September 29, 2012 10:52 by Phil
We got the last of our stuff into the garage the other day and had one last crazy day. Part of our application for New Zealand involves getting a physical. We hadn't looked too closely at this part of our application, as we had a lot of other things going on. However, it turned out that we had a lot to do. My current doctor didn't have an opening for a physical until the middle of October, which wouldn't work for us at all. We thought maybe we could find someone in the Arcata area, but they weren't too responsive either. In the end, Val found a local doctor who took us in and was willing to coordinate all our medical paperwork too. So we spent an entire day getting physicals, chest x-rays and having our blood drawn. Hopefully, the labs will come back just fine when we see her again on Oct 8.
With that done, it was time to head up to Arcata and visit my son James. He's in an apartment this year, his second at Humboldt State University. He and his roommate Nick made dinner for us and it was delicious. We had some organic pork chops, garlic mashed potatoes and a nice salad. They went crazy with the sauce too. It was a combination of things they had in the house and included BBQ sauce, mushrooms and a whiskey marinade. Very tasty indeed. I think I was still making hot dogs when I was that age.
The next day was totally out of the norm for this area. It was warm and sunny so we went to Moonstone Beach and did some climbing. Temps were in the high 70's. It was a beautiful day and we would've gone into the ocean, but it is still really cold water even when it's sunny out!
One day, we went up to play in Fern Canyon. It was cooler, but still a nice day.
Val and I spent the next few days at Patrick Point State Park. It slowly got colder each day until it was windy and foggy all day long. At that point, I was ready to head inland. With the climbing guide next to us, we tried to find a warm place to hang out. We found the warm, but found that we really are not sport climbers. It was really steep and the moderate climbs were super chossy and scary. The good climbs all started somewhere around 5.11a, which I can do in the gym, but haven't really ever climbed outside.
One more dinner with James and then it was off to our next stop, rafting the Klamath with a bunch of teenagers!
September 16, 2012 08:04 by Phil
Since I quit my job a week ago, we've had a couple of goodbye parties. The last one was on Saturday. They've all been really fun, and I realize that I really should've spent more time getting to know some of my more casual acquaintances better. You know, it's just someone you say hi to in the hallway or in Sally's case, someone I sometimes walk up the stairs with. They mention something and you realize that this is someone who has had some really interesting experiences.
I got the idea for this post from a goodbye card. The cover had a couple of cats looking at a condiment bottle. One was saying to the other, "Ingredients: tomatoes, vinegar, sugar, salt. See there's no cats in catsup!" Inside was the line: And there's no good in goodbye. It was a very apt card, as I've felt very bittersweet about leaving. I've really enjoyed the company of the folks I've worked with over the years. In fact, it's probably one of the main reasons I stayed at the company for as long as I did.
But goodbye is probably a contraction of God be with ye. I may not be sure of the existence of a higher being, but I can certainly accept the good wishes my friends mean when they say goodbye.
We've been staying at friends' houses since our tenants moved in on Sept. 1. It's really been a challenge to keep our stuff semi-organized while we complete the move out. There are still boxes and bins in the garage that we have to move out. After that, I'll feel that we are truly out. We're really lucky in that the tenants are OK with us leaving some stuff in the garage. We've added several shelves and I've spent hundreds of dollars on plastic bins. But not having to rent a storage space is really worth it. A friend has graciously offered part of his garage for other gear and books while we're away. That's great too. Although I'm sure he would've done it for free, a couple of kayaks added to his quiver has helped a lot too.
I've been amazed at how cool and giving our friends are. Even though we were imposing on their households, they went out of their way to make us feel welcome. I'm truly touched.
Only another week in the Bay Area and then it's off to Northern California to visit my son and then hit the Klamath River. Our adventure is almost there!