a glance in the side mirror showed the SUV making a u-turn to follow us and sure enough, he pulled us over. We were going 72mph in a 55 zone. On the upside, the trooper who stopped us appeared to be a very polite twelve year-old boy.
When did police men get so young?
After dinner, a group of us went out to the dock to do some fishing. Preferring to stay indoors to drink my wine, I wasn’t part of that group. So I didn’t get to witness the moment when our host, Chris, got a fish hook stuck in his hand. Apparently, the little buggers have some pretty sharp barbs and aren’t easy to pull out. No worries, a trip to the emergency room, a quick yank, and a tetanus shot was all that was required.
Chris brought the hook home in a plastic jar used for urine samples and it stayed on the kitchen counter all weekend. Because that’s how this group rolls.
On Sunday evening, we all piled into the boat for a twilight cruise around the lake. We were chugging along when Chris stood up in the captain’s chair and yelled something. Nobody could hear what it was, but when a huge raccoon scuttled through the middle of the boat, hopped onto the bow and then jumped into the water, we all had a pretty good idea what he was screaming about. He was too quick for us to get a picture.
Relax, no raccoons were harmed (that we know of). This one swam to shore while we watched.
We still don’t know where the raccoon was hiding, but our best guest is that there’s a hollow spot underneath the captain’s chair because it ran across Chris’s feet (he was driving) to get to the front of the boat.
In all, it was the sort of weekend that does a person good, filled with happy kids, delicious food, lots of wine, and a wonderful reminder that we didn’t leave our friendships when we left Los Angeles, even if we did leave a little bit of our hearts.