Epic Destiny.

* Author’s Sidenote – This post comes live from Haight Ashbury in San Francisco. . I slept on the Golden Gate Bridge last night, haha. I am in a coffee place called, “Coffee to the People”. At this establishment there seems to be an unwritten law stating that all who sit here shall use Macintosh computers and iPhones. I fit right in. San Francisco is my favorite city, by far. There are beautiful girls coming in and out of here. Dogs are allowed in here too. Two guys next to me are talking to me about Vietnam and rolling a pinner. This is the real deal.  Gotta be quick, parking meter is running out. I wish my Grandpa Bruce was here!*


EPIC DESTINY:

In what a man from the desert would consider a wintry day, the story of WHAT WAS and WHAT IS unfolds. We are in the month of October on the Oregon Coast. The chlorophyll that once made the scene green has seasonally retired, leaving the hardwoods in the vibrant woody colors of autumn. Where the sky is concerned, an amazing range in greyscale built of mists, fogs, and rains exists and through this, Canadian “Honker” Geese fly south overhead. South has Joseph thinking of home. Almost.

Walter is in the zone, all his legs striding in unison, straight-lining to deaden the desert-man. As he approaches the mouth of the Bay of Alsea, a sailboat cruises in the surf above him at a cool 11 knots. Walter is the type of crab that checks things out. He paddles to a position 50 yards from the stern of the boat. The Alcantara.

He gets closer. 2 passengers, one male, one female, quarter century or so old. Walter would imagine they are in love. He hears the cheers of two Reidel crystal wine glasses purposely over-poured with Cabernet Sauvignon. He hates Cab. They are listening to The Shins, Walter god damn hates The Shins!! He starts feeling sick, not the infirmary type of sick, worse. The sick he feels, means action is necessary. He smells pot-marijuana. That’s enough!!!

Walter makes little more than short work of this vessel, destructively splitting it in two it with one graceful stroke of his metal-wrapped left CMD. After the murderous blast, he wades in the water, where the middle beam of the peaceful boat used to be. The Alcantara, the couple, the vino, the music, and the pot-marijuana all drown around him. Delightful!!

Practice. He continues toward Joseph, elated in the ease of his pregame warm-up.

In what a man from the desert would call a maritime bakery, Joseph sits enjoying coffee, studying pastries, and listening to the coast guard broadcast.

Mid maple-bar the shortwave radio offers this: In a developing story the Alcantara has sunk in calm seas and pleasant weather. Coast guard helicopter on scene reports a crab BEASTLY BEYOND MEASURE exiting the scene, grinning.

Joseph sets down both pastry and coffee and listens to the balance of the report. This is the first time this man has interrupted pastry and coffee for anything. Anything.

His chance at greatness. He knows it is now.

HE IS NOW.

He calls for his check. He follows his no pastry left behind policy, for it is a matter of consistency, and consistency has made him great. No use faltering at the brink.

Putting pen to merchant copy, he writes “Maple bar 98% – Bear claw 100%“. He tips in cash.

Pastry discernment.

He passes the paper across the counter. With one look to the words-written, the waitress’s face becomes blank. Her beautiful blue eyes tear. The silverware she’s rolling drops and bounces on the concrete, near her feet. She knows what this means. She is worried he won’t be returning for breakfast any longer. She hates to think of life without him.

Although it happens constantly, Joseph is still not used to waitresses being in love with him. He does his best.

He tells her she is more than just a pastry server to him. He whispers softly to her about being the type of man that eats two breakfasts. He winks and she smiles lovingly. “Next time” is the last two words they share.

Charm.

Joseph leaves her at the maritime bakery, he will never see her again but he suspects she will think of him during the majority of her most intimate moments.

The bass-filled horsepower of the 94 pick-up gives little regard as Joseph motors toward the dock. He goes through his crab-fishing list, he loves lists. Crab rings and stink bait – check. Cold beer and Sperry Top-siders – check. He never wears a seatbelt or sunscreen. That’s the John Wayne in him, sorry mom.

His training and his soul will be tested now, he knows this. His knots, his dancing, him. ” This is wear it pays off “, he says repeatedly. This is where it pays off.

The thunderous roar of the 94 pick-up reverberates through the depths of the oceans and lets Walter know that it is show time. Walter is adrenalin filled from deadening that unsuspecting sailboat. He hears the truck power off and silence at the top of the dock. Good.

Walter begins beating his knuckles together repeatedly. Over the terrifying, rhythmic clang he chants, “Only a crab that knows how to live, knows how to die!”

He walks with a confident gait through the mouth of the bay, repeating this mantra.

In the split second it takes Joseph to exit the door of his vehicle, he ties an in-stride-left-handed-no-look-cigarette-between-ring-and-pinky-finger bowline to secure crab ring to rope. It is this the best knot that has ever, or will ever be tied in Earthstory. He’s that good now.

With the crab ring underarm and the loose end of the rope wrapped diagonally around his torso, like a pro would do, he grabs the rest of the day’s ingredients. Cooler of ice-cold delicious beer, stink bait, comfortable chair. This load would be burdensome to most anybody beside Joseph, he was born for this.

He sets up shop atop of the dock, which I will call the DANGER-ZONE from now on.

Being a man of impeccable taste, and knowing what type of music giant crabs hate, he instantaneously picks the best song to await his EPIC DESTINY.

The Killers – All these things that I’ve done.

* Sidenote – Pay no attention to the video, but feel free to dig the song in the background if you would like. I feel it adds, you know? *

As the song starts, he opens a beer and drinks half of it while tapping his foot. He begins dancing in the most bothersome of ways, and finishes the beer.

Joseph grabs his Home Depot bucket of stink-bait – a precisely measured mixture of raw turkey necks, hot cat food, chewing-tabacco spit, cheap beer, and urine stirred together and left to sit in the sun for at least a week. He grabs a piece of the putrid meat, and baits a ring.

As the crab ring descends to the floor of the bay, he rolls and lights a cigarette, He pulls from the beer can. His dance looks uncontrollable, that’s his style. He is ready.

The bouquet of the stink-bait tickles the tip of Walter’s palate and sends him into a crustaceanal frenzy. Walter is an old crab, and knows the tricks of fisherman, but never before has he had chance to fancy such a delicately-built flavor. He his rapidly dock-bound, now.

It is about half-cigarette, when the danger-zone starts to shake beneath his feet. Every crab within 20 or so miles has converged to savor the world’s best bait. Oh Yeh! Joseph says. He extinguishes the cigarette and reserves it atop his ear, concealing it from the weather in his fiery red coif. He de-shirts. He has to.

He looks port-side from the danger-zone and sees a red behemoth coming straight toward him! If he knew what scared felt like, he surely would be scared. But this man is fearless! He has come too far for fear now! He tenderly whispers, “Walter.” and wipes away the mist collecting on his brow.

From Walter’s vantage, there is mayhem. Thousands of frenzied crabs fight to get to the danger-zone for a chance at the bait. Walter pummels through the mess, killing crabs that wont move. He has battled to within twenty feet of the danger-zone when he hears The Killers, the only band he hates worse than The Shins. He shouts loudly a multitude of vulgarity, at this point, that is entirely too heinous to type in this forum.

The shouts are audible above water, but Joseph doesn’t understand crab language. This is a shame, because if him and Walter could have communicated, this situation might have been more diplomatic, or avoided all together.

Walter is so pissed at this point, that the water around him starts to boil and cooks most of the crabs in the proximity. The cooked crabs rise, and aromatically give notice to the bystanders at the dock. People of all sorts swarm the danger-zone collecting these food crabs.

Walter rises, steaming and grabs the rope Joseph has tied to one of the pile-ons. Joseph shouts warning to the crab-collectors, but not in time. The crab pulls, the knots do not give way, and half of the danger zone collapses. People are struggling in the current shouting, as Walter grabs for Joseph.

With a mixture of dancing and top-siding, the desert-man is able to elude the crab and quickly clove hitches the offered claw. As he turns to run, Walter’s other brass knuckled claw lands square on Josephs left eyebrow, obliterating it and spraying blood, into the rain, and onto everything else. Joseph and his rope are sent flying from danger-zone and slide into the curb in the parking lot above the dock.

Joseph lies still for a few seconds having dreams of Nogales. Not again!! Rain taps his face awake, and he makes it to his feet. He notices blood all over his favorite “I’d Rather Be Flying!” shirt, tucked in his belt. He hopes that it will wash out as he runs to his truck for his knife. He ties the other end of the rope to the bumper.

Everybody is screaming everywhere. Walter has ascended the dock and is killing people of all ages on his way to finish Joseph. The rope hitched to his massive claw is tangled in a mess of scattered dock material and dead bodies.

The mayhem has attracted all of the townspeople of Waldport, who stand in awe of the spectacle.

The wild red-haired man runs shirtless toward the mess. The rope between claw and truck has become taut, limiting the crabs mobility. As Joseph gets near, the crab swings his free claw ferociously. Joseph dodges the efforts and stabs the crab in the soft underside of his shell. Walter is hurt. He stands for a moment holding the knife and then twists the blade to kill him, like in the movies.

This doesn’t work. The crab sharply gives Joseph a straight right hand, knocking him cold out.

The great man lies on his back, bloodied and unconscious. The fight is seemingly lost.

The crowd watching at a safe distance from the danger zone starts to sing, “I’ve got soul, but I’m not a soldier! …. I’ve got soul, but I’m not a soldier!”

Joseph’s foot starts tapping to the beat involuntarily while he is unconscious still, it’s instinct.

“I’ve got soul, but I’m not a soldier!”

He nods awake and looks down to dancing legs. He makes his way to his feet and hears the crowd’s voice!!

“I’ve got soul, but I’m not a soldier!”

He starts, what many today would consider, the best dance ever!! His legs are so wild with dance, he struggles to stay upright, while his torso moves like a frantic jellyfish – it is perfect!

The crab knows it is over, his health is about 50%. He can’t remove the knife. He lacks dexterity because of his huge claws. There is a shirtless, bloodied, 150-pound man dancing like a maniac coming to kill him.

“I’ve got soul, but I’m not a soldier! …. I’ve got soul, but I’m not a soldier!”

The rest of the fight is what you would expect, really: A crowd of strangers holding hands and harmonizing perfectly the words, “I’ve got soul, but I’m not a soldier! …. I’ve got soul, but I’m not a soldier!” while a drunk shirtless red-haired man – dancing like he has birth-defects – mexican knife fights a monster brass-knuckled crustacean to death in a pool of stink-bait, mixed with bloody dead bodies.

As Walter takes his last breath, a clap starts from the crowd and continues while Joseph walks to his truck. He rolls what will be his last cigarette in Oregon. He has to get home, this is getting ridiculous after all.

For his efforts, the mayor of Waldport gives Joseph his own holiday. Joseph agrees, on the condition that Walter gets one too.

On Dia de San Joseph (August 17th) in Waldport, no one wears underwear!

On Dia de San Walter (April 22nd) in Waldport, everybody dresses up like crabs and gets hammered!

Oregon is a crazy place, it is a long way from home.

* I have recreated the dance Joseph did this day. I will post it when I can. Meter’s running out!! *

PEACE AND LOVE!!!

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Clothing Optional!!!

Yesterday, I took a nap in a pool, filled by a geothermal hot spring, in the middle of the morning, in the middle of the forest, NAKED.

Best nap of my life, by far. When I awoke, I felt as if I had been asleep for years. I had an epiphany (with a lower-case e), that there was no other place, at that moment, that I should be.

The Stoke. That’s what that is called.

Cougar hot springs is an hour east of Eugene, in the mountains. It is really tricky to take pictures there, because of naked people everywhere, so we will have to make d0 with words here.

After a heavily forested 1/4 mile hike from the road, you approach a tiki-style hut. That is the “changing area”. It is weird that it would be called a “changing area”, because no one changed there. It should have been called a “disrobing area” or a “naked-time area”. Everyone leaves the clothing at the hut. At first I was going to adorn my trunks into the pools. “When in Rome”, I remember thinking. Also, I can’t let these Oregonians think that Arizona is full of squares. Off with the trunks.

Sometimes nature winks at you. This is one of those cases. In the middle of a forest, that is colder than Kanye West, there is a hole in the rocks, shaped like an eye. Out of this eye, flows 114 degree water. This beautifully hot water collects in four main pools. The first pool is the hottest, the fourth is the coldest, probably by about 10 degrees. Pick your pool, they are all fantastic.

Day 1 – I pick the fourth pool. The first three had a lot of naked people in them. I was just a pre-naked-nap rookie at that point, I chose to chill solo in my own pool. I get into my pool. #4 . It is unbelievable. A natural hot tub, that is in the middle of the forest, that is sat in naked. Found a spot with arm rests and head rests. I was in there for about 2 hours, I would guess.

The first 15 minutes: I am naked with a bunch of hippies, in the middle of the forest. Why? Chill out dude, don’t be a square. Relax man, look at the trees. Look at the sun. Relax, check out the steam rising from the rocks, the rays the sun makes, through the trees, through the steam, …. Asleep.

The next hour or so: zzzzzzzzzzzz…… no dreams, no night-terrors which I can’t seem to shake lately, just zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz’s

The post-nap 15 minutes: Yeah bud, welcome to the big times!!! You have done it Zupp!! You have become a forest-hotspring-naked-napper!! An entirely new way to nap!! Are you sun-burned on the privates, did you drown? NO sir!! That-a-boy Zupp!!

I got up, feeling phenomenal. By far, the best nap or sleep of my near quarter-century. Walked up hill. A naked women says to me, “We were beginning to worry about you down there!” I tell her, while naked, hands on hips – I noticed thats how nudist-men stand whilst delivering speech, “No need to worry mam, just took a little nap, feel great!!” She and the naked others laugh at this. Do work.

* Side-note: The word “naked” is fun to type. It is fun to say. It is fun to be. *

Day 2, This morning – Trouble at the hot springs. I pull up and there is two dudes in a sleeping bag together next to a car with slashed tires. I woke them up by parking next to them. My bad dudes.

I get to the hot springs. Ton of people again. When in Rome, again. This time, your boy opts for pool #1. Right in the business.

I was much more social this morning, after all I feel that I have earned my naked stripes with yesterday’s achievement in napping. I need a naked merit badge.

Naked guy tells me the guys in the parking lot were in the pools passed nightfall – a very serious offense. They were drinking and smoking – also very serious offenses apparently. Their tires were slashed in the parking lot, so they had to sleep in the parking lot. The rest of the nakeds in the pool start laughing.

I guess, hippies get serious when protecting their environment up here.

Here is what I learned, by paying attention today, about communal nakedness. Some notes –

1. They call it a place for communion. Being naked in a hot tub in the woods, is far better than drinking wine in church.

2. Don’t be bashful, Be naked – Nothing is possibly worse than wearing clothes in the midst of a bunch of nakeds.

3. Trying to hit on naked-stranger-girls while naked yourself, is like playing poker with your cards face up. You can’t bluff. You also can’t fold. Haha.

4. I am pretty sure no one lies to each other in the naked-zone. Two reasons. The first and most obvious – it is impossible to lie to a naked woman. The second reason – Everybody whispers, no one can lie while whispering.

5. When in doubt, walk around wearing nothing but a t-shirt. I have no reason for this suggestion, other than I couldn’t help but giggle while doing so.

I thought for sure it would be all old dudes up there, it wasn’t, thank God. There was everybody up there. Great Place.


The sign at the trailhead to the hot springs had a Pay-n-Take sticker from Flagstaff, AZ on it. I have no idea why, enough to make a dude crazy though.

Before naked Garret started napping in pools in the forest, there was Eugene.

Beautiful campus there. This is a grassy area where frisbee is played, not during big football games of course.

I was able to park my truck at my bud Matt’s house, who is a deer hunter, that I drank whiskey with him and his girlfriend, in the forest by the coast.

I walked to downtown from his house. I asked a bunch of people where “the street” is. I explained, Tucson has 4th ave, Tempe has Mill ave, where is “the street” here in Eugene. Everybody pointed in different directions.

The entire town of Eugene is stoned. Nothing happens quickly there. It is fantastic for relaxation, but hell if you want to do work.

I found a bar right on campus, Taylor’s. Great place. $1.50 Pabst Tall-Boys.

Made some friends, watched the game, good game. GO DUCKS!!

My bud Nate took me on a tour of campus and afterwards the city. He knows a lot about Eugene. Good dude.

Earlier that day, when asking around for bars to go to, a very attractive tattoo girl told me about John Henry’s being a place to go. Live music, etc.

I talk Nate into going there with me. We get in there, there is “Great Skate” type music on. I like that, you know.

That’s when it got a little weird. Told the barkeep to give me two of whatever was on special. He gave me two Berry-Stoli-Fufu-Type of pints. Guys on stage dancing in underwear. Chicks with leather jackets.  Oh no.

I asked one big leather-clad biker chick if she would give me a ride on her motorcycle, she said, “No because you have a penis.” Her words not mine.

Found some hetero-girls. They were pretty. They said it isn’t usually like this in here, but tonight it is “LBGT Appreciation Night”. My luck.

Not another Chuck-from-the-Swizzle story!!

I bought the straight girls some drinks, had to.

The tattoo girl from earlier came up to me and said, “How do you like it in here?” while laughing. Tricky tattoo girls.

On the way out, I gave a big drag queen a high five and pounded my berry-frizzy-lala beverage. She was like 6’5″ – 250 with purple hair.

LBGT people like to party, that is for sure.

Shot some pool down the street for a little bit. Met up with my bud Matt. We drank until close and then drank more and re-loaded rifle cartridges in the garage for a while.

Slept in the truck.

Eugene, weird but good place. They have hash browns stuffed with sour cream there for breakfast. If for no other reason, that makes it a good place.

Heading south now. Down the coast.

Coming Up: Catch Walter, Redwoods, Morro Bay.

I have to come home to do work again, getting really restless.

Cassie Gertz – Your boy needs his buzz cut!! It is getting out of control!!

PEACE!!

Mexico.

*Author’s Note – In my travels this far, everybody that becomes aware of the fact that I am an Arizonian wants to tell me their opinion of SB 1070. I find this makes for boring conversation. It does have me thinking about Mexico though, that and the fact I had a chile relleno burrito yesterday. *

How did it get this far? Walter thinks over his Clamato beer. He drinks out of 55-gallon drums. He drinks a big beer; He is a big crab.

His morning thus far has been spent tailor-fitting his new weapons of death. They are almost ready. He is bloated from cigarettes and $1 potato burritos. He is becoming irritable.

Puerto Penasco, he thinks, where the girls are always at least 18 and food is always $1. He promised himself he would never come back to Mexico. This is business, no choice. These brass knuckles are taking too long to make, Walter thinks with extreme impatience.

Another hour. Another 55-gallon Clamato Beer. He might as well get his buzz on. Half way through what must be his 17th plate of $1-sktechy-cart-in-front-of-Manny’s-tacos, he sees an octet of draught donkeys pulling a set of knucks his way. !Andele Pues!! Walter yells to hurry them.

Finally!! He tries on the brass knuckles, they fit perfect. Oh yeah bud, Walter says. He starts waving them around, they are lighter than he expected, he is drunker than he expected.

People gather, watching this marvelous beast get set up. Walter feels their anticipatory energy. He flexes for them, he winks at the women. The crowd reciprocates with loud cheers. He begins swinging his claws through the air. First delicately – jab, jab, hook…..jab, jab, hook. The old one-two. Faster the crab spars, multi-punch combos, footwork.

Now the crab is vicious in his demonstration, until all of the Mexicans on the strip are cheering and dancing. Music sounds from a car stereo borrowed from Tucson, perpetuating the energy!! He begins to dance. He is unexpectedly agile and something of a suave dancer, accounting for the fact – he is a giant crustacean.

A shout from the crowd, !!Eres chingon guey!!! Walter knods and lifts his Claws of Mass Destruction overhead. All while keeping rhythm, he brings the CMD’s back down and obliterates a few beer bottles being thrown at him for practice! Fireworks begin!! Holy Shit!! The streets are alive!!! Walter is alive!! He is a monster!!

The dancing Walter turns ocean-bound, with a legion of partiers following him. This is great, Walter thinks, but I must get back to the Northwest, I must put these CMD’s to work. Joseph dies by my brassed-claw soon.

On the beach, he takes a snapshot with a group of girls that are probably at least 18. They yell Spring Break 2010!! It’s summer. He dives into the sea and vanishes.

13-hundred miles North, Joseph sits relaxed, drinking beer, eating chips ‘n salsa, on a dock in Waldport, OR. Spicy. This makes him think of Mexico, to the east side of the train tracks in Nogales. Joseph amassed a respectable bit of work down there in his yesteryears. He thinks about going into detail – He thinks about the audience that is possibly reading this. He thinks he will stop thinking about Nogales, now.

Anyhow, Joseph hasn’t been to Nogy since the time he tripped and fell into the brass-knuckled right hand of a neck-tattoed, spider-web goateed, gentleman, providing momentary loss of consciousness, and 9 stitches in order that his eyelid be properly relocated. His backbone chills. Brass Knuckles. He thinks of going south to retaliate, this thought is short-lived however – when his iphone alarm sounds -time to pull up the crab rings.

Joseph pulls the rings from the ocean floor. No keepers. Women, children – throw them back. He giggles at that. He checks his bait and tosses the crab rings back into the water.

Crab fishing, started as a hobby, now has quickly become the focus of his life. That’s fine, he needs something to do – he has almost finished mastering the list. Items left are charm and pastry discernment. Those will come.

He has added a few skills, he felt mandatory, to the Astoria outhouse loves of great men list: picking bad stocks, returning library books on-time, parking in the space absolutely farthest in the lot from the entrance to the grocery store, and lastly, smoking cigarettes in sleeping bags.

He continues to work this list, for it is this list that has made him the great man that he stands today. So great has he become, that his inner voice now sounds like John Wayne.

He turns up to the bar at the top of the dock, where old weathered sea-dogs sordidly gather to whistle-wet and fish-story. A homeless god-fearing drunk, who looks like his name would be Leroy, often stands on the bar, cigarette in-mouth, and acts out age-old epics of a clawed leviathan named Walter. These stories fascinate Joseph. He imagines, though, that a man of his standard could easily deal with this Walter.

Joseph spends the rest of his morning then afternoon, between bar and dock. What crabs he catches, he subsequently trades for pints. He is good at this. Accordingly, he decides he will spend evening then night between bar and dock as well.

This is the last good day that will be had by both parties. Walter knows he must attack tomorrow, as to not let Joseph strengthen his skill-set further. Joseph knows that he must fish and drink, for it is his life’s work at current.

The author surmises that either Walter or Joseph, would be delighted with THIS DAY serving as their penultimate. Who wouldn’t be?

Saturday and Sunday!!

Since birth, god has bestowed upon me a number of blessings some of which include red hair, impeccable taste, freckles, and the ability to do hand stand push-ups. Above all these blessings, he gave me the greatest cousin in the world. Behold the Ricker:

Yeah, it’s obvious, this guy is the real deal.

The Ricker is always a good weekend.

Sunday starts in downtown Portland, next to taped-off crime scene, across from the Salvation Army and its lively patrons, at Voodoo Doughnuts. Voodoo Doughnuts has some crazy pastries. They have bacon covered maple bars, cap’n crunch-covered-pinky-sprinkly’s, different sorts of candy-bar-crumble topped choices, and their piece de resistance: one 16 inch chocalate covered – cream filled penis-shaped doughnut that was absolutely terrifying. They didn’t have bear claws.

My choice:

Standard chocolate frosted donut for the base. Oreo crumbles drizzled with peanut butter. It’s called the “Ol’ Dirty Bastard”. I don’t like sweets much, but I like ODB, aced that donut. Then drank a quad shot espresso kicker from dutch babies. Danced and sang in the car, with the Ricker, all the way to Astoria!!

The Ricker car-dances very well, and knows all the words to “Pour some sugar on me”, all the words.

Found a farmer’s market in Astoria and immediately found some corn hats to wear. Favorite Shirt:

We had to quit wearing the hats, when most of the ladies in Astoria started following us around, demanding attention.

We hiked from downtown to the Astoria Column:

The streets on the way are demarcated thusly:

On a clear day, I would imagine the view from the top of this column, that lies atop of Astoria’s hills, would be enchanting. However, no one knows exactly what the view from the top is like, because Astoria has yet to have a clear day. Since 1811. It rains constantly in Astoria. So much so, the street-names are stamped in the sidewalks at crossings, so the pedestrian can save having to look up into the rain to read street-signs:

I have started to enjoy the rain in Astoria though. I think what would bother me, after a while, is not the rain, but rather, the absolute lack of sun. The sky just sort of glows. Weird.

Anyhow, Ricker wanted a piggy-back ride down a hill. I obliged. We started gaining speed. We slammed. We spent the rest of the day with muddy pants, looking like we had had accidents.

A banana slug pooped in Ricker’s hand. They have clear poop, pictured here.

While walking down the river, by some docks, a random car stops and the driver says, “Hey Garret, did you get a fishing job yet?”. The Ricker was astonished that I am known in Astoria. It was my boy Chuck, Captain of the Elsie out of Warrenton. Safe sailing bro!

They also know me, by name, at the pub. I have only been there twice. Do work.

We went to Rogue Pier 39, I got my free pint!!

It’s the one on the left. Brutal Bitter is the name of it. Cold. Free. Delicious.

Free beer tastes better than normal, paid for beer. Also, that beer was served to me by a very pretty woman, who lost a bet. That greatly adds to the taste.

She said I can come back for another free pint, if I do something crazy that impresses her. That is a dangerous bet. I want free pints though, so I will have to dream something up.

I had a similar, working relationship with my bud Shannon in college. I did the majority of her homework, and she let me drink for free at my favorite bar in Tucson. I like that I keep making these arrangements.

Went to some more pubs. Had some oysters, cheese steaks, bean dip, and popcorn for lunch. We are trying to bulk up.

For dinner, the Ricker and I put a beating in at Burger King. Finished 9 sandwiches and fries. Dollar Menu!

Before Sunday with the Ricker, was Saturday in Waldport.

Saturday starts with a run, swim in the ocean, and then a stolen shower from the state campgrounds.

On the way from shower to truck, I meet Roger from Eugene.

This dude, Roger, has a bunch of colorful rocks and books spread out all over a table. Yes! I absolutely HAVE to stop and chat with him. Turns out Roger is an astrologist. After about 20 minutes of BS, I say OK bro let’s hear it.

He starts by saying that I have an affinity for water.

I’m wearing swim trunks wet from the ocean on a day when only people who love the water would go in, it is freezingNot impressed Roger.

He then says that I like the water because I am a wood ox. He goes on that it must be that I am born in either 74 or 85. 85, he says. Then he says that it must be that I am born in December, because he knows that I am a Sagittarius.

Big deal, you can guess birthdays, bro.

Roger continues. I have an old soul he says.

I’m getting sick of hearing that.

He says that I always date girls that are born in the summer. He tells me why a number of relationships I have had didn’t work out. He tells me exactly why I am on the road, what I am learning, and what I can expect to learn, because of the stars in the sky, the year it is and my astrological signs.

Roger earns about a 97% at this point.

He says I need to date summer girls, but not ones born in 86 or 83, like my last two girlfriends.

100%.

I become extremely uncomfortable. I am weirded out. I leave.

Before I go though, I gave Roger two rocks that I picked up in AZ. One was a volcanic rock from the top of Humphrey’s Peak, the other a pink quartz from wet beaver creek. He is ecstatic. He starts going on about his collection, power quartz rocks, superstitions, blah blah.

North.

Portland. Ricker made hamburgers on an electric grill that uses pellets. Things are a little different up in Portland.

During dinner, I sat next to Allie. She is 10. Kids often make for the best dinner conversations.

After dinner, U of A won their football game.Undefeated 4-0.

Good saturday. Good Sunday. Good Weekend.

Before that, my week was pretty nondescript. I spent most of it putting out resumes and hanging out at the beach. I have been gathering information and equipment in preparation to become the world’s greatest dungeness crab fisherman. I drank some whiskey with elk-hunters. I watched Rio Bravo about 5 times, took notes. I watched U of A beat Iowa, then went dancing on a big Salem saturday night. Jogged a lot. Read a lot.

I also worked on perfecting skills I found on a list, on the floor of an outhouse, in Astoria, haha.

This trip continues to be unbelievable for me. I have met some characters, learned a ton about myself and life, and have learned how to pay attention. It is scary to be by myself so much, but I have to go at this alone.

Anyhow, this is where I woke up this morning – This is why I keep it up:

This week: Fishing, Writing, Looking for Work, Seattle by train, Mariner’s last home game.

Pictures for fun:

PEACE and LOVE!!!

Knots.

Joseph is alone, on his journey, for most of the day now. You can call it alone. There is an abundance of flora et fauna surrounding him. There is weather. There is plenty to keep him busy.

He goes about his day, in a most aggressive of manners. He knows not that he is preparing for battle. He is simply practicing the activities that make men great. He does it for love. He does it because of the list he found on an outhouse floor in Astoria. He has started to mark his progress on the list:

Loves of Earthstory’s Greatest Men

  1. Map-Folding –Mastered
  2. Knots – In Progress
  3. Knife-Fighting – In Progress (He is no good with fists. 1-11 career. 10 by way of KO. 2KO’s in one fight lost in Nogales. His only win a sucker punch on the run.)
  4. Classic Literature – Good Base. Needs Work.
  5. Relationship-Failing – Mastered years ago.
  6. Dancing – Mastered.
  7. Charm – Not yet started. Hopefully this comes easy. He grows tired.
  8. Pastry Discernment – Bear Claw vs. Maple Bar. “The Great Debate” He will get this tomorrow at a small café in Waldport, for practice of course.

He figures he is at 65%. That got him through college. However, it won’t be enough for this epic, forthcoming battle. 65% is evisceration by crustacean. 65% is embarrassment, death. Curiously the man strives much harder at this list than he did at the Eller College of Management. Rest assured mom.

Knots. Today is Bowline day. At dawn he gets up. He makes coffee, French press, of course. He looks to his knot manual. Bowline. The bowline knot is popular amongst sailors. Yep, he utters. The knot creates a secure loop at the end of a rope without requiring a pass through. Understood. It begins with an underhand knot,….. He reads. He learns.

Taking rope that his Grandfather Bruce, a man who believes in rope, gave him, he begins. He ties the first few bowlines slowly, methodically. He is patient in his practice. His approach is timeless.

He draws, from his tool-box, a tarp. He ties a bowline in the first corner, slowly. It’s perfect. Beginner’s luck, he thinks. He undoes it. Again he ties the knot, quicker. He undoes it. This goes on until Bowline becomes muscle memory. He is a natural. All four corners of the tarp are tied with textbook bowlines. The other ends of the rope are tied to trees and the remnants of a Japanese internment corral, where he makes camp.

The tarp now hangs triumphant over camp, he has cover from the rain. Thanks bowline. This afternoon he will undo his morning’s work and redo it, to gain practice. Another iteration at evening, under the influence of alcohol. At night once more he will retie the tarp, pitch black, cold. Mastery.

Tomorrow, the clove hitch.

Knots. Another stepping-stone in becoming great. It won’t be long until he is ready, skills perfected for the fight of his life. The fight that will define him and leave his name in this world as a legacy. He knows not of this fight, he simply is working the list.

Walter the crab knows all too well how this plays out. Walter watches from the depths of the bay below the man’s camp. Joseph is a knot-tier now.  Shit! Walter exclaims, which is barely understandable underwater. The world’s largest crustacean slams both of his Volkswagen-sized claws into the jagged ocean floor he calls home, breaking volcanic towers into bits. He knows the time is coming! He has a supreme confidence though, for he, himself, is no slouch.

Walter is widely considered the world’s best ship-capsizer, with 137 known solo capsizes to his name. He travels to Japan every year, where he holds the last 26 consecutive “Shark-Killer” awards both for quantity and style. He is the only crab, or beast for that matter, to successfully eat a 44 person, all-black church choir. He is responsible for the BP oil-well burst. He is republican. He is savage. He is the business.

There is a hesitation, however, in Walter with fighting his next rival. He knows it is inevitable, but something of this wild, red-haired man frightens him.  He has deadened many foes, but never has he faced an antagonist with such a deplorable nature. Something in the way this man drinks cheap wine directly from the bottle and dances to Indie rock in his long underwear bottoms. Something about this man’s reluctance to cut his hair.

It is all too much at the moment. Walter must equip himself. He turns and leaps out from a massive underwater precipice over the depths, towards Mexico. He is headed there to get ½-ton custom brass knuckles fitted. His knows this redheaded devil has fallen to the metal knuckle before.

The story of THIS crab and THIS guy, is all happening at once.

Bowline. iPhone cord. Eyes Closed.

I am off to the beach, to catch both zzzzzzz’s and rays, Bro!

Fantastic Weather!! Well, weather at least.

Mt. St. Helens –

I for the first time in my life got, what I call now, “Northfaced up”. This is when you have to wear waterproof clothing, or run risk of frost bite.

I really enjoyed having this thought on that mountain: “I am 5 miles from the truck, on top of a volcanic ridge, in sub-freezing temps with 50 mph winds, right in the business.” I also love the idea that mother nature has control over our circumstances and even our lives. The vulnerability that is felt in the elements is exciting. I took of my shirt for a few seconds up there, in order to get “Northfaced up”. Not a good idea. Felt very alive though.

I summited. My hands went completely numb for about 30 minutes around the top. I know this because I had to concentrate very hard to open my victory High Life, and it took about 2 minutes of strenuous effort. I can usually open a beer while doing a host of other things (e.g. working, reading, biking, skating, swimming, cooking, running, fishing, anything really) with little or no effort. That beer was different, it was difficult. You can be certain that it was absolutely worth the struggle.

After I drank my champagne of beers for victory, I ran down that mountain. When you get moving coming down, you can jump and the wind pushes you sideways before you land. It is sandy for the top mile or so of the hike, so you can jump away from the mountain and catch some real air! Shred the gnar, you know?!?! I love that.

The visibility was minimal when I summited, but on the way down I was able to get some shots of the landslide that I hiked up.

Hike up:

Pictures of the way up, on the way down.

Forest at bottom of hike. Different color than OR.

Ran into a deer friend along the way. HAHAH. That’s for Paddy O’Shaw, king of the witty one-liner.

Before St. Helens, I was in Astoria. The people are nice there. I really appreciate that little town. There bartender at Rogue Pier 39 owes me a pint, for summiting St. Helens. She is very pretty, I want my pint.

I spent a couple of days there, fishing for a fishing job. Talked to a bunch of people. One guy in particular had a really small boat, in poor condition. He goes out for 4-5 days at a time, 40-50 miles off-shore. Not safe at all, exciting though. That is the job I need.

In Astoria, they have had 3 days of sunshine this summer, not in a row. It rains there all day long. Different types of rain:

Foggy, Misty, Milky Rain – It doesn’t fall like drops, it just sort of hangs around. This type of moisture is of no consequence if I stand still. At best it will make my beanie a little wet. Driving through this requires a 5-6 second interval of the wipers.

Drizzle Rain – Actual drops now, medium pace. This is just enough rain to get wet. Not terribly wet, just enough to make you not want to be in it. I run in this rain from truck to door, door to door, whatever. 2-3 second interval of the wipers used here.

Tree Rain – This rain is sneaky. This rain gets its name from its source. When the sky clears (no rain but still overcast), I take my beanie and jacket off. Ahhh, how nice! BAM! Rain off of the tree, TREE RAIN. Big drops – directly on the head, down the shirt. I shake my finger at the tree. Well done tree and rain, well done.

Business Rain (my favorite so far) – Actual drops at an alarming frequency. Run the wipers full speed, baby. Drive by feeling, no sight, rubbing is racing boys! This rain is really the most enjoyable. This is because it has the ability to defeat you. It also gives you the opportunity to defeat it. Follow: I park at the coffee store. Mmm coffee. I watch out of the window of the truck. I wait for the rain to subside just enough, 10 or 15 seconds, so that I may traverse the parking lot. It doesn’t subside. Mmm coffee though. I make the leap. I start at a run. No use. I am soaked and running now. The rain has won the fight at this point. But then it happens. I reach the point of indifference. I stop running. I start walking. I look up. I am soaked. I stop in the middle of the parking lot, completely wet. I stand there, looking up. I stop caring. I am soaked but willing to be soaked. I go in the coffee store after a while. I get a coffee. Mmmm. I win.

There are other types I am sure, but I haven’t discovered these yet. Give it time. I also think that in Astoria the rain will mix with wind soon. Different types of rain with different types of wind. Combinations!! More stuff to enjoy!!

* I wasn’t able to get picture of Astoria yet. Best Buy gave me a two-year warranty on my camera. The one thing not covered is full-submersion in water. Astoria is fully submerged in water. Google Astoria if you want pictures. *

Before Astoria, I was in Newport. Pretty scenery there:

I drank a beer with the president of Rogue. Nice Guy.

I picked up a hitchhiker there. His name was “Jimmy the Rail”. He offered me $40 dollars for a ride to Corvallis. I have never hung out in Corvallis. I gave him a ride for free. He was stoked.

Jimmy the Rail said he was a gangster. He looked like an old fisherman. One of his fingers was bent. Broken probably and never fixed. He reminded me of my Uncle Mike in Tucson. What’s up Unc?? I get along with those kind of dudes really well. I got along with Jimmy.

He wasn’t a gangster, he was just a drunk. Nice guy though. I found out later that he gets 86’d a lot from bars in Corvallis. He got 86’d from a few while I was there. He went home. I made some friends. We were hanging out, drinking beers. One guy asked me what school I went to. He then informed me that Thee, University of Arizona was a piece of shit, University of Northern Mexico, etc. I asked him what school he went to. Oregon State University. I forgot OSU is in Corvallis. I offered remarks of reciprocity toward him. I said some things I shouldn’t have culminating in me yelling, “F&*# the Beavers, BRO!!” Everybody heard that…. Yikes!

That started a small riot. The bouncer helped me out of there. I ran down the street, jumped a fence, ran down another street. A couple miles later, I found a Safeway. Bought a sandwich. Took a cab around looking for my truck. Couldn’t find it. Got out of the cab and walked through downtown Corvallis. Hid in bushes when people would come near. Walked about 10 or so miles in circles. Found the truck though!!!! Slept in the truck behind the Beaver Tail Brewery. Slept with my shovel, J.I.C. Left promptly from Corvallis upon waking.

A girl I was hanging out with that night called me the next day. She said the situation was funny, I should come back and hang out sometime, funny guy, etc. I told her Corvallis is probably a good place not to go again for a while, or ever.

I drove north. Northern coast.

Somewhere along the way, I was in Tillamook. They give free samples of cheese. I went through the line voluntarily once. 12 or so pieces of cheese. I took the tour, all roads there lead to rome, got stuck in the line again. 12 or so pieces of cheese. Both times, I had greedy people behind me, pressing on. I had to hurry. If the chance to eat 24 cubes of different kinds of cheese at a rapid pace ever comes your way, pass it up. They have a cheese there called squeaky cheese. I think I am lactose intolerant now.

Somewhere else along the way was Woodland, WA. I call it Woodbridge, fits better. * I am looking for a job like Lewis and Clark had – naming things. I would be good at it. I would work hard at it.*

The Ricker met me at the Safeway there. I taught him how to play guitar and dance in a parking lot. We went to the restaurant Burgerville. Really weird place. They have “burger spread” for sale there. If you shake the jar it comes in, it makes you want to not eat there. We ate there. The burger-lady kept trying to keep our attention, she would hardly let us eat. I think she was in love with me. I felt not the same for her. I love the Ricker instead, let me explain.

The Ricker speaks of such things as the “Uncle Bone and the Donut Dance”. He drives small import cars with loud bass and listens to “Bass Music” while wearing penny loafers. He does work almost constantly. He is from Nebraska. He had a seizure at Arriba’s, ambulanced out. He is the man.

We went to what an 85 year old lady at the gas station next to Burgerville said was a “biker bar”. It was the only place in Woodbridge open passed 10pm. It wasn’t a biker bar. It was called Merwin’s. Perfect name.

Picture this please:

One biker in the bar. He has two canes. He uses one to walk, one he just carries in his other hand. He has a red bandana. His shirt is an airbrushed thunderstorm. His necklace has a bear’s tooth. His girlfriend is horrendous. She does some incredible dance move to a Nickelback song and Ricker almost dies laughing at her.

The bartender has potbelly. She is a girl. She keeps ending her sentences in -izzle. She says Ricker and I are born in seventhrizzle and eightyfizzle. She says that she is older than both of us put together for shizzle. She is 29, she is bad at math. She gets us two Pabst Blue Rizzles. She gets annoying quick.

They have open mic night there on sundays. I told the bartender to expect me this sunday. She asked what I played, which gave me an open-ended opportunity. I immediately explained to her that I grew up in the church, I play mostly hymnals and prayer songs. I told her I can bring my all-black choir and tear the roof off of that place. See you sunday. She believed me.

The rest of the bar is what you would expect. Men shooting billiards, very poorly. Some dude in there had very long arms, very short torso. Another guy says to his wife before going out, “Hey woman, I aint gunna wear sleeves tonight!!” He sits in a wife-beater shirt, at the corner of the bar. He is drunk as hell. He is watching Jeff Gordon race radio controlled cars on ESPN.

One hot girl there. Nevermind, she wasn’t hot. A mid 90’s honda in good condition looks like a Ferrari, when you put it in a junkyard.

Everybody knows you are not a Woodbridgean. This is because your body is proportionate, you are not a mouthbreather, you are wearing sleeves, and you don’t have the blank gaze of a Woodbridgean.

Merwin’s.

I am running out of steam. I am running out of things to summit. I am out of work.

I am going to go to the south coast for a few days and crab, clam and fish. Fish for fishing jobs as well. I have to contribute soon, as I am feeling restless.

Southern coast:

On the list: I have to finish writing my epic tale Walter the Crab – Beast Beyond Measure: The story of Garret Zuppiger Day. I also want to see a Mariner’s game. Lastly, I must put an end to the endless question. Bear Claw or Maple Bar?

Peace and Love!!!

Just Coastin’…

Oregon is fantastic. Me catching some zzzzz’s at the new office:

Weed, CA is a fantastic place!! Shout out to Robert, Amy and Jenn and thanks for showing me a good time there!!

After the last post was made from the College of the Siskiyous, I went back Mt. Shasta Brewing Co with my Weed CA buds and had some more beers. We went to Robert’s. He played some Guatemalan songs, we drank some more beer and hung out. Through lengthy interdisciplinary discussion involving calculus, metaphor, anthropology, geology, neurology and beer, we had the entire world figured out. It was right about then that I drove north a couple miles and slept in a rest area.

After some zzzzz’s, I cruised up to Klamath Falls. I love that little city. They have tractors on boats that grab logs out of the river. That has to be one of the coolest jobs in the world, by far. While there, I also found a local bakery, bought two bear claws and a coffee. I love bear claws!!! I think the maple bar is the only pastry that holds a candle to the bear claw, I think the bear claw ultimately takes the cake though, so to speak. Went North.

Crater Lake –

Wizard Island zoom shot:

In the visitor center, I spoke with a lady-ranger about buying property on Wizard Island, or possibly the whole island. She said it wasn’t for sale. I tore a piece of paper from the Crater Lake National Park Map, wrote  ‘$3,500 american’ on one side and my cell number on the other side. I said to her as I passed it nonchalantly over the counter, “Maybe this will change your mind.” Rapidly, I turned and exited. I did my best.

When negotiating real estate deals, be stern, be confident, but be fair. I thought on my way out – she is lucky to receive any offer in this economy.

*Uncle Jeff – The offer for the oak-creek-house still stands – $4,500 american , as I have not received a call-back concerning Wizard Island. I would advise that you move on the offer quickly though, snow is coming to the splendid Oak Creek. Driving time to and from the brewery will increase, making your property less desirable for Bruce and I. Bruce and I will have to reconsider our offer and I warn that it will be considerably less. Move fast on our offer brother, do not miss the money train!!*

Jeff’s back porch standing in the creek:

Jeff’s share of the creek:

Back to Crater Lake –

I hiked down to the lake. The lady-ranger guarding the lake informed me that the surface temperature of the lake was 36 degrees Fahrenheit and the air temperature at that time was 40. I said that’s cold. She went on to say that a snow front was coming in about 20 minutes time. I said hold this camera.

She was right. I would guess that my in-shorts thermometer read about 36 degrees or so, I can’t say for sure – it was very hard to see. Haha.

After the swim, I managed to run up the 3/4 mile 800 vertical foot trail in about 3 minutes. Dead-sprint with a cigarette ablaze for warmth. I left the park as the snow started falling.

Oregon is very green. All sorts of green in fact:

Oregon is very green, because oregon is very wet. All sorts of wet in fact. I found a place to camp in the Umpqua River Valley, 4000ft lower in elevation and west of the park. Soon after paying for a night’s use of the campground, it started raining. It rained for about 16 solid hours. Sometimes just a tad more than a sprinkle, sometimes a downpour, but nevertheless consistently it rained for 16 hours. When the rain finally ceased, I was so excited!! I french-pressed and drank 2 pots of coffee, then danced for about 2 hours or more. I know that with the amount of practice I have been doing, I have just got to be one of the best dancers in the country. Here is a sample of what went on:

After revolutionizing the world of dance as we know it, following the Umpqua River due west, I headed for the coast.

If this embed doesn’t work, here is the link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rowRMwupSj8

Some of the smaller towns in Oregon are a little trashy. Here is an example I found along the drive, in Roseburg:

The coast. No clouds. Sunshine. 70 degrees. Slight onshore breeze. Also called a seabreeze.

I really enjoy lighthouses. In the old days men who worked at the lighthouse had it made. They cleaned the lenses, filled the kerosene for the lamp and looked out at the ocean through a telescope all day. They occupied a share of the triplex next to the lighthouse, on the coast, with two other families. They farmed vegetables. They harvested deer, elk, crab, salmon, and clams. I would have really liked to have had that job.

Inside the lens of the lighthouse:

The Department of Homeland Security is in charge of that lighthouse now, to keep us safe. There is a whole complex of housing there to administer the lighthouse, even though it is merely tradition and decor. We have GPS. I would imagine this is all done at a greater expense, inflation adjusted, to the American people, as well. That is an entirely different writing assignment though. I don’t want that lighthouse job today, for the feds, enough said.

Camping on the coast is expensive. I managed however to find a free spot:

There seems to be an anti-Japanese sentiment here on the coast of Oregon. There are lookout towers everywhere and lighthouses were used to watch for the kamikazis. I think these corrals in my camp are not for horses, but rather for Japanese internment. I could be wrong, but it makes camping here a lot more exciting!! I have to use them for something, and I failed to bring my horse!!

I have been hanging out on the beach for the past few days waiting for inspiration. Today I read the sunday edition of The Register Guard from Eugene. Cover to cover, front to back, found no inspiration. Protests for and against muslim community center in NY during 9-11, editorials on the pro’s and con’s of Keynesian type stimulus packages, ALL NOT INSPIRING!!!

I am not ready to head back into the city yet. I think instead I will start driving North today. I want to see Astoria. When I get there, if I feel like it, I might go to Washington. WA has some pretty cool sights to see, a couple of national parks. I might spend a while there.

If for no other reason….. I want to press my luck!!

Tangent: I have heard that some of my pictures are now desktops in cubicles amongst friends and family. Awesome!!

Here are some shots along the way, that I thought would be worth sharing:

The trade calls these macros, I believe. They are fun to take. –

Dancing on Half Dome in Yosemite.

Super-Tangent: If I had the power, I would find a way to get rid of this piece of shit. Blow it up!!! That would be spectacular!!! Cheers Edward Abbey!!

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