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Posted by Royost, on Sat Jul 18, 2009 7:16 pm
I learn. But sometimes not as readily as I should. For instance, when taking a trip, stop at bathrooms when they avail themselves - not when they are seriously needed. If you don't, another one may not present itself in time to prevent an accident. And copious embarrassment.

Greg, my son, and I took another one of our trips. Our original plan was to travel up the west side of the Sierra Madres to the Columbia River, travel the Lewis and Clark highway along the Columbia River from Portland OR to Umatilla OR and then take highway 395 back down the east side of the Sierras.

Well, the best laid plans--- and all that. We didnt quite stick to plan. When we travel, we get easily side tracked. Up toward Fresno we were getting a little hungry so we turned off I5 and went east looking for a place to eat. Drove through a lot of beautiful farm country and found a little Mexican restaurant in Lamont, population 398 Mexicans and 2 Caucasians which was us.. Had a pretty good breakfast which, we later found out, worked as a good laxative. Bought a watermelon in Weed Patch CA and put it in the trunk.

We headed out highway 178 to Lake Isabella. Fooled around there for a while talked to some fishermen, skipped rocks across the water, important stuff like that. It was very pleasant there.

Headed on up toward Springville but got up the road a bit when that Mexican food started to take affect. I told Greg to pull in at the first place that had looked like it had a restroom. That was a gas station/convenience store in Terra Bella - two more miles up the road. By the time we got there the old pouch was ready to explode. I grabbed my service bag and rushed in to the store, tried the restroom door - it was locked. The guy finally came out and I rushed in, sat down and pulled down my pants and underware preparatory to emptying the bag.

Now, normally, I am careful to make sure the bag is pointed down inside the toilet before I take off the clip. This time I guess, in my haste, I didn't. When I released the clip, that thing exploded - all over my underware, my pants, my shoes and the floor.

I was stunned.

Sat there for a while composing myself trying to figure out what to do. Finally I started cleaning up. Used all the toilet paper and most of the paper towels. But, you know, sh-- is sh-- and the smell lingers on. I decided I couldn't stay there forever so I gathered up my service bag, opened the door and went out. Some guy was waiting to go in. I didn't stay around to explain to him that maybe he should wait.

Thank goodness, Greg was with me. He went back into the store and bought a gross of alcohol wipes and a roll of paper towels. I covered the car seat with paper towels and we took off down a little back country road and pulled into a secluded spot that didn't appear to have much traffic on it. I got out of the car and took off all my clothes and threw them, along with the shoes, into the ditch and then cleaned up using about half of the gross of wipes. Greg got my suitcase out of the trunk and took out a change of clothes and shoes which I put on. Cleaned off the leather seat using a bunch more the wipes. (It was probably clean anyway but that odor kind of sticks around a while and I'd rather smell alcohol than ostomy sh**.)

I imagine those clothes and shoes are still there.

Went on up the road to Springville and got a room in the Springville Inn. Hauled in our luggage and watermelon and stayed the night.

Next morning, we hauled our luggage and watermelon out to the car, got in and headed north didnt know exactly to where. Drove passed little towns with interesting names like Roads End, and Kaweah. Stopped for breakfast at Yokohl. Talked to Steve, a motorcyclist, who just completed a 22000 mile trip on his BMW over most of the US and some of Canada. He and his sister own a ranch with a few hundred head of cattle down close to Springdale. Said he was getting restless again and had to take another trip. He didnt know where he was going but, in general, was heading on up highway 49. Left his sister in charge of the ranch. Said he had only a few hundred beef cattle and they were all grazing so they didnt take much care.

Headed on up to the Giant Forest in Sequoia National Park to see General Sherman.  It is one of the tallest Giant Sequoia trees in the world with a height of about 275 feet (84.8 metres). Although not the tallest tree in the world (coastal redwood being taller), it is the biggest in terms of volume, making it the world's largest known single organism by volume. As of 2008, the volume of its trunk measured about 1587 cubic meters. The tree is believed to be between 2,300 and 2,700 years old.

We didnt get very far that day because we are always stopping to view the sights and take pictures. We got a room at the Wuksachi Lodge in the Sequoia National Park. Hauled our luggage and watermelon into the room and walked over to the restaurant. Lots of deer. Supposedly lots of bear but we didnt see those. I put a piece of chicken on a tree stump outside our room but it was still there the next morning so maybe the bear stay away from the lodges.

Next morning, we hauled our luggage and watermelon out to the car, got in and headed north didnt know exactly to where. On the way out of the Park we saw a lot of smoke and read signs informing us that a forest fire was in process. Forest fires are handled much differently now than they were a few years ago. When forest fires were totally managed, debris builds up on the forest floor sometimes 3 to 4 feet thick. That stuff dries out and becomes extremely flammable. Eventually something will ignite it lightning, the bottom of a broken coke bottle acting like a magnifying glass, a careless smoker who knows? When that happens it is almost impossible to control. It burns very hot and high and rapidly and kills everything in its path including the tall trees. Nowadays, the fires are allowed to burn and are controlled only when they get close to inhabited places. (The inhabited places were supposed to have cleared the forest floor around them. Most do. Some dont.) Not much debris builds up this way and the fires dont burn as hot nor fast and dont kill the taller trees. And the forest critters have a chance to get out of the way. Nature found out that millions of years ago and got along just fine. Look at the age of General Sherman. It has burn scars around its base but it is still growing not so much taller as lighting zap off its top, but in girth and volume.

We headed on over to Fresno and up highway 41 and then back on highway 49. Mind you, all this time we are traveling through beautiful country and figured we would settled down in about 100 places for a few years.

Got up to Jackson that night and got a room at a Best Western. Hauled in our luggage and watermelon and went over to Mels Cafe a guy down in Chinese Camp suggested. He was right. The food was very good. Went back to the Best Western to settle down for the night. I pulled down the cover on my bed. The sheets were rather wrinkled and there was a yellow spot on the sheet. I pulled them down further and found what looked like a piece of snot and some hair. Pulling them down further revealed a syringe. I didnt pull them down anymore. At that point I called the office for some new sheets and someone to vacuum the floor which had obviously not been vacuumed. She said they didnt have night people to do that. I said I wanted a different room. She said they didnt have one with two beds. I said send the sheets and pillow cases down and Ill change them myself. That she said she could do. I think I will not be going to another Best Western soon.

Next morning, we hauled our luggage and watermelon out to the car, got in and headed north didnt know exactly to where. But our plans change a bit. I called Anna and she was not feeling well. So we decided we had best not continue on to Portland.

Rather, we continued on north to I80 and cut across to South Lake Tahoe. Got a room at the Stardust Ski Lodge. We haued in our luggage and watermelon and decided to go out and get some food. Walked down to the Lake. The Lake is so clear that one can see objects 67 feet down. Walked a couple blocks up the street into Nevada. Spent a couple bucks on poker. Lost a couple bucks on poker. On the way back to the Lodge, we got a pizza and a bottle of merlot. The room was the best yet.

Next morning, we hauled our luggage and watermelon out to the car. This time we knew where we were going the fastest route home. We headed north to highway 207, up and over the mountains to highway 395 and home. Fairly easy drive.

Made it home Sunday evening. Hauled most of our luggage and that watermelon into the house. Put the watermelon into the refrigerator.

Greg finally cut into the watermelon Tuesday evening, took one bite and threw it away. It was not good.

California is a beautiful state.  But I would stay away from Terra Bella for a while.   I hear that some idiot dumped some hazardous waste up there along a back country road.
Reply by eddie, on Sun Jul 19, 2009 3:13 pm
Luv your humor and story telling ability, accidents happen I think we all have them but in the big picture what the hell
Reply by PsychoJane, on Sun Jul 19, 2009 4:18 pm
That was awesome Royost. I like to read about travel adventures, lol those are the most ackward moments probably but they are so funny once you can look back on them later. I tend to be a pro about random bag incidents. That was a good one. Its nice to see you are able to bring it here with humour. Smile
Reply by Snowwhite, on Sun Jul 19, 2009 6:05 pm
Had to read to the end......I was dying to know the outcome of the watermelon! What a story.

I met a woman who told me that her husband had an "accident" while on their road trip. They stopped at a hotel. The wife went in (and mind you, she is an older , very classy lady).  She walked up to the desk and  asked the clerk if she could rent a room for 1/2 hour.  This clerk  didn't know what to say.  She turned beet red. Sometimes these "accidents" can be the funniest stories.
Reply by co2168, on Sun Jul 19, 2009 7:53 pm
Here is a little trick I use when I traveling in the car for awhile.  I always keep wet naps and a couple of empty water bottles in the car.  If i'm in a pinch and there is no bathroom for awhile I will pull off the road somewhere and empty it in the bottle.  Then once I have reached a place I throw the bottle away in the trash.  It may not be the most pleasant way to go to the bathroom but it has come in handy several times.
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