View From The Bleachers

April 3, 2011

By The Time I Got To Phoenix…

Filed under: General — cubbiedude @ 4:42 pm

A family emergency caused me to take a 5 week road trip recently. The destination was Southern California.

My dad (“The World’s Greatest Living Cubs Fan”) and I have talked about going to Mesa, Arizona for Cubs Spring Training. Since I was going to be passing right through Arizona on this trip, the only question was whether I would visit the Cubs Spring Training Camp on the way out, or on the way back, or both.

I left Chicago (following Route 66) in late February during a snow and ice and wind storm. In Springfield, Illinois, I noticed no more snow on the ground. In St. Louis I noticed the snow on the truck (on the mirrors, etc.) had all melted. Missouri was sunny with blue skies.

In Oklahoma City people were wearing shorts, and people were riding motorcycles. The turnpikes in Oklahoma are great, but there are no rest areas. I found one 7 miles before Texas, but it was a dump and the dog couldn’t walk with all the stickers on the ground.

I did stop at a beautiful, scenic rest area in Northern Arizona between Winslow & Winona.

I decided to head straight to Orange County, California to see how my uncle was doing, thus passing up Phoenix and the Cubs Spring Training Camp on the way out.

Southern California was as I had remembered it, only more so.

The County Social Services people are ready and waiting to charge you with neglect if you don’t get your eyebrows waxed regularly.

For the most part, the people in Southern California were beautiful… looking, and the vast majority of them were very nice to me also.

A gallon of diesel fuel cost me $4.29 in Needles, but I thought the price would go down when I reached civilization. In Orange County diesel was going for as much as $4.49 a gallon.

The family crisis (my mom’s hanai older sister had passed away, leaving my uncle all alone) required me to remain on station for 4 weeks, much longer than I had anticipated.

Here’s a good news/bad news situation:
– Good news: I stumbled upon a 24 hour jazz radio station out of CSU Long Beach to keep me company;
– Bad news: they started their 2 week pledge drive the day after I arrived.

As I headed back East, it was chilly and wet with snow on the ground at Barstow, CA. The temperature dropped to 24 degrees Fahrenheit at Flagstaff that night. It was warm and sunny in Texas and Oklahoma, but there were stickers on the ground in Arizona and New Mexico and Texas and early Oklahoma.

We found green green grass (which Bowser loved) in Eastern Oklahoma.

Actually, I never quite got to Phoenix. Maybe next year.

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I'm a third generation cubs fan, living in southeastern Wisconsin.

  • Doc Raker

    Welcome back Cubbiedude. You were in my neck of the woods. You should of let me know I would of set you up for dinner with Seymour. SCU LB jazz radio is always doing a pledge drive, time for XM radio for you Cubbiedude.
    *Gas prices are always higher in CA due to increased regulation, as are home prices for the same reason as our other energy costs……..actually everything is more expensive in CA due to regulation, don’t get me started this state is in a state of decline.

  • Doc Raker

    I am sorry to hear about your Aunt, I hope all is well with Uncle. What part of OC do they live?

  • CubbieDude

    Hey Doc, thanks for reading, thanks for commenting, and thanks for asking.

    I’ll take a raincheck on the “Dinner With Seymour”.

    I enjoyed some of the CSU LB jazz programming when it was on, like “Breakfast With Bubba” for instance, and I don’t think that’s available on satellite radio. But I’ll keep your suggestion in mind.

    Not everything is more expensive in California: the sunshine and warm temperatures are free. As far as being in a state of decline, you’re right. The California I experience now is not the California I remember as a kid.

    My Aunt & Uncle used to live in a place some refer to as “Surf City”, which is ironic because they have never surfed and neither have I. But she’s gone and he’s back here now.

    I could summarize the trip experience by saying it was not a pleasure trip, but it was necessary and I’m glad I was available to help out. I”m still amazed at how pleasant and helpful and supportive people were to us all along the way. Kinda restores my faith in humanity.

  • Doc Raker

    Really, Surf City? I live in Surf City, you should of let me know.

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