Today we embarked on the final leg of our trip - from Bastow where we finally has found lodging, on down to LA and the Santa Monica pier. But the day was not going to be without it's highlights.
Our first stop, for breakfast at the Barstow IHOP, was memorable thanks to a grungy fellow at the next table to chose to display his ignorance during a fight with his "old lady" on his cell phone during the large part of our meal. But undeterred, we set forth for our first destination: The Roy Rogers Museum, in Victorville, CA.
As we rode up to the Museum, with a statue of Trigger guarding the door, we conceded that none of us were really Roy Rogers Fans, having perhaps been too young to enjoy his shows, or perhaps they just didn't connect strongly with us. So, once having arrived at the Museum, we got out only to take pictures of the facade and then we quickly climbed back into our vehicle and sped off to our next destination.
Which, as it turns out, was Don's parent's home in Fullerton, where we all agreed it was time to take a nap. The road was taking it's toll, and we had a Dodger game to look forward to, plus a trip to San Diego late that night. So after a crashing a couple of hours, we got up and begain exploring our old haunt - Fullerton. Our old home on Lincoln is still very much like it was when we lived in it 25 years ago, save for some landscaping. Fullerton High hasn't changed much in perhaps fifty years, although it seems all the lockers have been removed.
With the nostalgia part of our tour complete, we headed towards Santa Monica to make sure we got a photo of us at the Route's end (OK, so we weren't exactly faithful to following the route through LA, but that could take a week in and of itself!). Finding the Santa Monica pier was not much of a problem, but finding the plaque that dedicates the route as Will Rogers Highway was. After wandering for over an hour, searching and inquiring the local merchants, we finally happened upon a police officer who knew where the plaque was - right under our noses, as it turned out - in the middle of the park abuting the pier. A satisfying sense of completion swept over us as we studied the plaque, and our spirits were high as we got our picture taken together with the help of a fellow traveler.
It was now time to get to our final attraction of the trip - Dodger Stadium, for the final baseball game. The big plus, at least for me, was that the Dodgers were playing the Padres, my home team, and our friend Marc Golan, who missed the opportunity of joining us on the trip, at least made it to this last event. The Padres won the game, 4-3, with a helpful assist from Raul Mondesi in pushing a ball over the right field wall, and a crushing blow to the upper deck in left field by Padres catcher Wiki Gonzales, only the seventh player in the history of the stadium to perform such a feat. All star closer Trevor Hoffman came in to pitch the 9th inning to seal the victory.
Leaving the stadium, we stopped by Olvera Street to down a couple of taquitos, and enjoy some fine Cuban cigars offered by Marc. Finally, John drove home to San Diego, and we arrived about 2 am. We certainly had the time of our life during this trip, but it felt great to be home, close with my wife Sandra and dog Pumpkin, in my own bed.