Most of December, January and February went by with little of note occurring, and then today I rambled all over Pinnacles National Monument, witnessed a bank robbery, hung out with elephant seals, and then navigated the Humvee jungle that is Los Angeles; in one day I may have burned up my quota of excitement for the next few months.
The day tried to start at 4:30, but the snooze button was too great of a temptation and I wasn’t on the road until 5:30. Luckily I was still the first car to arrive at Pinnacles, and had the High Peaks trail all to myself. After leaving the park and heading back towards the highway I decided to stop and check the map, and while pulling into a parking lot noticed a police officer with a semiautomatic rifle doing his best Platoon imitation as he ran behind a sign and then took aim at a nearby bank. My brain was operating in slow mode (as usual) and it was only after driving past that it occurred to me that something wasn’t right about what I had just seen. Making a loop around the lot, I returned in time to see two other officers handcuffing two men in suits, with two large gym bags sitting incongruously next to them. Rambo continued to cover the scene with his hand cannon while the folks inside of the bank watched the proceedings with an understandably varied array of facial expressions.
I called Aaron to tell him my little Bonnie and Clyde tale, but he of course trumped it with the stories of a horrific motorcycle pileup that he oversaw during his paramedic rotation last night. Following several more hours of driving I ended up in Piedras Blancas with the elephant seals, although seeing them arrayed on the beach a “safe” distance from the many inquisitive tourists was a much different experience than having them try to eat me while in St. Andrew’s Bay on South Georgia. The night is finishing up in a Starbucks in Los Angeles, and more than likely I’ll end up asleep in a rest stop somewhere between here and Arizona.