October 30, 2012
When we wake up the house is empty, breakfast is set up on the kitchen counter, and bags of Halloween candy, cake, and freshly baked cookies are packed in baggies for the trip. A warm feeling envelops us being so well cared for and trusted by a perfect stranger.
We have an easy day ahead; most of the riding is downhill.
I wrote to Linda and Ed saying we would be Lakeside sometime after 3:00 p.m. Although I would love to sit and write somewhere, Christof is anxious to be up and off, so we agree to take a lunch break in Alpine. The day starts with a long climb up the mountain which is disappointing because this was to be a downhill day. After the climb up Interstate 8, it is, and the views and colors are spectacular: heaths, heathers and pine trees. Just before we leave Alpine I manage to convince Christof to stop at a nice place decorated with pumpkins and fall splendor, where we take an extended lunch break. Passing the school Corinne works at we pop in to say hello. Hugs, and thanks and wonderment at how chance meetings, created by destiny’s mistakes can turn out so well.
In Lakeside we find Linda and Ed on top of a mountain with a view over the valley. Ed built the spacious house, doing everything but the plumbing and electricity himself. Over drinks at a table where we enjoy the far reaching view, they tell us that they sold their business ten years ago, and have been traveling ever since. In addition to the comfortable motor home in which they roam the United States for a number of months at a time, they manage one foreign trip, traveling five to six months out of every year.
We are shown a comfortable pink guest room where the package we gave them at the campsite in New Mexico is waiting for us.
The entire family, both children and grandchildren, are coming to dinner. Their son Greg, his wife Shaunna and their two children, Taj and Ahja, as well as their daughter Becca with her husband Dustin and their son Chase.
Their elder son Garet is already away at university. Although Linda and I are only twelve years apart, her grandson is the same age as our daughter!
Both Becca and Dustin were divers, and made quite a splash – from a seventy foot diving board – on their wedding day! They travelled around the country extensively competing in diving competitions, before switching to ‘rock crawling’ for which they were sponsored by Red Bull. Rock crawlers are vehicles made for climbing steep terrain that jeeps or quads can’t manage. Becca distinguished herself by becoming one of the top women drivers in the country. Recently Becca and Dustin retired from sports, and they now have a business together ‘flipping houses’.
Greg, who works at the same business his father did – installing shower doors and mirrors – is also athletic. He’s been surfing since he was sixteen, and has taken up BMX riding again with his son, after a break of many years. The two of them compete together, often cheered on by their own family fan club.