Photoblog: The Oregon Trail
November 1, 2014
Oregon, you’re always a welcome change.
It’s up there, wedged between 2 pretentious states, like the drunken but hilarious brother-in-law between your asshole Uncles at the Thanksgiving table.
Where the strip clubs serve a nutritious breakfast and the gas is pumped for you by smiling fools.
Outrageous color bursts from the Fall foliage, and it’s like a vital lesson to our sun-blasted cones and rods.
It’s a quick flight up the burnt out backbone of California, where we recently celebrated 300 consecutive days of no rain–Yay team!
We touch down in Medford, and look up at the strange moisture falling from the sky.
God, is that you, weeping over our blasphemous insistence on Gay Marriage and legalized weed?
Our transplanted homeboy Chris assures us that is all perfectly normal, this water from the sky business, and we’re soon on our way back to Johnny B’s.
We’d heard ‘ol Johnny transferred the joint over to the old Woolworth’s building, and we were excited at the prosepect of playing behind the lunch counter or perhaps in the women’s hoisery aisle.
No such luck as it is a proper nightclub, but the place looks swell and we’re soon catching up with old chums.
The Soothesayers get the night going and then local rockers The Hollowbodys storm the stage.
And as we get on stage, a van pulls up and the English Dogs drop in, passing through town on a night off!
And then the night dissolves into the usual hijinks:
We toast the Fall weather and then go out and gulp at the exotic damp air, the smell of burning wood swimming in the breeze.
The rain doesn’t faze us in the least, not anymore.
We hold arms up to it, wanting only to be cleansed of our sins, baptized against future harm.
That doesn’t see like too much a stretch on a night like this.
Friday comes to us, and we wake up amazed to be not tangled in filthy motel sheets.
A rare treat to spend the night with an old friend.
We get to sip coffee and contemplate the green hills, unwind in the spacious and well lit man cave garage, all the while making snide remarks on social media to the suckers back home.
All too soon, it’s back up the 5, for tonight’s show is way up yonder in Portland.
We reward ourselves for the early start with a lunch and stroll around Roseburg and make it into Portland just as the sun sets on that funky town.
It all comes back to us now: Portland.
It’s as if Disney Imagineers took all our favorite things from all our favorite cities, and placed them all in one delicious town.
The food and booze, the good friends and beautiful buildings.
We don’t kid ourselves, as surely they turn out the lights when we leave and break down the sets, and those green mountains in the distance are undoubtedly made of fiberglass.
But call us suckers for a romp, we hit the rain polished sidewalks with glee and visit all the old haunts!
It’s our first time playing the Ash Street Saloon, which we find right in the goddamned middle of it all, right by Voodoo Doughnuts and that Keep Portland Weird sign that all the locals are surely sick of by now.
I’m surprised Fred Arminsen doesn’t wander in, it is soooo Portland, ya hear me?
Great to see Whiskey Dickers and then catch up with our old pals in Clackamass Baby Killers, and then we do the thing we came to do:
It’s been a long day and we are tired.
Our luxurious Motel 6 glows like a beacon just on the other side of the Willamette River, the promise of sleep a wish made upon fallen star.
The locals insist on just one more drink, one more fatty snack served out of ubiquitous food truck.
They drag us along, shush our protests with promises of home made whiskeys and bacon.
Saturday finds us in Eugene Oregon.
A new town for us, something we old fucks didn’t know existed.
Haven’t we been everywhere already??
Our old pal Hippy Tim (or was that Tim the Hippy?) graciously picks us up in the
Tim-o-Sine and gives us a quick tour of this college town before tucking us into dinner at La Perla.
We stuff ourselves with fine pizzas and wash it down with jaunty blended reds, and now a nap would be good.
Heh, not a chance. It is Saturday night in America after all, so we rouse ourselves with a van backseat makeover, down hideous energy drinks and hit Luckey’s for round 3.
Not a Part of It are rocking the stage as we enter the joint and the sound and light in the club energizes us.
Tim’s band The Soothesayers are playing with us once again, so it feels all warm and fuzzy up in this bitch!
Smiling faces all around, new friends and old.
We get up, get down, get off and wrap up another night.
It’s back to Medford on a drizzly Sunday, and we while the day away as the flight is delayed again and again.
With each chime of the cell, another apologetic text from the wonky airline, we crack open another last beer.
We take this time, then, to breathe in these cool winds a few more times.
We relax in front of a real wood fire and play fetch with a slobbering black lab among dewy grass and ochre fallen leaf.
Because we know what waits for us.
And sure enough in a few brief hours we stand upon LAX curb, 9pm, waiting for a parking lot shuttle in 88 degree heat.
The diesel exhaust perfumes an atmosphere filled with anxious light and noise, we are surrounded by people who do not wish to be where they are at the moment.
But for now, sitting in another state, in another state, we only smile when the phone chirps yet again.
We let our open beer cans sit on the deck railing and let the raindrops enter and dilute, not minding the thought of bringing some of this holy water home with us.