Sunday, July 18, 2010

part 9 -update and links

Holy crap! Did you make it through that whole story or did you just click on this page? It's summer of the year 2010 as I type this. Brianna and I are getting married in October somewhere in Oregon! We did end up moving here in 2006 and love it. Brianna is doing great for being a Californian. Somehow she likes all the rain here and might have even become allergic to the sun! We still miss our friends and family in Connecticut, San Pedro and Long Beach but we're having some sweet fun.

My long time buddy Barney Rubbish moved out a couple years ago from the other Portland in Maine. Together we annihilate camping spots from Mt Hood to Mt St. Helens in rain, snow and sun! Barney is a self proclaimed camp-baking-master. If you ask him about camping with me he will no doubt tell some bullshit tale about how he saved my life ten times. All I know is I always have to pack an extra knife cause he forgets his all the time. Or at least he has ten times. Not too long after Barney came out, a friend from Long Beach, Cliff Barackman, joined in ransacking Portland with out-of-towners.

                                             Barney Rubbish

Cliff and me both set our sights on Portland for the same reasons. It's the perfect city to live in for squatchin'. Cliff is a much more serious researcher than myself, packing in sound recorders, nightvision scopes, thermal cameras and game camera traps! He's been cool enough to let me tag along and learn the tricks of the trade. Over the past couple of years we have traveled hundreds of miles through all kinds of crazy remote spots. Cliff has come a long way since he got here and now has the best blog on bigfooting and other exciting things in the works. He's sacrificed and payed his dues spending more time in the woods than most! If you know where a bigfoot is hiding in the Pacific Northwest please contact him!

                                                  me and cliff

I would be a poser if I said I still ride my moped all the time. Just ask the Puddle Cutters, I'm retired for now. I used to ride it to work everyday until the commute became too far and I had to be at work at five thirty in the morning. Brianna on the other hand only works a couple miles away and was riding it everyday until she was hit by a car. She got lucky and was only a little beat up but nothing serious. Then more recently she crashed again, this time the brakes locked up and she flipped over the handle bars almost getting hit by a bus. Since then I figured the moped was better off broken in the garage. I do plan on getting it fixed soon with a combination lock only I know.

           Here are some links to places that have info on things!?


-to buy a moped in southern California go to Myron's!
       the guy who made Napoleon dynamite did

-on this link some buddies go from SF to South America! Moped long distance record by a couple creatures of the loin! below is their video!

-this is the story that gave me hope I could do this on a moped. Walter Muma's 1978 11,500 mile moped trip!

-to read about Dave Clark's motorcycle journeys the (guy who flagged me down on the Olympic Pennisula) try this link
                                     OUTDOOR SCHOOLS

-for a wilderness skill school in California I recommend Headwaters Outdoor School  

-I also highly recommend Mike's classes at Bushcraft Northwest
  his store is also chock full high quality stuff at great prices!

-Derek Randles runs awesome backpacking trips in the Olympic Peninsula. A bad ass outdoors man that can climb those ridge lines! If you ever wanted to explore the Olympic back country with a guide he's your man hands down!  If you don't believe me just ask Bob Saget.

-check out Cliff's blog

-a long time running, chock full of info site is the BFRO's

-for the cultural side to the bigfoot phenomenon check out bigfoot lunchclub

-ready to rock? check Tom Yamarone's bigfoot songs

- If anyone is going to get a camera trap picture, it's these guys!

-for early american bigfoot reports Scott McClean has the goods!

-you should also catch up on the legend of Bobo. a good place to start is here around the 2:51 mark. He's the guy spiking the ball and shootin' the guns!

part 8 - Gifford Pinchot to Portland

                           my Grandfathers house place

I found my way back to my hidden moped and strapped everything back on heading out once again. This time I was heading north from Seattle to Marysville to visit my Grandfather. I drove past Lake Crescent, took another swim and stopped in Port Angeles to visit a thrift store then stopped for the night in a little town called Sequim (pronounced Squim). The town reminded me of my hometown, Deep River, Connecticut. I stopped at the local pizza shop and noticed a cop followed me there. I was used to this by now after being pulled over two other times. Once, in Sonoma County by a CHP officer who seemed intent on giving me a hard time. He asked me where I was heading and upon hearing a primitive skills school his whole face changed. After talking for awhile he gave me back my ID without running it and let me be on my way! The second time was when I was riding on the shoulder of a highway in Monterey. The cop pulled me over, heard my story, and when he found that I came from Long Beach, told me he was from Torrance! He wished me well and gave me some directional advice not believing I drove a moped that far. Now in Sequim comes round three. The cop follows me into the pizza place and asks if that's my moped out there. Trying to be as polite as I could, I nodded and then he said "I don't want to bother you but, did you ride that all the way from California?" My answer did not disappoint him. We talked about my trip for awhile and I told him where I came from and he told me a story of getting stabbed in San Pedro (where I just moved from). "Yea, it's that kind of place", I said. He told me I had more balls them him to ride a moped that far and asked if he could take a picture because the other guys on the force wouldn't believe him. Being a sucker for a photo op I obliged and was glad I was three for three on run-ins with good cops.
I can't really explain my attraction to Sequim. It's not the pizza but maybe the giant concrete skate park that I took the moped through going off jumps, and carving the 10 ft. bowls. Maybe it was how everyone seemed pretty nice. At burger king the girl working hooked me up with a ton of extra food! I later paid for it in toilet time but luckily the town smelled good. Turns out Sequim is famous for its Lavender festival! I called Brianna on the Big Lots pay phone and talked into the night. It would be only about a week when we would meet up again! After our conversation a stray dog took a liking to me and I tried to cuddle with him as I slept behind the Big Lots. The next day crossing two ferries I made good time to Marysville and met up with my Grandfather.
He lived on a Native American owned trailer park that had 2,000 people in it but you would never know. Residents aren't allowed to drink alcohol outside their trailers or cut down plants and trees. My Grandfather lived there with his significant other, Jean, who was now unfortunately stuck in a wheel chair, so he had to look after her. We hadn't seen each other in a few years so it was good to catch up. I planned on staying for a day or two then heading to the Gifford Pinchot forest just northeast of Portland. By this point in the trip my back tire was bald. Being a retired mechanic, among other things, Gramps insisted on getting me a new tire. I knew that this was going to be a challenge but he would not let up. After what had to be at least 2 hours on the phone, he finally found a local place that could get one. But it would take three days to arrive.
For the next three days it was nonstop tales of bargains being got wherever a bargain could get got. "Need a paper towel? Here have one! $2.19 over at Albertson's, I go over to the Wal-Mart, $1.19". It seemed like with everything I touched I got the run down on where and when to buy it for the best deal. This guy had Marysville wired; he even knew the best times to hit the local buffets! On my last day he took me out to Seattle and we had lunch in the Space Needle. I like going places with Gramps because he is a rare breed, an old school loud guy willing to haggle anything and everything to save a nickel. I remember him when I was younger being twice as loud and crazy. Nowadays he just sticks to loud bad jokes that nobody gets. I hope to be like him if I make it to be an old man. I guess I already am in some ways, especially the stubborn bullheadedness that got me to his house on a moped in the first place. My favorite of his bad jokes was when a hostess or valet or someone would ask him a question. He would look down near his feet and repeat the question to an invisible little man named Charlie. I chuckled every time mostly because of the awkwardness of the person not knowing what the hell was going on. They had a stunned look on their face like "this guy is crazy". Some people, like the hostesses, just flat ignored him. I loved his bad jokes and those who did not get them were no friends of mine. It was good to spend some time with Gramps and Jean but as usual the road was a calling. I would only have time enough to spend three days in Gifford Pinchot home to Mt St. Helens, before needing to be in Portland to catch a ride home with Foxy Autopsy.

                                                      Mt St. Helens

I left early with the new tire on and it was another long hard ride on the moped. I took the back roads from Marysville to a town outside the forest called Morton. Taking a break there and getting a good thick peanut butter and jelly sandwich in me, I relaxed a bit by watching some kids skateboard on the main street. I couldn't resist, I had to borrow a board. I asked a kid and he looked at me nervously saying "you break it I buy it". I abided and took off all fast and did a "whosey-whatsy" which is basically an old time skateboard trick I named, the kid was very impressed and asked if I was "sponsored". Our little jam session continued for awhile until the local cop drove by and we all went our separate ways. It was getting close to midnight and I decided it would be beautiful to ride through Gifford Pinchot and find a place to camp.

        Portland via Gifford Pinchot Forest

Around midnight I stopped at the last soda machine before there was nothing but forest. As I paused to get an iced tea a car pulled up to do the same, but maybe to get a different drink? The man in the car took a look at me and seemed petrified as he sped away. The sight of me must have quenched his thirst. I admit I did look like a crazy moped terrorist with my camouflage scent proof hunting suit, but come on, they were the only pants I brought and the only warm jacket I had. Besides what kind of a "scary terrorist" rides a turquoise and yellow moped?! I laughed the incident off, got my drink and looked over my Washington state map to see if I could find a good place to camp. Right about then a beat up camper pulling a beat up boat pulled up and a drunk ass bastard hopped out to see me looking at my map. Without hesitation he yells "where ya going"? Points out a place on the map and says "camp there! It's a good spot and no one will fuck with you". I love old bastards like that and took his advice.

I tried to find the place he was talking about but must have got lost. The full moon cast dark shadows everywhere and the creepy moss draping off trees didn't help either. So far on my trip I didn't freak out too bad but I could feel the goose bumps creeping up. It was well past midnight and I was ready for sleep. My exhaustion was getting the best of me and I was starting to see road goblins along the side of the road. I was now frantically looking for a place to pull off and be hidden for the night. My mind decided to get the best of me however and soon I imagined dark figures in black hooded robes. No matter how fast I went they were always up ahead until finally they make a circle around me and locked hands all the while chanting. I finally freaked myself the fuck out! I floored the moped up to a whopping 33mph and got off the dark dirt road. 

 When I calmed down and found a good spot, I reprimanded my dumb mind and slept great. In the morning I tried to find Skookum Meadows, but without a detailed map I got easily lost and spent a couple nights up in the mountains instead. I slept under the stars with no tarp over me and one morning woke up to a deer about 20ft. away. At night I could hear the howl of a pack of coyotes and at dawn I explored around looking at tracks. This time I stuck mostly to the logging roads which were extremely hard to navigate on since they were gravel and my back brakes had given out a few miles back. Going down steep hills was a bit of a challenge and I almost dumped the moped several times. On what would be my last day in the forest I went for a long hike on a well used Elk trail. Something up ahead stood out and I wasn't sure what I was looking at. When I got closer I realized I found a femur bone to a huge animal. Like an eager detective I searched for more. I was hoping to find the remains of a bear or better yet, you know who. As the mystery was unfolding I realized it was a four legged animal and probably a large Elk. The bones were scattered about quite successfully by the smaller mammals of the forest but before long I found the skull! It was the ultimate present from Nature to end my trip with!

                  Gifford Pinchot to Portland
                                welcome to Oregon
Heading back to Portland took 10 hours and the terrain on the east side of the Cascades is a hot-ass desert. So hot that I took my shirt off and that made it even hotter! Riding full blown dickhead style I finally arrived in town and went straight to my favorite place to eat, Burgerville, and mumbled my order with exhaustion on my breath. I called Kalashia and she told me the bad news that she crashed her borrowed scooter and broke her collarbone. She still let me stay at her lonely apartment and even found a place for me to keep my moped. My moped would be staying with a drunken clown named Bob until Brianna and I eventually relocated there.

 Brianna arrived the next day for Foxy Autopsy's first show of the week long tour. Also known as Beige Taupe Sandstorm, she looked absolutely beautiful with her blonde curls and fabulous outfit. Love was in the air and I'll spare you the details but I was tremendously glad we made it through the summer and were back together.

 The next day we left for the rest of the tour heading in the direction of home. It was sad to leave behind my trusty moped but I knew our days were far from over and we'd meet up someday soon.

                                                Beige, Kate and Coco

As I sit here back in the Los Angeles area typing this, I still have a hard time figuring out everything that happened on this trip. When I see friends they ask me about it and I'm not sure how to sum it all up. Writing this was almost as hard as the trip itself. I had to leave some stuff out, I know I mis-worded small details and didn't elaborate enough on others. I guess I'll just have to say "tough titty" about all that. What I am sure about my moped bigfoot search is that it was one of the hardest things I've done. Concentrating on the road in front of me for hours to make sure I don't run over a nail or piece glass, avoiding getting thrown off the road by all kinds of vehicles, being deep in the forest with minimal equipment wondering if I'd make it out, having over 100 mosquito bites, thinking I was about to be eaten by Christians or sacrificed by Satanists, living off of granola bars, not finding bigfoot, being road worn and not talking to a person for days, wearing a camouflage outfit, having an ass so sore from lack of proper padding it felt as though it fell off, bugs bouncing of my eyeballs and face when I had no glasses (until I found a pair on the road) terrible sunburns on my face, gusty winds trying to kill me, pushing the moped with a flat tire for miles in 100+ degrees after endless tire changes, pushing my crap over the Golden Gate bridge, getting lost in a logged out tweeker town, having some beady eyed old hippie guy with feathers in his hair tell me that I wasn't going to make it past Eureka without dying, loneliness, dehydration, hunger, boredom, general stress, and the uncertainty that things will work out, all should have been enough to make me throw in the towel. There were countless times that I felt I should quit, but in retrospect, maybe the bad made for an even better adventure! I guess my biggest accomplishment in all this is that I did it! I may not of found any important evidence to support the existence of a North American Ape but I did manage to escape my life's daily ruts for awhile and live my weird freakin' dreams! My plans for combining wilderness and martial arts skills, bigfoot, mopeds, the forest and life, with a splash of crazy went over swimmingly. bigfoot sighting or not, it was still all worth it. Hopefully next time I will be a little bit more prepared and really pull some crap off! I don't know, I thought this trip would have gotten all this out of my system but here I am 4 months later thinking about my next adventure! Maybe a cross country bigfoot search is in order! Well this is the end I guess, Hope you liked my story. 

                                          Craig Flipy   Autumn      2005


part 7 - Olympic forest

            The Olympic Forest - new growth
Lake Crescent, as I saw it through the lens, reflected off the mirror and now seen on your computer screen
After a half hour ferry ride I was smack dab on the Olympic peninsula. This would be the start of the journey I was most excited about, so my nips were banging with anticipation. From the small town of Kingston I followed the 101 hwy driving slow so I could check everything out. It eventually started to feel like bigfootland. The forest was painted with greens and browns. The moss was big, fluffy and out of control. Large animal trails could be seen crossing the highway everywhere. I was convinced that this place would offer my best chance of seeing a squatchy-poo!
I couldn't of been more psyched then when I rounded the bend and came upon the whimsical Lake Crescent! From a distance all I saw was a huge bright turquoise lake. I would be lying if I said that I didn't get a little teary eyed. I barely cry ever, because I'm such a moped driving man, but traveling through this area I felt as though I've been there before and I was too overwhelmed and just let the tears go. I cried like a gentle chinchilla shivers in the wind, rapidly and fully.

When I got up-close and personal I couldn't believe how clear and cold the water was. It remains around 60 degrees in the dead of summer. Not wanting to be rude to the beauty of the lake I dipped my almost naked body right into that sucker. One second later I was infested with goosebumps and broke out into some sweet shivers. Even though the water was freezing it was the absolute bomb! This was the most beautiful lake I ever dunked my stupid ass into! I immediately sensed the area was mysterious and sacred but it wouldn't be until later that I heard its crazy tales of sea monsters, dragon tears, ghosts and Bigfoot sightings!

 The lake is officially the second deepest in Washington but the depth in some spots in unknown. It was formed by glaciers digging out a valley thousands of years ago or by a Storm King throwing boulders. Some think there are underground tunnels that connect with the ocean to the west and that's how the sea serpents come and go as they please. There have been a lot of sightings on the lake but I have to add that when the wind kicks up it can make the top of the water look like it has tiny humps protruding from its surface. But the fact that you can see about 100 feet down and fisherman have seen huge animals swimming below them is a little creepy.  Another story about something creepy from down below is the classic "lady of the lake" story. 

  I've heard a couple versions but the one that creeped me out the most and probably isn't as true starts with a fisherman napping on Lake Crescent. His dreams turn to scary crap when he starts to swim below the lakes surface. He sees some fish and gets excited but eventually keeps traveling further down to explore the bottom. At the bottom he comes face to face with a ghost lady and panics trying to escape her evil clutches. He then swims with every ounce of adrenaline to get him to the surface. Just as he bursts through the lake gasping for air the fisherman wakes violently from his dream. The lake is quiet and serene as he sees the floating corpse of a woman just a few feet from his boat. 
Im not sure if that part is true but for sure a lady was murdered, wrapped in blankets, hog tied and thrown in the lake. Eventually the thick rope let go and her body rose to the surface causing the legend of the Lady of the Lake. The craziest part is that she was fairly preserved. The bottom of the lake is so cold and the minerals were just right to make the fats of the body into soap. 
                                                     'effin- a  sweet bro!
After taking my freezing dip and drying my little bitch eyes it was time to move. A few miles down the road a biker dude rode past me and waved. I did the biker “under the handle bar” wave back to him as he past. He of course flew by me as my top speed was about 33mph and his was way more. I could see him kinda do a double take in his mirrors and I realized he was trying to comprehend what he just saw. It wasn't a bicycle? What the hell was it? He pulled over up ahead and we greeted and checked out each others ride. He had a new looking motorcycle, perfect for a road trip. It wasn't too geared out and I could tell this was a good dude. He told me his name was David and he was from San Diego and was basically doing the same thing as me, minus the bigfoot/moped angle. He was camping out under the stars, riding alone and enjoying whatever the road had to offer. He told me about his various motorcycles and even a Puch moped he had. We "parted" ways going in the same direction only to meet up at a gas station down the road. After some laughs he was nice enough to buy me a good luck meal before I hit the forest for a week. I was glad to have met someone like him.  I found out in my two months on the road that there aren't many people that will give a weirdo on a moped the time of day, much less offer some good company and a meal. When I got home he sent me an email with some photos and even wrote about me for Motorcycle magazine!

                                               David "living his dreams"

Full on a veggie Subway sandwich I headed for the south fork of the Hoh River. The map of the area I had showed this to be one of the most remote. I wanted to stay away from main trails and just follow animal ones. I camouflaged my moped quite well in a bush and took off into the mountains. It didn't take me long to realize I headed off into an area that was logged some time ago. This second growth forest was nearly impenetrable. I had to crawl on my stomach and jump over things and work my way down steep cliffs. By the end of the day I was only a couple hills away from where I started fully exhausted. My planned meals for the week were fish if the fishing looked good, rice and lentils, but mostly Clif energy bars. I got enough to have 2-3 a day. Unfortunately it was a bad time for fish because I didn't know dick about fishing.  I did eat some plant buddies whenever I came upon some eatable deliciousness but mostly just ate the little I brought.

                                               the sour apple tasting wood sorrel

I tried to set up camp in a spot that I could most likely see some wildlife. Perched above a stream on a hillside I had a Birdseye view if something were to get a drink. The thick blanket of night soon wrapped me up and there was a problem. It was so dark in this second growth area that I couldn't see my hand in front of my face. I pulled out my night vision scope and could only see about two feet in front of me. A sense of calmness developed when I decided not to panic just because I couldn't see. I just accepted what was going on and relaxed. As I lay in my sleeping bag that night my mind stretched its limits to hear, smell, see, taste, feel or sense anything that was moving about. Sounds of small mammals surrounded me throughout the night adding dimension to my weirdo dreams of sexual wolves jumping off cliffs and mountain lions crying next to me while I slept. In the morning I vowed to claw my way out of the jungle and keep heading to the part of the tree line in the distance that I could see was taller, the old growth part. 
             The Olympic Forest, old growth

When I found my way into the old growth I no longer had to belly crawl on animal trails. I could stand up and walk among the tall ferns and huge Douglas fir, Cedar and Hemlock trees. I tried not to step on too many plants but after seeing the damage bears and elk do I was a little less worried. Sticking to Elk trails brought me easily through the forest. They occasionally led me to water where I spent a lot of my time just sitting quietly trying look for clues. I only saw one print that looked like a footprint but it was not very good and in gravel. Other than that I couldn't say I was close to finding a sasquatch. It was hard enough to find an animal during the day. I really could only get the best "hunting" done in the morning and sunset because during night it was so hard to see anything. I didn't want to bring attention to myself by using a flashlight so I used my nightvision scope. Since visibility was limited to a few feet it was pretty hard to walk around peering through a monocular. I decided to just relax and enjoy myself and not get too caught up in searching day and night for a hair, footprint or to get some blurry footage of a sasquatch. 


One of my first lines of relaxation business was getting buck naked and lying in a stream. There was some naked hesitation at first but that soon faded away. While I was working on my bikini area tan I looked over in the sand and saw something that made my naked weiner feel vulnerable. Giant mountain Lion prints! They looked very fresh and from my rough estimate the cat must have been over 100 pounds. Suddenly I felt very naked, it was mid afternoon so I was pretty certain it wouldn't have been around but I still heightened my awareness as I gently laid my buttocks in the icy stream. 

I went through weird psychological stages through the week. The first couple of days I felt like an intruder. Gradually, my DNA kicked in, and I came to realize that many, many whiteys before me had made homes in forests such as these. On the last days I finally felt relaxed and at home in my new favorite forest! 
I also got more confident at night that I wasn't going to be eaten which made sleep better even though the night sounds could be creepy. I thought I heard everything from a pack of dogs howling, to a baby crying, Indians singing, various whispering, someone saying "what's that" over and over, and once a deep King Kong type of roar! All Sasquatch possibilities I suppose. It's funny what you can get used to after awhile. 

                                                 Rain forest buddy slug
Even with all my new found wilderness confidence, I began to speculate about where I was and if I could make it back out. I didn't look at a map since I first dived into the thickets. I sent my compass home because I didn't know how to use it and now I was basically lost in the Olympic forest. I think I broke every survival rule there was for keeping yourself safe in remote wilderness. It almost seemed as if I sent myself on a suicide mission. People get lost in much smaller forests than this. I've already proved to myself that I wasn't the most competent woodsman so I guess my only excuse was I trusted myself to get me back out.  I couldn't even get a good view of the mountains around me to position where I was and where I needed to be. The trees were so tall and impossible to climb. It was hard enough to see the sky and even so the sun was almost always behind the clouds. I felt I had a good sense of direction in the wilderness so I didn't freak out. I kept on climbing steep and scary terrain while my cheap backpack fell apart bit by bit. This thing got so torn up from bushes and devils club that both straps were about to break. I cursed having that thing most of my time out there but enjoyed the warmth of my sleeping bag at night and a tarp over my head on those misty mornings. I still longed for the freedom of having nothing but a knife, the clothes on my back and maybe a rope like in Tom Brown's books, but I had to face the facts that I just didn't have the skills to pull that off. I did what I could, and the deeper I went the closer I felt I was to finding something .

 I did get a chance to feel what it would be like to see a bigfoot. I know this sounds weird, but if your still reading this you already know weird! There was a time out there I thought I was about to come face to face with what I was looking for! Not long after getting fairly deep into thick of the land I heard what sounded like "wood knocks". These "wood knocks" are described by many bigfoot researchers as the sounds of squatches banging on trees with sticks to communicate long distances with each other. Being in a particularly creepy spot of the woods where I already had goosebumps I heard three loud knocks about 50 feet away. This had to happen when I was in the process of crapping and it freaked me out. If I was wearing pants at the time I would have been literally “shitting my pants”. Getting the crap process finished up as fast as I could and grabbed my camera ready to film the wood knocking squatch. Following the knocks I realized they were jumping around tree to tree. I became increasingly nervous as I got closer to where I felt they were coming from. Then there was a flash from above and the knocker revealed themselves! A Pileated Woodpecker! A huge one too! What a relief! I don't think I was ready to come face to face with a 7ft. Ape anyways. I wonder how many of these reported bigfoot wood knocks have been squatchpeckers! To be fair though, a lot of wood knocks occur in the dead of night when woodpeckers are sleeping. This would be the climatic anticlimactic event to end the Olympic leg of my journey! 

                                                 Pileated squatchpeckers!
I loved every second of being in the Olympic forest and every second of squatchin'! I guess what I planned on doing and what I ended up doing were two different things. I hate being restrained by time or lack of money. These are the typical excuses in life that hold most people back from "living their dreams". Although I was free of this for awhile, I was not totally free from it. I didn't have the skills mastered for sustained wilderness living. I had a girlfriend and job to get back to. My lack of experience would keep me from my original plan of living deep in the woods for at least a month. I wasn't sure if I could make it to this forest on my moped from California so I ditched that plan and visited a few places for a few days instead. The longer I explored this area the more I felt I wouldn't find a sasquatch. Maybe this wasn't the best idea. Maybe the people who blast prerecorded "bigfoot calls" and leave opened cans of cat food out around their RV's were on to something. In retrospect, no, I don't think so, I still think this style is the way to go. Maybe a team of about 15-30 experienced trackers and wilderness livers working together could figure this whole mystery out within a couple months. But maybe these creatures are just more intelligent and aware then we think. But if that's true why do they run out in front of cars? I don't know, I guess I wouldn't be wrapping up this mystery this time .
I was hoping for my own incredible sighting like my favorite from one of John Green's books where a guy witnesses two females near a stream. He knew they were female because they had boobs and one had "swelling in the genital area that it kept rubbing". After about an hour long nap they pull up some water plants to eat. Then out of nowhere one bends halfway over and takes a shit into the stream. The creature then proceeds to wipe its ass with its hand and lick it ever so briefly! If I had a sighting like that, I think I could retire from life! 
On the sixth day I started to try to find my way out. I followed a small stream down hill that lead to a bigger one and eventually found my way to the south fork of the Hoh River. I made camp and explored the river banks and found an epic Elk antler! Rounding out the day with some rice and lentils I watched some bird's fish along the river and tracked a small mammal. When night fell I stared up at the stars wondering if there was sasquatch poop floating down the river I slept near. Just as my gentle eyes gave way to their sleeping position I heard two distant gunshots and hoped my Elk buddies got away.

                         In 2005 this area was not yet known for sparkling vampires and shirtless wolf packs

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

part 6 - Seattle moped rally

 By this point in my trip I was pretty fed up with driving on highways. The Pacific Northwest has beautiful back roads that weave all through bigfoot country. I decided on crossing the Columbia river a little west of Portland on the hwy30 to the town of Longview, Washington. When I rounded the bend and saw the size of the bridge I got scared!

 I packed up my pussnuts and headed on over it anyways. Driving until dark I tiredly found myself outside of a Tacoma Army base camping in a small patch of woods just off the road. I had no idea that that night would be one of the worst nights of my outdoor sleeping life! I only caught an hour or two of continuous sleep. It was attack of the mosquitoes! They were well organized, plentiful, and demanding. They not only got around my mosquito netting but into my sleeping bag. I think even my underwear. Upon checking my journal I found that the next morning I wrote, "fuck those fucks. I got bites everywhere, this trip is stupid. I'm in Burger King and I love it! Fuck nature and bigfoot, there, I wrote it". I guess its nights like those that make a person either quit camping or become better at it. Maybe next time I would pay attention to how I set things up and not skimp on something like mosquito netting!
The morning drive to Seattle was fairly easy once I rode the grumpiness out. I would soon make things more frustrating for myself when I saw that the only contact information I had for the fellow mopeders in Seattle were the words "Vashon Island" and a time. I had no phone numbers, addresses or directions. This sure was a trip about patience, learning and understanding.......... that I'm a dumbass! I got downtown through instinct and rode around a bit until I was tired and lost. I rode up on a bridge unsure if I should cross it or not. I decided to stop along the sidewalk and talk to a cool construction type of guy. He  complimented my moped and as we began talking and he said a phrase I was getting used to hearing on this trip "Is that a moped? I used to have one of those!" apparently everyone and their mother used to have one. I told of my journey and current plight and just as he was telling me how to get to the proper ferry terminal I heard the unmistakable sound of a lone moped off in the distance. We both stopped talking and turned to see a lone moped cruise by. I grabbed my helmet, yelled "thanks dude!" and took off after that moped. I crossed the bridge after it and we finally met up at a red light. Introducing ourselves he said "come to the rally! just follow me! It's right down the road, I think we can make it". 

                                                      ferry to Vashon Island

The car line for the ferry was very long so we went around it. At the front was the moped group and we snuck on board minutes before takeoff! What luck! I took this time to reflect on the unseen powers of the universe. Looking around, there had to be at least 50 mopeds. So far on my trip I only saw one in Portland when I was walking around. Now I get to ride in a full pack taking over the town, swarming and destroying! I didn't plan on making it to this meeting because I wanted this trip to be more of a bigfoot search so I didn't take note of the exact date or time. Now, here I am by weird fate! As for squatchin', I haven't done much so far, but this moped rally was just for the weekend so it wouldn't be taking up too much time. Besides, the Olympic mountains were now in sight!
The ferry docked, the mopeds revved up and it was party time. We all took off in unison avoiding collisions riding as one! There were old mopeds, new mopeds, fast mopeds, slow mopeds, and everything in between. The combined engine noise of all these mopeds (65) was something equivalent to the noise those mosquito's made in my ear the previous night and then some. 

                                                  Joey and his boombox
We rode to an Eagles Hall. I guess my strange appearance along with all my gear and California license plate gave me away as someone who traveled quite the distance. The Moped Army's Seattle chapter, "The Mosquito Fleet" introduced themselves and welcomed me to their get together. I met most of the other Mosquito Fleeters and was glad to be in the company of some good dudes and dudettes. I scanned about the outside area to see if Bryan of Myron's was there. I asked around remembering that he was coming up with "The Creatures of the Loin", a San Francisco chapter of Moped Army. Bryan left a little after me from LA too and was heading to this meeting. The Creatures were the only other ones to actually have mopeded many miles to get there. Upon our meeting I could tell that they were my kind of dirt bags. 

                                           Creatures of the Loin with Bryan from Myrons on right!

The five that made the drive were Benji, Jay, Gram, Newport and Lee. I asked them what happened to Bryan and they told me a story involving crashes, bad omens, falling outs and saying goodbye in Chinese. He still made an epic journey going all the way from LA to past SF and back. That's a lot of gusty wind and cliff battling! If there's one thing I learned it's that the moped road can be a strange mind bending experience. It even has the power to leave good friends hating on one another, but in my book people that can do 1,000+ miles on a moped should be able to squash the beef. It was really too bad Bryan couldn't of made it because there was some fun moped times going down. Everyone was having fun and the festivities were about to kick off!
First off was a slow race. Who ever crossed the finish line last would win. Interesting concept that had a couple of spills and epic balance acts. Next on the schedule was some cookout obstacle course complete with jumps. The best jump by far was by one of the "Tom Cruisers" from Arizona, Ryan Murray, he was the only one to hit the impossible staircase jump at full speed. Unfortunately the plank that on top of the staircase gave out and he crashed right into and over the three stepped staircase. Needless to say he got messed up for the weekend with that brave attempt! The day continued with more drinking, eating, and moped fun until we drove back to the ferry for some Seattle nighttime fun.

                                                              Killa Curt rad jumping!

We reconvened to the Mosquito Fleets favorite bar, the Mars Bar. There was some musical rock action to be had so I opted for practicing rolls on the grass outside to endless drinking. Besides, outside the bar was just as good of a hangout spot. It was cool to see 50 mopeds parked in a line with people checking them out. Awards were going to be presented soon so people were casting their votes. Categories included best crash, most creative moped, ugliest moped, best stock moped, etc. Not too long after the votes were in it was award time. Most creative went to Joey the kid with a boom box mounted on his moped who was sleeping on the ground, best crash went to the guy who crashed all crazy from the Tom Cruisers. A rad dude named Justin won "people's choice" and I won "ugliest moped". Disgusted, I thought "I came all the way from LA for this crap"! I threw the award through the window of the bar and kicked over the line of mopeds which caused them to fall on Joey who was gently resting. I then flew into a rage and started punching and puking on people nonstop for hours. Alright I was lying about that last sentence or two. But ya, I did win ugliest moped and even voted for myself. 

                                                        my beautiful ugliest moped award
                Seattle Moped Rally, day II
Day one of moped rally ended with night-night time at "the house of sin" where some of the Mosquito Fleet lived. Hearing the name "house of sin" and staying in my fair share of punk houses I expected the worse. To my relief it was a paradise! Carpeted floors with running hot water! Wahoo! There was even a great view of the Olympic Mountains! I slept dang well and woke up refreshed and ready for more moped action. The Creatures, a couple "Tom Cruisers" from Arizona and Killa Curt from Chicago were stationed here. I talked a little with them about bigfoot stuff and my trip so far. Killa Curt asked me where I was headed next. I paused for a moment and looking out the big bay window to the west and pointed to the Magnificent Olympic Mountains. "There", I said. "I should be there in a day or so's time". Surprisingly they were quite supportive and even wished they could join along. I myself was ready to bolt off into those darn mountains, spar with a cougar, fish with my hands, not shave, and find myself a squatch buddy. But there was still another full day of a moped rally in front of me and soon we were headed for downtown. I couldn't get over the well organized Mosquito Fleet rally. They guided us through the city with easeful mastery. About four of them had modified mopeds that went 45-50mph or more. At every intersection they'd block off traffic as 50 or more mopeds went whizzing by, then after the last moped crossed the intersection they'd fly up past us all to the next one and do the same. It was awesome! These guys didn't take any shit and they protected our big/little moped group like careful Nurturers. 

                                             a pile of mopeds on a ferry
Eventually we watched people get fish thrown at them at the famous Pike Place fish market, then got some lunch and watched tourists and stuff. My favorite were the Japanese tourist girls that looked "hyper electric cool" in their weird rave gear/party in America outfits. Not having much money for tourist festivities I longed for some library time. I was not alone in my Library needs and a small Library group was assembled which included Simon King, the guy behind all this Moped Army jazz. Our wandering about took us on a couple detours including a trip to a top secret bank office with a beautiful skyscraper view of the city! By the time we got to the Library it was closed but we still enjoyed its marvelous architecture from the outside. After some more sightseeing we rounded out the day watching the sunset at a nice little park overlooking the harbor and city. Dusk brought out the ninja in me and soon I was with Jay of the Creatures practicing some stealth walking and sneaking up on people. Before long no one could keep their back turned on us without getting poked with a stick or finger. Oh the good times to be had during magic hour! A little after the sun was completely down a few of us headed out. 

On our way out of the park someone started yelling crap at us, a moped broke down and with us all stopped it looked like we wanted to throw down.We parked near each other and waited to see if the moped could be fixed. Shitty comments were yelled from the tree line by several wack dudes. There had to been at least 4 of them and there were 6-7 of us. They were yelling the typical kind of stuff like "get real bikes, faggots" but they also yelled out some new ones like "you guys probably suck at a lot of stuff".  As time went on it began to look like fighting would be inevitable. The moped would not start and the ambulance (the broken moped pick up vehicle that was actually an ambulance) had to be called. Now about 20 or so minutes have gone by and these guys in the shadows are starting to get closer, there was talk about rushing them and kicking their asses but I  hoped for that not to happen. The idea of defending ones honor and defeating the enemy is a bold and glorious one.Who wouldn't love the dramatic conclusion of an epic mopeders-versus-jocks-all-out-chain-and-pipe-battle whereby I end up dead/hospital/jail or later rejoicing with a blood covered knife and a beer? I was glad to just get out of there. I could not be sidetracked from my main objective of finding that elusive jerk, Bigfoot.
We all got out of there fine and back to the house of sin. We stayed up late talking mopeds and life. Knowing I had to leave the next day was not easy as I had made some rad buddy friends. 
In the morning we went to this little restaurant that made huge 12 egg omelets! Five eggs deep I started to hear some pretty good stories. Chunk, a Mosquito Fleeter told me about his helmet that was actually a cop's that he swiped during a scuffle at the WTO riots! He was my new hero. I also heard about the little known war between Canadian and American fishing boats during a horrible fishing season a few years back. Blaming each other for no fish and actually had shootouts! The Canadians surrounded and blocked US boats to keep them from sailing out. It's a crazy world out there man, crazy. The powerful pull of the Olympics were calling louder than ever and it was time to continue on my journey. I packed up crappily and said goodbye. Jay vowed to perfect the weasel stealth walk and I vowed to find bigfoot. He got off easy.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Part 5 - Oregon

Riding out of Happy Camp felt great! A cool breeze, perfect running moped and a rejuvenated attitude. I went past previous camp spots, saw a bitchin deer, drank some stream water and finally hit the Oregon border! Arriving near the town of Caves Junction my front tire slipped off the road then into sand causing me to "eat it". I was back up before gas could leak out of the tank and the on coming car could hit me! My dumb ass did get cut up on the hot pavement and I even ripped up my fabulous camouflage army pants.
 This would be the second time so far that I crashed. The first time was perfect. About an hour past San Francisco a few cars gathered behind me on a windy narrow road. There wasn't enough room for me to pull over so I just tried to go as fast as I could. This plan didn't work out well because I started going uphill loosing speed. Just to the right was a steep grassy bank that went sharply uphill. I could hear a bunch of cars behind me so I wanted to check my mirror. As soon as I made eye contact with the angry driver behind me I accidentally went off the road! Luckily I had a split second to slow down enough that when I fell into the bank it must of looked like it was done on purpose! I just sat there smiling and waving to the cars as they passed by. 
Trotting along to Grants Pass,I would have liked to rest, but the town was hot and sucky. Right off the bat I met a scumbag who told me the local cops are bullshit. He said they'd try to bust me for nothing, then left me with the words, "I'm homeless too, bro!" I yelled back, "I'm not homeless, I got a tarp and know how to make a moped lean-to!" He yelled back "the lean-to has stood the test of time brother". I thought, "So have scumbags!" Speaking of which, I decided that I needed to get rid of my giant Indian made khukuri machete. Since it weighed a couple pounds and I hadn't even used it, I didn't need a reason to get messed up by the po-po. Upon seeing a metal head dude and I asked him which way it was to the highway. I then asked the follow up question "would you like to buy a kick ass machete". I offered it for the price of $5, he went to his car and gave me about $10 in change, a phone card, and a little pocket knife. Awesome! I headed onto interstate 5, which was a mistake but the fastest way out.

                                                    moped lean-to stands the test of time

Driving down a main road is nerve racking enough. You've got to try to keep from getting sucked into windy drafts from trucks passing too close, avoid potholes, animals and whatever else. Driving a moped on a busy Interstate is a whole other bitch. Even though there is more room to drive on the shoulder, having huge trucks going about 60-70mph past you one after the other is a lesson in pants-shitting. I tried to think happy thoughts of having a rad girlfriend back home, a fairly radical family back east not and possibly riding a Bigfoot in the near future. but a few feet from me, a mere few inches to my left is certain death. Some assholes even added to the dilemma by slamming on their horn as they went by. I began to feel like a nervous ferret. I kept on trucking as far as I could until the road brought me to the town of Wolf Creek. Now, I was only there for about 10 minutes but I suspect that they know how to party in Wolf Creek. I stopped at the local gas station convenience store and saw various biker gangs roll in, a couple older punker types, a VW bus with hippies from a local commune, and a couple Hesh dudes that looked like they were in the movie River's Edge.

                                   Wolf Creek Oregon, near the river's edge

I made a mental note that in the future I need to visit Wolf Creek. But for the time being, I was off to Portland to rest up at my old friend Kalashia's house and check out the city for possible relocation girlfriend, Brianna.


To avoid the 5 interstate I decided to take a "shortcut" through a state forest. Four hours later I ended up where I should have been three hours before. Not only were there no signs on the forest roads, they weren't on the map, which incidentally blew out of the little yellow basket affectionately referred to as my "bitch basket". It was dark, late, I had no map and when I finally found my way out of the forest I was so worn out and ready for sleep I could have pulled over anywhere. Having a bad feeling, I decided to keep going until I found the perfect spot. Somewhere quiet where I wouldn't get woken up by people or animals or at least somewhere where I felt safe. At around midnight I thought I was onto something. I saw from a great distance huge amounts of light illuminating the sky. I imagined a Super Wal-Mart with plenty of room behind it to build a great sleep shelter. About 15 minutes later I rounded a bend and was sadly mistaken. The lights were that of a 24hr plywood making factory. Maybe it was my state of mind but this whole thing was very eerie and creepy to me. I wanted to get far away and never build anything out of plywood again, not even a skateboard ramp. I rode on past all this to the town of Riddle. I rode around trying to solve the riddle of finding a good hiding spot to bed down in. There was something unsettling about the town and I got a feeling it was a redneck, speed-soaked place. I decided I couldn't stay there and rode on. Unfortunately with no map I got lost again, this time in a weird ass trailer park. I know that you won't believe me but guess what happened!? A shirtless mullet dude burst out of the shadows on a beat up bicycle and was riding neck and neck with me. He grinned like a maniac and reached out with one hand to try to grab my arm! This was some wicked bullshit so I full throttled it and got out of there. It was like the twilight zone, almost every house had its lights on and it was one o'clock in the morning. I took off down a long dark road with visions of dancing scumbags nipping at my heels, finally falling off my moped and sleeping where I fell. At this point I had been on the road for at least 12 hours and somehow I circumnavigated back to Riddle. This was not cool. I turned the other way out of town and finally got to a 24hr. gas station and got a new map. I saw the layout of the current Hell I was in and wondered how to get out. Soon enough a car full of punk kids rolled up and I figured they were the ones to ask. I asked the kid wearing a Misfits skull shirt (who I thought was wearing eye makeup) where a good place to camp was. As he told me I realized he didn't have makeup on, he had one of the worst black eyes I had ever seen! He pointed me in the direction of the town Myrtle Beach. There was a campground about 4 miles away. I didn't think I could make it, but I had to try.
I arrived just fine to the campground, but found that it was fully booked because of a 3 day music festival. Wondering if I was going to get any sleep at all, I went the 7-11 and got some shitty pizza. While I was eating outside an old hippie dude with his dog inquired about my existence. I told him my story and we talked about music for awhile. He told me how he was washing dishes one day in the 70's, listening to Blue Oyster Cult, and out of nowhere was "turned on". I then related how tired I was trying to get away. He suggested that I don't sleep, stay up all night with him and his dog and wait until the music festival starts. Then fully exhausted, I could lay down in the middle of the field to let the music run through my body and take me away. I said goodnight, went back to the campground and passed out next to a telephone pole.
After a long cold sleep I woke up somewhat refreshed. Even though I could make it to Portland that night I decided to take it easy and break it up into two days and save what was left of my mind. My friend Kate offered me a place to stay in Eugene but I decided to keep going north to the town of Corvallis. After arriving there I called Brianna and complained of my last 24hrs wishing I could transport back to Long Beach. Driving around Corvallis for a awhile I decided to keep going. Just past town I saw a state park on my map. I figured I could make it there before dark so I went for it.

Attack of the Christians

I drove up to the small state park right before it closed to try to sneak a sleep somewhere since there was no overnight camping permitted. Seeing the host of the campground's RV and motorcycle parked just outside I decided to knock on the door and plead my case. After the first knock it was obvious that there was no one there so I prepared to go find my hideout spot. As I was passing the still opened front gate an odd looking man pulled up to an odd looking dude on a moped. I introduced myself and told him my story and asked if I could camp out even though it was against the rules. Bikers hate rules, even if they're the kind of bikers that don't ride Harley's, so I figured I was in. The awkwardness was building as he paced around my moped and eyed me up and down without saying a word. The silence was making things weird and I figured I should say something to convince him that I wasn't a psycho. I opened my mouth and muttered nonsense. Going to plan B, I just stood there and tried to look innocent. He then took his turn at muttering something and introduced himself as Dwayne and indicated we should walk to the back of his RV where there was a patch of grass for me to plop down on. Even though I was hoping to be camped in the little woods, this would do just fine. I started to put down my tarp and sleeping bag when he asked if I could lock up the gate for him when he left. My heart leapt! I could play around in here screwing around with raccoons and whatnot all night! But then my heart sank when I heard him say "that is unless you don't mind some good Christian company and want to come along".
It was about that time that I noticed his shirt was a Gold's Gym rip off with Jesus doing a push up, bloody, with a cross on his back and the words "LORD"S GYM, his pain your gain"." 

"Holy shit", I thought," I'm about to get christianized!" Not wanting to be rude I politely declined, saying I needed some rest. He piped back with "Oh, that's okay, we won't be long, hop in!" By now I was visibly bummed as I climbed into his pick up truck. I didn't put on my seatbelt cause I read about some serial killer who rigged his seatbelts so they clip in but not off. I kept one hand close to my knife 'cause this guy had something creepy about him, that glazed stare, that something-lurking-in-the-shadows feeling or maybe it was just a sweet love for Jesus. He told me we were on our way to pick up his wife who was horse back riding. I started to feel a little relieved. Then he went on to tell me how seeing me on my moped reminded him of a not too long ago time when he left his first wife. All he had was his bike packed to the brim with his belongings as he ride off into the sunset...... to his parent's house, never feeling so free. I was all "right on" and he was all "the lord works in mysterious ways". Avoiding that subject as much as I could, I stared out into the surrounding country of miles and miles of farmland and nothing more.
 The ride was long enough for me to convince myself that I was about to be eaten by Dwayne. Fear grew as we arrived at a texas-chainsaw-massacre type farmhouse in the middle of nowhere. I started to panic. I relaxed a bit as we met everyone else. I met  Dwayne's wife, another lady whose house it was, and her cowboy son who had probably watched Brokeback Mountain 30 times. I've never seen a cowboy with such good looking frosted tips before!  Dinner was about to be served and I hoped I lived to tell the tale. But before I got to tell these seemingly nice people my tale, Dwayne tells it. Complete with over exaggerating how much stuff was strapped to my moped and what a ridiculous journey I'm on. Before I can get a word in he pipes up with how he promised me a "devotion". I don't recall any such promise and my mind raced to figure out what that meant. Growing up non-religious, my mom didn't tell me about the lord, just that fairies and Bigfoot existed. For real. she built a fairy table out of rocks in the woods by our house. Now they have a proper picnic spot. What a nice lady! 

                                                                           fairy table

Since a devotion wasn't a fairy ritual I sat perplexed! I was sure it was something Christian but it could also mean they wanted to eat me. They seemed too nice to eat people, but I reminded myself for all I know about cannibals, they could be the nicest bastards right up until they roasted you. The lady of the house offered me some food and warned me that I might not be used to such unusual dishes (it was vegetarian). Since I love vegetarian food I got excited and eagerly went to dish up some hot stuff. Veggie dogs, potato salad and some fruit wasn't the most exotic dish I ever had, but it was more than good enough for my road weary self. I sat at the table and noticed everyone start to pray before they ate. Wanting to be a good guest I prayed to the pagan god of Nature for the food I was about to get gnarly on. As we ate and I told my version of my story in more depth and could feel that they wanted me to renounce my sins or something. Its not that I have a problem with Christians, I think if Jesus was around today I would have met him at a house party and liked him. The problem I have is with anyone who forces their views through violence or dickheadedness (I mean, I stopped beating the shit out of people who don't believe in Bigfoot years ago). But this wasn't the case here, I was just out of my element. After dinner the soon-to-be-gay-and-disappoint-the-family-immensely son went to bed. Dwayne was lying on the couch with his wife and I was past ready for bed. I thought the whole devotion thing was going to get side stepped so of course it wasn't. That's not how my luck has been going this trip.
I was brought into the piano room where they decided to read me a story. It was a ridiculous tale of doughnuts and push ups. Set in a college, the professor Dr. Christianson offers his class donuts and when they refuse he makes one of the students do push ups. Soon this guy is doing a million push ups because people don't want to eat a bunch of fat-ass donuts. They're also crying for this guy that has taken on the task of doing push ups for their “sins". This story went on for way too long and in the end didn't make a whole lot of sense to me, but what do I know? After the story we all picked up psalm books. I could handle a couple songs, hoping that would be it. I could see it in their eyes that I was a lost soul, searching for something, needing to repent my evil past sins and they were going to save me from eternal hellfire. In a way I guess they were right. I was kinda lost, being that they drove me way out into the middle of nowhere, but I knew exactly what I was searching for. A giant North American ape about 6-8 feet tall, commonly known by the name bigfoot or sasquatch. As far as my sins of drinking, frolicking with devil women and stealing from "the Man", I didn't need someone to do push ups until their dumb shoulders fell off. I was already sick of these things and moved on in my life. Sure, I looked like a scumbag, but inside I felt golden. I knew the chances of finding what I set out to find were fairly slim, and the risk of death or injury quite high, but for some reason I had to keep going. Back at home I had a beautiful lady waiting for me as well as an indifferent cat who I think started to like me before I left. That was there, and this was now. And right now, then, I was flipping through a psalm book trying to figure out how to read sheet music.
They asked me if I had a favorite song and I said "well, they all look pretty good". The nice-feed-you-dinner lady began playing the piano and everyone cheerfully sang along to the chosen song. I tried to sing but mostly listened. I thought about piping in real loud to try to out sing everyone but figured I would start laughing. It didn't matter though, with the excitement of all the singing, all I could think about was laughing. I could feel it start to build, first with a slight smile, then with a bigger smile. Then an embarrassing thing happened, almost like a voice said "hey man check this out", my eyes darted over to the odd looking bearded man stoically singing along in his deep voice and I envisioned so perfectly that I think he may have been there, my friend Hal, sitting beside this guy giving me the finger. The imagined sight was too much and I started laughing so hard I cried and jerked about in my chair. I tried my best to hide my face in the book but it was so obvious that when the song ended they decided to call it a night.

                                                         nothing gay going on here!
On leaving the singing room they asked me what I thought of the songs and I smiled nodding my head murmuring "uh huh….yes" and that was that. We said our good nights and I thanked them for their hospitality. Dwayne drove us back to the park and I was happy that no one tried to eat me or nothing! I was glad to have survived the devotion and really, it wasn't that bad. The people fed me and showed me their way of living without being preachy. In retrospect I was the dickhead! Total freakin dickhead! Arriving at the RV, Dwayne told me I could sleep inside and insisted that I did. I explained I couldn't relax unless I could look up at the stars throughout the night. I took off my shoes and climbed in my sleeping bag clutching my knife as I fell asleep.
In the morning when Mr. Sun painted some golden rays across my stupid face I woke up with a new found vigor. I was ready to get to Portland and explore. Dwayne was up and insisted that I take a shower, and on this trip a warm shower is something I don't pass up! I got rad-ly naked and hopped in the shower only to realize that it trickles out cold water only. Freezing, I washed my hair and got out. Dwayne made a pot of coffee for me while in the shower which was nice, but the night before he asked if I wanted coffee in the morning and I told him I don't drink it. Upon reminding him of this he looked bummed and told me he doesn't drink it either and it would be a shame to waste it all. I thought about the story they told the night before about the jerk of a professor who bought everyone doughnuts without asking and made someone do push ups when they weren't eaten. Having learned my lesson I drank the damn coffee. I figured I would have a cup or two and be off. Dwayne was a hard hitter though, and had "the greatest story ever told" on vhs and I was immediately swept away. I drank the whole pot of coffee and made it through the first tape like nothing. Before the second tape could be put in there were some strange people arriving at the park. Dwayne, being the park's host had to sort out this mess. Apparently a church group reserved a spot to do baptisms in the stream and another group was at their spot. The church lady was having a fit and giving Dwayne and his wife a hard time. I have to admit I wanted to stick around and see all this baptism stuff go down but I was so amped up on coffee I had to get the hell out of there. With the proper good byes and thank you's I was on my way once more!
                      Arriving in Portland 
I got to Portland without much fuss except for my crazy coffee dump along the way. If you do the crime your gonna do the time. I wasn't too sure where I would be staying but since I had a couple friends, I wasn't worried. Besides, there's plenty of camping to be had in Portland. I called my friend from Connecticut, Kalashia who recently moved up there. I found my way to the southeast side of P-town with no trouble and met up with her. Even though I had only been on the road a few days since Headwaters I was still pretty wiped out. Kalaisha told me she was seeing a dude named Patrick and was always at his house so basically I would have the apartment to myself. Her cat Bella however would be keeping me company, Bella was a fluffy fucker to whom I took an immediate liking and petted the crap out of. 

 Most of my six days or so in Portland was a blur, I went out a little but mostly stayed in the apartment and listened to Kalaisha's Misfits box set, singing along to the words I guess I had wrong all these years. I was invited out to meet her scooter gang friends and wasn't too sure if there was going to be a moped vs. scooter fight. From what I gather there are some places where mopeds hate scooters and scooters hate mopeds. Some people don't know the difference between the two. A scooter goes around 60-70mph, is highway legal and costs a few thousand for a new one. A moped goes 30-35mph is not highway legal, is a two-stroke 50cc engine, has pedals so you can ride it like a bike, and costs around $700-$1,000 new. It's cool to go fast, but really a moped is all I need.

                                           Kalashia, happy to greet me
After flying through town trying to keep up with Kalaisha on her scooter, we got to the bar and partied down scooter style. I did not get punked for having a moped and all went well. I tried my best to down some Pabst but found I couldn't. This would be the start of me losing all my drinking skills I've gathered over the years. I had just spent all this glorious time in nature and experienced the magic of a sweat lodge, and here I am with a pitcher of Pabst. I never felt more bored of alcohol. I talked with some dudes and they seemed pretty cool, one of them, Bob, loved mopeds and wanted to start a chapter of the Moped Army called “the puddle cutters”. The Moped Army is a cool website that offers a forum for moped riders from all over and has different chapters in different states. We talked about mopeds and scooters for awhile and I told of my plans to head north to the Gifford Pinchot national forest where in 2001 The Skookum cast was made. Named Skookum because it was cast near Skookum meadows. The Skookum cast is a huge plaster cast that apparently shows where a sasquatch sat down and had some fruit. Skookum is a Native American word for powerful. Supposedly this area of the forest is really beautiful and can be creepy. I wanted to spend some time in there. While in Portland I tried to locate a good map of the area in question. Needless to say, I couldn't find one due to lack of hustle and figured I would just wing it. As the weekend was coming up Kalashia told me that she was going south to a scooter rally campout and I should go. Bob reminded me that there was a moped rally in Seattle that weekend as well. Feeling recouped and ready for action I decided to head for Seattle. I would have to skip going to Gifford Pinchot but this would mean that I could go to the Olympic forest after Seattle! I always wanted to go there but didn't think I could make it this summer on my moped. If I timed it right I could stop at Gifford Pinchot on my way back to Portland where I would meet up with Brianna and her band, the rap duo known as “Foxy Autopsy”. They were doing a Northwest tour from Southern California to Vancouver then home. I would be getting a ride home with them in a little over 2 weeks, so I had to pack in as much squatchin' and mopeding as I could.