ON TOUR FOREVER – DAY THREE
I didn’t realize he had dosed, but the Dean got in the co-pilot’s chair just having eaten a mushroom chocolate. It was gifted from Chief’s lady-friend, who also bestowed Jager and bongrips in the mini-van before our set at Tiny’s. So the plan was to make it at least to Grant’s Pass to crash for the night before the final destination of Arcata, land of big ass trees and dirty ass hippies. “Everything looks so amazing!” pretty summed up the Dean’s commentary on the drive. Peter began the process of getting gacked out on cheap coffee to make the drive and by the time we pulled into the Motel 6 at four in the morning the two pilots said “fuck it” and Peter hit the gas. It should be noted that Peter is usually the driver of the night. He’ll stay sober enough to stay lawful and by the end of the night we’re all sleepy. The cheapest and most convenient upper is gas station coffee, but as Pete syas, it would be cleaner with Cocaine or Aderal.
The drive from southern Oregon to Arcata is some of the gnarliest terrain that we have to traverse on this tour. We initially didn’t want to do it in the dark and late, but Peter was too high to sleep and no beds were open at the motel. Everyone was asleep and Dean was tripping balls in the front seat and Peter was in charge of our fate. I couldn’t believe I didn’t wake up when on some foggy stretch of road the van collided with Bamby. Deer were apparently everywhere. They said if they would have had ten or twenty more feet Pete could of stopped in time. There was no damage to the van, just that poor angelic creature of the night that ran off somewhere, probably to die. After inspecting everything, and not more than a couple minutes down the road, we almost hit another one. Jesus Christ!
I woke up after sunrise hearing some sort of commotion. Out to the right were deer everywhere, grazing in the fall mist. The first thing I focused on was a tremendous buck with giant antlers like a shape-shifting shaman high on peyote. He stood looking magnanimous with stoic pride and purpose. I think he was the boss. I passed out again and by morning time we were in Arcata in an empty parking lot at a beach head. Peter and Chief went to the ocean and everyone else slept. We got a room around one and laid low before the show.
All Motel 6’s have strange and bewildering characters that stroll around outside but the Arcata Motel 6 has some of the dirtiest hippies ever. It’s almost like the meth heads are dreaded and wear Birkenstocks.
There were cars blasting reggae and Pink Floyd and people stumbling and bumbling, smoking and playing with their all too numerious dogs. Our neighbor told Chief that the night before there was a fire and everyone had to evacuate, but they got a free nights stay. Pretty sweet. The remanence were piled up in a couple parking spaces just outside our room. We cleaned up and worked on the Web while Aaron cooked our first batch of Motel Burritos. I must say, they were delicious. We left at 6 and headed into the beast.
Hippies! They were fucking everywhere and it’s trimming season in Humbolt County. The town is strange in that it attracts quite a varied sort but the majority are hand drum playing, dirty feet having, glazed eye peering, young and promiscuous hippies. Am I judging? We’re not exactly normal either but our freakishness is different. There were tons of them hanging around in the alleyway right behind the venue. We went in and got the scoop for the night and found ourselves with almost four hours before load. We decided to eat there, as a perk for the evening was half off food under ten dollars.
Killing time I strolled around the little downtown square, looking into shops selling books, crafts, bongs, skateboards, hip-hop clothing, doughnuts and upscale Italian food. The other dudes hung out in the van until close to load in. The night crowd started coming into downtown and we set up our gear on the floor of The Alleyway, an awesome little bar White Orange played last year. The main dude Ian who books, runs sound, and works the bar was wearing a t-shirt he got from us last year. It’s pretty much the only and most consistent bar in Arcata that features rock and roll. It’s also a funny town in that we were the first of two bands and weren’t going to start until 11:45. Things get started later there.
We were loading out in the alley after the show and a belligerent girl started causing trouble at the taco cart next door. She thought a guy who had been standing behind her the whole time was trying to cut. Then a guy started getting agitated at another dude for touching him and the scene was quickly building with tension. I’m not quite sure how it started, but the girl started hitting the guy. Then anther guy. Then another. One of them hit her back and that caused another guy to get mad at him for hitting a girl. Then she tried to hit another. It was like a merry go round of fists. Amidst the chaos, the taco truck owner said fuck this and started closing up shop and that bummed the whole crowd waiting for food. “You stupid cunt!” a dude shouted. “Now we can’t get tacos!” Finally her friend came and grabbed her and got her to get moving out of the scene. They walked away, her arm around her waist pulling, their dreads flowing into the night.
We had a really good merch night and met some awesome people. A lot of compliments and 8 pitchers of beer later we made the drive back to the Motel 6 for sleep. Pulling in we saw more of the same…fucking hippies!
‘Till next time!