Joe's Travels: 02

South Bay to Chico

The sunrises on the open road giving off a purple and orange sky with striped clouds

Hitting the Road

As Hobo Joe set out on his latest road trip, he felt the familiar tingle of excitement and anticipation coursing through his veins. He started off the week in the South Bay, resting up after a busy couple weeks of disc golf, but soon found himself heading north to the quaint college town of Chico California.

It was there that he reunited with his longtime friend and the owner/operator of Jimbo’s Print Disc Golf Bag Tags, Jim. The two shared a passion for disc golf and were eager to hit the course together.

They wasted no time and headed straight to the private course Honey Run and it was there where things got wild. Joe and Jim were in the middle of a round when they stumbled upon a herd of cattle that must have been about 40 or 50 strong. The cows were protecting some calfs in the middle of their quickly formed circle and were not happy to see Joe and Jim passing through. Some adolescent cows even tried to intimidate and push them out of the way, aggressively gallopping towards both of them. It was a scene straight out of the Wild West, with Joe and Jim nervously trying to make their way around the herd and avoid getting trampled. Eventually, they had to skip a couple of holes as the cattle were clearly not moving for them and were going to continue enjoying the sahde of the Oak trees lining the creek’s edge. It was a surreal experience, but one that added to the already adventurous weekend.

Now What?

After grabbing a bite to eat, Jim casually and perhaps coyly mentions he has a friend with a fairly special setup in his house and asks Joe if he would like to stop by and hang out for a while. With limited understanding of what he was going to be walking into, Joe agrees to go along for the ride. On the way, Joe learns that this dude has some video games and actually has some pinball machines in his house. Machines, plural.

Well, it turns out that Jim’s friend owned seven pinball machines that were in absolute immaculate condition, and he proceeded to give Joe a tour through the games’ timeline.


They appropriately started with the machine Time Warp, made in 1979 and is one of only two pinball machines to ever use banana flippers. Being able to play pinball with a completely different feel brought Joe back to childohood, eagerly changing out his dollars for coins and seeing new types of games that were certain to excite.

The second pinball machine on display was Gorgar, also released in 1979 and was the first ever pinball machine to use a voice over to add to the experience. The nostalgia was palpable as Hobo Joe played each machine, reveling in the intricate details and design that made them unique.

The tour continued with Silverball, released in 1980, which was the machine that started the house collection and is the only Bally machine with the majority of them being Williams. The fourth machine was the first that Hobo Joe was aware of and had previously played years ago, titled Black Knight. Made in 1980 and designed by famed pinball designer Steve Ritchie, it was the first to house a dual playing field, first to utilize a fasteted inlay, and was one of the first to utilize a voice over.

Next in the lineup was quite a special treat. Solar Fire, a very rare pinball machine released in 1981, that is 1 of only 782 Solar Fire machines ever made. The machine’s glowing lights and electronic soundtrack provided the perfect backdrop as Hobo Joe worked his way through the game. Whether it was simply the intended game play, with the short playing field or the recent waxing of said playing field (or a combimntaion of both) it was the fastest pinball game play Joe had ever experienced. A simply incredible and excited play.

The sixth machine, Terminator 2 was released in 1991. It had upgrades to the LEDs, metal/chrome detailing, and an added motion motor and subwoofer, making it the best looking and brightest T2 machine Joe had ever seen. T2 was also the first pinball machine to utilize the digital scoreboard to supply a bonus “in-game” mini game.

And after the largest jump in time in regards to release date, the final machine played was Godzilla, released in 2021. This machine had a native motion motor and subwoofer, making it a pinball playing experience unlike any other. It is the highest rated pinball machine in history, and after playing it, Hobo Joe created a login and has his QR code to be able to play any Godzilla machine in the world and have it track his games and high scores to his user, as it is obvious why it is tops amongst players.

Nights like this are the highlight and a driving force for living a hobo lifestyle. With the ability to cover more area than those tied to one location gives acess to more people and their passions and with Joe’s renaissance-man-like appoach to life and genuine interest in leaerning, the treasure trove of experiences and connections is unlimited. This is why Hobo Joe and all of us here at Hobo Disc Golf values going NoMad.

Disc Golf Day 2

First thing the next morning, Joe and Jim headed out to the Chico bag tag round at South Pines in Magalia, CA. The course was a true test of their skills with winding fairways, a plathera of OB, and challenging obstacles at every turn. But despite the difficulty of the course, the two friends were able to enjoy some quality time together and appreciate the beauty of the natural surroundings while Jim was able to snag a podium spot, tying for third.

Their journey through Paradise, CA was bittersweet as they witnessed both the destruction and the new growth from the aftermath of the devastating Camp Fire. As they drove through the area, Hobo Joe couldn’t help but feel a sense of gratitude for life’s simple pleasures, like being able to embark on a road trip with a good friend on a beautiful day and go bang some chains.

Disc Golf Day 3

As Sunday morning rolled around, Hobo Joe woke up feeling invigorated and ready for his next adventure. He and Jim played the Chico Outsiders bag tag event at Peregrin Point, a course with a majestic view of the canyon and unforgettable views of the valley below. So stuning in fact, Joe was seen snapping a few pics on the course, something that rarely happens. The course was a another test of his skills and mental game, but he was able to appreciate the stunning scenery and the camaraderie of the other players while stemming some early bleeding and eeking out a decent round.

With his road trip coming to a close, Hobo Joe headed back to Tuolumne County to prepare for his next weekly event in Twain Harte, but as he drove along the winding roads of Northern California, he couldn’t help but reflect on the memories and experiences of the past few days. It was a trip that he would never forget, filled with the thrill of the open road, the beauty of the natural world, and the joy of mentally travelling back in time and swimming briefly in the waves nostalgia.