After my camping trip, I loaded all of my stuff into my car, and departed for Santa Cruz. Unfortunately, my car had other plans. About 2 hours into the drive, sitting in god-awful LA traffic, I lost the ability to shift out of second gear. I managed to pull off the freeway, but promptly lost even 2nd gear. I pulled to the side of the road and tried re-starting the engine, at which point the only gear available to me was reverse.
Luckily, I was only about a 20 min drive from my friend Mandy's house, and she was able to come pick me up and get AAA to take my car to a mechanic. I hung out that night and was able to stay at her place that night, but the next morning the mechanic told me that my transmission was completely shot. It would have taken days to fix and cost thousands of dollars, so instead I rented an SUV, transferred all of my crap from my car, and continued on my way. Surprisingly, the little Ford Escape got pretty decent gas mileage... for an SUV (~ 20mpg - all highway driving).
Once back in Santa Cruz, I managed to hang out with my friend Kevin (Hast). Along with my brother and his 2 friends, we went to a place called Garden of Eden. I don't know if I would call it paradise, but it was pretty fun. There was a river running through the coastal redwood forest and it collected in pools you could jump into from the surrounding rocks.
My brother Steve brought along his new camera with a water-proof casing so we got to take some pictures. The camera is for a business he and his friend Andres are trying to start.
We also managed to get some surf practice in to prepare for our trip to Mexico...