Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Fear and Loathing In Seattle: Prequel

As always, there’s the long version of this story, and
then there’s the short version (that somehow becomes
long by the time I’m done).This is my attempt at the
short version.

I’m not sure what inspired Fran the Man and myself to
road trip up the West Coast, but an inspiration it was.
We would fly to San Diego,rent a car, then proceed up
the Pacific Coast Highway, stopping only for major
cities, baseball games, pee breaks, fast food and loose
women. The trip would conclude in Seattle.

So as not to make this entry any more drawn out than
it needs to be, here’s the bulleted re-cap of the
first half of the trip, with key learnings:

- Philadelphia

Key learning:
This airport sucks.

- San Diego
Sketchy EconoLodge. Mission Beach = Girls in thongs,
meatheads. Mexican food. Getting drunk in Tijuana
and paying way too much for a pull-over hoodie thing
from a totally hot 15-year old Mexican girl. Over-
active bowels. Jack Murphy Stadium kind of stinks for

Key learning:
don't forget the sunscreen.

- Drive from San Diego to Los Angeles

Key learning:
As long as the ocean is on your left,
you’re going the right way.

- Los Angeles
Cab driver says that Hollywood actually isn’t anywhere
near our motel in Long Beach. We should have
researched this. Fran the Man drives us to the Rainbow
instead. (Where the fuck is Lemmy? I thought he lived
here…) Lost as shit trying to get back to Long Beach,
we go over the same bridge three times; end up at the
same waste transfer station each time. Next day:
lunch with Fran the Man’s buddy, Lieutenant Dan.
(That’s his real name/title).

Key learning: LA is bigger than you think. Check out
a map before you book your shitty motel. Or just go
to a fucking bar in Long Beach. You're not in Motley
Crue and it's not 1986.

- Los Angeles to San Francisco

Key learning:
So, when you’re on the PCH and you see
a sign that says “DETOUR, road closed 35 miles ahead”,
don’t be an idiot and say “35 miles? That’s like D.C.
to Baltimore! We’ll find another detour before then.”
Because you’ll feel like a total asshole when the sun
goes down and chick at the service station stares at
you and says “Road’s closed up ahead. You’re never
going to make it to San Francisco unless you turn
around and go back about 35 miles.”

Also, Big Sur is a lot prettier when you don’t drive
through it in the pitch dark. Or so they tell me.

- San Francisco
We make it in about 20 minutes after all the bars
close. Fran the Man keeps complaining about how cold
it is. An expensive afternoon at Amoeba Records. We
catch Nebula play a totally bad-ass set before a
nearly empty bar on Broadway, then proceed to a
gentleman's club. Somewhere in there we rode in a
limo (???) A moment of horror overlooking my ATM
receipts the next morning.

Key learning: Strip joints are not worth it. But the
limo was like $16.

- San Francisco to ?, California
Disaster. Truck went off a cliff somewhere south of
Ft. Bragg, and closes PCH. We’re detoured into the
mountains where we make a wrong turn. Narrow and
steep road. All the cars that used to be behind us
suddenly aren’t anywhere to be found. Drive through
clouds. Needle is close to EMPTY. Random (creepy)
cyclist tells us to turn around “before the road
ends”. 27-point turn. Ten minutes later, we pass all
those cars that used to be behind us, going the other
way and looking really bewildered and lost. Find a
gas station (barely) and a McDonalds. I take over
driving duties. Fran the Man = asleep, and I
accidentally drive into the fucking Redwood Forrest.
Slow. Dark. Alone. Scary. Fran the Man awakes
after three hours and we have traveled less than
90 miles. Sleep at the first motel we find.
Eureka? Crescent City? Heck if I know.

Key Learning: Don't take the PCH for granted. That
"ocean on the left" trick doesn't work the whole way.

- ?, California to Portland:
Flat tire. Stranded in a nowhere No Cal town during
repairs. Punk rock girl working the at diner
overhears us talking about our planned visit to Dot’s
Café in Portland and chimes in. She smiles and asks
to join us on our trip, because she has friends in
Portland we can stay with. We think she’s joking and
we (I) say something absurd like, "No girls allowed."

Key learning: I am so dumb. So very, very, very,
very fucking dumb. So so so so dumb.


Next up: Baseball, Baltimore punk-pop, and a whole
lot of vomit in the Pacific NW.

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