Alright, 2011 is upon us, the book is finished, and I finally have time to catch up on a few old business things. And by old business things, I mean some retro posts from last year.
First, one more visit to the road trip GF Kasey and I tool from L.A. up through Portland and Seattle. I already did one post on this, but there was one day that deserves a post of its own.
Thursday, November 11th. One of the most ridiculous days I've ever had.
8am – Woke up at the Best Western in Myers Flat, California, in the heart of the Redwood Forest. The hotel was pretty nice, except for a few rat pellets in the spare bed.
8:30am – Continental breakfast with the other Best Western patrons, the most interesting of which were a hyperactive four-year-old running around and his protective mother who chased him around the dining room.
FOUR-YEAR-OLD: I want fruit loops!
MOTHER: Slow your roll with me! This is not about you.
FOUR-YEAR-OLD: I WANT 'NANA! (pulls a bunch of bananas down from the table.)
MOTHER: YOU SLOW YOUR ROLL WITH ME!! You are not in charge of me!
This continued for some time, with her repeating the same lines. She must have been from Jersey.
9am - We tour some big ass trees.
11am - We fly by a "Got Gas?" sign in Redwood National park. Kasey asks if we need any. I insist we're fine.
Twenty minutes later, we run out of gas on the side of the highway.
Thankfully, I always carry a spare gallon of gas in my trunk, and we're quickly on the road again. Kasey doesn't know whether to be impressed or weirded out by this.
But twenty more minutes later, we still haven't found a gas station. We take a sketchy exit on a tip from a faded sign, and find ourselves three miles into the Northwest wilderness, at a dive bar where two hippie rednecks are getting drunk at 11:30 on a Thursday. They tell us we went the wrong way for gas, and to get back on the highway.
We do, and coast into a gas station off the next exit on fumes. Kasey is not pleased with me, but the day is saved.
1pm - A rock flies up and chips my windshield... which I literally had just replaced 48 hours before. This is not my fault.
2pm - Just before crossing the Oregon border, we see three elk on grazing on the side of the road. And this guy.
We pull over, to take a picture of the elk.
GUY: Hey, man, help a brother out? I need a ride to San Fran.
ME: Sorry, we're going the other way.
GUY: Aw, bummer man. My buddy and I were on a road trip, and we got in a fight in the hotel room, and he took off with the car and all our money. I'm just trying to get to San Francisco.
ME: I'm sorry to hear that. Um... would you mind moving your hobo bindle so we can take a picture of the elk?
2:30pm - Finally, we make it...
...and a few miles later are one of the first cars to come across a horrific head-on collision accident of two pick-up trucks. There are dead bodies in both cabs. The cops haven't arrived yet, and the scene is being futilely attended to by a few alarmed passersby who don't really know what to do other than pour water on the still smoking hoods.
We drive in silence for a while.
3:30pm - We stop at a cafe for lunch and a Dairy Queen for desert and bathrooms. Kasey doesn't want to wait for the occupied women's bathroom, and goes into the men's. While she's in there, a midget trucker comes in and waits in line for the men's bathroom, only to see Kasey come out. Then it's my turn, and not wanting to wait either, I go into the women's bathroom. The midget trucker and I both come out at the same time, me out of the women's. He gives us a long glare, as we wait in line for our Dilly Bars.
Even the bathroom stops are surreal on this day.
5:30pm - It gets dark, and I fall asleep for a few minutes while Kasey takes her first driving shift, and promptly blows a tire. We pull over in the Oregon rain and I get to feel manly as I put on the spare, while Kasey lights my work with our two glowing cell screens, since the Civic's dome light is out.
We drive 60 miles to Eugene on our donut wheel, which you're not supposed to do. But surely there must be a place that can change a tire for us, in a 100,000 person town, at 7pm on a weekday? There's not. We decide to try for Portland, 100 miles away, on the donut. You're not supposed to do this, either.
Miraculously, we make it. We check into our hotel, pour chemicals into our bodies, and find a bar/arcade that has Fat Tire on tap, and Q-Bert and X-Men.
Our fixated looks proclaim our inner peace... at being done with one hell of a day.