It is always a cautious experience choosing your spot to bed down for the night. Things appear to be quiet at night when you roll up to somewhere but the night time has a life and creatures and habits all of its own. With the town lights turned down outside but mine inside Hummingbird on and the and the heater running, it draw attention, like moths, without them your just a parked car and the moths wander by. I switched the engine off
I’d picked the big parking lot in Arcata with the stores and an ATM. There was enough space to park in a corner and just be a random overnight car. But the place was busy, people were doing odd things with abandoned shopping trolleys and what seemed an endless stream of pilgrims to the ATM machine.
A car may pull up and sit there with lights on, you wonder if they have seen you and what are they doing behind the glare of their headlights. I have to remind myself that I am doing exactly the same thing and perhaps they too are just getting into their onesies.
I had a little ache again last night but slept through from around 12.30 to 7am I have to say I am sleeping better that I did when I was at the Network, so all is well
Here is an insight for you, in a smaller sleeping space your feet are unconsciously always searching out the farthest place for your legs to stretch, like roots of a tree searching and feeling for any opening. I woke at one point again with my legs over the front seat, nope that wont do.
Driving Hummingbird is turning out to be a joy, she is so long, definitely a long legged experience, I have quite long legs and I am having to reach always for the gas and brakes, lots of room, if I a person wasn’t over six foot you might have problems. I wonder how on earth others have driven these cars all these years, maybe that’s why Hondas were invented.
I was up early today and went across to a place called Musgos coffee shop, Pronounced ‘moscow’s there was only one other person there we wete the early birds. Something in the air today. I caught up with a few things and wrote a little. Still the rain came down. I have become a little frustrated at the rain to tell the truth. It simply hasn’t stopped
Though as I was working it seemed to pause and the sun came out. No way. ! I really wanted to walk today and one thing is for sure I am off up into the mountains later
I am a little nervous about hummingbird. On the older Chryslers, I used to have to stop now and again and adjust the timing at the various different altitudes as these old cars would either be gulping gasping for air or hyperventilating. Hummingbird has lived at sea level all her life so she may find it a little hard to breathe up where we are going.
There was something about today something is falling into place. Firstly there was a bathroom with a locking door and hot water. I took full advantage stripped off and had a scrub and washed my hair, so good. Then I made some wraps outside in the parking lot on the car, saves making a mess in the car, as there is more elbow room out there, filled up with petrol and got some cash and nothing got in the way. I was out of Arcata on the highway, heading north happy and peaceful.
Then literally minutes out of town a panorama came into view. It was just what had seen yesterday when I had opened up in the traffic jam just outside of Garberbville. The rolling sea coming in in waves the beach everything as I had seen it. I gasped out loud and laughed. It is never when you expect it is it and the sun was shinning just as I had seen. My ears were ringing now and I know when it happens something is close.
I pulled into the Redwoods National Park Kuchel Visitors center just past the town of Orik to get some bearings check the trails and yeah ok.. I’m an anorak; I went in to get the stamp in my passport. I love it, I’m sorry. In the National parks here you can get a stamp in your passport with the date you were there. It always makes me smile whenever I open my passport and I see all these US national parks and monuments in there. mick crudge from Blackpool and I got to see these places. Yeah, it just makes me smile.
An nice old with deep creamy voice and what looked like a stuck on tummy gave me good directions but boy I had to work on him, there was a young crippled boy sat next to him in a wheelchair with the most beautiful smile and beautiful light around him. Startling, I wanted to stare but thought I would have been misunderstood.
I decided to go for a walk first of all on the Lady Bird Johnson grove. Just loved the name. The guy had said
“It’s real pretty up there”
A few minutes later I was pulling into a parking lot up in the hills. I stepped out and walked slowly onto the loop trail and slowed my pace. I wrote yesterday about the Redwoods so I wont go on. But I slowed my pace and got up real close. It is staggering to contemplate them, their age and how something can grow that big. Truly magnificent, my hands were buzzing, I talked to the family, I just knew something was close, I had felt it around me in the car on the way out of Arcata
I have to state here, this is not imagined, as anybody who has worked with me or done any sort of healing energy work the energies are real and physical. I am actively looking to connect with it.
There is something close. There was nobody there except me or that I was aware of, the rain pattered down onto the ferns in the twilight below, I craned my neck upwards towards their crowns, though I have to say it as cold and dank
And damp in there. But what a place, I spent an hour in the grove which almost felt disrespectful considering the time they had been there, if you follow me.
I was talking to them, for some reason that eludes me now I just said
“I will do my best”
As I walked back to the car a beam of light shone directly through the trees illuminating a patch of earth in the car lot. I saw a movement of light within the beam of light, she was here. Cynthia.
“Hello Babe” I said. I stood still and just laughed the ringing was so loud now and my hands nearly bursting. I was and am deeply happy about it.
“Was that you this morning” I said
“You have been making it hard” she whispered
Hummingbird and I then drove down and across to the Davidson road across the other side of Highway 101 and up and through the forests to the deserted Gold Bluff beach. The 8 mile drive there was incredible still and ancient it felt like the forest was watching me. Hummingbird took it all in her stride now.
Happily paid my $8 to enter the park and eventually got to the end of the road and stepped out. There was the ocean, It was totally deserted, except for one park ranger girl putting a post in next to a an enormous rock slide that had been cleared. The place was stunning
The place had once been a large Gold mining camp extracting gold from the black sand and shale cliffs which were the remains of a great river deposits from way back in unfathomable geological time.
I went immediately down to the waters frothy edge. For a moment I wasn’t sure what to do with myself so I took my boots off and just began walking northwards
Then the further I walked the deeper I sank, is that the right expression? because it felt like something rising or opened, I definitely didn’t sink maybe “moved into” is a better way to say it.
I must have walked a couple of miles or more. I realized I was buzzing and cooking. There was all sorts of debris thrown up by the sea on the smooth grey sand, roots and sea weeds, smashed wood, all rough edges smoothed softened by the rolling waters. Beautifully laid out everywhere, the ocean, nature, has impeccable taste. There was nothing out of place.
I said to myself, “Maybe I’ll find something interesting to take with me”
Cynthia answered “Is that what you want, treasures from the sea shore”
I stood still and thought, I wasn’t surprised, she hadn’t left me since lady bird Johnson grove.
I said “Actually no, I’d like a real and authentic connection with you, that’s what I’d really like”
“That may take some time” She said
“Well, I have some time to spare right now” I said.
I sat down by a great washed up log closed my eyes and opened up. I immediately saw a tunnel with what appeared to be a green forest at the end. I saw Hummingbird and I driving forwards with trees and forest all around and behind us. As we passed fallen trees covered the path we had come, no going back.
I didn’t take it too seriously right then because I was sat only a few feet from the crashing ocean and thought oh I’m just imagining the surf curling in, that type of tunnel and of course I had been in amongst forest for a few days now.
Something caught my eye, I looked to my left and saw a great big raven land, I love them, I have always looked towards them. (You can see him in the photo) He stood there changing his position one side on then changing to the other, he was studying me as I studied him of her, I couldn’t tell.
The rains started to come back in so I stood up and began to walk back. It was beginning to get cold again. I was grateful for this time, I cut back further onto the higher dark sands of the sea shore, and came to one of the cold streams pouring down from the forrest and cliffs above. It cut deeply through the sand on the beach. I’d though oh I can paddle that as I had done on the way. But I was further in land and the waters unexpectedly deeper, I stepped forwards and was instantly up to my calves next step knees next step right up to my thighs, it leveled out there luckily or it could have been a little uncomfortable. When I hopped out across the other side soaked I heard the Raven laughing, I looked back and he was sat on a log right there.
“Haw Haw Haw” he said “Haw haw…… Haw Haw Haw” It was pointing to a place in the stream with his/her beak where I could have crossed easily. I burst out laughing.
“Ok Ok clever bird” I said
It followed me right down the beach nonchalantly picking up this piece of wood and here throwing it, then a shell there and dropping it. It was genuinely funny, The rain and the cold had come back but I was really enjoying it. I’d been shown the meeting place, a deserted beach. I’d asked, but hadn’t understood the answer Cynthia was being coy, she knows I love her, she sent the raven to watch over me and chuckle at my discomfort, that really made me laugh. The family like to keep me guessing. I have thought that if they actually told me, the surprise would be lost and the revelation would have no impact.
I drove very very slowly along the 6 miles back out through the woods it really felt as if the woods dressed in its long clinging mosses had moved closer now and were peering right into the Hummingbirds passenger windows it was such a remarkable place and feeling in there
Then onto Highway 1 towards Crescent City one last nod to the sea and then the 199 North. California is such a seductive place and it takes a wrench to pull away. There is so much to see and feel and do here, but there was the whole of America to see
Crescent City seemed to be sad place, somewhere that had had its time and all that was left was dimmed lights. I’d stopped for a coffee and gas. Anybody I talked to seemed to be trying to work something simple out. I was given wrong directions. I knew the lady giving me them wasn’t all right and meant well. Instinct told me, go the other way. It was right. A drive through Burger king I’d stopped for coffee at was absolutely and exceptionally dysfunctional. A collective of people who just seemed to be doing their own thing trying to work out what it was they were supposed to be doing and too scared to ask anybody. Same in the gas station, though at least there they were all gathered around looking at the till together. The town I observed, had on the short time I spent there more than its fare share of homeless. Many gaunt faces walking to who knows where. Very sad
The 199 runs right along the Middle fork of the Smith River which tore down through the channeled gouged rocks in the other direction. Suddenly I came around a bend and I was going into a tunnel called the Collier tunnel (built in 1963) this is what had seen on the beach earlier with the raven and up ahead I could see green, I literally sat bolt upright in the seat, wow. I shot out the other side of the tunnel and of course I was surrounded by endless forests, the ringing in my ears became almost deafening. I felt Cynthia’s arm rest across my shoulders she was back, I felt energy rise powerfully now I let it, then I was in Oregon before I realized it driving easily down onto the Illinois valley that spread out now like a well fitted endless carpet of silver fir and yellow cedar across the land.
The Syskiyou mountain forests are different to what I had seen these last few days. I supposed because around every bend magnificent glimpses and hints of a wilderness that stretched further and further upwards for far beyond my imagination, vast huge and seemingly endless, the redwoods are singularly magnificent, these forests are collectively astonishing.
The Spanish were the first to lay claim to this whole area after Bruno de Heceta had sailed north along the coast sent to explore the pacific north west and to investigate rumours that there were Russian and British settlements up and along the coast here. It was apparently very hard voyage but still is astoundingly arrogant of any of them to think they could lay claim just by sailing past, but they I suppose were just products of their time, just as I am.
Just past the Rougue River at Grants Pass found the 1-5 and swung south down towards Ashland. I had been going to go to Klamath falls but changed my mind I wasn’t going to rush anywhere. Ashland the now second home to the spirit of William Shakespeare, is a colourful vibrant and creative place.
I instantly liked the place as we rolled in. I quickly located the down town area, checked in a brewery, but it was full so a sweet girl directed me to Japanese tea bar round the corner called “Dobra Tea” where I could write and taste something delicious. I thought why not.
A cheeky and irreverent guy who knelt down at my table and with twinkling mischievous seriousness explained all about the tea menu that was actually a great volume of a book with all the different teas they had and what effect they had. I am sure would have taken me all night to read, I just wanted a cup of tea. Once I had got myself settled in to the lovely place I ordered the first house green tea I saw,
“Oh that one” he said with a raised eyebrow (I forget the name) “Quite a lively one”
When it came, it was more like a small drop green luke warm plant soup in a large oversized bowl. I just wanted a cup of tea. Nice place though
I ended up sat next to a bubbly blonde lady who I had to disturb and very nearly had to reach down between her legs to plug my lag top in, thankfully she shifted. It is always quite a thing to get settled into a quiet tea/coffee bar when everybody else has been camped out for hours before hand, nobody looks but everybody seems to be, you can feel it.
She turned out to be an erotic photographer and was just editing her shots from a shoot she’d done on the weekend. Called Lisa Byrne who photographs tasteful sexy ladies (lisabyrnephotography.com) I have to say her photos sure spiked my interest and we’re now friends on facebook really makes me laugh at times, She was funny and bright and said they were all local ladies and friends they all enjoyed it and felt it was empowering them. Genuinely I could see what she meant. They were great. As we chatted I realized that I was high as a kite from the journey with Cynthia to here.
I really needed to bring my self back down to earth and I strongly needed to write. The tea bar closed and I went around the corner to a bar called Oberons, everything in town is names after something Shakespeare, except the tea bar. and had a great night engrossed with my thoughts about the day. It was such a great evening in there listening to the local talent, poets, comediennes who just weren’t funny but darkly hilarious. I was so engrossed in writing this I forgot to write any of the jokes down for you. There were girl folk singers singing about beauty and the earth and respect, there was hillbilly blues guy sinking about the waters rising and the chickens and Arkansas. A guy got up on stage and just said
“Birds eat beautiful butterflies .. Motherfuckers, don’t you hate them” hilarious
There was a ukulele player singing about just one cup of coffee, a mouth organ player who jarred the whole room with its sharpness. Then a woman literally wailing
“The daaaaarkneeeeess, the daaaaarkness I’m scaaaaared of the darkness,”
There was a very excellent rap guy who was accompanied along buy a superb blues guitarist and a conga player and people in the audience singing along beautifully ooohs and ahhs.
A girl comedian who was so dead pan I thought she must have just wandered in off the street and carried on talking to who ever she was with and not realized she was on a stage. Perhaps she was just mad
“There was this lady at work and I was bending over a cupboard and she was staring at my ass, it was really I uncomfortable but I thought I’d better own it. So I looked at her directly and then lady said
“I can see your ass crack” and I said “Well I do have a nice ass.”
She was sat down though so I couldn’t tell but she got a round of applause anyway.
It was really excellent youthful crowd, all beards, floppy hats and lumberjack chic, and when all said and done the standard was actually pretty good. I got a little merry tucked away in the corner tapping away and sipping IPA till it was all over and done
It may be a cold night out there tonight but I will sleep well tonight for sure.