Johnny is a pimp-ass cook. When you go to visit him, this boy knows how to turn on the hospitality vibe. After dinner and much wine, we visited some of his favorite Portland dives, and wrapt ourselves in conversation. He had arranged to meet some of his friends later in the evening, so we weren't going to get nearly as sloppy as the previous night. At least not yet. When his phone rang 3 bars (and 5 drinks) later, he slurred that we were to meet one of his friends. This individual would be walking down the same street we were in the opposing direction. His name is Sam. My job was to keep my eyes out for a tall hippie lookin' dude wearing sandals. It's a good thing that he spotted us, because when we met, the only part of the description that Johnny had correct was that Sam is tall. Long hair does not a hippie make, and boots look absolutely NOTHING like sandals. The trench coat did not help, either. Sam is a chef. If he isn't yet he is studying to be one. This cat is apparently pretty good, he landed a position in Seattle that was so good that he turned down a position in Iron Chef America's kitchen. We discussed balsamic reductions and their applications to salmon and other fish. By the end of 5 minutes, even after a full meal, the three of us were drooling noticeably as we meandered down the street. We turned a corner, and a black metal (this is a type of music) fanatic comes bounding up to us. This kid has the haircut that I had in High School, he's a little nuts, and is a welder. I liked him immediately. He is Kyle, another of Johnny's friends. Shortly after meeting him, Kyle decided that it would be a good idea to pick up a traffic cone and roar "Metal ist Krieg" and german profanities at various passersby. This character would speak in his normal voice for three quarters of a sentence, but could not finish without dropping in to a gutteral, primeval growl. His favorite description for a positive situation is "metal" as in "destruction is so metal!". To describe a situation that is not beneficial to him, or to most other humanity, his utterance is "not metal" as in "Johnny staring at my girlfriend's ass is so not metal". A simple and intriguing creature that I am glad I can count among my friends.
Sam needed to drop by his house and pick up some stuff. The three of us waited outside discussing what Kyle does with his free time at work. He said something to the effect of "I make things". Naturally, "what kind of things?" was the question that followed. So he showed us. Kyle ran to his house (around the corner from Sam) and brought back a large shining 40 inch long piece of steel. Not just any piece of steel. This cat fabricated a war hammer. Dull on one side, and pointy on the other. He had even studded the handle to give the user a "no slip grip." All told, the hammer looked good. We all took turns smacking stuff with it. Johnny had the bright idea to beat the sharp side into the concrete. The result was a bunch of sparks and flying stones. Walking around a strange new city with a blue armed super villain, a chef, and a hammer wielding maniac on the Friday night before Halloween is a memory that I look forward to sharing with my grandchildren. I must be growing up. My first instinct was to hit the curb with the hammer. In my youth, first swing would have been a parking meter. I guess that I really did let the man get me down. No more. Destruction of Public Property is good for the the soul.
The evening, like all others wound to a close, and we bid goodby to Kyle and Sam. Next morning, I go downstairs to lube my chain and find that the sprocket is loose. Very loose. So loose that it wiggles about a half inch across the x and z axes. My concern was such that I called the Seattle Cycle Salvage guy that I met and asked hima flurry of questions, not the least of which was "I have 1000 miles to go, will it make it?" He assured me that the sprocket is designed to continue operating even after growing loose. Johnny and I were both relieved. I dislike staying in one place longer than I intend, and he had not planned for a three evening venture. I stacked my baggage on my bike, bid Johnny farewell, and motored south.
The only problem with the bike is that the sprocket squeeks at speeds under 10 miles an hour.
Reference to the Olympic Peninsula: When in Olympic national park, do not forego visiting the hotsprings, I did and am kicking myself. Instead I went to see "the big cedar". The tree is big, mostly dead, has one live branch and absolutely no bark. It is a huge cedar, but nowhere near as cool as geothermally heated water laced with various elements that comes in gorgeous colors that border on unnatural.
As far as water goes, pay close attention to the color of the lakes. They are as blue as my eyes, and infinitely clear.
The ride south
Sisikiyou national Forest
small stinky creatures
Questions?, Comments?, Hate Mail? Send it to Pete or John
11/18/06 Issue 17 - Moregon
11/06/06 Issue 16.2 - Metal Ist Krieg!! Cont'd
10/31/06 Issue 16.1 - Metal Ist Krieg!!
10/27/06 Issue 15 - Cape May to Cape Flattery or
10/23/06 Issue 14.2 - 2 days in dutch and the steam out
10/17/06 Issue 14.1 - Seattle to Dutch
08/25/06 Issue 13 - Holy Mackerel!!!
08/22/06 Issue 12 - Ever heard the verb shunt?
08/18/06 Issue 11 - Close but no cigar
08/14/06 Issue 10 - On the hunt
08/09/06 Issue 9 - I've really been at my parent's house this whole time.
08/07/06 Issue 8 - Nooooorth Dakota where the wind comes sweeping down the plains
08/02/06 Issue 7 - Grooves, Grates and Gravel
07/30/06 Issue 6 - Moon Over Parma
07/28/06 Issue 5 - I LEAVE TOMORROW!!!!!!!
07/24/06 Issue 4 - Why Jersey, and what's the holdup?
07/23/06 Issue 3 - Is this fraud? and Welcome to Delaware
07/22/06 Issue 2 - MVA, Headaches and Miracles
07/21/06 Issue 1 - Mission Statement