The Good Times Get You Through

Copyright 2016 Marc Allen Mintz

Copyright 2016 Marc Allen Mintz

It seems to be a universal feeling, when you get home from a long trip and it’s like you never left.

Fortunately (especially for a freelancer), I’ve been relatively busy recently- so much so that my posts about the trip are way behind schedule. But that’s also what makes revisiting it so nice now that I have a little time to reflect.

It came about like this:

Last summer I roadtripped across the country, but I skipped a couple significant parts of it- the South and New England.  I thought about doing the South this year but it didn’t come together, and I was stuck in Phoenix for the first time in July and August.  It’s pretty hot here during that time if you didn’t know. (Wa…wa….one hundred and twenty f-ing degrees?!?!)

For years I made an annual trip from Oregon to Arizona that allowed me to stop and visit some of my best buddies along the way.  Now that I’m full-time in Phoenix, these visits will become fewer and farther between, to my great dismay.  But out of despe…no, more like perspi-ration, I got a hold of Dave to see if he had any plans that I could impose on.  Nope.  Let’s make some then.  I was thinking the beach.  Next thing I know he had a spot for the weekend at Dillon Beach, CA just north of Point Reyes National Seashore.  Even better, Rody was down, too.  He’s on the way.  And what?  Troy’s gonna make it down from Oregon, too?  It getting better and better.  And Andy wants to come up from Riverside?!?!  We’ve reached epic status!  We haven’t all been together on a trip like this for a good 10 years at least.

On the road from Yosemite…

Copyright 2016 Marc Allen Mintz

Copyright 2016 Marc Allen Mintz

Copyright 2016 Marc Allen Mintz

Copyright 2016 Marc Allen Mintz

In the end, Andy couldn’t make it up after all.  But we still had the makings of a great weekend.  And remember my last post?  When I observed the many comforts campers bring with them into the wild?  Turns out that’s us, too, complete with mattresses, big ass tents, and a ton of random gear.

Copyright 2016 Marc Allen Mintz

Copyright 2016 Marc Allen Mintz

The weather in Sacramento was gross.  Extremely hot and hazy.  Unfortunately, this didn’t extend to the coast where a dip in the ocean would provide the sweetest relief.  Nevertheless, cooler temps were welcome.

Rody said some pranksters put this outhouse in the middle of the delta to give bay area commuters something to think about on the way to work.  Banksy in the Bay.

Copyright 2016 Marc Allen Mintz

Copyright 2016 Marc Allen Mintz

Copyright 2016 Marc Allen Mintz

Copyright 2016 Marc Allen Mintz

The guys wanted to get some oysters on the way.  You know, nothing says manly like 4 dudes and a bag of oysters.

Copyright 2016 Marc Allen Mintz

Copyright 2016 Marc Allen Mintz

Copyright 2016 Marc Allen Mintz

Copyright 2016 Marc Allen Mintz

I’m pretty selective about the seafood I eat.  And the oyster is not something I’ve ever craved, primarily because of the texture, which is so important.  I wasn’t getting out of this though….

Copyright 2016 Marc Allen Mintz

Copyright 2016 Marc Allen Mintz

Down the hatch they went.  All 16 of them.  Not bad.  It’s still a texture thing for me, and I don’t get the swallowing it whole thing, but not bad.

Our sprawling campsite.  The beach was just on the other side of those dunes.

Copyright 2016 Marc Allen Mintz

Copyright 2016 Marc Allen Mintz

We don’t call him T-bone for nothing.  Troy got started on his famous steak marinade with a little “one for the marinade, three for me” action on the Wild Turkey.

Copyright 2016 Marc Allen Mintz

Copyright 2016 Marc Allen Mintz

So choice.  I highly recommend it.

Drinking and cussing with the buddies, as Rody put it, is something you can’t take for granted, especially at our age.  Eating camp food, too.  These guys all have a lot on their plates- the full-course adulthood special.  The 9-5 appetizer.  The family style main course.  And dessert takes a looooonnnng time to make, I think.

And so it was.  The sea swallowed whole and spit back out our frisbee.  Rody kicked our asses in beach dune bocce.  (The guy has a soft touch on his balls, apparently.)  Troy played us some tunes.  Dave kept us fed and full.  And I’m not sure what I brought to the table besides my cold.  But this definitely wasn’t the right time to start taking care of myself.

Copyright 2016 Marc Allen Mintz

Copyright 2016 Marc Allen Mintz

Copyright 2016 Marc Allen Mintz

Copyright 2016 Marc Allen Mintz

Dave kept talking about a hike up a dune in the distance.  After the Zion and subsequent cold debacle I wasn’t crazy about it, but off we went.

Copyright 2016 Marc Allen Mintz

Copyright 2016 Marc Allen Mintz

And went.

Copyright 2016 Marc Allen Mintz

Copyright 2016 Marc Allen Mintz

It really wasn’t bad.  But the funny thing is we get to the top and look down only to see something familiar drawn at a gigantic scale on the sand below.  Click this photo to see for yourself.

Copyright 2016 Marc Allen Mintz

Copyright 2016 Marc Allen Mintz

Yeah, that’s a big dick.  We enjoyed that.  So much that we started playing with our own balls.  Beach dune bocce is pretty damn fun, by the way.

Copyright 2016 Marc Allen Mintz

Copyright 2016 Marc Allen Mintz

That’s it for my documentation.  I know photographers who really take advantage of using their friends as subjects.  Lord knows my friends have been patient with me snapping them over the years.  These days, though, it’s different.  I don’t want to think about pictures at all on weekends like this.  It also seems true sometimes the ones not made are the ones that stay with you the longest.

Here are a few from the other guys that I’m sure they don’t mind me sharing.

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Rody apparently thought we needed a #beautyfilter.  Look at that flawless middle-aged skin!

Copyright 2016 Marc Allen Mintz

Copyright 2016 Marc Allen Mintz

Frisbee, with beer.

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Bocce, with beer.

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I told you.  And no surprise, my cold didn’t get any better.  And it was totally worth it.

There’s talk of making it annual but who knows.  I’m game, but my life is much less complicated than theirs.  Next time, Andy, you have to make it.  By myself, it’s hard keeping up with these family guys on a weekend away from home.

One more (slightly bizarre) adventure around our old stomping grounds in Joshua Tree coming soon.

Copyright 2016 Marc Allen Mintz

Copyright 2016 Marc Allen Mintz

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