Sunday, August 19, 2007

Birthday Chaos

Oh, the day started promisingly enough, Coffee Times coffee in hand, annual pass to the Catalinas stuck to the windshield, all ready for a drive up the mountain with stops at various vista points to play in the water that's still bravely holding out against the sun and evaporation.

Stream bubbling past a tree growing between granite boulders in Molino Canyon.

A few remnant puddles stranded high up on the tops of the boulders on either side of the stream were indicators of the awesome torrent that rushed through here last week. Today it was a lovely cool gurgle perfect for wading and splashing.

The next stop was a couple thousand feet higher, up in the ponderosa forest near Bear Canyon. The slope of the streambed here is gentle, creating a wide channel with interesting sandbars, meandering among the pines. Although it was reasonably early in the morning, I didn't see much in the way of wildlife; a large orange dragonfly buzzing the surface of the pool on the left side of the sandbar and a lone waterbug doing the backstroke were about it.

Cool, shimmery water pooling near Bear Canyon.

A lovely morning. Until I walked back to the BoltMobile, at which point I noticed a large puddle that definitely was not there when I pulled off the road. A glance at the radiator and finger-poke into the puddle confirmed that my truck had decided to celebrate my birthday by spewing coolant like an excited and, let's admit it, probably non-Cub outfielder with a bottle of champagne after Game 7.

This meant making the 45-minute drive back down the mountain and into town with the heat on full blast to keep the engine temperature needle just below the red. What's open on Saturday? Why, Pep Boys (shudder), of course. Jesus.

Boltgirl's day takes a turn for the worse.

Four hours and $416 later, I had a shiny new radiator and a big-ass hole in my credit card. And just after finally paying off the summer train tickets last week. Happy birthday to me! Luckily, I have good friends who are happy to drive across town to rescue me and take me shopping to make me feel better.

New Merrell Chameleon Webs make everything sunnier.

So all in all, not a bad day. Not the cheapest day I have ever had, but hey. Forty is better than dead.


atomic mama said...

Delurking to say HAPPY EFFING BIRTHDAY!! Oh, and your blog rocks.

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