Monday, July 11, 2011

Lone Pine; The Rest of The Story

In my last post I mentioned there was a story about Lone Pine, CA; a sleepy little town at the base of Mt. Whitney, the highest peak in the lower 48 states.  In November 1966, I was sent up to Lone Pine as part of a crew from General Electric Medical X-Ray Division to install X-Ray equipment in the Inyo-Kern Hospital.  On Saturday, December 3rd, I had a blind date with a certain Rosemarie Seese down in Los Angeles.  This date was arranged by one of her co-workers who was dating one of my two roommates.  Rosemarie worked for Union 76 Oil Company and was new in LA.  Union 76 was having it’s annual Christmas Party at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel in downtown Beverly Hills.  I was to be her escort to the Christmas Party.  After work on Friday night I walked out to the parking lot of the hospital to discover my car had a flat tire and a flat spare tire.  My paycheck had been mailed to my apartment in Glendale, CA.  I had less than 10 bucks in cash and that was a long time before I had my first credit card.  I managed to snag a ride to Glendale with one of the X-Ray techs (I actually was out on the highway with my thumb out when he picked me up) who was headed for LA for the weekend.  I got to my apartment and cashed my paycheck the next day.  I then rented a car for my blind date.  I picked up Rosemarie at her parents apartment in Los Angeles.  We went to a very luxurious and splendid Christmas Party; live orchestra, free drinks, prime rib or lobster (or both if you desired), etc.   You get the picture.  As often happens at these events the table centerpiece is given to the lucky person at the table with an envelope under their chair.  My date won the centerpiece, a pair of elves in Christmas dress sitting on pine cones.  Now, 45 years later, those two elves sitting on pine cones are set in glass globes and come out of storage every season as Christmas decorations in our house.  After our date, my roommate gave me a ride back to Lone Pine on Sunday and I was able to get my tires repaired.  On Tuesday evening I called Ms. Seese and asked for a second date; she agreed.  We were married in May of 1967 and are traveling together on our adventures today.

So back to current times.  We left Fallon, NV this morning at 7:00 am and headed south on US 95.  We cut over into California just above Mono Lake and picked up US 395 headed south.  We stopped for groceries in Bishop (Rosie was shocked at the prices) and filled up in Big Pine, CA.  Arrived at our campground about 2:30.  It is 95 degrees out and Rosie is not fond of heat.  To top it off, I didn’t like the site they assigned us (not level) and went to the office to get it changed.  It took about 45 minutes in the heat to get set up.  The puppies were hot.  Rosie was hot.  I was hot.  Things got better when I plugged into the 50 amp electricity and turned on both air conditioners in the camper.    I helped carry our laundry to the laundry room and Rosie got to work with the washers.  As I returned to the camper, I noted another Alpenlite Fifth Wheel had pulled in two sites down from me.  I greeted the owner and we exchanged pleasantries.  A little later I took the pooches for a walk and as we were coming back, two more Alpenlite Fifth Wheels pull in.  I asked one of the drivers if this was an Alpenlite Convention.  He said “Heck yes” and I told him I had an Alpenlite.  He said “Welcome to the convention”.  As it turned out there were 4 Alpenlites all in a row; and they all knew each other and were headed to Mammoth Lakes for the Jazz Festival.  We had a drink and snacks with all of them up in the campground clubhouse.  They are quite a group and take frequent trips together.  They all live in the Los Angeles area.


                      The Alpenlite Club – All In A Row

Tomorrow we reach our destination of Ventura Oaks KOA near Santa Paula, CA.

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