Meeting LaVonne – A Complete Flake

LaVonne
The sun beginning to set on Mission Bay during an evening walk with LaVonne and Scout.  The same night we were trapped by skunks.

 

Meeting A New Friend

Shortly after the Fourth of July festivities, my friend David invited me to lunch.  At his urging, I also reached out to LaVonne Ellis.  She was in San Diego for another month and though David had met her several times, I had not.  He knew we would hit it off.

LaVonne is a vandweller whose blog “The Complete Flake” is an authentic representation of the author.  She is a regular attendee of  The Rubber Tramp Rendezvous, a seasoned traveler, full-time vandweller, and a respected member of the nomadic community.

LaVonne will be mentioned in the upcoming release of Nomadland:  Surviving America in the Twenty-First Century by Jessica Bruder. Jessica wrote and article for Harpers in 2014, which inspired the book.  The primary focus of both the article and book is a very determined and resourceful retired woman named Linda.  Linda and LaVonne are close friends.

David, LaVonne, and I had a wonderful lunch at Souplantation.  We had a nice conversation and I found LaVonne a wonderful balance of honesty, wisdom, and wit.  Before we left, she shared her favorite overnight spot with me.  Almost a week later, I went to see her and stayed a few days.

The day after I arrived, LaVonne met a friend for a knitting/crochet afternoon.  While I don’t knit or crochet, I joined them under 2 large shade trees with a beautiful view of Mission Bay.  As we sat under the trees with the bay breeze blowing, you could barely feel the hot, 85-degree day at all (hottest day since I arrived).  Jewell even stopped by for a while.  We shared stories and conversation for a couple of hours.  There was knitting, crocheting, a random paddle boat, talk of firefighters, and dogs.  (LaVonne has a sweet girl named Scout and, of course, Snax accompanied Jewell).  

LaVonne
It started with a single skunk…

That Doesn’t Look Like A Cat

Friday evening I met up with Lavonne in time to join her for Scout’s evening walk.  The previous evening we walked away from the Bay and back.  This evening we decided to walk toward the Bay. 

LaVonne doesn’t usually take this route as there are feral cats who live in the rocks on both sides of the walkway.  They cause Scout to bark and pull hard on the lead.  

As we walked along the thin walkway with the bay on either side of us, I noticed there were fresh piles of cat food on each side.  LaVonne explained that people came out daily to care for the feral cats.  (I love that)  We continued on, walking as far as path would allow us and I took some pictures of the setting sun from the end. 

On our way back, as we approached the area with the piles of cat food, we noticed the cats were no longer eating.  Skunks had taken their place.  

The only way off this strip was to walk by the skunks at the entrance to it.  With a dog.  Who likes to bark at them.  We weren’t going anywhere.  We waited for a while, discussing our lack of options.  Soon, to our dismay, two more skunks joined the already existing two.  Occasionally they would notice us or Scout and turn their rear ends to us, tails twitching and standing tall.  Never a good sign.  Meanwhile, people were fishing behind them and the skunks didn’t seem to care.  

After about 10 minutes, Scout began barking and two of the skunks scurried back into the rocks.  Despite LaVonne’s encouragement, several minutes passed before Scout decided to bark again.  When she did, the last two skunks wiggled their way back into the rocks, clearly annoyed, but NOT spraying.  LaVone and I ran, laughing, to get past the area.  The men fishing, who had watched us wait, got a good laugh at our expense as well.  They thanked us for being cautious since they were downwind and would have gotten the brunt of the spray.   Definitely a happy ending for everyone involved.  

Saturday Night

Tonight is Saturday night and this blog will be posting in the morning.  I have ventured back to my old spot this evening and I plan to seek out some new alternatives tomorrow.  I love this area (Mission Bay and San Diego Bay) but I haven’t ventured far from it since I arrived.  It’s not a matter of not wanting to, I just like how cool it is near the water.  🙂   Time to do some exploring!

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