Yeah! I’m in Placerville at Lee and Craig’s! The dogs are loving it. Early morning was heralded by wild barking, there were my three Lagotto doing super fast zommies  and ‘squishies’ (I just made that up for the way the dogs wiggle themselves into anything wet) in the grass drenched from the sprinklers… to SO CAL folks, remember those things, sprinklers and green lawns? They still have them here. Mason has the biggest happiest grin on his face, chasing and exploring and snuggling in laps. I love seeing them so happy. Not sure Zak is not entirely pleased with his houseguests, a few snarls here and there, sure can’t blame him will all the energy running around. Be we do thank him and Tobey.

Dogs Running in Grass!

Dogs Running in Grass!

Before I tell you abut the drive up I have to tell you that the L.T. is back to that old, running too hot syndrome. You know that issue, I’ve had fixed 2, 3, 4 times already. And why my Ford died too….overheating….

Going up the Cuesta Grade  on Hwy 101 it happened. I could not believe it!!! I looked and looked but there it was the heat indicator rising way too much , I was driving slow and easy. For those that don’t know I’ve already replaced radiator, water pump, thermostat at least 3 times, temperature sensor, hoses, fan clutch pulley ….. and did you guess it? These are the symptoms, runs too hot when going up a steep hill, cools when downshifting into a lower gear and instantly (almost instantly) drops back to normal temp just after the crest of the hill starting down. No radiator fluid is lost. Yes, It’s the fan clutch itself!

Pups in the RV

Pups in the RV

I was lucky to find a shop open on a Saturday here in Placerville, and on Mother’s Day weekend … Happy Mother’s Day Mom! … Dave’s Master Automotive    I see they’re also on Facebook. Dave greeted me and has been very helpful getting to the root of the trouble, he’s doing everything he can to get me back on the road as soon as possible. I will be delayed a little because the part has to come from the warehouse. Dave says he will start getting the old one out bright and early Monday morn so that when it arrives he can just pop it in. Total price including labor and tax for fan clutch and thermostat will be $361.99.

Other than the heat of my engine and the pups wanting to stop at every Rest Stop and Park they could see, the drive was marked by it’s dryness. Southern California didn’t get a Spring this year, it seems more like late July. Here’s what I saw on the signs staked in  farmer’s fields for us motorists to read along Hwy 5.

I started noticing these after passing the Harris Ranch and Feedlot in Colinga … the cattle seemed a little less crammed as in past times.  I could almost fantasize they had just a tad bit of enjoyment of life before their slaughter…. what else could I do, I couldn’t take them with me.

Near Harris Ranch off I-5

Near Harris Ranch off I-5

Congress Created Dust Bowl …. I looked and looked but could see no dust just orange and purple hills… orangey scrub with occasional bouts of lime mustard and dark green plants. The crops were a bright green.

Stop Politician Created Water Shortage …. Hmmm everything but the crops looked really dry, so politicians are in charge of rain, snow and moisture now? Okay doky

No Water, No Jobs = Higher Food Prices   That almost make sense, but if there’s no jobs to grow the food, shouldn’t it be the no water and no jobs equal no food!

No Water = Higher Food Costs

Set the Delta Pumps Working. Join the Fight….   Was this about the environmental issues back in ’07, probably not. There’s an article in the LA Times about the over pumping for the Central Valley groundwater creating a crisis…. This then is what these signs are about, not the drought per se but about the wells causing the land to subside, irrigation canals to crack, roads to buckle and more importantly the aquifers to shrink which is exactly about the drought and BIGGER PICTURE…  the climate is changing like it or not.

I want to point out right here an odd thing I discovered at the rest stop just before the Harris Ranch as I was heading North. The toilets. There are a lot of toilets in heavy use at the rest stop. We all agree it’s dry, there’s a lack of water from the sky…. Right? Everyone can see that for themselves? So why then given all the pumping of the ground water and the dried out conditions of the flora and the thirsty creatures are the toilets swishing one might presume nonstop, willy-nilly?I didn’t want to stay that long. In the time it took for me to use one of those toilets, the tank flushed itself over 4 times and I could hear the other toilets going as well. I even thought it was one of those candid camera things … toilets out of control! But I stray… How can it be possible that anyone cannot notice their environment?  You can read the Times article, right here   I’m not going to give a lecture on water tables but you should know how they work.

I did have a few moments of wondering what if, as I passed Modesto. What if I had accepted the job at the Council of Governments and been part of the failing effort to clean up the Central Valley… one of those homes would be mine, my life would have gone in different ways… would my friends still have died, would I have my dogs, would I still be alone? Would I have still been there, fighting… err I mean working for cleaner air, water, pollution control…ad nauseam

I’m very short of sleep from fussing with my overheating LT… at least it was not leaking nor short of water itself. So more later on the state of water. For the rest of today I’m relaxing, enjoying my friends and watching my dogs play. I wish very much I could read one of those books I’d been saving for my trip but I left them all at home! Anyone suggest a good read? I have my kindle with.