We left this morning for a quick trip to see a bit of snow and a part of California that we are not all that familiar with - the Auberry metropolitan area. Joining Mrs Notthat, The Boy, and I on the trip were Yram (not her real name), her daughter Neremac (not her real name either, and I'm probably misspelling it in any case), and their wind up dog Murphy (his real name). Yarm's husband Nitsuj will join us tomorrow night. The place we are staying at belongs to Nitsuj's parents Evad and Yhtak.
Our van seats eight and holds an amazing amount of stuff. Since there were only five of us and we were only going to be gone two nights, you would have thought this would be a piece of cake.
Ha! We did manage to squeeze everything in, but just barely.
Auberry is a nice little town of about 2000 people sitting at about 2000 feet above sea level. Where we were going though was a few miles west of town and straight up a mountain. I'm not sure what the elevation is here, but it's high enough to have some snow.
Yram called Evad as we were getting close to find out whether the road to their place was safe for a pretty minivan - the answer was no since it had warmed up enough for the snow to melt and make a muddy mess of things. So we parked the van and waited for Evad to pick us up. Above is Mrs Notthat admiring the view, which is quite breathtaking.
Evad showed up with a huge diesel truck (The Boy said "Yes!") and we moved all our stuff over to it. The plan is to go get the van in the evening once the road has a chance to freeze up a bit. (The dog in that picture is Murphy.)
Neremac had grown up around here and was thrilled to be back. Apparently a local custom is to kick off your boots before swinging. (It was probably in the mid 40s at this time. No way I'm kicking my boots off.)
Everyone in this picture looks like they are standing around in mourning for the dead gopher that Makita (the Akita standing next to Mrs Notthat) found somewhere and felt she needed to bring to us. Actually, I think they were trying to work out where to put it so that it wouldn't make a return visit, which I'm pretty sure it did at least once more.
Here you see Murphy annoying Makita, which seems to be his primary goal in life (when he's not dragging dead rodents to the doorstep).
And here is their Emergency Backup Dog, whose name I forget but I'm pretty sure it wasn't a power tool.
And here The Boy gets in a staring contest with the start of their goat herd.
Here Neremac is doing her best Super Hero pose, or something like that. She is so in her element out here in the country. (And thankfully is back in her boots too.)
This is the shop with attached apartment that Evad and Yhtak have been working to build since they moved to this area a few years ago. The shop is huge and impressive, the apartment is still pretty unfinished, but will work great for us to use while we are here. They live in a trailer next to the shop.
And this is the view they have to put up with, being way up on this mountain.
The Boy is in love with this place and would love to turn his Jeep loose up here. The mud, the snow, the nearly navigable roads are all calling to him.
Tomorrow we are going to try to find lots of snow to play in, which I doubt will be hard to do at all. Hopefully the tire chains will keep nice and dry in the back of the van.
That's it - move along...