Friday, December 12, 2008
Every year Tuolumne County Transit offers a Christmas Lights Tour in exchange for a donation of a non-perishable food item. Since Jenny and I have been trying to do a field trip on the Transit, we thought this would be a way to get that trip in and see some of the lights around the county.
So at 4:30, Jenny, Taylor, Kyle, Candice, and I got in line with others to be among the first-come-first-served passengers for the bus ride. Our first clue that this might not quite meet our expectations was the line of people waiting to get on the buses: At 60, I was a youngster among those lined up, and the kids and Jenny were mere infants. This was a special event for the oldsters in the county it seemed.
When the buses marked "Special Event" rolled up, we boarded, depositing our non-perishable food items at the front of the bus in payment for the ride. For some reason, the buses sat running in front of Gottschalks for a very long time, and it was 5:30 before we pulled away from the curb.
We bounced along Tuolumne Road noticing many homes that were beautifully lit but which we sailed by so quickly that Taylor, who was trying to get pictures, merely captured a blur of light. When we got to Tuolumne City, the busses slowed down and we saw some truly marvelous displays where homeowners had gone to great length to create delightful scenes with lights and other figures. After that, we drove through Soulsbyville, Willow Springs, the housing tract above Raleigh's home, over to Crystal Falls drive and then cut over to Crestview. Then we went into a tract off Phoenix Lake Road. Next we flew down 108 to drive through downtown Jamestown and out to Rolling Oaks. Our last cruise through was at Mill Villa Estates.
We saw many gaily lit homes but we were spent. In fact, we were spent some where around Crestview, getting hungrier by the minute. Everyone was outwardly patient even if inwardly we were ready to get back to the Junction, and Candice kept us entertained with her lively conversation. At one point, we were discussing folks who ride the bus because they don't have cars. I told her people paid to ride, and she said quite confidently, "They get to ride the bus for a can of beans!"
OOPS! Guess our field trip on the Transit left a faulty impression about the cost of public transportation. It was a Special Event we will file away in our memory of 2008 field trips. Next year, however, we may visit the lights in the family car.