|Spencer Jack's Christmas Tree|
Either Spencer Jack has had a big growth spurt since I saw him in Arizona in March, or Spencer chopped down a rather short Christmas tree.
Where Spencer Jack lives, in the town of Mount Vernon, in the Skagit Valley of Washington, one can drive up into the mountains to a Christmas tree cutting zone, where, if you have the proper permit, you can cut down a tree.
Where I currently live, in the town of Fort Worth, in the Trinity Valley of Texas, there are no mountains to drive up to to cut a Christmas tree. I have read reports of Christmas tree harvesting occurring on the Tandy Hills, but I suspect these are just unsubstantiated rumors.
The time of year known as the Holiday Season is not my favorite time of the year. As far back as my memory goes I have not had much fondness for the Holidays. It starts off okay with Halloween. I always had fun as a kid at Halloween.
Then comes Thanksgiving. This particular holiday has been relative free ever since I moved to Texas. I never much enjoyed the big Thanksgiving dinners with a lot of relatives.
And then comes Christmas. I was disillusioned with Christmas at a very young age. I had been misled to believe that one told Santa what one wanted for Christmas and what one wanted would magically appear.
This never quite worked out the way I expected. By the time I was 6 or 7 I refused to have anything to do with Santa because he'd lost all credibility with me.
And I have never been a fan of candy, so being bribed with a candy cane had no effect on my anti-Santa Claus feelings.
The only part of Christmas I vaguely remember liking was the hunt for our Christmas stockings on Christmas morning. That was fun.
The large family gathering of relatives at Christmas was something I did not much enjoy. I endured it up through my teenage years, and then, by the time I was in my 20s, I'd find a reason to be gone for the latter part of the Holiday Season. Usually a roadtrip to Southern California, with a long stop in Reno on the way.
The last Christmas related roadtrip escape from Washington occurred Christmas of 1994.
I got to Disneyland the day before Christmas Eve. Stayed in a hotel right across from Disneyland.
Christmas Eve went to Knott's Berry Farm and had Mrs. Knott's Chicken Dinner.
Christmas day was spent in Disneyland, til closing. Strangest, funnest day ever at Disneyland. The attendance record was broken. Some of the food vendors ran out of supplies. The guide on the Jungle Cruise turned into a crazy man after he confirmed there were no kids on board.
The days after Christmas were spent driving around the Los Angeles zone. Went to the Nixon Presidential Library.
A few days before New Year's Eve took off for Las Vegas. The freeway was jammed so took backroads til rejoining the freeway somewhere around Barstow. In Vegas there were no rooms at the decent inns, so ended up staying two nights in the Vegas 6 Motel from Hell. Biggest 6 Motel in the World.
After Vegas it was on to Flagstaff, going to the South Rim of the Grand Canyon the next day. Snow on the ground. Had not seen snow on the ground at the Grand Canyon before. Two years later I would find myself stuck in a log cabin on the North Rim watching a blizzard pile up snow.
After Grand Canyon it was across the Painted Desert to Monument Valley, then past Mexican Hat where I saw the San Juan Inn, a place I was to return to a few days before being stuck in the aforementioned blizzard.
New Year's Eve took place in Moab, Utah. One of my favorite places on the planet. The next day, New Year's Day of 1995, hiked all over Arches National Park, and then drove into Canyonlands National Park, ending up at Islands in the Sky, looking down to the canyon below, seeing mountain bikers and resolving to get a mountain bike and return.
The return, with a mountain bike, took place two years later.
Leaving the Moab zone, the night of New Year's Day was spent in Salt Lake City, next night in La Grange, Oregon, then home to Mount Vernon.
I have no idea why it was that I preferred the roadtrip holiday option to the relative type holiday option.