LIVERMORE

By: joealaska , 4:29 AM GMT on October 26, 2012

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Monday morning I headed north on The Beeline Highway, route 87. It quickly climbed the Mogollon Rim from 5000 to 7000 feet. 87 continues on to Winslow. But I turned off heading northwest on St Mary’s Lake Road. I popped out in Flagstaff near I-40, then I jumped on that interstate and headed west toward Kingman. Then it was up and over the pass to Laughlin, Nevada.

I used to go to Laughlin many years ago every other weekend, just to play golf in Laughlin. Then I would lay a few bucks on a football game I would listen to on the way home. One of my favorite courses was Emerald River, hard on the banks of the Colorado River. It was a very difficult course, laid out in desert where no course would exist without artificial irrigation. Half the holes were typical, half were impossible.

Casa loved the course, as his game was suited for that type of course. Flip a coin, base it all on luck.
Sometimes he looked pretty competent, other times his real skill came through.

It was maybe 25 years since I played that course, I have the records and can look it up. So I decided to take a detour to Laughlin and check out that layout.

TRUBBA. I came around a corner where I expected to see a splash of green in the stark desert. No splash. I even caught a glimpse of brown and black that ought not be there. Then I conformed it, the course was not only closed, it was dead. No water l;et it turn BLACK. Just a vague layout in the desert dirt. I found it depressing. I knew it was a strangely tough course, and it was overpriced.
But that meant it was usually wide open for me.

As I looked at it that day I never saw it so open.

So I headed west out of Laughlin and caught RT 95 north to Las Vegas. As I approached Sin City I stumbled on a decent course in Boulder City which I played. Got done just before dark and found a nearby hotel.

Next morning I battled with the early traffic commute and headed northwest on RT 95. I had planned on playing PAIUTE about an hour north of town. When I pulled in I found it was packed..
I moved on.

From RT 95 north, I turned off at 266 / 264 and headed west then north, crossing in and out of California. But my goal was to stay in California and see Yosemite. It looked like I had just enough time to travel through the park and find a place to stay.

Wrong PB.

Park closed. It happens every year, but I felt weather was still OK. Not so.

Now it got interesting. I needed to cross the Sierra Nevadas, and in a funny area.

The park was closed as there was weather at the summit. I headed north to drive around that mountain range (heading south would have been warmer...). I passed 3 or 4 mountain passes that were also closed. I could look up on the summit and see the clouds. On and on, I ended up in Gardnerville, Nevada. I jumped on 88 and hoped it was open. No signs saying CLOSED, but one big one asking for CHAINS to be used. I was chainless.

I climbed up and watched for weather changes. I would turn around if needed. It was about an hour from being dark. Near the pass I was seeing two to three feet of snow along the road, but theb road itself was clear. Then there was slush in patches, and it seemed slick so I slowed down. I finally reached the pass at about 7900 feet. I went down for awhile (expected) then started climbing again. Then I saw a 2ND pass appear, the sign saying right at 8000 feet. Later, I saw another sign saying 8000 feet. Not even a pass name on that one. That road just would not head down, it stayed high on the mountain. It was very dark, very few cars. No signs telling me what was ahead, no signs telling me even which road I on.

I ended up driving a couple hours longer than I wanted. Stayed in LODI, near Stockton. Pretty close to Livermore, home of Dave and Muriel.

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10. WunderAlertBot (Admin)
3:00 PM GMT on October 27, 2012
joealaska has created a new entry.
9. HeavySnow
4:11 AM GMT on October 27, 2012
Quoting casaford:
Hallelujah the wicked Emerald River is dead.

Joe loved this course because it was usually empty of other golfers.

News flash: It was seldom played because it SUCKED. The fairways were about as wide as a hotel corridor. The greens about the size of the ones at Putt-Putt with the wind mill at the end. Joe was ok with the course because he was in the habit of using his putter anywhere within 75 yds of the green. The rest of the golfing community uses a wedge. Joe was good with it. However he had a continual problem with the head of his putter flying down the fairway as a result of his 120 mph swing. He usually repaired it with duck tape.

Have fun Jose. Keep us posted.



Now that's funny! And Joe, the blog is great! What a cool adventure and superb read.
Member Since: July 7, 2004 Posts: 18 Comments: 2989
8. osdianna
3:24 AM GMT on October 27, 2012
A Leopard Shark on a golf course in San Juan Capistrano? That's just bizarre! A Bald Eagle can handle, maybe, 9 pounds, and there are Bald Eagles flying again in SoCal, thanks to the breeding program on Catalina Island...but still, it's bizarre.

As for the crossing of the Sierra's...you are one lucky Joe, Joe, but hey...nothing ventured, nothing gained. Good job.

One thing I can say about your trips...it's never boring. Glad you are safe.
Member Since: March 5, 2009 Posts: 30 Comments: 531
7. Ylee
9:57 PM GMT on October 26, 2012
Ah, Livermore, California! I thought maybe Joe had taken a wrong turn and wound up in McClean County, Ky.! ;-)
Member Since: February 3, 2011 Posts: 94 Comments: 15746
6. cybersuze
6:18 PM GMT on October 26, 2012
Yo Jo, did you see this story? It's a jungle out there, be careful!:

SAN JUAN CAPISTRANO, Calif. Nobody yelled "Fore!" at a Southern California golf course when a 2-foot-long shark dropped out of the sky and flopped around on the 12th tee.

The 2-pound leopard shark was apparently plucked from the ocean by a bird then dropped on San Juan Hills Golf Club, Melissa McCormack, director of club operations, said Thursday.

No one was teeing up when the shark fell Monday afternoon, although some golfers had just left the area, she said.

A course marshal, who makes sure players maintain an appropriate pace, saw something moving around on the tee and went to investigate. He found the shark bleeding with puncture wounds, where it seems the bird had held it in its grasp.

The marshal put the shark in his golf cart and drove it back to the clubhouse.

"He went above and beyond," McCormack said.

The marshal, McCormack and employee Bryan Stizer wanted to help the small shark, so they stuck it in a bucket of water. Then somebody remembered it wasn't a fresh water animal, so they stirred up some "homemade sea water" using sea salt from the kitchen, she said.

"We knew we had to get it to the ocean as fast as possible," McCormack said.

She grabbed a photo of the shark before Stizer headed to the sea.

"When Brian put it in the water, it didn't move," she said, "but then it flipped and took off."

It's the first time anyone could remember a shark falling from the sky at the golf course.

"We have your typical coyotes, skunks and the occasional mountain lion, but nothing like a shark," McCormack said.

Stizer told CBS Los Angeles that he assumes a bird may have dropped it since the shark had a puncture wound on its fin with fresh blood. California Fish and Game, however, said that there is a black market for leopard sharks and it may have gotten dumped on the course after getting too big for someone's tank.

From the article in our paper it appears they were able to take it back to the ocean and it swam off!
Member Since: April 2, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 277
5. casaford
3:14 PM GMT on October 26, 2012
Hallelujah the wicked Emerald River is dead.

Joe loved this course because it was usually empty of other golfers.

News flash: It was seldom played because it SUCKED. The fairways were about as wide as a hotel corridor. The greens about the size of the ones at Putt-Putt with the wind mill at the end. Joe was ok with the course because he was in the habit of using his putter anywhere within 75 yds of the green. The rest of the golfing community uses a wedge. Joe was good with it. However he had a continual problem with the head of his putter flying down the fairway as a result of his 120 mph swing. He usually repaired it with duck tape.

Have fun Jose. Keep us posted.

Member Since: April 15, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 53
4. joealaska
2:15 PM GMT on October 26, 2012
Thanks Bogon, nice to hear a song without streaming issues or minutes of BUFFERING.

Heading east on I-80 to get over the mountains. After that?

BLOG PART 2 tonight.
Member Since: April 2, 2008 Posts: 805 Comments: 638
3. cybersuze
1:46 PM GMT on October 26, 2012
Funny to see and hear that Lodi song! JoA will love it too no doubt! Geez, sad to hear about that course near Loughlin. Glad you made it down from the mountain. Don't mess with Mother Nature!
Member Since: April 2, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 277
2. insideuk
1:41 PM GMT on October 26, 2012
Aren’t they running seriously short on water in the Las Vegas area? I recall seeing a TV documentary about how they’d got long overdue plans to lay new pipe lines to the valley but that there was a gap of at least a few years that could very well see Vegas running dry sometime between 2011 and 2016. Whatever visitors on the strip are drinking now I’d guess it’s not diluted much.

Maybe the golf course closures have as much to do with lack of water as lack of incompetent customers with deep pockets who’d prefer no witnesses to their skills?

Certainly one course in California has hit the British headlines today. I read that a 2 foot long leopard shark fell out of the sky and landed on the 12th hole at San Juan Hills Golf Course – some 5 miles inland from the Pacific Ocean.

Put a few bucks on the odds of that happening whilst you play a round and you’d have a happy drive home.

There must have been one very greedy bird of prey circling, looking at retrieving its lost luncheon. A course marshal brought it to the clubhouse and placed it in a bucket of water, and with a later addition of some salt by a slightly better informed employee, it was then returned more or less alive to the ocean on the back of a pick up truck.

Boy, is he going to have a tale to tell the young grandcubs some day, “It’s true I tell you, I saw ALL of Yosemite in late OCTOBER, whilst it was completely closed to visitors”.


Still, at least you made the mountain crossing without the need for CHAINS. Had you an alternative plan in mind to gain traction in difficult conditions? Tie your socks around the tyres perhaps? Maybe distribute some minty Tic Tacs in the tyre treads?

Fortune favours the more inventive among us, just as much as the brave.

Ask that shark that wanted to see Yosemite in late October, he’ll tell you…
Member Since: February 28, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 1416
1. Bogon
11:38 AM GMT on October 26, 2012
Member Since: June 26, 2008 Posts: 79 Comments: 3720

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About joealaska

On June 4th I left Kentucky driving my RV known as Leggs. The trip is mostly unplanned, it will be interesting to see where I end up. Let's GO!

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