After returning from Emigrant Wilderness, I was eager to just spend some time around the Bay area and do some “everyday life” things. No amazing pictures of mountains this time, I’m afraid.
After all that camping out in the woods, I had gotten some ideas for gear I wanted to make. Not that I need new gear, but you know, it’s fun to make stuff :). So I spend most of August 5th just browsing the web for various fabrics, cords, etc. That kind of stuff takes ages on a smartphone, so that was basically most of my day.
The next day was a pretty lazy one as well, with the highlights being doing my laundry and having a swim in Pleasanton’s public pool. Exciting times, right? It felt fantastic though, to be freshly showered and to be wearing clean clothes again. The cherry on top was a great Afghan lamb shank and going to see the new Mission Impossible movie. Except for the really silly humor during the intro, the movie was pretty good. There was an awesome motorcycle race scene that really wanted me to learn how to ride a bike (and race down the highway at 220 km/h, of course).
Day 160 had a more exciting highlight. I finally managed to check off a long standing item on my todo list: shoot a gun. There’s a gun range in Tracy that has only good online reviews, so I headed over there. At first, they wouldn’t let me shoot, because state law says you need a partner if you’re renting a gun. This is apparently to prevent suicide. Not that the partner has to do anything, he just agrees to do nothing basically. I’m sure that stopped the epidemic of people going to gun ranges to shoot themselves with a rental pistol… Anyway, the next guy to walk in seemed pleased to hear that I would have simply jumped in front of a huge truck if my plan had been to kill myself, verbally agreed to be my partner and that was that. A quick 5 minute walkthrough on safety later and it was shooting time!
I started of shooting 50 rounds with a Glock 17 and then another 50 with a Beretta 92. The Beretta definitely handled smoother and was more fun. My aim was pretty off with the both of them though :). Clearly, it’s not as easy as movies make it out to be. After I was done, I was told I only had to pay for the bullets and nothing else, because it was my first time shooting there. Hurray! I can’t say I’m hooked, but it was a pretty fun and interesting experience.
Before I went shooting, I had dropped by Bass Pro to say hi to Jackson and get myself a cheap telescopic spinning reel setup. So, in the afternoon, I went to take the setup for a spin (ha!) at the Shadow Cliffs lake in Pleasanton. It seems the fish weren’t really interested though. Apart from a small fish that got off the hook, I didn’t get a single bite. Then again, it seems no one else there managed to catch anything either. A nice relaxed afternoon though.
San Franciso was the place to be the next day. I had told Will I would join him for some work on the electronics for his Burning Man creation. And so Will, his girlfriend (sorry, forgot her name!), Rachel, Ken (also an electronic engineer from Belgium, what are the odds), Natalie (who was hosting), and me spend about 11 hours that day cutting wires, soldering, cursing the crappy soldering irons, drinking beers and having great food. We had a great time! Oh, and Natalie had a sewing machine on her desk, so I used the opportunity to sew up some small holes in my shirts. Good as new.
When they found out I was going to sleep in my car somewhere on a 24/7 store’s parking lot, Natalie offered me a bed. Apparently they had a few extra bedrooms in the house. Who doesn’t, right :)? So I had an awesome night’s sleep and a great shower in the morning. A shower, what luxury!