TRAVELS WITH GREASE AND PADDLE
Monday, May 29, 2006
Bend: it likes Beck, hm?
I've traded Humboldt County and its stoned minions for the uber-outdoor mecca of Bend, Oregon. The eight hour drive was by far the most nerve wracking of the journey thus far. It was quite cold, and when I stopped to "fill up" at a rest area in southern Oregon I noticed my jug of filtered oil, which looked crystal clear a few days prior in San Jose, was now thick and cloudy. Also the car's rear end (henceforth Flo's ass) was hanging particularly low. It had been the whole trip. This is hardly surprising given the thousand or so pounds of oil and miscellaneous crap I'm hauling. But, I was concerned since on this day I didn't have much oil in the trunk and it was still low-ridin'. So, gripped with fear of congealed oil and a beaten-down rear suspension, I entered the Cacade Mountains and was greeted with driving snow(!) as I traversed Crater Lake. Somewhere in the mountains I relented and put 5 gallons of diesel in the reserve tank with an additive recommended by my step-father. I wanted to be able to flip the switch on the dashboard should the oil stop working. All my experience with veg so far has been in sunny so cal and the cold and snow were freaking me out. Everything turned out fine though, and I dropped out of the Cascades and into the high desert of central Oregon. I met up with David and Jayne, British expats living in Bend and great old friends of my brother-in-law's family. At Mike and Eliza's wedding last summer in Wales they had invited me for a visit. One of those"If you ever come to Bend.....". Be warned, people who live in cool places, I WILL come visit. And would it be alright if I filtered a bit of oil in your garage?
David and Jayne's warm hospitality was shared by the promoters of the Bend summer concert series. Than you, Les Schwab Amphiteater for supporting my trip with the free ticket to the Beck concert, a fitting celebration to cap another crazy day.