Road Trip (Day 4)

06 Apr 2017

Heading to the coast to see wild flowers. Did I say I like to take time to smell the flowers?

This morning I woke to the sun coming over Red Canyon Walls. Stopping in Mavjo to get my morning supply of doughnuts and coffee (okay so it’s kibble and water but I can dream). 

The contrast between the stark landscape and the bentifulness of the Central Valley is amazing. Coming from an area of things fighting to survive to things growing green to feed a hungry nation. 

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Road Trip (Day 3)

06 Apr 2017

I awoke to a boy playing basketball outside the room as he spoke Hindi to his parents. The irony of the day before standing in the dirt basketball court at the American Japanese were interment camp doesn’t escape me. 

Here is an Indian boy speaking Hindi to his parents playing the most America game next to Baseball and Football. The same game played nearly 70 years ago in interment camps. 

Immigrants aren’t taking job away from America they are just simply living the America dream better than the native.

Darwin, CA. is a survival of the fittest. Population is 50 and they are the toughest of the toughest. I’ve been out here twice and this is the first time I’ve seen anyone. They were friendly and waved to me as a drove by. 

I found some dwellings that were dug out of the side of the hill. A pot belly stove and a bed was in one of the dwellings. A paper from 1984 sat on a metal container turned into a table. Holes were dug in the ceiling to the sky above to allow the smoke out. A door and window hung dug into the enterance. The dwellings are more like modern caves than actually homes but any shelter is better than none in this environment.

I ran into one armed Rick working at the pioneer point market in Trona CA. I meet him 5 years earlier while driving through. Back then he was working at By-Right supermarket  were I bought supplies for my trip. Back then I got into a conversation about what brought him out here from Arkansas. What brought him out here was the warm weather and buying a house on eBay sight unseen. 

Five years later the By-Right went out of business and a Family Dollar store. I went in looking for Rick but they said he didn’t work there but the town was so small that they knew where he went, just a couple of miles up the road at the Pioneer. 

Walking in I asked if he remembered me from five years ago but of course he didn’t. I remember him because of his one arm and buying a house on eBay from Arkansas. 

We shot the shit a bit as customers came and left. I leaned more about the five towns including Trona. 

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Road trip (day 2)

04 Apr 2017

I awake at the foothills of snow covered peaks. The tallest mountain in the continental US stands before me calling to be conquered, but I have other plans for today. 

Bear cans are available at the sporting goods store next to me. I only know about 12 ounce beer cans not these bear cans you can rent for $2 a day. Who would want to rent a bear can when a person only “rents beer” anyway. This is completely confusing to me since Schipperkes are often named Bear because of how we look. I must investigate what a bear can is for before continuing my journey of discovery.

Did I mention that I’m an inquisitive dog? If you haven’t figured it out by now let me state it clearly. I’m pretty easily distracted by new and interesting things.

Inside the local doughnut shop getting biscuits and gravey with a cup of coffee, Fox News is blaring away with the President giving a speech. Classic rock drowns out his words. It remind me that I am in the soul of the country.

Alabama Hills that sit at the base of Mt. Whitney is the spot a lot of movies have been made at. Movies that stared the late, great John Wayne and recently Rodney Downy Jr.

I’m Outside of Lone Pine I stumbled across a Japansees WW2 interment camp. My pride in America sank a bit remembering what we have done to America Citizens in the past our of fear and misunderstanding.
I wasn’t looking for this historic site nor did I know it was their until moments before while searching Yelp for points of interest. I was not disappointed by my find. 

The roar of military jets over head from the near by bases make the interment camp more ominous and alive for me. Seeing a interment camp first hand put me in a solem mood and left me pondering the state of the country. My mood quickly changed back to an adventure when I realized I was heading to Mono Lake

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Road trip (day 1)

03 Apr 2017

I’m heading to the last known address of the Mansion family while listening to “The Doors” rider on the storm. This is a trip of discovery where I ask the question of who am I and what is my purpose in this crazy world I call home.

I’m leaving the safety and insanity of millions of being buzzing around like bumblebee to the introspective nightmare of a schipperke’s mind. May I remind you that I’m not like most schipperkes or other beings in that case. I’m Bob if you’ve forgotten.

It is appropriate that I’m going to the desert because such a vision quest requires the solitude that the barren landscape can provide.

Cat Stevenson song “Miles from Nowhere” comes to mind as the green foothills sweep by as I head towards my destination. The destination isn’t the journey it is just a maker in my life. It is the journey to who I am that is important. 

This baits the first question, which is who am I? Am I Bob my given name, the sum of my experience or something more? My name is Bob, but that is what I’ve been called all my life, is that all there is to me? I doubt it because I am more than just my name. 

I am the experiences I’ve had and the people I’ve met and the world I live in, all help creat who I am.

Inside a truck in the Central Valley is a gun toting, God fearing, Apple pie eating part of America. This is the area for people with true grit and I happen to be one of them. 

The baseball caps embroidered logos of Bud, Mack Truck and American eagles is surrounded by solders, American flags and 2nd Amendment right t-shirts. This is the area where men are men and women are men. There is no safe space and gender neutral bathrooms. This is America damnit! 

I pick up a Rock Star energy drinks and a Slim Jim, but quickly realize I don’t have any pockets or money, so I put them back then head out to the truck. Proud to be an American because of the merchandise I could buy in the any truck stop across this great nation.  Only the free can travel and buy stuff like this.

This is part of America is where real work is done by country music listening, chew spitting and truck driving down to earth people. There are no soft hands here. They earned their calluses. 

There isn’t any NPR or PBS listening person working these fields. They are the Country station listening and Fox News watching kind of folks. They eat hearty breaks that clogs the arteries and drink beer in a can to hydrate. None of that granola with yogurt then a micro brew type of people here.

By the end of the day I’m sitting in a burger joint listing to country music piped in by digital radio between the highest and lowest point in America. I may have started out a ladies pets but slowly turning into a working dog. This journey is becoming more of what is to be an America than who I am. Maybe they are one in the same.

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This morning started out with the typical cup of coffee and kibbles. My publisher walked in while I was enjoying breakfast to give me my next assignment. A road trip of sort, to a dog part. Knowing this isn’t going to be a typical assignment I needed to gather some supplies. The iPad, bluetooth keyboard, camera, audio recorder, water, chew toys and lots of kibbles. I couldn’t properly do this assignment in the typical car we go in a convertible at minimum is required. I also needed unlimited credit, which my publisher said wasn’t an issue. I may even need legal council before this assignment is over. This isn’t just going to be the typical assignment, it is going to be an exploration into the very fabric of America.

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I had to break federal law to go to the 61st but when I learned the error of my ways I left.  I’m not a military employee so was not officially allowed.

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On the clock….

04 Jan 2016


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