I’d woken up aching and groggy in Ashland, I’d parked on what I thought was a quiet secluded street but it turned out to be almost at the cross roads on a busy way out of town, traffic began to tear past randomly through the quietness at 6am. I lasted till 6.30. Decided to get up and find a coffee bar.
The only place open before 7am was a place that was co joined to a bank and began to fill up with what seemed like elderly folk as the morning came on full strength. Perhaps those old folks liked to picnic near their cash, actually that’s rather mean as Ashland was a lovely town full of open, seemingly curious people who were only to happy to help, but I think I have begun to look a little disheveled. No locking bathroom so no hot water today.
I’d come here on a whim, this time as the last time I’d been through I’d called into to see Dr James Demeo at the institute of Orgone research I’d puzzled him I think as I was blown away by the purity of the energy up there at the lab in Green springs the Orgone accumulator sitting there had had its door open and I had literally lost the ability to speak coherently. I’d not understood what had happened at the time. But that’s a whole other story (www.orgonelab.org)
I’d left it a little late as I would have loved to meet him again maybe, see if he could measure the energy that can be channeled though somebody. I’d written to him. He wrote back the next day but I was already far away across the mountains. Such a pity as he is doing incredible work, I may just go back and visit we’ll see.
A couple of old guys couldn’t tell me the way to the freeway but directed me to the co-op food market around the corner where all the check out ladies wore shawls and paisley shirts, the shelf stackers looked cool and rocky and said hi as I walked around trying to figure out where the tortilla wraps were. I liked Ashland very much
I thought I’d check out the Siskiyou National Monument. We drove up there along the winding road through a stripped bare Oak woods everything was still brown and grey. Spring, still a distant memory, hadn’t made it up and over the mountains from California yet.
I got confused up there my stomach and the instinct said ‘move on’ but it was a national monument but I just ended up wasting precious time on snowed covered rutted roads and dead ends. The National parks office in Green Springs was locked up so never got my stamp and that was a calamity. I gave up but on the way out came across the Applegate Trail where a group led by Levi Scott and Jesse Applegate had come to woe in 1846 on the “damnable Applegate road” A road it is not and it is staggering to think that people dragged flat bed wagons over and through these mountains, truly harsh and unimaginable. (www.octa-trails.org/articles/applegate-trail)
There was a guy had driven all the way up from Ashland to fill his water bottles there, said it was as pure as can be, so I emptied mine and filled them back up with the good stuff.
From there through the mountains along the 66 swooping down into wide open farm lands, the trees retreating to apparent safety fringed around the base of the snow capped mountains in the distance.
I had been in a dilemma about which route I should take. I’d committed to the 66 partly because I liked the number and secondly to look at Klamath Falls but that turned out to be a dead loss. I skimmed the city but decided I had to have look in. But after half an hour driving down a long long avenue of sticky signs I decided to u turn and get back on the 141 towards Lakeview
I have to say at this point I was very very tired I was looking for a coffee or something to just lift me. Shaking my head to keep my eyes open. But I kept on, There were some amazing sights along the road there was also areas of great ugliness too.
It could be just me but things seemed to be just left where they were because there was space, just dump it down and left where it was rust and dirt and shattered things along the way. The bigger towns had explode outwards without restraint or care. Perhaps that’s just the way things are on any frontier, even in towns, nobody really cares
I didn’t realize then that it was a frontier, the outside of the farming belt and it lasted quite a few miles let me tell you.
Stopped in a blink of a town called Bly for a coffee, memorable because a group of tough looking people were sat around in a store that was basically a concrete room with some shelves in selling essentials. I am sure nothing much has changed since the mid 1800’s except wooden walls are now concrete but the people are the same
I’d immediately looked at the large shall we say mature lady , She had the view of the door in retrospect and looked like the one to do business with, even if it was just a coffee.
“Bathrooms over there” she said with a nod. Nobody else said a word. I got a coffee
“That’ll be $1.50” she said
“Thank you” I said and her eyes twinkled behind a tough expression. I still remember them now smiling.
“Have a great day” She said as I was walking out, I looked back, she twinkled again
I said “Thank you babe” and twinkled back. It’s the little things that make the world turn isn’t it
Along what I thought would be the last leg to Lakeview I was really having a fight to stay awake. It had been quite a day yesterday and had little sleep. But I drove on.
Then Lakeview, pretty, quiet, a junction. Should I stay or should I go, Instinct said ‘move on’ but I was deeply deeply fatigued. I did a card, Instinct voice was backed up by the King of Swords so with red eyes on we went.
It was here now that things began to get magical again. I ‘d thought we’d been in the mountains all day but it was just s respite of farm lands between the coastal forests and the sage plains and mesa’s that now opened up before us.
As we drove on my eyes just opened in awe. I sat up straight the beginning seemed to be the rusty red willows hugging by the rushing streams and rivers. I’d been stopping all day looking for something. Instinct had been relentless, “Move on Mick move on” I haven’t trusted instinct for a long time, he can be cruel exhausting are remorseless.
But he’d been right, I am coming t realize he is a new voice in the family. I am trying to trust him.
We came over a rise and we were in amongst the Mesa’s 6122ft up. A stunning other world opened up. This is the place I’d come for
I felt Instinct smile. “Told you”
Dark green Juniper dotted the land, walls of the pink sandstone mesas and the sage prairie. I simply couldn’t believe the space. It isn’t that I had forgotten, but it is just hard to comprehend the vast scale and I seemed to have stumbled upon it. I heard laughter, I presumed the family’s and my ears rung so loudly, anyone might say tinnitus, but it is something else, my hands always begin to buzz and it fades away and disappears. I have noticed that I can turn the pitch up and down by going into it. It’s like hearing a frequency wave, like I’m hearing energy.
We were gliding wings outstretched in the golden light, the last of the day, the golden hour I call it. Around every bend another vast stretch of beautiful land vast and ocean like would open up, we swept along. Stopping far to many times really, but it was like stepping out of a capsule or a boat into a deep quiet a new land, just the wind, I recall my hair feeling wonderful and light as if someone was playing with it..
Then over a road that seemed to run at about 25% degrees up and along the side of a mesa for about a mile, I looked back across the sunken valley. Red and golden and pastel olive green I felt clean.
I’m not sure how many miles it was then to Denio Junction, but we’d crossed into Nevada just as the sun finally set.
On the last 10 or 15 miles I heard clearly in my mind an Indian flute playing, The Indian? Man with a big name?
“Is that you” I asked.
He never did say much just a presence. I was still set on moving on North. I should have known.
Denio Junction looked like something out of a dream or possibly a nightmare in the darkness. The whole place looked battered by some storm long ago, the Motel by the side romantically beautifully aged or simply falling to pieces. It was at the crossroads. Dusty and windswept, I wasn’t sure.
Card said Universe and Magician, now that I had to trust. There was no point in driving on. It was dark now. I wanted to see
I thought I had seen an open light on in a dark window as I’d passed by the motel at the junction. A mile on I came to the Oregon and Nevada state line. So I thought ‘turn back just go in and see’
I stepped of the car into the gloom, my feet crunched on the sand. There was a guy in there.
I said “Hello you open/”
He stared for a split second blinked and then in a warm rolling accent that rested somewhere on the back of his tongue. He said
“Hi there, can I help you”
I wanted directions about the road over into Idaho and he looked like the guy who would know. I also asked him out of curiosity how much a room for the night would be, I really wanted to write something and needed a plug.
He turned out to be a very nice guy, had been in the Army served in Iraq, came back home to this place, he loved to cowboy, met his girl and she’d got pregnant, and
“Cowboyin just won’t do it with a family, you know what I mean
He’d lift his hat off every now and again and rub his black head of hair
He’d got a job working on roads and then the Denio Junction Motel came up through a friend and they’d gone for it and were doing ok. We like to keep hours but you never know
He said “Well heck, you showed up didn’t you”
He advised me not to take the road I had planned
“It’s a gravel road and they put some sharp rock down there. He said “what kind of tires you got cos I’ve had a couple of flats on my 4 wheeled and I’d hate for you to have to walk back out from there. Their ain’t nothing there at all.“
Bud smoothed all my feathers down and I decided to stay the night too, a treat, Room Number 2 had an amateur oil painting above the bed of a house next to a river with green fields along its bank . A man had pulled in his boat and was sitting under a tree resting. The room was quite nice too, a nice surprise
I was looking forward to waking up in the morning to see just where I was. I could feel something all around me