Sunday, May 18, 2003

Arnold, California

George cleaning Mud.

Here you see George cleaning the horrible mud from Tioga after the terrible trip to Arnold yesterday

Saturday was a terrific day. I puttered around Tioga, while the N. Fork of the Mokelumne made its haunting sounds below us. Then, I made an almost tragic mistake. I decided to go visit Arnold, where I had lived ten years before. My Delorme GPS system would guide me there, faithful device that it surely is. Wrong!!

Mr. Delorme told me that it would take a little over an hour to go 27 miles. I did not think anything of it. Tioga & I were on are way by 3pm. At 8:30pm, we pulled into Arnold !!! Five hours, not one hour.

Poor Tioga's tortured engine and body were horrible to hear and see. She was covered with mud, and her beautiful shell, filled with scratches from the twigs and brambles that reached out for us all the long, long way.

Oh, the road! Not a road really, but a trail. Dirt, mud, stones. Sometimes the path went up at more than a 30 degree angle. Brave Tioga, her heart so fierce. She never gave up, with her 7.5 liters muscling up inclines and rain washed gullys, strewn with rocks and boulders. If it were not for Tioga's mighty engine, well, I do not even want to think about it.

Oh how that Mr. Delorme sucked us into our debacle. Once we were past a certain point, still on paved roads mind you, the road very gradually narrowed. By the time we both became concerned, there was no way for our 27' length to turn around. Tioga knew before I did. She told me that the road looked not good to her, maybe we should turn back. But I did not listen. I was sure that Mr. Delorme, that fiendish cruel device, would lead me to the Town of Arnold fine and dandy.

The culprit here of course, was that rotten Mr. Delorme. His putrid software could not tell a 10-lane Interstate from a forest logging road. Tioga and I stopped in the middle of that terrible trip thru the forest, and checked to see if we had missed something with Mr. Delorme. Oh, there was a selection to "avoid forest roads" alright. But when we accepted that selection and asked for the route again, we still were provided with the same route as before!?!

We are writing a letter to Mr. Delorme's boss, asking him to pay for all of the scratches on poor Tioga's body. We do NOT expect a reply! What a day!