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Full Moon at the Hot Springs, a Taurus Party, Great Burger in Hopland, Skateboarding at Dawn, Hangin' Out With Louie

The Best Things in Life Are Free, It's So True…


Being a 4-day trip in northern California in my Toyota truck.
I got off to a late start Thursday, hung around in San Francisco, ended up getting won ton soup at Sam Wo's on Washington, 1:30 AM, the place is exactly as it was 40 years ago, go in through the kitchen, up narrow stairs, food pulled up on rope. Same surly service. They're open 'til 3:30 AM. Character up the kazoo.

Late night city image


Then off into the night and a two-hour drive north, get to the hot springs at 4:30 AM, walk through the full-moon-dappled woods, oaks and madrones, along a rushing creek, ease into the hot pool (and I mean 115-degrees) and get infused with the power of the earth. In a while the sky started to lighten, and birds were singing their hearts out. Joy at the end of the rains.
Then as dawn dawned, I took my long (44") skateboard and skated down about 1-1/2 miles of winding downhill smooth pavement. It was a glorious spring day. I'm getting incrementally better at skating, I still jump off if I start getting to too high a speed, but I love it. It is so FUN! Once in a while I get into that "sweet spot in time" when it all works, and I'm cruisin'
Later that day I lay sans clothes in the 10 AM (warm but not burning) sun for about 10 minutes. I thought of Viva (star of Andy Warhol films) saying the sun was her lover. The hot springs, followed by cold spring water, and then the sun, the birds, spring breaking out, creeks full and rushing. I find I can't really plan for a sequence of events like this, they just happen. Thank you, Mother Earth, for the infusion, for the chi, for the creative energy.

In Praise of the Great American Hamburger



The next day I took off for the coast and, going through Hopland (small town on Hwy 101 that is home to Real Goods), stopped at a small "Burgers My Way" stand on the south side of town. Perfect burger, 10-on-the-scale fries, huge chocolate malt. I've said it before but I marvel anew at the excellence of good burgers. My reference is the Colusa Drive-in in the early '50s: burger, fries, and - root beer shakes. So when on the road I look for quirky signs, something indicating human beings are running a place, and - voilá - a perfect and inexpensive meal. If you go to Real Goods' Solar Energy Festival (recommended) in August, you can check it out.

I sort of went on the trip because I was invited to a Taurus birthday party by Mark, AKA the Bubblemeister, an amazing artist working with metal (you'll see his work in my next book on builders), and the party turned out to be kick-ass, Friday night with at least 100 people inside and outside Mark's shop, with a great blues band and tons of food and beer. I have a soft spot in my heart for all us Taureans, we charge, a lot of times without scoping things out first. This morning I was looking at a little book called Your Word Is Your Wand by Florence Scovel Shin, and ran across this: "Never look or you'd never leap."

Blues at The Roadhouse


I got over to the coast last night and went to the little Harley-Davidson-inspired Bones Roadhouse (Brews and Blues) club in the coastal town of Gualala and heard a gun-slinging blues and rock guitar player, then this morning went across the river to Louie's house on the cable. (You get to his house across the river on a bosun's chair that travels 500' on a cable.) Here are a few pictures from this morning at Louie's:

Stairway to cable ride across the river. This is the only way to get to Louie's. Not for the faint hearted.


Louie coming 500 feet across the river this morning on his bosun's chair. He's showing off by leaning back. I tell you, every time I go on this thing, I marvel at it. I also have my heart in my mouth a bit when I let go and roll out into space, and say to myself, OK, I'm in your hands Louie. Sure enough, once en route, I love skimming 30 feet above the river and coming into a perfect landing on the other side.


The peak of the round room on Louie's shop. At top is a crystal, which reflects spectral light in different directions. As we were looking at it, I told Louie about the copper cupola on Sun Ray Kelly's temple, also a perfect peak for a (much larger) circular building, and he said, "You have to put the nipples on or they look weird."


Louie's home-made garden cart


Non-Respect for Authority


Yeah, I know I'm a bad person, but I just don't like all the people around these days telling me what I can and cannot do. Moreover, and I'm sure you will be shocked, but I don't trust people with initials behind their names. It's a good starting point. The American college PHD manufacturing cartel has everyone snowed. Dissertations on obscure theses, the "Never-use-a-monosyllable-when-a-polysyllable-will-do" style of writing. Don't get me started!

Turkey Buzzards


They are so graceful in flight. Yesterday I drove down a dirt road into a narrow valley, and two of them rode the air currents back and forth, never as much as flapping a wing, I watched in envy. There was a time I dreamed of flying, for a few weeks. It was so real I almost think I did it. When I'd take off, I'd have to work my arms to get airborne.

Gas Will Be Going to $10 a Gallon


Mark Morford is a brilliant columnist appearing in the SF Chronicle Wednesdays and Fridays. This column grabbed me. He's saying, "Americans, you've got to shape up, quit the profligate waste of resources, and here's how to do it…"
http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2006/05/10/DDGNNIO05K1.DTL&hw=morford&sn=005&sc=573