It was a gorgeous day, though. The day before had been rainy and ugly, as all too many days have been this spring in an increasingly wet and sloppy Northern California, and I had a list of markers in Solano, Contra Costa, Alameda, and Santa Clara for my snarfing pleasure in the front seat of the car. I got on I-80 near my home and turned the car westward towards San Francisco and freedom. My first stop was a quick stop at Vacaville's Peña Adobe, which is handily just off I-80. Then it was onward to Cordelia Junction and 680, which is the way you go when you want to avoid the mess that is I-80 at the Macarthur Maze -- generally when going to the South Bay, 680 is much faster than 80. After a stop for a coke, I went the back way to get on 680, and just when I was thinking, "You know, it's really strange Cordelia doesn't have a marker..." but what to my wondering eyes should appear but a marker for Cordelia. That was a happy moment.
It was soon replaced with an unhappy moment in Benecia when I found that there is more than one intersection of Adams and Jefferson Sts in that town. Thus, what was an easy to find marker (which I drove by once looking for the damned thing) ended up taking 40 minutes to find, and my marker snarfing had to be cut short when after grabbing another few, I looked at my watch and saw it was 11 AM and I was still in Benecia. A quick gas-up later and I was speeding down 680 like a bat out of hell, trying desperately to make up lost time.
I would have made it too if I had known one key secret of driving on 680. There are *two* Mission Boulevard exits, and the first will *not* get you to 880. At least, not anywhere close to San Jose. ;) To compound the error, if I had turned the right way on Mission Boulevard, I probably would have gotten there much faster, but no, I had to turn the wrong way, which also added to the time. To add insult to injury, it seems Bay Area drivers never know how to drive around construction zones, and just before the exit where I would have gotten on the freeway was a massive backup due to an accident which was due to the aforementioned trait of Bay Area drivers, adding another ten minutes to my time.
The short of it was simply that I arrived in Alviso at 12:20, fuming from the traffic backup, and luckily whytraven recognized me and I got to see the actual marker dedication, which mainly seemed to consist of pouring a bottle of beer on it. (Those wacky Clampers.) Then she introduced me to the other Markeroons who had gathered (amberlee17 and nemaihne) and we went and had a bit of lunch and walked around Alviso having minor mascot parties on every marker we found. The picture above was taken while everybody else was consulting their GPS units or taking a picture. I've also got another great shot of whytraven juggling mascots at one of the markers. I had a blast.
I also noticed the poppies were out -- spring is here, late but present. Poppies are one big sign of spring for me.
After Alviso was done, whytraven led me and nemaihne to another nearby marker to complete the snarfari. That was interesting because whytraven is a biker, and I've never followed a motorcyclist before like that. It made me a little nervous, but we got to our destination okay, and all was well. Then the two of them left, and I called chaoswolf to let her know that I was on my way to come visit.
Much thanks needs to go out to mdlbear and flower_cat for having me as a guest, and giving me crash space. Also, flower_cat cooked a most excellent dinner. And chaoswolf was great as always. And even super_star_girl deserves a bit of thanks for letting me intrude on her birthday party. :) The short of it was that it was a most excellent time, and it let me have an extra day in the Bay Area.
But I haven't even gotten Sunday's pictures off my camera yet, so that journal entry will have to wait for another time. Maybe tomorrow. I still have to log all these markers on Markeroni too.
PS: Of all the new comment fields, current location has got to be one of the stupidest ones...