Pigeon Point

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The other day I left Monterey, CA and headed to San Francisco for a few days. This was the last leg of a 9 day summer road trip. Instead of taking a faster route, I decided to take California State Route 1 along the coast. I knew it was going to add extra time, but it would be worth it.

Along the way I saw a lighthouse in the distance. I had no idea which one it was, but I knew I was going to stop. As I got closer, I saw a sign that said Pigeon Point Light Station State Historic Park.

I turned off the road and headed toward a small dirt and gravel parking lot. There were about ten cars there and a few people walking around.

I got out of my car and was surprised at how windy it was. The sky was overcast along the coast, but there was a hint of blue to the east. The lighthouse had a chain link fence around it and was closed to the public. The white paint was showing its age and was in need of a facelift. The sign in front said the property was owned by the state and there were plans for a restoration.

There was a pathway from the lighthouse between two buildings to a cliff. I walked that way and was rewarded with a spectacular view of the rocky coast with its crashing waves and strong wind. It was truly an amazing place to be.

It turned out the location was named after an old ship that ran aground off the coast in 1853. The ship’s name was Carrier Pigeon and the area was named Pigeon Point in honor of her. The lighthouse was first lit in 1872 and at 115 feet is one of the tallest in the United States.

I’m glad I stopped. You just never know what you’re going to run across on a road trip. It’s not the destination that’s important. It’s the journey.

The Mystery Spot

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Have you ever heard of The Mystery Spot? Up until the other day, I hadn’t. Last weekend we were in San Jose watching the U.S. Women’s Olympic Gymnastic Trials when my son Googled “things to do.” That’s when he found a place called The Mystery Spot.

On Monday we left San Jose and drove southbound on Highway 17 toward Santa Cruz on our way to Monterey. The four-lane highway twisted and turned as we drove through a forest area. I exited the highway and drove by redwood trees that stretched up high into the sky. The area was just amazing.

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After many turns and curves we finally arrived at The Mystery Spot. They claim the area is a “gravitational anomaly” and “you will be stunned as your perceptions of the laws of physics and gravity are questioned.”

Basically everything is tilted and it messes with your head as you try to stay balanced. Don’t try and figure it out. Just have a good time and enjoy the corny jokes as the tour guide tells the story about the area and why it’s so mysterious.

Admission was only $8 per person, so it won’t break the bank. It was worth the price because my family had a good time.

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So, if you ever find yourself in Santa Cruz or San Jose with some time to kill, take a little detour to The Mystery Spot. I guarantee you’ll smile and laugh.

U.S. Olympic Trials

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When I was 13 years old, I went to see the 1984 Olympic Track and Field Trials in Los Angeles. I spent two days at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum having a great time with my friend Tom. It was awesome to watch because so much was on the line for some of my favorite track and field athletes. The experience was something I never forgot.

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On July 8th and 10th, I was in San Jose, CA to watch the U.S. Women’s Olympic Gymnastics Trials. This trip was organized by my daughter’s gym and I didn’t want her to miss out on seeing this. I wanted her to have the same great memories I still have of the Olympic Trials.

On the first night of competition you could feel the energy in the crowd. There was so much at stake and it was exciting to watch. One of the highlights for my daughter was watching Gabby Douglas, who was the All-Around 2012 Olympic Gold Medalist.

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On the second day of competition, we stood in line for an hour so my daughter could take a picture and get an autograph from 1996 Olympic Gold Medalist Kerri Strug. My daughter was so happy afterward. The smile on her face made waiting in line worth it.

When it was all over, I could tell my daughter had an amazing time watching some of the greatest gymnasts in the world competing. I had a good time also. A highlight for me was when they introduced the Olympic Team as the crowd cheered loudly and music filled the arena like they were rock stars.

With the Olympic Trials out of the way, we left on Monday and drove to Monterey, CA on the next leg of our road trip. On the way, we stopped at a place called The Mystery Spot.

More about that on my next post.

He’s freaking weird

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Have your ever had a conversation that left you saying “WTF?”

The other night I was at a crash when the tow truck driver pointed down the street and asked, “Do you remember the crash where the car went through the wall?”

“You mean the fatal?”

“Yeah.”

“I remember it, but I wasn’t working that night.”

With a look of lust the driver tow driver said, “She had a nice ass. What a waste.”

“Who? The dead woman?” I replied.

“Yeah.”

“How did you see her? Was she still in the car?”

“No, she was in the street.”

“Didn’t she get ejected?” I asked.

“Yeah.”

“So, you’re saying the dead woman had a nice ass?” I replied with sarcasm.

“She had a nice ass. What a waste,” he said as he shook his head.

I was speechless. That was the fart in the elevator moment that killed the conversation. There was no where to go after that.

As the tow truck drove away, I knew that tow truck man had just achieved Badge415 blog status.  Who says that? What a weird MOFO.

You just never know what people are going to say and you can’t make this stuff up.