Dave and Elayne live in a huge master planned community in one of the far East Bay suburb cities. This thing is HUGE. It apparently was a ranch at one time that was sold to a developer who put in I don't know how many homes, schools and stores. It's all very nice and very well groomed -- with thousands of cookie-cutter million dollar homes (it is California after all -- even after the bust, Dave's home went down from $1.5 to $1.0 million) that would sell for $400K in Florida and $700K in Washington. But to me it's a bit stale -- the homes are close together and don't vary in style all that much (easier to build that way). I know in the suburb of Salt Lake where I grew up, some of the houses were somewhat similar, but there was only one other one that was exactly like ours. Here you can't tell the difference except for maybe the exterior paint. Their community seems to have been settled by East Indians (ones with dots, not feathers -- or curry not casino), and Asians. Dave and Elayne's kids are about the only blonds in their school. The kids today also all have rolling backpacks! Goodness -- (i'm gonna devolve into my Dad here) in my day we carried a couple of books and a binder. As I watched them march across the crosswalk while I waited for Ben I thought "these kids all looked like Junior Executives about to board a flight!"
We headed up over Mt. Diablo and into the Mt. Diablo State Park. This was a fun road, however neither the map, nor the intersection where we turned, mentioned that five miles up the road we would run into a $10 park entrance fee. Gee, thanks for the advanced warning. We kept going, on a road that looked like a combination of a can full of worms and a malaria germ it had so many curves. It was narrow, full of bikes (the pedal kind with folks in too tight bike pants), and had amazing drop-offs and views. Ben wondered if the bike came equipped with a parachute! We stopped at one overlook where Ben flashed the 1960s peace sign at me and we looked over the edge at the road curving around.
We rode up and his sister Ariel ran out along with Mom to ask how things were. Ben was grinning ear to ear, but ready to get off the bike -- as was I. We'd had a fun afternoon, but it wore us both out. Ariel was nice enough to give me the last two chocolate chip cookies from her secret stash, and insisted on climbing on the bike to pose. How could I refuse. Then Ben got into the act, and I'll tell you this kid has biker blood -- he reclines on his ride like the best of them! As his Mom said, in ten years he'll have one and we'll both ride off to Sturgis. In 10 years he'll be 19 and I'll be -- err... well old. 58. I'll hope I'll be able to keep up with a 19 year old at Sturgis when I'm 58.