Pacific Bonsai Expo- Part 1

Marc Arpag and I are traveling across our great country (around 3,000 miles) to exhibit a few bonsai, sell some trees and more importantly to also support the Pacific Bonsai Expo  in Oakland, California, this coming weekend. Many of the west coast bonsai community have also traveled across our country, seven times, to display and support the US National Bonsai Exhibitions in Rochester, New York.

After each of us having had two bonsai accepted in the Pacific Bonsai Expo we spent all summer preparing the bonsai and displays. Last week my New York State plant inspector came to my garden to inspect, then treat 150 trees before giving us the required permit the state of California needs to bring plants into the state. This is required to protect California agriculture from introduced pests and diseases.

So, we carefully packed my 17th Chevy Suburban and a small U-Haul trailer on Sunday with the help of several friends who are also helping Diane water, as she is very busy sorting out our second home fire which has left us homeless, camping out at a nearby Fairfield Inn for 47 days while our insurance company is searching to get us a mobile home or trailer to live in the driveway for the long, cold wintry months. We must stay on the property to care for the bonsai and our five pets.

We started our journey on Monday morning at 4 am. Marc loves to drive and would not allow me to drive, only navigate. He singly drove over 1,000 miles on Monday and another 1,000 miles on Tuesday. We had our itinerary planned out by Siri and took off.

Of course, we were carefully monitoring the weather ahead which predicted heavy snow, rain and high winds, exactly where we were to pass through the Rocky Mountains into California. Our friend Less Allen from Erie, PA was helping us and decided to contact another friend, Sam Edge who now lives in Reno, Nevada, much closer to our entry point into California. Heavy snow, two to four feet deep with high gusty winds were in front just waiting to welcome us into California. Fortunately, Sam has experience traveling and provided us with a new itinerary going south an extra three hours out of our way to hopefully avoid the severe winter weather, which we take as normal coming from Upstate New York. But this time it was a bit different as we are pulling a small U-Haul trailer full of fine, exhibition quality bonsai and traversing curving mountain passes.

After passing through several states we entered Nebraska. It was so flat and an uninteresting landscape. I’ve never seen such a straight road with nothing around. We could not believe our GPS with only a single straight line with nothing around.

Finally, we passed through Nebraska and entered beautiful scenic Colorado. It was nice seeing the high snow covered mountains in the distance and even nicer knowing we would not be coming close to drive through them. We got as high up as over 11,000 feet although I was only able to record 10,990 feet.

Tomorrow we have another full day, hopefully without any surprises as we pass through Las Vegas, Bakersfield and San Francisco as we travel to Oakland, California.

Hopefully, I should be able to post photos from this historical west coast bonsai exhibition.

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