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Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Lake Isabella, CA, USA, Sept 7, 2011

Being the home-body that I am, I had been wondering if I would enjoy taking off every few days.  But when Tuesday (“drive day”) came along I leapt up with the thrill of adventure and the promise of the open road.

It is a good thing I started so strong because it was a long day of driving – left in record time at 10:00 but we didn't arrive in "Paradise" Cove until nearly 4:00, at least we did more than 60 miles – 184 from pitch to pitch.  We had an early mis-navigation (I was driving, I’m just saying) and ended up going in a circle around Lake Arrowhead which added about 20 minutes to the drive.  It is times like this that I get nervous about Europe:  Here we can read the signs and still get lost.

We took Highway 14 north instead of 395, and came west on 178.  It was much more enjoyable than 395.  Hot, but very enjoyable.  Great scenery along the quiet route, especially through Red Rock State Park. 

We discovered a fantastic Mexican grocery in Lancaster and Alan went in to get us some tortillas (to wrap around the delicious black-eyed pea salad he made last night.)  He was delighted to discover a tortillaria on site:  They were making them fresh right on the spot.  These little delicacies are so full of lard that they are almost translucent.  But wow did they taste good heated to a crisp and wrapped around that salad!

(Incidentally, Alan was in there so long I was beginning to get nervous [not to mention boiling hot—did I tell you that it was 95 for most of the drive?]  Apparently he got way-laid by the meat department where they proudly displayed all pieces of the cow.  And pig.  But we do love a good ethnic grocery!)

Paradise Cove is not so paradise-like.  For one, it is hotter than hell out here.  No wonder all the campgrounds at the beach are full-- everywhere else in California is hot and dusty!  But we are one of only three people in camp so it is quiet, unless you count the highway which runs about 200 yards behind us.  (We drowned it out by blasting the Salt Mix from my iPod while enjoying our Rum & Tonics.)

We are right on Lake Isabella which is great.  I had a lovely swim with the dogs trying to save me.  They were thrilled to swim in the cool water—did I say it was over 90 when we hit camp?!?  So the first “trying to save Kit” swim quickly turned into “hmm, I think I’ll just swim this way too, just to be safe.” 

After the aforementioned dinner, we went back to the shore for some fishing.  I had seen two little fish while swimming and managed to get a hit with a lure, but nothing bit hard enough to bring home.  River found the bones of a fish head (still intact, but all flesh gone) and proudly paraded it by us.  It’s bad when even your dog can get a fish and you can’t.