June 24, 2006: Portland (Road Trip Journal)

After the long, hot drive through the mountains and an impromptu photo session with Andrew and Jon in a burnt-out car that we spotted on the side of the road, we arrived in Humboldt county sweaty and tired.  We flipped a coin to see if we would stay in Humboldt and drink our guts out or pay for a beach camp site.  Andrew said, “tails is bad, so if I flip tails we’ll get drunk and sleep in the car.”  He flipped tails but we decided to find a campsite anyways.  I felt guilty for taking the easy way out even though the sidewalks that would have been our parking places were occupied by throngs of bums and other sketchy characters.

We decided to drive north on the 101 until we found a camp spot.  After crossing Oregon’s border and passing camp sites with “full” signs in front until 11:00 p.m. we pulled over on the side of the road to sleep.  Everything was black except for the occasional pair of passing headlights.  When I opened my eyes and coaxed my neck into bending again in the morning, I saw a wide, flat beach darkened by tree shadows and a hint of fog.

We started driving at sunrise on a section of highway that looked down from a cliff over a series of cove towns.  These small beach villages, barely above the level of the sea, stretched out into the ocean on jutting strips of brittle rock and dark brown sand.  There were houses and docks built right up to the edge of the Pacific.  It looked like a single powerful wave could have demolished the whole town, yet the cluster of huts with faded red roofs and the skinny dirt pathways that connected them seemed harmonious with their surroundings.

At lunch, Jon wanted to talk about the objectives concerning our trip.  Was it to meet people?  Meet ourselves?  Record conversations?  To experience without recording and reflect later?  What is the point?

Too many questions was our only answer.  I have this book, a camera, a yet-to-be-used tape recorder…time will tell what we produce.

That night we stopped at a KOA, showered and got drunk.  We walked a few miles from our camp site around a small lake that cradled cabins and fishing docks, only to get tired and urinate as a group on the outside of a porta potty.  A friendly middle-aged couple with an R.V. chatted with us about our travels.  They let me use their outlet to charge my cell phone.  By the time I came back to get it, I was drunk and well aware of it.  I kept repeating “thank you” and tried not to trip over their pic-nic table on my way back to our shared green tent.

After eating a KOA cooked “miner’s breakfast”, a heaping styrofoam tray of biscuits and gravy, we drove out to the Lincoln City Skatepark.  The way Oregon is run pleases me.  No taxes AND intelligently constructed, skater-designed, free, behemoths of cement skateparks.  Beautiful.

Now we are in the car driving to Portland.  Andrew got mad at Jon for reserving us a $25 per-person hostel.  Jon is quiet.  He drank one and a half bottles of cheap red wine last night.  He said “I want to talk about my feelings…It’s frustrating being this attractive.”  I fell at the skatepark and then skated well.  A dog came up and licked the cut on my knee.


  1. johnny friendly

    This makes my consciousness expand. Four to six inches. Overnight.

  2. mallory

    i’ve always loved your writing style. you’re so well spoken, and you describe everything so that it feels i can see what you’ve seen. you’re a talented boy, my friend.

  3. Sara

    I love your road trip journal, this is great, I think you should rework more from it! love you baby

  4. kbuzz

    i second that. it is hard being attractive ;0)
    u tha man trav scratch. ❤

  5. Jenn

    1. Oh… memories.
    2. Did I ever read this? This is good.
    3. Um. Come back to Portland now.

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