Trip Report   Part 1
 Click  Here

 Trip Report   Part 2
   October, 2001

 So we ended our first day of vacation at the Eureka, CA  Motel 6.
 But just when we thought karma was out to get us, we met someone who'd change everything.

 The sun was setting as we were still 50 miles away, so we took the fastest route
 instead of the "scenic" route to get to Eureka before the it got too dark.

 Since it was no secret we were going to San Francisco and points north,
 some readers wrote and mentioned they agreed with my position that pot laws suck.
 Some of these readers sent their phone numbers and addresses.

 I have met fewer than five people from the Internet, so this was tricky.

 When we got to Eureka, I phoned S&W and he gave me directions to his home.
 When I got there, he stuck a pipe of red Lebanese in my hand and lit it.
 Hey, I hadn't tasted real hash since I owned the Hard Rock Island.
 It wasn't owning a rock club that made it possible, it was Von Reagan's occupation
 of Lebanon that enabled soldiers to smuggle home this Chinaco-taste-alike.

 If you've never tasted real Lebanese, I can't describe it very well.
 It has something like a cinnamon taste - it tastes great!
 It's certainly the Chinaco of the Middle East.

 S&W said he only had a little bit and was saving it for a "special occasion."
 I was flattered.   Then he handed me a small ziplock with four different buds in it.
 He explained where each bud was from, but I couldn't pay close attention.

 We talked a while, but he had things going on and I was tired from eight hours
 of pulling over at every roadside attraction for the last 300 miles, so I thanked him
 and made it back to the Motel 6. The week was going to be very different.

 Sunday morning we woke up excited with anticipation.  I made a run to the grocery store for stuff
 such as paper towels, bottled water, cookies, and as I'm leaving the store, my cell phone rang.
 It's Mrs. BartCop telling me Weak & Stupid was on TV announcing Cheney's bombing of Kabul.

 That's what we like on a flying vacation - poking the rapid dogs with a stick.

 I hurried back to the motel and we watched a few minutes.
 Brit Hume was repeating himself, reading Karl Rove's script, over and over.
 We tried several channels but it was all repetitive horseshit.
 They had no news, but they felt compelled to stare into the camera and repeat the same non-news
 propaganda that Mr. Rove wanted repeated, so I said "fuck it" and we continued our vacation.

 I wanted to go somewhere to get away from everything, and I mean everything.
 We needed some woods with nobody in them. Woods with  silence   is what I needed

 Why do people think if someone is within earshot then they must speak?
 On the plane there were these four women in the row in front of us.
 They didn't stop talking for one second from K-Drag to Las Vegas.
 Nonsense, bullshit, throwaway talk that wasn't anything more than an excuse to babble.
 And since there were four of them, when one told something to two, she had to repeat it
 to three who had to lean across the damn aisle and explain it a third time to four,
 who then had to react so three could tell it to two and pass it on back to one.

 Maybe it's good that all weapons are taken from you before you get on the plane.
 I was ready to strangle all four of them before we left Oklahoma airspace.

 So I needed total peace so I could open my brain and let everything run out onto the ground.
 We knew where to go so we backtracked sixty miles into The Avenue of the Giants.

 Rarely does a roadside attraction deliver like The Avenue of the Giants.
 The trees are hueueueuege and they're older than Robert Byrd.
 The tall ones were standing during the Revolutionary War,
 and the half-trunks and fallen trees were there when Columbus sailed.

  We were alone. There was nobody for miles and miles.

 We parked the car and got into the woods with those S&W buds and our vacation began.
 Remember that old Steve Martin album, Let's Get Small?
 We got very small.

 It was so quiet....

 We could hear a lone bird chirping far away - that was all.

 It was so quiet....

 The entire floor of the forest looked like this.

 There were tens of millions of tiny redwood leaves covering the ground like snowflakes.
 Adding to the effects was the lack of sunlight, even tho it was a sunny, clear day.

 The trees were so tall and the branches were blocking the sun.
 We saw everything with reflected light.
 It was like a scene from Empire Strikes Back.
 Maybe we'll come back sometime when it's snowing...

 And with each step we created little, crunchy echoes

 Slowly, my mind began to empty.
 I could feel the pressure flowing out of my head, leaving my body.

 You wouldn't think producing a little comedy treehouse would cause any pressure,
 and it's funny because I have nothing else on my plate.

 It was so quiet....

 I was listening to the breeze rustling the banches - and that lone bird chirped a little closer.
  Click  Here  to hear the lone bird chirping.

 Just the wind blowing the branches and the lone bird, ...chirping, ...chirping.
 It was cute for a few minutes, but then the bird's constant chirping began to piss me off
 so I shot it with the Glock, and then, ...once again, was sooooooo quiet.

 Sitting there on a 700 year old tree trunk, listening to nothing but the breeze rustling the branches,
 enjoying God's gift of delta-9-tetra flowers, my mind became an emptier-than-usual vessel.

   Humboldt's finest.

 In those woods, there were terrorists, ditto-monkeys ...and no stolen elections.
 It was just the prescription that Doc BartCop ordered.

 The temperature was just perfect and we had a slight breeze.
 All we had to do was inhale and exhale.
 It was so close to Heaven, ...I thought I saw Betty Bowers.

 This went on all day.  We'd drive five miles deeper into it, change the view and do it again.
 The best part was how it kept repeating.
 You know how you go to a movie or a ball game and get a 2-3 hour rush of excitement?
 This was kinda like that, but it wasn't ending. The day just stayed on a high note.
 I'm sure the feeling was enhanced by the lack of competing thoughts in my empty head.

 There was a lot of staring.

 It was soooooo quiet.

 Staring at the trees, staring at the millions of redwood leaves coating the ground.
 Didn't stare much at the sun, ...maybe that's how we lost track of time.

 So, we loaded back up and headed back north thru Humboldt County.

 By this time, my head was so empty, I heard something on ABC Radio News about
 President and Mrs Bush flying somewhere together and I thought,
 "What's Clinton doing on a plane with Pickles?"

 It was nothing but trees, and I wasn't at my map-reading best, so I hit
 the Magellan's patented "Always Lost" system to find out where we were.

 Look at this - look at this!
 This is what happens when you rent from Hertz!
 The arrow is our car but the satellite couldn't find us.
 It was more clueless than me at that point, and that's saying a lot.

 Remember, trust Hertz for all your important auto rental needs.
 They're Number One - They don't need your business.

 Approaching Eureka, CA I saw something that reminded me of this page.

 There was a 40-foot hammer, located at Pierson's Hardware in Eureka.
 I had hammer size envy.

 So we're heading north on the coast - how could we be lost?  Oh, one other thing?
 There's no radio in these parts, at least none I could stand to listen to,
 so as we passed thru Eureka again, we stopped about bought 4 CDs.

 In alphabetical order, we bought the most recent Aerosmith, we got
 the new Bob Dylan, the new Garbage and the most recent Janet Jackson.
 We put those four in the CD-changer and took off up the Cali-Oregon coast.

 Check this out:
 All over California they have these signs that say, "Speed Limit enforced by airplanes,"
 so I jokingly told her to keep her eye out for plains flying directly above us.

 A few minutes later she said, "I think we're on that plane's radar."
 I stopped and looked up.

 All you could see with the naked eye was a single streak, but she had binoculars
 and I had a camcorder.   This is what it looked like with a 74X digital zoom.

 This plane was at a really, really, really high altitude and it was hauling!
 From the size I decided it was a B-52.  Am I right?

 More weirdness - here's the trail it left with about a 30X zoom:

 Looks like that anthrax virus under a microscope.
 Lorena asked me if this might be the end of the world and I said, "Probably,"
 so we pulled off at the next beach and smoked another one behind some bushes.

 We got higher than a gallon of premium under President Cheney.

 This is a fictional account of a story that didn't really happen.
 Of course, pot's illegal in California and Oregon, ...maybe, I don't know.
 But in any event, consider this artistic license to make the story seem better.

 By the time we reached Gold Beach, Oregon it was starting to get dark again so
 once again we stayed in the Motel 6 at Gold Beach with a view of the bridge.
 Hey, don't laugh - it's a clean room with a TV that mostly worked,
 so what else could a weary driver ask for?

 How about air-conditioning?

 No, for $55 a night, we didn't get air-conditioning.
 You see in Oregon, they don't need air-conditioning.
 As my previous Mandalay Bay testimony will corroborate, when I sleep,
 I want it so damn cold that I figure to wake up next to Walt Disney.
 Oh, well, I figured maybe an extra shot of vodka will help get me to sleep.

 So, we settle in and make ourselves a drink and Mrs. BartCop had her little fish crackers,
 or whatever those things are and we're ready for the Emmy Awards!

 Best Drama - West Wing!
 Best Actor - Martin Sheen!
 Best Writer - Aaron Sorkin!


 No Emmy's?

 Of course, we'd been in the woods and on the road all day without a radio.
 We had no idea that the Emmy had been cancelled - again.
 Thanks for screwing that up, too, George - again.

 ...doing a shot...

 This may be only funny to me, but when I went to get some ice, I heard the guy
 in the next room ask the maid, "How high are we above sea level?"

 I thought that was a stupid question since we could see the ocean from our room!
 The ocean is sea level, Mensa!

*No birds or animals were hurt in this production.

Monday we continued up the Oregon coast, stopping, of course, at every roadside attraction.
My legal training came in handy when we saw a funny road sign.
It said "Drug Free Zone" which I took to mean wherever that sign wasn't - drugs were legal.

Hey, when in Oregon...

There was some picnic area where they had a bridge and she wanted to walk across the bridge.

The place gave me the heebie-jeebies because just before you walk on the bridge
you read the sign of what to do when the mountain lions and bears attack!
"Stay on your feet - don't run - and fight back," the sign says.

ha ha

Tips for fighting the bears?
We agnostics don't do bears all that well.

The BartCop Airline Bailout Plan

Back on the coastal road, an idea hit me:
Instead of giving the airlines a $15B bailout, why not give every taxpaying family
free air fare to a city they've never had a chance to vist before?

I mean, if we're going to write the airlines a big-ass check, from OUR account, why don't we
get a little something back for it?   What good does it do to have half-empty planes when most
American families can no longer afford their Clinton-era vacations anymore?

If we got plane tickets in exchange for the bailout, a family of four could fly to some city, rent a car,
go to an amusement park, eat at some restaurants, stay in a nice hotel and have a good time.

But nooooooooooooo.

That would help working families, so Smirk won't have any part of it.
It won't create a single barrel of oil, so why would he bother?
His contributors can always afford vacations, so what's in it for the super-rich?

...another BartCop idea not realized.

On one of these days, Barry Bonds hit his 73rd home run.
They said that ball might sell for as much as a million dollars.

Funny - Mark McQwire's #70 ball went for three million.

Continuing north, it was nothing but beaches and Humboldt pit stops and our new CDs.

The Aerosmith was good, but I hated that Just Push Play was sold for to Dodge for a TV commercial.
I'll bet Aerosmith needed the money - who knows.
Maybe that Super Bowl gig with Britney and Justin didn't pay much...
But don't get me wrong - I love Aerosmith.
They're one of the few bands that still play their instruments.

That Janet Jackson is the one with the nasty lyrics on it.
"It feels so good when you're fucking me..." coos Janet on one track.

The whole CD could've been a lot better without those "edits," too.
Between almost every song, they talk in the studio about music, or boys or tight jeans
or something, and that's probably cute the first time you hear it, but in later listens it's all fingernails.
Someday I'll write down which tracks to skip and burn a CD of the MUSIC and see how it sounds that way.

Then there was the Bob Dylan. Much as I like and respect Bob Dylan,
I've never purchased an album of his before so this was a new experience.
I wouldn't know how to compare this with other albums, but Bob seemed out of place.
I see Bob as a rambling spirit on his guitar, like a lone traveling campfire storyteller
singing about life's hypocrisies and the irony of working for the man,

...instead of being locked in a studio with professional session players.

That's not Bob Dylan, is it?

...and then there was the new Garbage CD - beautifulgarbage

Simply put, it's the best album I've heard in at least ten years.
I'd have to go back to 1987's Joshua Tree to find something to compare it to.

Sure, I like Garbage a lot. Their first two albums were nothing short of great and Shirley works a stage
better than Madonna. But the songwriting on this CD is like nothing I've ever heard before.
Dare I say...  (Dare, dare!)   this CD reminded me of Zeppelin's Physical Graffitti in it's breadth
and The Beatles's White Album in it's production.

I know a lot of you couldn't care less, so I'm going to take a detour here.
If you want to get into this a little bit, I have some observations and some sound clips.

But if you want to stay on the Trip Report, that's cool, but when you can't figure out
what to get somebody who's cool this Christmas, they'd love the new Garbage CD in their stocking.

(One "fuck" and one echo of "shitload" is on this CD, so don't buy it for a kid)

Click  Here  for the Garbage Detour

Monday was our second day of the Garbage CD, and we rode it up the coast.

 Here's a bridge that looks just like a  very famous chapel                        Thorncrown Chapel
 that was designed by Fay Jones in Bella Vista, Arkansas.

Y'know, the entire state of Oregon seemed to be on drugs, and people were waaaaaay too happy.
Once when I bought a Dr. Pepper, the total came to 69 cents, and I started to count out
some loose change and the lady behind the counter got all excited and said, breathlessly,
"I'll bet you might have the exact change there..." which I thought was weird.

So I put two quarters down on the counter and she was spellbound.
I put down a dime, a nickle and her eyes got wide when I started counting pennies.
I put four pennies on the counter which made exactly 69 cents and she shouted, "You did it,"
as tho I'd just cut the red wire and prevented the atomic bomb from going off.

They also have a law in Oregon that all gasoline must be pumped by a professional.
None of that amateurish gas-pumping for them!!!

So this guy filled our tank and washed our windshield, and asked if there was anything else he could do.
I told him, "No, thanks,"  I wanting to get back on the road, but this guy kept wanting to help.
"If you want, I could check your tire pressure..."

I told him, "No, ...THANK you," ...wishing he would take the hint.
Suddenly, Gene Wilder from Young Frankenstein popped into my head...

"How about I check your oil, see,'s important to check..."

"NOTHING!....thank you," was all I could think of to say.

Back on the road, it was nothing but beaches and Humboldt pit stops and music
and we finally turned starboard at Lincoln City and headed for Portland.
We had family business in Salem, which is nearby, but there was another
BartCop reader in Portland that we wanted to meet. (cough)

First of all, coming into Portland when you're not at your sharpest is a trip.
They must have a local ordinance that disallows straight streets.
You can get vertigo trying to follow Highway 26, I think it was.
We just missed the turn for 26 East, so we took 26 West figuring we'd find a turn-around.
We went thru Mr Do's Wild Ride trying to turn around and it took forever.

And then there are the bridges. Oh, they looooove their bridges in Portland.
They have dozens of bridges downtown and they're all about 800 feet off the ground
and they twist like Laura the Unloved at a sock hop on too much Chianti.

We settled into our third consecutive Motel 6, after a 90-minute dizzyfest on those bridges.
Then I called this BartCop reader to get directions to her house.
Her name was Mickie or Shelly, something like that.
When I got there, she introduced me to her two horses.
Well, I assumed they were horses, because of their size, but turns out they were dogs.

"What kind of dogs are these?" I asked, still not believing...

"Pit bulls," she told me. "Don't worry about them - they're harmless."
Koresh, these pit bulls were almost as big as I was.
We agnostics don't do pit bulls well.
I have a rule - if a Glock can't stop it - I fear it.

We had a seat in her computer-recording room.
She has a saxophone that was almost as big as one of those pit bulls, too.

Turns out, swear to Koresh, she knows Marc Perkel, but he didn't introduce us - isn't that weird?
We just met in the mail, and she knows The Wizard -  and has for longer than I have.

Trying to get business out of the way, I asked what kinds of delta-9-tetra she had.
She said she had the "regular" and she had some "mad dog."
(If you ever saw Pulp Fiction, you know this scene was lifted directly from that film,
 and is obviously fabricated fiction by a failed writer who's run dry of original ideas.)

Well, I told her I wanted the "mad dog."
Just as I said, "mad dog," this horse, I mean pit bull was at my feet, chewing on one
of his toys that was the size of a goddamn railroad tie. He pushed the toy up next to
my ankle and was chewing right thru it while making those gutteral pit bull noises.
It was either those sounds or the delta-9-tetra but I started feeling faint.
I slo-o-o-o-o-o-o-owly inched my foot away from the mouth of the beast.

Soon it was time to go and I had to find my way back to the Motel 6.
It was easy finding her house - that was pre-mad dog.  Getting home was different,
but my superior map skills came thru again and soon I was safely back in my room,
just in time to catch some Monday Night Football.


Game's over?
It's just 8 o'clock...  Oh, crap, we're on Pacific time and that's THREE hours past EST TV time.
So it's 8 PM, the ball game's over and we still have 2.5 hours from a Leno or Letterman.
You West Coast people have everything screwed up.

Oh, well, we had Regis after the game - and she looooves her Regis.

Tuesday we were up with the sun and on the road to Salem for family business.
We were finished by noon, and it was back to the party.
Heading southbound on I-5 we made some fast time until we hit Eugene
and then another hard turn starboard to take us back to the Gold Coast.

We stayed at the same Driftwood Shores as the 1998 trip.
             May 1998                                        October 01

 These pictures were both taken from the patio.
 That same damn bird is still there, messing up my coast at sunset pictures.

 Wednesday and Thursday we lollygagged south.

 Now, ordinarily we don't pick up hitchhikers, but when we saw this funky albino pumpkin
 with it's thumb out, we decided to break the rule and give him a ride. After all, I was armed.

       Check those foggy ocean rocks in the background.

 Now, I've never been one to complain - but going south from Eureka there are no
 restaurants or convenience stores and hardly any kind of commerce at all.
 Wednesday we lived off Pringles and some truffle things she got in Mendocino.

 Boy, don't get me started on Mendocino.
 It makes Santa Fe seem accepting of the little people.
 Decent sized town, but again - no gas stations, no restaurants that weren't weird,
 no convenience stores, no food stores - are these people robots?
 What do they do for food?

 We stopped in this Chocolate Factory place, since there were no restaurants and the counter lady
 starts making small talk. She asked where we were from and without thinking I said, "Oklahoma."


(think Chris Farley - pulling his hair out)

 She starts in with "How can you live in Oklahoma?" and when I attempted to explain
 that living amongst ditto-monkeys was just a way of life, she cut me off saying,
"All those tornados*, how can you stand it?"

 I told her "We just do," and she asked if we had a little tornado shelter out back
 like they had in Twister and I said, "No."

 She continued to stare at me in disbelief, so I figured out a way to shut her up:
 "We put our lives in the hands of Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior."

 That shut her up.

 Back on the road, we saw lots of signs that said "Open for dinner at 6 PM"
 but don't people on the West Coast eat anything before 6 PM?

 By Thursday afternoon we were down to yesterday's water and sunflower seeds.

  This is the Death Highway of No Food,
  from Loleta to just west of Santa Rosa.

 If you find out that loved ones might be taking this path,
 tell them to pack like they were flying over the Andes with a soccer team.

 Koresh, in Death Valley you can buy a Deli sandwich and a Chocolate Yohoo,
 ...but not on 300 miles of prime California coastline, no sirree Bob!

 Somebody should move to California and open a restaurant on the west coast.
 You'll get all the business.

 Thursday afternoon, riding on fumes, California continued to play tricks on us.
 Again and again we'd pull over because the giant neon sign said, "Restaurant Open,"
 and then read the black magic marker underneath that said, "For Dinner at 6 PM."

 By 3:30, the leather in that crappy Hertz car started looking good to me, but then we saw a sign.
 "Timber Cove Inn - Restaurant and Resort" or something like that.

 We pulled off and saw it was all trendy.
 I was willing to put up with trendy if they had food.

 They had a big sign that said "Restaurant Open."
 You can tell I was raised Catholic - I fell for it again.

 But, they said the restaurant would open at 4:30, and I knew Santa Rosa was still
 a few hours ahead and the way things were looking, Santa Rosa would have no restaurants
 so we decided our best chance at staying alive was checking in and preparing to chow down.

 I was cringing at hearing what the room would cost, and was pleasantly surprised when he said
 "That'll be $65 for the room," and I thought that was a great price, but he said with this tax and
 that tax and this fee and that fee and yadda, yadda, yank-yank, the room ends up costing $160.

 Could be worse.
 It was our 25th anniversary and we had one paid-for night in a fancy place.

 Hot tub and a view - but no air-conditoner!!!

 But then we had a dinner appoinment with, ...Lurch.

Click  Here  for Chapter III

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