Day Eight Hundred Eleven #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

I was getting restless. Not that I’m impatient. Never that. Elijah, however, showed no signs of wanting to move on. He would not even entertain the idea of talking about it. Whenever I brought it up, he changed the subject.

Finally I just let it go, but not as to its future impact. I decided to make a list of our options – all the possible ways out of here. Which meant I had to actually go out and physically check them.

That’s when I made the discoveries.

All of the access points from this quarter that had been open in our outings yesterday, were now closed. I tried unfamiliar streets  and found them cut off too.

Somehow I was comforted.


Day Eight Hundred Ten #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

The haze lifted sometime overnight. And we had an unobstructed view in every direction. In the distance to the south lay the harbor that services the megapolis, choked with merchant vessels.

And signs of much activity. Commerce was in full swing, with people going about the business of business in stark contrast to the continued stillness in this central locale.

Palaces were the norm in that quarter, spread out in both directions.

We had no curiosity to head in that direction. Unless, of course, the way out of Babylon lies in that direction. But my desire is for a more direct route to Jerusalem – somewhere to the east and north of here.

We’ll have to see what obstacles there are.

Day Eight Hundred Nine #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Stan could not have been more wrong. And we were content not to disabuse him of his mistaken notion. Not that he left us any means to communicate that back to him. Unless, of course, he had some kind of “eyes” on us. In which case he might guess at the reason behind our unconcern.

For what would he make of the fact our staying the night? Or that we took our ease and went on walks around the megapolis seeing the sights and taking the measure of our adversary?

For as in other places we’ve been through, his image was everywhere, wreathed in honor and pomp.

Very sad, really. Such an immense pride shall surely have a great fall.

The 1977 California Trip: Seaworld, the Deep, and the San Diego Zoo

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Though I planned this post as part of the 1977 California Trip series, I put it aside. I just couldn’t remember the events well enough to write anything interesting about them.

But then in the process of combing through an old box of photos I came across some from that leg of our trip. They had been separated from the others I knew about.

They were all taken with a little Kodak 110 camera.

So I’ve put them into a slideshow, and will let them, for the most part, tell the story themselves.

We left Hollywood behind and pointed the Plymouth Arrow towards San Diego to take in its tourist hotspots.

Seaworld in Mission Park filled our first day. With no problems having manifested so far about our plexiglass window, I no longer had any anxiety leaving the car behind in parking lots. So I could enjoy exploring the park, its exhibits and shows.

We used the SkyRide to get the lay of the land to better plan our time in the park. We didn’t make it up into the Skytower but we didn’t need to.

The big attraction, of course was Shamu, the Killer Whale – (that detail I had to look up, for I wasn’t sure that it might not have been Namu). You can see him in one shot giving a damsel a smooch. He appeared in a little entertainment called ‘Shamu goes to College’ (as you will note from one of the sets, visible in the photo).

That evening we caught the opening of the film The Deep, based on the book by Peter Benchley – a hot property at the time because of his hit ‘Jaws’ of two years before.

The next day we spent at the San Diego Zoo in Balboa Park. Lions, turtles and bears. Oh my! Galapagos turtles that is.

Then it was back to Renton and home and work at the Saffle Theater Service. The next time we were down in the Southern Cal area – we had kids – three of them – which I will cover at a later date, so stay tuned and Watch This Space.

Day Eight Hundred Eight #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

I followed Elijah’s lead up to the top of the tallest building. And here we passed the night in what I would describe as an audience chamber.

On a clear day I suppose the view would go on forever. At least far enough to trace our recent path through the mountains and then down to this megapolis. But today nothing but haze meets our gaze, rendered more opaque by the brilliance of the sun’s rays from somewhere up above.

Our time of meditation was interrupted by the floating image of Stan which was bigger than both of us. He gloated about his successful effort to remove us from our role as the protective covering over the army of the East.

Day Eight Hundred Seven #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Elijah’s prediction came to pass. By late afternoon we stood in the city gates. All by ourselves.

We had noticed immediately this morning that the air overhead was free from man-made objects. And we climbed up from the riverside to the road to investigate the sudden outbreak of silence. There were no movements in either direction. No vehicles nor even pedestrians.

So, we passed through the formidable gateway, unopposed – except for the glare of the fantastical beasts (or demons) etched into the surface of the walls.

The gateway opened onto a large market area. Its stalls or shops all shuttered and again marked by the absence of people.

A long hike followed to the gigantic skyscraper selected by Elijah.

Day Eight Hundred Six #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Today will be remembered for the dizzying amount of activity swirling around us. From our standpoint we were at ground zero of all this attention. But in every instance they kept well away from us.

I think it was designed to isolate rather than confront. Elijah for his part remained fully aware but unconcerned. He just plodded on.

A whole fleet of drones formed a moving dome over us. And beyond them warplanes flew far ranging patrols.

Even the roadbed out of our line of sight rumbled with more than the usual traffic noise. At a few points along the way I could take stock of the vehicles. Combat vehicles outnumbered the tanker trucks.

Elijah believes we will enter tomorrow.

Day Eight Hundred Five #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

With each step the city seems to grow taller, towering over everything in sight and blotting out half the sky to the south of us. One can sense the hum of industry going night and day without cease emanating from its presence. I commented on it, but Elijah brushed off my sense of foreboding and remained focused on our march to the city.

Posted signs appeared after that with the message praising the one responsible for all this plenteous new growth, printed beneath the smiling picture of our nemesis, Stan.

Next a drone confronted us. It stood stock still, scanning the two of us.

Elijah stood at ease; his staff remained at his side.

The drone went vertical and fled.

Day Eight Hundred Four #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

The air is no longer arid. It has given way to a moistness, the excess thrown off by the surrounding plants through the night. We breathed deeply with the lifting of the dew this morning.

We passed by fishermen plying their trade from the banks. Some rose to greet us expecting we were there as customers, but they turned and slunk away when they got a closer look at Elijah.

We were left wondering when we will come up against forces that won’t hesitate to challenge us.

Elijah is anticipating being taken into custody so we can get where we need to be.

He has his sights set on the highest structure in the skyline of the megapolis.

Perhaps soon.

Day Eight Hundred Three #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

I thought I was seeing things. For no apparent reason water was pooling in the once dry riverbed. It spread from the direction of the megapolis, instead of down from the mountains at our back.

Soon it was filled from bank to bank, and not long after we discovered the explanation to my mystery.

Several tanker trucks were queued up and one by one were discharging their contents forming the river.

No one detained us as we skirted the area, but many stared with suspicion.

One of the drivers got out and followed – until he was ordered back to his vehicle.

Further on I puzzled over some machinery, submerged near the water’s edge.

Elijah looked and said, “It’s for irrigation.”