Judith Lautner (judith) wrote,
Judith Lautner

The hike that wasn't...part II

I drove back toward Lopez Road, the road where the back road
begins. Shortly after leaving the dirt road, though, I passed a truck.
The man driving the truck waved at me to stop. I did. He asked if the
road went through. I said no, but that there is a dirt road off the paved
one that takes you to two trails. I said my car wasn't up for the water in
that road but his truck obviously is. So he turned around, headed
toward the dirt road. A few minutes later it occurred to me that I might
have asked for a ride to the trailhead...but...roads not taken, that
would be one.

I continued to the intersection, where there is a sign: Arroyo Grande
11 miles, one direction; Pozo, 15 miles, the other direction.

I thought, here's my chance to try out the actual road to Pozo. The last
time I tried this I was with Paul and we were trying to find it from the
other end, from Pozo. We had seen Los Lobos at the Pozo Saloon
and thought it would be cool to take this back road home. That was a
really bad idea, because we took the wrong road and were on
mountain roads forever before we ended up back on highway 58
heading toward Bakersfield. Not quite the right direction.

Fifteen miles separate the beautiful Lopez Lake from the backwoodsy
Pozo. Pozo, for those of you who haven't been there, is just what it
sounds like. You might say, "He doesn't know anything. he's from
Pozo." Or make some comment on cowboys from Pozo or maybe

Pozo is a tiny place, not a real town, but it has a saloon. The saloon is
somehow famous. They host some good musicians in their wide open
fields, providing barbecued foods and mucho drinkos. They can't
bother anyone because just about nobody lives anywhere near.

So I was thinking, take the road to Pozo. I could have lunch at the
saloon. They have a good Sunday brunch there, I'm sure they could
rustle up lunch, maybe a beer. Not only that, but I'm thinking my car is
low on gas. Maybe I can buy some from someone at the saloon. Fer
sure there is no gas station there.Fifteen miles isn't that far.

The road started out well. Paved, smooth. I was sailing along, thinking
I'd make good time. Then I hit the dirt. Still, not bad, well-maintained.
Just a little slower. Then, pretty much at a point where I didn't so
much feel like turning around, I hit ruts and rocks and gullies. An awful
road. How long could it go on like this, I asked myself?

I worried Hildy through the ruts and gutters and over rocks and God
knows what else. It was the WORST road I have ever been on IN MY
LIFE. And it didn't let up. After I'd gone maybe five miles I was thinking
I would not take this road in my car again. But maybe it would be good
for bicycling. Just then two bicyclists came around the bend. As I
continued on, though, I got to thinking my dirt bike skills just may not
be up for this.

I was worried about gas. My tank was on empty, had been on empty
since I began this escapade at the sign or before. I have driven on
empty before and not run out. I have never run out of gas in that car,
did not know what it would take. I counted down the miles, again
thinking surely I could buy gas in Pozo somehow, and if not at least if I
run out there the auto club could find me.

To be continued...

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