Tag Archives: Oregon

East Coast Tripping Days 17-18: Nestled within the folds

11 Jun

Monday was the first legit fuck off day I’ve had since I been on vacation. I basically spent the whole day doing laundry and hangin’ with the homies. We went back out to Brooklyn to play pickup ball, with my boys from Austin and Portland. We got some good running in and managed to avoid getting any cramps in that stuffy gymnasium. It was nice to not have anything terribly important to do because yesterday was a travel day. Not only would I miss the most efficient first half played by any team in NBA Finals history, but I had to ride the Dattco bus instead of the Megabus.

The Dattco bus? No idea who owns it or where it came from, but let’s just say it was not ideal:

“No wif-fi. No outlets. No stops. No problem. Dattco. As in Dat company you never heard of. Coming to a city near you.”

The thing about these buses is that if you forget to pack water, you are fucked. This is where the whole express bus works against poor planners like myself. No stops means exactly that, no stops. I of course forgot to pack water and had to wait until the trip was nearly over, when we made a scheduled stop in Amherst, Massachusetts.

The bus ride still was not too unpleasant though. There happened to be tons of Vermont cuties along for the ride. I managed to score a seat next to a guy who looked familiar, but it would take me a half hour of conversation to figure out why he did. Turns out I’d seen him in a documentary about his uncle, a bass player in this 70’s punk band called Death. He himself plays bass in a band called Rough Francis.

He was a pretty cool cat who had basically lived his whole life in Burlington (except for a brief stint in the Bay Area that interestingly intersected with my own time out there). He gave me the lay of the land, told me what spots to hit up, and what restaurants to avoid. He was good conversation. We talked about music, women, and traveling–even traded some “Unforgivable” quotes to our neighboring passengers’ dismay.

Vermont itself is just as breathtaking as I imagined. I’d often heard that Vermont is basically the Oregon of the east coast, and the corollary seems pretty dead on. The same quiet reverence I felt the first time I visited Oregon washed upon me last night as we silently crept north. Replace the Douglas Firs of Oregon with Maple trees and you have Vermont. The state is packed with mountain ranges, tall trees, and the ocean not too far away. The more my boy Julian told me about Burlington, the more I liked what I heard. The town is only an hour and a half from Montreal, Quebec (wish I’d have planned better–would have loved to take a side trip up to Montreal again) and Marijuana is decriminalized here in Vermont. So did I not break the law last night when I got settled? You bet I didn’t.

my couchsurfing hosts last night were these two lovely gals from Boston–both just recently of drinking age– and so much fun. They took me to a couple of bars to watch a Grateful Dead cover band (Dead Set every Tuesday night at the Nectar–a spot made popular by Phish’s early days), and another spot where there was a sweet little honky-tonk band. When they played Gram Parsons’ “A Song For You” I knew they were the real deal. Burlington reminds me a lot of Eugene, Oregon–tons of happy white people, good music, ubiquitous buds, and a super chill vibe. I’m digging it.
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There are a couple of open mics tonight I’m going to hit up. Decided I’m gonna try some stand up comedy after four years of inactivity. Later there is one at the pizza place where I will break out the old acoustic. It should be fun. Of course, to complete the Oregon/Vermont parallel, it has been raining all day, which believe it or not, bodes well for me. If the girls in Vermont treat me anywhere as good as the Oregonian gals did, your boy is in for a good night. Wish me luck.

Retroactive Costa Rica Diary Day 7

8 Jun

*After a hiatus from blogging to concentrate on my latest unpublished book (and a short excursion overseas) I’m relieved to pick up the retroactive series again*

Thought about cutting my trip short and leaving for home that Friday. I was still smarting from my bug bites and wasn’t sure if Montezuma would cure my ails. Plus the Steelers-Ravens AFC playoff showdown was on Sunday.

Luckily for me I got an email from my roommate telling me to stay where I was, Tulsa was bitter ass cold and UNpleasant.

Though I had no interest in sand fleas,chiggers, or more mosquitoes and I was still recovering from my sour experience at the Rio Finca Perla. Whatever it was that had bitten me there must have burrowed because I was experiencing an itch I’d never had before. I bought some alcohol and even considered getting some nail polish remover–I’d heard that stuff could kill things that burrowed.

The trip could be over by Friday and I guess I’d be okay with it. I woke up with no idea of who won the College Football National Championship and though I’d been looking forward to seeing an Oregon-Auburn showdown, it’d seemed trivial now that I was on this immense mountain in this spectacular countryside.

I spent the day email people back home and looking for places to couch surf in San Jose for my return home. Even took a nap. Found out the game was kind of a dud (Auburn won a defensive battle) so nothing was missed after all.  Kept thinking about that upcoming Steelers game. It was sure to be a classic battle. It always was between them. A true rivalry between modern day gladiators. Just thinking about their impending clash gave me goosebumps–aroused me immensely. I absolutely had to see that game.  That’s all there was to it.