Wednesday, May 1, 2013


Whats growing in #oakland 
Seven days ago, L. and I loaded up her aquamarine Prius and hit the road. Covered in dust and tanned by the desert sun, we were both pretty spent by the Coachella festival experience. The marriage of exhaustion and filth launched us into that slaphappy state where everything is hilarious, and the giggling just won't stop. Golden hills slid by the open window as the breeze caught our laughter and carried it over the highway, northbound from Indio to Oakland.

It was a few great days romping in Oakland, after which I caught an unexpected ride further up the coast into Oregon. My dear friend K. was headed for Newport, and asked if I wanted to join. Hell yeah!

K. drives with her knees, keeps a mattress in the back of her minivan ("The Gypsy van"), and drinks coffee like water. She's blonde, bold, and crazygreat. We pulled off the highway in Leggett California, following signs for "The Drive Thru Tree." And a drive-thru it is! The Chandelier Tree is an imposing old redwood, with a rectangular tunnel cut through its base. I find something a bit unsettling in driving through a living thing, but for $5, you too can pass through this ancient organism.

Untitled Humboldt county #happinessUntitled

Beside the Chandelier tree is the real boon of Leggett though. Behind the giftshop, there is a meadow flanking a pond and everything is in bloom. Huge bumblebees and damselflies hum to and fro, while frogs croak in the water. Yep. You heard me. Frogs!


Those poor canaries in the proverbial coal mine are disappearing rapidly worldwide, and yet, there are still California natives here (pseudacris sierra?), ribbiting in froggy abundance. The surprise swelled my misanthropic environmentalist's heart to bursting.


Thank goodness for small surprises along the road, and thank god for best friends.


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