A trip to the Ortegas ended badly when my trail bike fell off a friend’s roof rack and was demolished by a passing SUV on the freeway. It’s been a rough month in my sporting career; starting with cuts, scrapes, bruises and a sprained wrist. Ending with the demise of my bike.
I’m lucky in the sense that I’ve been able to maintain friendships with most of my childhood friends and I’m constantly awestruck and inspired by their exploits and the paths they’ve taken in life. This week I had my old friends Toph and Aaron at the house. Aaron’s what I’d refer to as kind of a “Namaste dude.” He goes to burning man, sews his own clothes, walks on stilts and is actually an extremely talented crafts man. He’s used an old pick-up truck to construct a monstrous puke green camper he and Toph have dubbed; The Space Tortoise. It’s equiped with a waterfilter, sink, mini solar powered fridge and a bed- they drove comfortably down from Oakland.
Perestroika under Michail Gorbechev was the beginning of the end for the Soviet republic. Perestroika under the command of amateur boxer come programmed rock troubadour David Wilson is the beginning of a naked dance party! I had the good and bad fortune of bearing witness to the two person dance ensemble’s second show late last night. I’m not aware of anything being readily available for at home listening but I’m hoping we can look them up on itunes under.. maybe something like; “Alternative dance goth” -Probably not for fans of the prodigy.
We waited nearly eight hours for the jacuzzi to warm up enough to justify our being half naked in the frigid mountain woods. Earlier in the day we had cleaned the stagnant water from the tub and left a hose running to fill it.
My friend Mike and I had been exchanging phone calls for several weeks, trying to meet up and go surfing but when that hadn’t worked out he called me and asked me along for a trip to his cabin in Forest Falls. I threw a bottle of wine, a litre of whiskey, a large wedge of blue stilton cheese and several bags of cheetos into my bag as my contribution to the weekend’s nutritional needs for myself and three grown men. I walked into Mike and Johnny’s house a few blocks from my place and Mike handed me a pabst. We loaded Johnny’s truck with a full sized foosball table, our weekend bags, a cooler packed with ice and 120 beers.
They call the cabin and it’s sourrounding acreage Busky Acres, after the man Mike’s family bought the property from. We collect wood for the fire and walk down the road to the only restaurant in the entire town. Over mexican combo plates we watch an old hippie and his hippie son play bongo and acoustic guitar covers of classic rock songs. An hour later I’m drinking my third or fourth beer and I swear to you that they are playing an acoustic version of ZZ Top’s La Grange, and it is moving-with sincerity and warmth and unquestionable conviction in each chord played. We pay our tab and walk back up the hill to drink and play foosball.
The following morning George makes us all breakfast while the rest of us drink beers and decide when to hike and when to clean out the hot tub.
Shortly after one PM we walk down to a dry creek bed with beers in hand. Mike leads is up to a large waterfall about a mile up the valley. Hundreds of feet above us on the opposite side of a small canyon we watch the cold mountain water rush down the granite face beneath the bright blue sky and the gathering clouds behind it. We drink our beers and sit on the rocks above the stream that flows for several hundred yards down the river bed before it begins to taper off into an evaporating trickle.
Several hours after we’ve returned from the hike Mike runs in and grabs his board shorts. The rest of us quickly change and run out to the hot tub that after eight hours has finally risen to a temperature comparable to a hot shower. We jump in a pass a bottle of maker’s mark around while the giant pines around us rustle with a heavy winds and the tiny snow flakes blow in our faces and collect in our hair or just fall into the steaming water an singe away.