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Life's an adventure with family in town Richard Pena | Sat, Oct 08 2011 12:00 PM

We note by the calendar that it is now October. To make sure we look in the morning paper, and, sure enough, it is now October.

Actually, I don't mind it one little bit. I have stated before that there is some merit in the month. It heralds a brand-new season that promises many exciting things ahead, so let's get on with it.

A few days ago our Sacramento daughter, Margaret, dropped in for a fall visit, which was followed two days later by a visit from son David, his wife Terri and my grandson Travis. As a result the No Vacancy sign is on display at this Sweetwater Manor bed and breakfast for the next few days.

Actually having the added patrons in our household should not be a burden on the amenities that we offer.

We must remember that for many years this place was the headquarters for five people, each with different occupations and each, more or less, going their separate ways. It is, of course, true that three of those occupants were children. But when those same children are of the high school or junior high school age they seem to occupy as much space as any adult. Or, at least, that is what it seemed.

Since the present occupants here are of the adult genre we, naturally, are going to do adult things. And since son David is one of the ringleaders, it is going to involve a jaunt out to the back country somewhere in San Diego County.

We piled five of us in one auto and headed to the Ramona area. There is an excursion that David and I had taken on one of his previous visits and we thought that the rest of the folks could get some geological learning. We went through Ramona and then a mile or so east of the town we took a northern turn into Black Canyon Road.

Calling this a road is like calling a werewolf pretty. This 15 miles of road is really not for the faint of heart. It is unpaved and it has the surface of the proverbial washboard. Its width is slightly wider than an automobile and one wonders what is going to happen if he meets a vehicle coming the other way. Traveling north and east one can look to the right and see the hills and mountains. And if he looks to the left he ... well ... it's best he doesn't. Every time I looked in that direction all I could think of was that fellow who drove down into a ravine in the Angeles Forest the other day and was lost for six days.

We stopped at one spot where the road widens and where one side is not a bottomless pit. This was a highly wooded area, mostly oaks that lead to a waterway, now dry. In a couple of months, however, it will be gushing forth, trying to widen the ravine.

I think that most of us sort of breathed a sigh of relief when we exited at the paved road beyond. This, then, is a scenic tour that skirts the nearly full Lake Henshaw and emerges on the road that takes one either north to Warner Springs or south to Santa Ysabel. We chose Santa Ysabel as it was closer to home. By the way, the Santa Ysabel area is observing its annual apple festival time, a good time to pay them a visit.

On our return home, daughter-in-law Terri showed her pioneering spirit by picking ripe grapefruit and pomegranates from my trees.

She was in no danger. I don't have bottomless ravines in my backyard.

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