Sunday, December 07, 2008


Thanksgiving '08 - Charlie's Place - part one

Our family spent Thanksgiving the same way we've done for the past few years: out in the desert with our off road club, the Dirty Old Men. The D.O.M. goes out to a location known as Charlie's Place. This is my personal favorite place our club goes to because of the variety of riding and the sights to be seen.

Our family was originally planning to leave on Wednesday night before Thanksgiving day, but that turned out to be too busy. Not only is it one of the worst days to try and drive out of the Los Angeles area in any direction, but my wife Laura had unfinished "cheer" business that had to get done. I can write an entire post just on Laura's involvement in La Habra Pop Warner and Cheer, but I'll bore you with that on some other occasion. This post is about our Thanksgiving weekend. So, we left for the desert on Thursday morning at about 7:30 a.m.

We arrived just about 3 hours later, which is pretty good time in my opinion. Our destination was only about 160 miles away, but we had to take the Cajon Pass out of San Bernardino. This is a steep climb along Interstate 15, and gets slow for those of us pulling a trailer. I'm sure many of the people speeding by us were hurrying off to Las Vegas. Once in our camp area, we quickly leveled our trailer and unloaded our quads, and we otherwise transformed the cargo area of our travel trailer into our living space. We spent the rest of the day visiting with friends and getting ready for the Thanksgiving potluck that the club traditionally has. The club provides the turkey, and all the members bring side dishes and desserts.

The members who want to eat together near the potluck table bring their own tables to the area. Nina put this place-holder on our table. It says: "Reserved for Danny Nina Laura Brady or whom we let"

Here's Laura and Nina eating their Thanksgiving dinner. Laura has a Margarita, Nina has pink lemonade in the Margarita glass. You can also see the people standing at the potluck table in the background. (the dog with no legs did not get to eat off of the potluck table)

And here's me and Nina eating. It was such a beautiful sunny day with no wind, and warm enough to keep our jackets off until nightfall. This picture was taken at about 4:30 p.m.

Since Nina finished all of her turkey, we let her have a big piece of chocolate cake for dessert. Laura and I had pumpkin pie. Brady ate with his friends in their motorhome, that's why he is not in these pictures.

That evening, we stayed in our trailer and watched a movie. We had not quite adjusted to the cold temperatures at night. Besides, we still had two more chances to go to the campfire over the next two nights.

On Friday, I took a lone ride to Randsburg. Randsburg, an old mining town that is now a tourist attraction, is about 17 miles away. I missed out on going there last year, which you can read about here if you want. This year I was going no matter what, and selfishly I didn't want to have to take a group of other riders. It took me just about an hour to get there on my quad, and I grabbed a seat at the bar and watched some college football. I ate a cheeseburger and an order of fries, and I had a couple of beers to wash it down. Then I returned for our camp via a different route. It was very enjoyable, but I don't have pictures to share. The camera stayed with Laura.

While I was gone, Brady joined the big group ride to the pinnacles, and Nina stayed back at camp and played in the sand. Here's she is along with a birthday cake she made:

Also, just like during our first ride of the year, the Ice Cream Man came out to the desert again! So even though Nina and Laura didn't go on a long ride on their quad, they did get cake and ice cream.

Part two to follow in a week or so. Bye for now.


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