We began tour with a rough start. After a 5:30am wakeup, we gathered at the garage to leave at 7:30. There we discovered that our tortion bars didn't fit the new hitch to the Kitchen Trailer. Two hours late we finally got out of Portland. We had a great first day of driving. The sun came out as soon as we got on the highway. Austen and Julie were driving, and Aaron, Tasha and I were riding along in the sub. We spent some time reading aloud from a book Austen had recommended to Tasha and discussing it.
We took the back way through Redwood National Forest. By then Aaron and I were driving. (That is the royal 'we' of course. I don't drive, I hold the walkee talkee and act like I know where I'm going. Mostly I try to refrain from swearing at Grusha -- our GPS system who always knows where we're going. Except when she doesn't.) We drove down the 101 the last half hour into Eureka, CA. The waves were lapping on the shore, the sun was glinting off the water, and it was a beautiful welcome to the state. The last sun we've seen since then, too. When we arrived, Covenant church and our homestays treated us to pizza.
The next day was our first show on the road. Four of us, Julie, Angie, Liz and I stayed with a young married couple. They met in Hawaii at DTS with YWAM. They have a real heart for missions in general, and hope to go to China in a few years, after they've started a family. That morning they took us to Patrick's Point State Park to hike through a mock up of a Sumeg Village and up several steep rocks to catch glimpses of the rocky shore. The last view point, a five storey rock was hit by a wave that crashed another twenty feet over the top. From where we stood we could see 180 degrees of ocean. I saw the earth curve. No wonder our ancestors thought the world was flat. I could see where one might fall off. We had a rough show after almost a week off, and tear down was an unmitigated disaster for kitchen crew. We had a lot of helpers, but space was tight, and my crew doesn't know how to direct traffic yet. I was frustrated with them, they were frustrated with me, and we all generally were flustered. I lost three metal trays at that venue because I forgot to count them.
Sunday we had another long drive, from Eureka to Red Bluff. We got a late start because Adam began vomiting as soon as we left town. Jonathan, our relief co-pilot took over, and we were off. Highway 299 is one of the most beautiful roads I've ever been on: A clear aqua and whitewater river over a stony bed with moss encrusted trees all around. The eucalyptus had shed their bark, so the occasional bit of red-orange flashed through the green. On the way I made 3 by 5 notecards with the joblists on them for my crew. That show went much better. We performed for our smallest audience ever (either tour -- 39 people) but they were very receptive, and gave us much hospitality on our day off. The neatest story was a gentleman (we call him Dan) who saw a poster and walked in off the street. He knew no one there, but stayed throughout he whole show. We'll never know how he was affected by the presentation, but we're glad he was there.
That night and the next Vicky and I stayed with Sam and Helen, originally from Oklahoma, but had been in California since the 60's. They still had their accents, so much that I had to translate for Vicky from time to time. She didn't catch more than every third word. Sam bought us a box of chocolates for Valentines Day, then they both took us to Hometown Buffet in Redding for dinner. And since they'd been married 52 years, they got their picture taken in the booth in the back. They were the nicest couple, and Sam said to tell our daddies that if they didn't want us back, he'd adopt us. They let us sleep all day, too.
Today we woke up and drove to Chico to our next set of homestays for the break. This church is amazing. We aren't even doing a show for them, but they're putting us up. Tomorrow we're going to their school to do a mission presentation for their third and fourth graders. And Tasha and I were taken out to Mongolian Barbecue after a leisurely nap. We couldn't have a better day off. After she went to a prayer meeting, we sat around quilting. It's been lovely. Tomorrow we have a food order coming in, so our day will be in bits, but Tasha and I are planning on a Pride and Prejudice marathon tomorrow night!