Knowing so many Miramesa residents, I've occasionally kicked around the idea of doing some sort of traverse of points of interest. Eventually this became a brewery crawl and camping trip hybrid that was promptly met with enthusiasm.
I was kind of on the hook to deliver so I made it a League of Sport event.
As of this writing there are thirteen breweries in the Miramar/Miramesa polygon, all of them quite good. I am excluding Scripps Ranch Ballast Point and Karl Strauss on Scranton. Of course this is far too many to do in a single day, so I broke it into Saturday/Sunday event with canyonside camping in between.
The itinerary worked out as follows:
I elected to permit camp setup before actually embarking on the journey, but encouraged everyone to pack in the spirit of the event. Jeff did not let me down, except later in the evening when he defended Cooley against my wishes.
While the route predominantly snaked through commercial lots and back roads, we did elect to take the completely unnecessary shortcuts that presented themselves.
After seven breweries and seven miles, we made it to camp for some campfire and s'mores. While everyone was in okay shape the next day, we skipped the second leg.
We did another HotS LAN party weekend. About the same thing as last time, except in Hero League. This is in danger of becoming a thing.
Then Dave said goodbye to independence, so there really aren't any photos to be had. Except Bobby shooting some TIEs. There might have been soccer and tubing footage, but Jon's GoPro, in his words, "doesn't float".
The last day of the bachelor party happened to coincide with Zac and Erin's arrival in California's deep north, so it seemed convenient to hop on a train down there. Amtrak could drop me in Redding for a pleasant 45 minute drive out to Burney Falls. On the minus side, the Redding stop is just after 2:00a, but that's nbd coming from a bachelor party.
The scenery is, as you might imagine, quite gorgeous. It doesn't have the vertical component as the route through the Sierras, but there is a lot of green. Naturally, the spot to be is the snack/lounge car, which has sparse seating looking out through large sets of windows.
I had intended to bring a dinner sub from Portland, but wasn't able to, so I got to try the dining car experience. Here things degenerated a bit.
So the deal is, you get a reservation, they call you in for dinner, everybody is happy. When my 6:30 slot arrived, I made my way to the dining car and was greeted with a sharp, "we haven't called your time yet". Okay, I walked back to the lounge and promptly heard a call for 6:40 reservations. Back I go, "we haven't called your time yet".
"Buuut you called the time after my time", said I.
"That's for the sleeper car, you're in coach." Oooh getting all classist on me, haven't you guys seen Snowpiercer? In reality, I am all about the modest upcharge for business class, but it was not available when I had booked.
As I was walking out yet again they called me back to be seated. "But move over, we're seating you with three others." Okay, space is kind of tight, makes some sense (although I might note that the dining car was at about 70% capacity throughout the experience).
My dinnermates ended up being a mother and two small children who were very nice but, well... difficult. The seven year old immediately began picking apart and finger-feeding the butter tabs, the two year old went for the inordinately plentiful coffee creamers. Soon there were milk products on the table, seats, and windows. The mother was friendly and apologetic, and to the kids' credit I was didn't leave covered in dairy. But, well, sitting next to two kids licking butter tabs and slurping creamer can only be so pleasant.
The waiter handed us four order cards, I followed the mother's lead and began to fill mine out. Date, class, last name- then an abrupt, "No these are for sleeper travelers only". That's weird, you handed it to me and there is a checkbox for 'coach'.
After a solid twenty minutes and two toddler screaming fits, the mother gracefully made her order to-go and left me at ground zero looking like the worst father ever. A lady across the aisle seemed to know what's up and inquired, so all could hear, if I was traveling alone.
If you look closely you can see all of the spent creamers and butter wrappers.
I fully expected terrible food, but somehow became optimistic when I saw the steak was a full 25 wingwangs. Maybe rubbing shoulders with the sleeper crowd meant fine meals? I mean, who would mark their food up more than a stadium or airline and serve absolute rubbish.
That's not rhetorical, the answer is definitely Amtrak.
All-in-all, the train was a mixed experience, I did spend the late evening chatting with three other travelers in my rough age bracket.
If you ignore the oppressive heat, Burney was pretty amazing. I got in some good jet skiing, golfing, and even found an unexpected great place to watch the US-Germany match.
On Wednesday we did the short, steep Mt. Lassen hike. We managed to go up and back in just over two hours and were treated to clear skies and nice views of the Shasta mountain and area.
I just started with the Planetside 2 beta, on J's suggestion. Not for lack of desire, I haven't played Battlefield or CoD online so it's my first MMOFPS experience. It's pretty good, there are a lot of cool mechanics, although the gameplay isn't Bungie-slick.
The world us divided into a handful of continents that are eternally embattled. The members of each faction can take and defend the many locations on the map. So the action/movement is focused but contiguous and always in flux. I don't know if any strategies (or rewards, for that matter) have emerged for taking an entire continent, but this would be fun to explore.