By: joealaska , 3:00 PM GMT on October 27, 2012

Waking up in Lodi (a rarity for myself) I realized I was in Dave’s back yard. I tried to find a couple of golf courses in Tracy, but decided to head in. Suddenly I was driving into Lake Chabot Golf Course in the Oakland Hills.

A favorite course when I lived in nearby Union City 27 years ago. Very hilly. Up and down. The back nine starts going DOWN for a short while, then it starts climbing. It hits it nadir on #15 where you get a great view of San Francisco over 20 miles away across the bay.

But the real climax is #18. A rare PAR SIX. I have played two other par sixes, Black Mountain, North Carolina and Naco, Arizona. It is kinda a gimmick. But at Lake Chabot it works. The hole drops straight down after all that climbing on the previous holes. Two shots, even if in the middle of the fairway, must be hit in a severe downhill stance.

The fairway drops steeply down, but when that drop ends, there is a 30 foot rise in elevation to the green. An elevated green on a hole that drops 400 feet in elevation...

So I drove in there just to check it out. Figured I would try to play it next day. That course was usually pretty crowded. But it was wide open, and I was heading to the tee. ALWAYS FLEXIBLE.
I took many photos. Played as a single, unbelievable.

Then it was dinner with Dave and Muriel. It was great meeting Dave finally face to face. Then I met Muriel, and she was very interesting telling me about her playing cello with various quintents and orchestrae. We never got her to perform, but it was not expected. Dave took us to a local Chinese restaurant. He ordered our table one of almost everything. All food families (as well as extended) were represented. It was very good!

Dave tried to convince me to try a Chinese beer they offered, but I stuck with the ice tea.

There was NO WAY we were going to eat all of that food, so the gang at the restaurant packed it up for the trip home.

As usual it was me who had to say GOOD NIGHT. I appreciated there hospitality. Dave took us on a driving tour before and after dinner. I learned a bit about Livermore.

Next morning I joined the early morning traffic jam on the way to Fremont. I wanted to see my old golf course (which I almost lived on for two years) SUNOL VALLEY. But it was raining lightly, so I just wanted to stop by. AGAIN I found out the course was wide open, and I was on the tee in minutes. The rain soon stopped, and I was able to play at my leisure as a single, stuck between two slow threesomes. For a course I played MANY TIMES, I was surprised on how many holes I had forgotten.

Now I headed north on the NIMITZ, then west across the bay on The San Mateo Bridge. It offers great views of the San Francisco waterfront from well across the water.

North on 101, past the stadium where in 2 hours GAME #2 of the World Series would start, across the Golden Gate Bridge, eventually stopping in Fairfield for the night.

Today it was all production driving. Moving day.

East on I-80 to Wadsworth, Nevada. North on 447. Eventually, near Gerlach (Burning Man Festival) it turns into RT 34 and dirt and gravel. Already did that route, but it was still awesomely remote.

When I got to downtown VYA late afternoon, I had to head the wrong way, west, to get to Alturas lodging for the night. I wanted to head east then south to Winnemucca before night. But lack of daylight and / or gas made the decision easy.

Tomorrow AM I must back track 60 miles and head to Winnemucca.

I got a room at the Rim Rock Motel. Just awesome scenery outside my door. Miles of grazing cows (YELLA) and far off mountains dusted with snow.

Watching Louisville play Cincinnati in football, tied late. They won in OT and are 8-0. How about that early NCAA Basketball poll? INDIANA, LOUISVILLE, and KENTUCKY as the top three. Nice and cozy.

PICS when I can do so.

The views of the author are his/her own and do not necessarily represent the position of The Weather Company or its parent, IBM.

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10. WunderAlertBot (Admin)
1:25 AM GMT on October 31, 2012
joealaska has created a new entry.
9. DHaupt
2:48 PM GMT on October 30, 2012
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
8. cybersuze
10:53 PM GMT on October 29, 2012
What about A-Lie-In? Is that still on the agenda?! Thank god your trip wasn't on the East Coast!
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
7. hanfyh
9:06 PM GMT on October 28, 2012
Hi all,
You sure keep busy Joe. Not just at work but on your holidays too.
We have been to Tracey. Friends used to live there. We visited them and spent some time there on one of our visits to the States. The sight of all the wind turbines on the drive from San Francisco to Tracey amazed me. There are so many of them.
We visited Folsom Prison, of Johnny Cash's song. We had a couple of nights in Lake Tahoe and then woke up one morning in Reno to the news that the Twin Towers had been knocked over. We had a few flights in the next few weeks around the US and that was scary.
Enjoy the golf Joe.
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6. yellafella
4:32 PM GMT on October 28, 2012
all the cows are amazing aren't they????
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5. DHaupt
1:36 AM GMT on October 28, 2012
Let's all go to the RIM ROCK MOTEL in Alturas, CA.

I've never stayed there, but have seen it. Years ago, while on a camping trip in the Lassen country, Muriel and I drove over to Alturas from Burney looking for a travel case to replace the one that we left at home. Didn't find it, but we had a bowl of chili with cheese at a local diner, might have been the Rim Rock. While shopping in downtown Alturas, we overheard a conversation between two young ranch hands, shouted across Main Street. They hailed one-another. One said something like: Hey Jake. In town spending all your paycheck? Jake replied: Well, I'm tryin, but not having much luck. So far I've only managed to buy a bag of Red Hots at the five-and-dime.

Alturas is for those who prefer life simple and frugal.

Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
4. dotmom
12:32 AM GMT on October 28, 2012
From what I can tell, JoeA will be able to stable his horse(s) at the Rim Rock and they also have a beauty shop - hey what more can you ask for.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
3. DHaupt
6:26 PM GMT on October 27, 2012
Ah, figured it out. Vya is an old ghost town near the California state line, just off Joe's Rte34. There's actually a Wikipedia article about it.

Those YELLA cows would be on the Old Yella Dog Ranch nearby. Vya is mostly famous as where Jim Stolpa was found during the near tragic events of 1993. Visit the Old Yella Dog Ranch website for photos of the region until Joe finds his camera cable.

But Joe, you were only 26 miles from Fort Bidwell, CA and didn't visit it.

Joe is right, I really did get carried away ordering the Chinese food. I think it was partly because we nearly always order too much anyway because it makes such great leftovers and we expect to get another meal out of those. And, we each have our favorite dishes. In this case, I wanted to make sure that there would be at least a few things that each would like. Finally, with all the visiting, I simply lost track, in my head, of just how many dishes I told the waitress to bring us! (I should also mention that by the time we got to the restaurant, I think we were all famished.)

So, we had a great visit plus a tour of Livermore in the dark including a swing by the Las Positas golf course (another of Joe's old favorites),, and my old place of employment, Lawrence Livermore National Lab. The lab: we could only drive around the perimeter -- it's over a mile square. But, you really should have had that Tsingtao beer. There is still a light lunch of Chinese in the fridge.
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2. dotmom
6:13 PM GMT on October 27, 2012
What a trip. I would like to follow on a map - I'll wait - I think - until I see it mapped out on Joe's wall. JoeA sure gets around. I envy him but am so happy he is enjoying himself - just doing what he wants to do.
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1. osdianna
4:12 PM GMT on October 27, 2012
OK...Your're making me homesick for California again. I graduated from high school in San Lorenzo, in the Bay Area, and my dad used to take us on long Sunday drives, combining education with just being a family together. So we did fossil hunting in what is now wine country (the whole state has gone wine country!)around the St. Helena area, tidepool exploring near Half Moon Bay, the redwoods of course any chance we got, botany lessons on Skyline Blvd in the coast range. I had a great childhood in that area!

Chabot was a zoo and the lake, Livermore and Pleasenton were the gliders...etc. Great memories. I never played golf, though. Now I wish I had...and still may do so, although the geese on our course here in town outnumber the humans at this time of year. Still, as soon as the rain stops, a few intrepid souls get out there.

I love that you are getting to spend time with people along the way...
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I have just taken a new job in Great Falls, Montana. A new state and new areas to explore.

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