When we saw that it was a man down on his bike we pulled over and Vic walked over to see if it was one of our homeless people. The man was okay, and not one that we recognized from the camp. They took him by ambulance to have his leg checked out. Vic said the police man was lecturing the biker on how dangerous it is to ride his bike by such a busy road. I think sometimes they forget that if the man had his choice he would most likely choose to be in a car and not on a bike on such a cold day.
As we walked through the woods to the camp we noticed more tents than were there last week. We didn't see people but saw the tents scattered along the path back to "Pirates Cove". As we got closer we noticed a large American Flag flying in the breeze that was flying proudly in the camp. As we walked in , three voices from one of the new tents called out to us. Pops, Tony and a new man named Leathered invited us over to the new tent. Pops seemed very happy to see us and even happier when he realized we brought the propane tanks he needs to keep warm.
Leathered introduced himself. He is a Vet and is the newest member of Pirates Cove and as Tony explained , one of his oldest and dearest friends. The flag was a gift from him to Tony with a much deeper story behind it. As tears streamed down their faces we knew it was a heartfelt story that we'd have to hear on another day because they were not talking.
Pops said that they had many people come out and bring food for Christmas and it was the best Christmas he had seen out there. I'm sure the newspaper article has touched other people the way it touched Vic and I. It is comforting knowing there are other people reaching out and helping too.
There are two dogs that stay at Pirates Cove. Mask and Stripes. One is 7 months old and all puppy, and the other one is 6 years old. There are toys strewn all over the place. I played with the puppy for a bit , throwing sticks for him to bring back. One of them peed on my leg before we left. My dogs did not much like that when I got home..but I guess I belong to all of them now. :)
We left with more requests for radios,lanterns and batteries on our next visit. And of course big hugs again from all of them. Pops even called me Holly Baby and kissed me on the cheek!
I didn't get pictures again because I felt strange asking if it was ok. Our dear friends in Sacramento did make it out over Christmas, passing out the sleeping bags and supplies they had gathered for "hope for the holidays" and got some great pictures that I will share. We love you Sue (and family) and are so happy that you inspired us to do this!