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Pay Dirt

Posted by tdifranc on November 4, 2009

According to the term “pay dirt” is defined as:


a.m. Green River Utah

Green River Utah (a.m. - taken by TD)

Any source of wealth; a fortunate discovery or profitable venture: After months of experimentation, the scientists finally hit pay dirt.

I will tell you this – I did not make the choice to come to Bakersfield for the money!  That being said, when we rolled off of the mountains and coasted down into Bakersfield something told me that we had just hit “pay dirt”!  Let me describe what lead up to that:

Chris began his day with a combination of hard boiled eggs and oatmeal that showed he is truly “working on a dream”.  After another power workout/breakfast for me we hit the road.

When we left Green River we saw what we had missed the night before.  With the sun above us we could see how Green River is indeed a landscape masterpiece.  The red hills and canyons that we didn’t see in the dark the night before framed the town as the sun rose and we fueled up for the day.

We pushed our way up and down the mountains of Utah and quickly realized that civilization was not a term that would be used to describe what we saw between Green River and Southern Utah/Arizona.  We drove hard on the open roads and suddenly we were in Arizona!  We snaked our way through astonishing canyons of Arizona for about 40 minutes and the next thing we knew we were in Nevada!  We grabbed a bite to eat and hit the road again.  Chris chose a tuna sandwich again and washed it down with a Dr. Pepper.  I am fairly certain he chose wheat bread but I was less than impressed with the choice of tuna and Dr. Pepper.

Now the sun was getting hot and I had to roll the window down to stay comfortable.  We went straight through Vegas and then into the Mojave Desert!  This was a long haul but we were in “the zone” as we knew we were close! Four more hours through the desert with mountains on either side and we were seeing signs for Bakersfield.  We came down off of the final group of mountains and Bakersfield was just sitting there waiting for us!

We went straight to the Jam offices and introduced ourselves to the staff and were given the tour!  Both Chris and I looked at each other and without having to say a word we knew we had just driven as hard as we could for 4 days and HIT PAY DIRT!!  It is hard to explain but there is something surreal about this and I felt myself thinking I was in a dream as we toured the offices/facilities and became familiar with our surroundings for the next 6 months.

There is a brand new fitness facility that is just for us, a brand new playing facility/arena and owners that will do what it takes to make this team a winner!  Are you kidding me??!!??  Chris and I quickly realized that we were in heaven! We met some of the staff (who I will introduce as I get to know them better) and just began to soak it all in!

I noticed that I would have my job cut out for me right away because the staff that has been there for the past few weeks/months has apparently been living on pizza for breakfast, lunch and dinner – don’t even get me started!!!

We took care of a little business at the office in preparation for the draft tomorrow and then went to find something to eat.  In typical coaching fashion Chris wasn’t very hungry but I convinced him to eat!  We were both so excited about hitting pay dirt though that we didn’t care where we ate!

We talked about how tomorrow we get to sit in a draft “war room” and be a part of this team being born! We are only bringing back one player from last year’s roster as the franchise is given a complete face-lift and we get to be a part of it!

We ended up at a diner/cafeteria that was affiliated with the Best Western.  We didn’t care that this place was straight out of the ‘50’s (as was our waitress).  The menu was limited but we accepted the fact that we were in a “twilight zone” situation and ate our food fast so we could get back to the hotel and get to bed and make tomorrow come as quickly as possible!

More details on our living/working situation here in Bakersfield are to come but right now I need some sleep because after reading this country like a book, driving 12 hours/day x 4 days and hitting pay dirt – I am TIRED!

***Note there are two posts this morning so read below this one to see the interview of Chris as we embark on the “Working on a Dream” series.



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