Posts Tagged ‘hot springs’

The cold weather is allowing me extra time in the studio and it feels great to get caught up on the HHN publishing.

2016 was so full of excitement that issue #12 will include 2 extra pages! It will be published tomorrow, Thursday January 18, 2018. Here is a sneak peak. I hope it continues to inspire everyone to support the Helping Hands Network and all the causes we sponsor.

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Full Issue in Kindle Format available here:  https://tinyurl.com/ybqmgdmp

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August 6-7th coming soon

August 8th

Arrived in Newcastle WY from Colorado Springs.

While eating a great valued plate sized pancake breakfast at Donna’s, I was joined in conversation by a nice gent from MA. After eating, my new friend picked up the tab for my birthday. As I stood by my bike, a group surrounded me to talk about it. I explained how my dad started me on the 80s Honda 750’s ever since they came out aind how the two of us had toured the continental 48 on them. They enjoyed hearing how I rescued the bike out of the MN field and rebuilt the Red/White/Blue into the bike I was now riding in memory of my pops.

I then headed north out of Castlewood. About 15 miles out of town about half of the land was covered with nearly 6 inches of hail slush. I went almost 8 miles before most signs of the hail had disapeared. As I entered Lead, SD my engine started ticking and I knew I must be using up more oil then usual. I had just added 3/4 of a quart in Lusk this morning while talking to LA Guns. I carried on 3 more miles to Deadwood and parked on main street. The parking was completly full of bikes from end to end but I found a spot at the far end.

I went straight to Saloon 10 to see if they had started their 10:30 poker tournment yet. I was still able to get in so I played their Turbo tourney and ended in 5th place around 12:30. I could then still make it to the 1p tourney at a different casino or try to promote some Shhmokewear.

I ended up weaving some Shhmokewear in several high traffic locations of Deadwood but had to refrain from displaying too much product because the city has a no vendor policy. I noticed cops surrounding me about 20 feet away so I quickly packed up and moved on. I got some more $8 oil at the Lucas booth and also got a free registration to win a $35k custom Tin Lizzy chopper. While waiting for the 4:45 drawing, I rode up to Lead to get a sub sandwhich and picked up a tarp for the rain that was coming.

I didn’t get back in time for the drawing so I went straight to another casino to get the currrent details for their poker tournaments then headed for the Buffalo Chip to party with Sturgis.

It was $72 and there was no way to sneak in with my gear so I sucked it up and paid. The campgrounds covered a 4 square miles with 2 stages, 2 shower buildings, a food barn, and a swimming hole not including the main stage grounds which was another 2 square miles full of everything you could imagine. I rode around scouting my best options. I found the perfect spot right between the side stages and the main stage ground. There was a little corner not being used but clearly meant to be part of a reserved area. No one was around the camp next to the spot so I quickly put the bike and tent on the very edge.

The gentlemen paying for the lot pulled up in his truck just as I completed so I quickly broke the ice. Ray was a Navajo and and very friendly. I jumped at the chance to share a Native American story with him and then he welcomed me into his personal space.

After getting all my gear into the tent, I headed into the main stage grounds to party with Skynyrd. Bradley Gilbert was warming up the crowd when I walked in. I made a few quick Shhmokewear advances before it got dark and then headed up front. It was a good thing I brought a tarp because it started pouring as they setup. Everyone near me was thankful when I shared it with them.

One of the few things that could possibly make Skynyrd better would be the roar of 100 loud bikes showing their appreciation between every song and the energy of thousands of bikers dancing together. After an epic performance of Free Byrd the soaked crowd shifted over to the night club lounge to dance till 2am. I failed to make any campground friends so I wandered back to my tent and passed out.

Friday 8/9
I spent the morning exploring the campground looking to score some free food and then went and showered and shaved. I went down to the swimming beach area and set up to promote some shhmokewear. One person after another came up and talked to me. Before I knew it, 5pm had rolled around and I had sold 10 bracelets and it was time to get in the filming crowd for CMT’s Sturgis show during a beer belly contest. As that came to a conclusion, a massive storm front was moving in. I had planned on promoting on main street in Sturgis all day but with the storm coming fast I wasn’t even going to have enough time to relocate my tent.

It wasn’t long before the storm hit. I was ready and standing by the bikini beach stage so I could take cover. The wind blew really hard and then marble hail followed. Everyone nearby was racing for a spot under the stage.

After the storm blew over I went to my tent and made an RTE meal while listening to the music of the Doors’ Robbie Krieger.  Then it was time to find my way to the stage for Sublime. I found a way in and enjoyed the show then went past some new Shhmokewear customers camp and then to the music aat the watering oasis to chill until 2ish.

Sat 8/10
Some young inconsiderate staff members ran their generator all night long with no silencer casing so adding that noise to the constant bike thunder made it a rough nights sleep. I needed a reset so I took my breakfast down to the watering hole right away.

I was soon joined by 3 bikini models who were doing their calendar shots and some Discovery channel filming. Some of the BC staff came over to make it look like there was more of partying in the background. I mde some new friends like Meagan, Zack and Greg who were running the karaoke and sound systems. Meagan and her mom were active in teaching and performing arts around Lower Bruelle reservation near Mitchell SD.

A few minutes went by and then a man resembling a 50 yearold version of me appeared. He started a yoga routine similar to mine while conversing about his 6 years as a Hare Krishna devotee in HI, Phily and San Diego.  Greg Bechtol met his wife at temple and then had children growing up in the yogi life. He mentioned how inspired he was by “the way home” autobiography of Swami ????  I was currently reading the same book and structuring my own version of it so we talked about how our journeys compared for a few minutes. Greg then went back to his camp to get a flyer and another monk traveling Sturgis with him. His friend was still mastering English so we didn’t talk a lot but just being in the company of other devoted yogi’s was a great way to close out my stay at Buffalo Chip.

A few minutes later some of my new friends joined us for a swim. I was also able to charge my phones while tanning and working on a custom ordered bracelet pipe. After lunch I said my good byes and packed up camp. I was off to downtown main street Sturgis and the heart of the rally.

While I was strolling around looking for mud flaps and seat rests with my KXL protest shirt on, a film crew came up to me because of my patriotic jacket and wanted some promo shots with their models. I then had them then take some shots for me with my shirt and their model to put in the next Helping Hands comic issue.

It was starting to get dark so I cruised over to my friends Randy and Shirley who own the Swap Meet property. We talked briefly as they were closing up and then he told me there was an empty lot a block over to put up my tent. When I pulled up to the lot, it was just what I hoped for. It was mostly cushy grass away from the noise. There were two other tents and an RV to keep the attention away from me and to detir anyone from raiding my tent.

After I was all set up, I headed back to the concerts on main street. I went from a country group to a hard rock group to a Joan Jett all girl group. All of the bands had girl lead vocalists too. I eventually made it to the Easy Riders club on the end of the strip where there was a blue grass group on one side and a night club with tons of mostly naked beautiful college girls dancing. You know where I ended up for the rest of the night. I found a stool near the dance floor and kicked back. After a short while, some tatoo artists from a reality show sat at the tables around me, including their super hot leading role model. She was very friendly and let people get a picture with them. I just took a couple of her dancing by me.

As I made it back to main street, I grabbed a $3 hot dog and got to my bike right at the 2am street parking curfew. As I was finishing my dog, a guy grabs my bike and wheels it over to his tow truck. I stepped in front of him just before the ramp and several other bikers surrounded him and the ticket cop. A few words about how much I had to drink were exchanged and then they stepped away from my bike so I could ride off and avoid a $250 tow fee!

Sunday 8/11
For the first time in 4 nights I was able to sleep with a bit of peace. There were still a few bikes roaring but I slept straight through. I left my tent up and went to stroll the vendors one last time then hit the $10 Gypsy Sideshack buffet while watching some NFL and charging my phone. As I was getting ready to ride over to the grocery and dollar stores for supplies, a guy from Portland roled up and wanted to talk about my bike. He had just closed his car dealership and was dealing with a sick wife so he rode to Sturgis to reset his stress.

I then went to Randy’s swap meet to look for my mud flaps and seat back. They didn’t have any so I bought a RWB Eagle vest extendor so I could help them out somehow. Shirley came over and started crying when I gave her a hug because she spent most of the spring providing hospice for dad in Texas and then her Uncle had passed away that morning. She also was still suffering from a bad business partner who she had been trying to part with the past 2 years and the city sales tax officers.

City tax officials had been going around entraping business owners by asking for receipts and citing any discounted sales even if they were properly taxed. Randy was forced to spend a night in jail and pay a $1800 bond and a $500 ticket. For the small vendors paying $4000+ for a booth in addition to a $700 permit and sales tax it was the last straw. The city is trying to use these dirty tactics to terminate long term contracts in certain locations in order to open them up for bigger corporate operations.

Randy and Shirley got too busy to talk so I went back over to my camp and loaded up then returned to get a picture and talk about visiting their farm in southwest Kansas on my way to CO Springs in late Sept. After saying goodbye, I stopped into McD’s to use the wifi and get my email caught up while enjoying a Sunday. Then I hit Subway to get sandwiches for a couple meals in the woods.

Once in Deadwood, I stopped at the casinos to verify the current poker tournament times and then went up to my favorite camp spot in Bullock/Rosevelt Castle. After getting set up I went back down and had an hour to play Black Jack at the Lodge. I took my $6 winnings over to Cadilac Jacks for the $23 seven pm poker tournament where I was dealt pocket Kings two hands in a row and lost all the chips before the second level ended.

I sat around waiting for my phone to charge awhile and used the wifi to check facebook then headed over to check out the new Grand Casino.  It was built with the same foundation and structure as the original wood saw mill building. It also has the river running under it that powered the saws and now charges electric turbine generators. It is interesting to see how the streets were built over the top of the river for several blocks. Inside the casino were some nice giveaway bikes and a biker painting exibit. The sports lounge had more football to watch and on another screen was a show featuring the top 50 Sportcenter commercials which is my favorite ad campaign. I plugged my phone in and watched some while charging then it was off to some live music at Saloon No. 10.

I was immediately approached by a nice older lady and reminded I was as handsome as the guy on “One Tree Hill”. I had never watched it but now I guess I have to look at some mug shots of the actors to see if I really do look similar to him. The nice lady continued to make advances at me so I often moved around the saloon. I bumped into the owners of the Full Throttle franchise, Michael and Rachael, and we talked about setting their next party up with Shhmokewear gift bags and then took some pictures together. I avoided the temptation to play black jack until close and instead left with the Full Throttle crew to walk around a bit. Not much else was going on so I headed up to camp.

Monday 8/12
Ahh. My first solid night of peace and quite. I was frustrated that the low cloud cover blocked my view of the meteor shower but I fell a sleep pretty quick anyway with the top of the tent open under the few stars I did get to enjoy. Some times a turkey or chipmunk, owl, eagle, deer or bear will wake me up but not this night.

I needed a nature day after all this excitement so I started with a hike down the rarely explored side of the mountain facing Deadwood while enjoying my apple, grapes, bananna and granola bar for breakfast. I went about 800ft. down and then back up and then went over to hike to Mt. Rosevelt/Bullock Castle. There were two nice elder local laddies having a picnic so I approached them for my morning conversation about the history of the castle and then another group offered me some water when I asked if I could trade a granola bar. I rode the bike up to the top and discovered the preservation of the peace tower was complete and they added a metal roof. I sat up there several hours while writing and eating then left my mark facing Spearfish and hiked down to the lookout dock for some nice private tanning of my cheeks.

At 6pm, I went back to camp to change gear and head into town. I stopped at the Lodge and another awesome Red White Blue bike parked beside mine so I got a quick picture then went in to play some black jack. From there it was off to Cadilac Jacks for their 7pm tourney. I had a good run before finally getting knocked out in 7th place. It was 11 by the time I got done replying to emails so I skipped downtown and went back up the mountain.

Tuesday 8/13
I started the day off with a nice 2 hour all natural yoga set at the tower before the first group of hikers showed up. I then went back to writing and tanning between visitors. Around 1pm a storm front started moving in and before I could get packed up the rain was already falling. I went back to the tower to stay dry just in time as quarter sized hail began to fall. As each ball fell it shreeked through the trees and exploded against the bark making a loud gunshot like noise. As the hail banged the steel roof and the thunder boomed I had to plug my ears as if I was in front of a concert speaker. After about 30 minutes the rain stopped long enough for me to run to the other side of the peak in my sandles to make sure the bike wasn’t blown down the cliff. I could see another wave rapidly blowing in from the south so I ran back to the tower. When I got back there was an adventurous couple in their 60s climbing the steep 14 inch high steps. The lady had a caine and bad knee but she tackled the beast as I watched in awe. As if the hike wasnt enough of a challenge. It was no suprise when they told me they lived in a sustainable cabin in the wild and he was a logger and trucker.
They continued on to make it back to their vehicle before the bucket of rain fell again. Pea sized hail forced me back into the shelter and this time the wind and lightning were going full force like a twister was forming. I began taking off my metal items and prayed I would not be struck sitting next to the lightning rod stair case rails attached to the roof. I had to remove my hat and shirt containing metal buttons and wrapped up in the tarp to stay warm as the rain and hail blew in through the window openings above me. As it calmed down I went to the top to scout the surrounding. I began cursing and pleading with the storm to move on so I could go get my warmer clothes and head into town.  A voice from the stairs below responded “keep praying”. I was completely caught off guard, not expecting anyone else to attemp the hike in this storm.
It was two more hard core bikers out looking to challenge their riding skills. They had just riden in the storm, up the muddy back road which I don’t even attempt in perfect conditions so they had my salute immediately. Mark and Gary were two of the few remaining bikers still camping among the hills after the rally. They were taking their time returning to the Minneapolis area. We shared a joint and stories about riding the storms out before the rain stopped to let us down the mountain. I went and put on my warm clothes and boots and then rode with them over to lead to get some PB&J. I gave them directions to Hippy Hole/Devils Bath and then we parted ways.
I headed over to the 7pm tourney and struck out again but got my phone charged for another day of writing then I went over to the 10 and lost at Black Jack. After getting my Sturgis journal caught up, I headed back up to the tent.

Wed 8/14
I started the day with a great uninterupted rock lifting and pushup workout on the lookout deck and then headed down to Cadilac Jacks for the 1pm $23 tourney. I got the further in this tournament then any other so far. I got knocked out in 5th and then the remaining players split $1000 four ways. It was 4pm by the time 8 got caught up on email and the weather was nice so I went for a ride through Spearfish Canyon over to Hippi Hole (Devils Bath) and then around Spearfish and back up to the Lodge in time for the main event tournament. Wednessday at 6:30 the Lodge has a $54 buy-in, 200% added, unlimited add-on event where the deep pocket retired boys put in around $6000 extra into the pot. This night, the pot was $9700 with a 40 player cap and they pay the top 10. That gives players a 1 in 4 shot at making as much as nearly $3500 for first place on a $54 minimum investment. I rolled my first table, winning about every 4 hands. By the time we split the table at the end of the add-on rounds, I was the tournament leader with 25,000 in chips while the table average was only 5k but then the thick wallets opened up and the old timmers loaded up $500 cash for 50,000 each in chips. I didn’t have that kind of money to invest so I was going to have to earn my spot at the final table. I almost made it before going 16k all-in with Ace diamonds & Queen hearts and lost to an Ace King kicker for about a 55k pot which would have gotten me to the money. Instead, I was sent packing empty handed in 15th place. I was too bummed to go to the 10 for music now so I went back to camp and called it a night.

Thursday 8/15
I packed up camp and headed to the 10 for the early $10 tournament. Two of the finalists from the big tournament were there and just getting started. I again had a bad run and was knocked out early. I headed over to the park for breakfast and writing and then went to Cadilac Jacks 1pm tournament for my final chance at making some money before heading to my camp on the lake in the middle of no where. I once again found myself on a roll and near the lead deep into the final table and just as I was about to finish in the money this young kid made a top notch play. He limps in for 1600 and two more call when it comes around to me so I push a massive 16000 with Ace Jack and the kid insta calls representing a strong pair. We see the rainbow 2,4,5 flop and he puts me all in and I fold to try to recover with only 2500 left in chips. The only time a player would do that would be with a high pair. If I would of just played it safe, I would have won enough to cover my whole trip and previous event entriees which ended up being $400. Frustrated, I sent a message to Heather that I would be ready to leave the hills and meet her at Ft. Robinson for dinner the next day and then turned the bike for my next favorite camp spot at Jenny Gulch along Silver City road.

I stopped at lake Raboix to pick some shrooms and then met two cool random travelors. They had met at Glacier years back and scheduled a reunion rendevue at Raboix. One came from Idaho and the other from Lacross WI. We shared stories and then I signed their travel journals before heading off for Jenny. I couldn’t remember exactly how to get to the cliff diving spot but I remembered the turn was by an ATV rental and fishing campground so I just kept riding until I saw a good posibility. I wasn’t even sure of the name but I saw a road sign for Jenny Gulch and I remebered a story from the very first time I tried to find it. Several years back I took that road for 2 hours to discover it turned into a logging road and then eventually was gated off through a field road on private land. It reminded me that I was in deed looking for the next crossing to get on that same road a few miles further ahead.

I arrived about 5 and had a good hour and a half to tan then put the hammock on a cliff about 40 feet above the water and then got dinner ready. There was no phone signal so there were no distractions to keep me from writing as the sun set and the half moon took control of the sky reflecting over the towereing pine tree shadows in the lake.

Friday 16th
I slept great in the hammock after encountering only one single mosquito. I don’t think having the tarp over top of me even mattered. Every time I pulled it back to watch the moon and stars there were no distractions other then a squaky eagle. It was so relaxing that I couldn’t convince myself to do any writing. The morning started out with and hour of rock and shroom collecting and then as I was about to get a nice morning bath in, this miny van parked and 7 noisy kids jumped out. They were soon followed by 3 more vehicles and my nice private spot 30 miles from no where was suddenly compromised. I thought most kids were in school by now? I rerouted back to my hammock to get some writing done and waited for the sun to shine a new hidden spot out of the childrens view.

Nothing happened on Monday the 10th but Tuesday was a full moon and it was my first time being invited to the secretive Moon Tribe gathering. The tribe is a made up of all types of free thinking spiritual minds that celebrate for a wide variety of reasons.

Some of our group left in the middle of the day but several would not get off work until later so we had a second bunch leave in big momma around 8. The destination was in the Mojave desert about an hour west of Las Vegas.

We knew where to turn off the paved road but finding the right route through winding paths in the sand was a problem. We took a wrong turn and were several miles in when we hit a real soft spot and got stuck. A few of us picked a hill in each direction and climbed to see if we cound see or hear the group. We then pushed the van out of the sand and made Scott run and jump in as we followed the sound of drums and light to the party.

We were able to avoid the $15 entry by coming in on a side entry so it worked out great. The spot was marked by the only trees growing in the desert within view. There was 5 of them in a circle forming a natural amphitheater. The DJ and concert speakers were on one side while the drum circle and acoustic lovers were around the fire on the opposite side. The outter edges of the camp had fire spinners, hoopers, and people with all sorts of glow things…including a remote control plane.

We set up a hammock and blanket to mark our base and then everyone split up to mingle. The people were wonderful but after dancing through to sunrise I found no one to connect deeply with so I let loose and lost awareness. My pictures of the gathering were mostly blurry as were my memories of the night.

As the sun rose all 7 of us joined back up in van and headed to the gas station on the highway. Will was too tired to drive so another Tim took over as we all slept. About an hour down the road we woke up to Tim screetching that the van died and we were coasting to a stop on the left side of the road. It turned out that Will was so out of it that he didn’t remember to pump the gas at the station!

We could see an exit down the mountain and if we could just get to the slope we could coast off the exit. We prayed big momma would start back up to get us out of traffic and our prayers were answered. As we made it to the exit we could see gas ahead so we all jumped out and started pushing like a scene from Little Miss Sunshine.

We made it to the pump and dropped to our knees in celebration. After remembering to pump the gas we headed home. We all took naps and tried to do a few simple work tasks in between.

Thursday we edited our contracts so we could move forward knowing where we all stood on expectations. Friday we reviewed the week of work and then Sung picked me up to go camping.

We had 2 locations in mind and flipped a coin to decide. The destination was to be Mugu Beach park area. It was just after dark when we got there and it was full so we found the largest campground in the area and headed for Lake Casitas.

Only about 100 of the available 400 spots where filled so we had our choice for the best spots. It was $25 a night but included several extras validating the high tent cost. The campground had showers, a water park, playgrounds, general store, electric, disc golf and even a remote plane runway.

The road went around the lake and up cliffs for about 2 miles making for a great bike ride. Sung and I road over a great spot of the disc course over looking the entire lake and took a bunch of pictures. On the way back he got a flat so I came back with the Tacoma to pick him up.

We met several great people around us and shared our fire and movies with a few. One lady and her daughter travel around booking story telling gigs at festivals. Victoria and her daughter were great company. I took Sean to the Hot Springs just 5 miles up the Ojai road and showed him the hiking trails.

Sean was a great spirit and surprised me by letting loose to enjoy the hot springs naturally the way they were intended. There where a few attractive girls around us doing the same as well. After several hours of chilling in the river and hot springs I took Sean to the trail entry and then back to camp.

Sunday morning we packed up and headed to Venice Beach. We met up with Neil for drinks and walked the boardwalk. I looked over our Shhmokewear booth manned by Scott to make sure he was taken care of on the way back to the car. When we got home SP could not find his phone and concluded he must have left it in the bathroom.

Usual Monday workout. Good weekend sales waiting to be shipped upon my arrival.

Tuesday morning I went to the rec center to do a ball workout and the dance class was there. The 3 instructors are gorgeous so I stayed near by and watched them every once in awhile. After they were done I started a conversation with a student while waiting for them. When they came out I gave them my number and asked if they could help me find someone to play tennis with.   They told me to come back at 5:30 and help with the kids anytime and then we went our separate ways.

I had to get a form created before going back in the evening and I could not get back to the park until 7. By then, the girls were not around.  The short holiday week combined with us getting our $5000 payment today made the week fun and relaxed.

Wednesday I did a 2 hour cardio workout with extra ball dribbling. Work tasks were mostly emails and customer service help. Sean made his first sale which included 9 high end glass pieces.   I was able to stop working on time and got to the rec center to meet the dancers. I introduced myself to a soccer coach and he welcomed me to help them with practice. The kids were a blast and I enjoyed watching them laugh and smile while learning the new drills I taught them. The girls had to leave before we were done practicing but I’m sure I will see them again soon.

On Turkey day we had to package up Sean’s order plus Will closed a $500 sale as well to package. After that I returned a bunch of singles ad messages and then took the train over to have lunch with other Occupy protestors.  One thing I am not getting enough of in my life is intelectual/philosophical conversation and sometimes I find it there. My first September I met with Sandy Fleming. Several days over the past few weeks we have been continuing our talks from that first day.  Unfortunately the Occupy tent city has become cluttered with tarps and most all of the small vegetation has been destroyed and the vibe and energy is outside my comfort zone. I shared some bread and walked a full rotation through the camp without finding any deep conversation so I continued back to the office to load up for my ride home.

On the train I had another message from the great swami beyond. As I boarded, my bike tire encroached a gentlemen who remarked rudely. I was too close to his space. If he didn’t have his feet out sideways blocking the walkway I would have taken the bike to the middle spot for bikes. I then thought to myself that he was sitting in a disabled seat and I should point it out but I bit my tonque. I simply replied “Happy Holidays”. When he reached his stop, I noticed his feet were not sideways by choice and he was just angry at the world for his misfortune.

 

When I arrived home, Sean had Thanksgiving dinner waiting and all the gear was packed. I ate and then posted a bunch of messages on the Burner meetup in hopes of meeting my soulmate on this weekend.  I also tried to arrange a morning jog with Linda Boeke from high school but she canceled after realizing the Husker vs. Iowa football game was on. Our reunion would have to wait.  Soon as the sun was up we were packing the car for another great adventure in the desert. We fiddled around with work things until 11 and then headed towards Will. We called to give him an hour notice to gvet ready. He was not ready to go when we showed up and made us wait until 1:30 so we cleaned and organized gear while waiting.   I had not looked at the new directions so I just told Will we were going somewhere in Joshua Tree. He assumed we would be going through Palm Springs and made plans with friends there. He was already upset that we were not working on the holiday while he was feeling productive so the tension piled up from his delays and news of our route change which would not be going through Palm Springs.  Just  5 miles down the road he was asking to be dropped off because of all the negative energy. Sean refused at first and we encouraged him to work it out so he hung with us.

 

We found our way to the gathering safely with no delays. Even though the company just got paid $4500 above expenses this week Will failed to get cash and borrowed 9 from Sung and forgot to pay me. Details that would need to change soon if I was to continue sacrificing my book time for Shhmokewear.   Once we contibuted our alcohol for the open bar and $25 donation, we circled the camp and picked our spot. After setting up camp in the dark it was near 7pm and time to explore. Will hiked the mountain with his guitar, Sean hit the grill for his cooking fetish and I went on the hunt for single girls to line everyone up with.

The gathering basecamp had a dome tent lit with glow sticks and neon with the open bar I inside being poured by 2 gorgeous mediterainian girls. I filled up my flask with pinneapple rum and red wine then headed for the fire pit. It was early so I consumed my energy by working on carving wood and creating my comics around the fire.

There was some great music being played by the DJ but it was too early to go on that trip.  I wanted to stay in a sobber state of mind to advance with the ladies first. I struck up several conversattions between stretching my legs and found the most attractive girl with the best energy surrounding her. As I was working on my comic the girls that were  attracted to me came over and asked questions. I picked the one with the best energy and I gave her the most attention so she sat beside me.   After I finished a page about a Texas adventure I shared the stories with her and then she went for a walk with me back to get water from our camp. Sara was on a soul venture from New York and took the holiday to spend with friends instead of family. She needed to get away from designing plasma lasers and computer programming with her Masters dedgree from UCLA and a RI school.   When we returned we joined the dancing and drumming. As our high peaked, Sara invited me to play cards at her tent. The boys had some good advances going so I left their wing and called it a night.  Back at the tent, I taught her how to play Jacks for about an hour while we exchanged innocent leg touches and flirtations and then she made a move.

For me, the ultimate high is the one you get from that first unknown realm of sexual tension. That first kiss puts you on top of the world. Even the slightest of touch, is still intoxicating.  Combine the first kiss with a long night of skinful cuddling under a 25 degree desert stary sky night and you gain the confidence to accomplish anything.  After we forced our selves apart we packed carry bags for the day and hiked up the hill to watch the sunrise over the desert foliage. After meditating by focusing on a small living creature, we hiked around the ranch lodge, playground and petting zoo. There’s a special channel of energy you absorb from a Peacock in a desert oasis.  We next went to join the boys for breakfast. As we were getting breakfast together, a roar stirred from the tent. A squinty eyed Sean soon crawled out. As we played cards and shared stories with Sean, Will plopped out of his hamock with one eye open.   After we filled our tummies we went back to take a nap in the grass area around Sarah’s tent. The area was surrounded by Tipis and provided a serene spot for cuddling in the soothing sunshine.

A messenger was going around gathering those interested in a mountain pass adventure to an old ghost mine. We decided it would be a fun way to spend the day together so we packed up and drove to meet the caravan at the archery.  While waiting we did some yoga and then shot some arrows. It was fun showing Sara how to do it.  Once the caravan was ready we drove the 2009 convertible Mustang through the desert down a back road towards the ghost mine and camp. We had 2 wild girls in the back as we rocked the convetibles sound system through the wild. It was like a scene from Fear and Lothing in Las Vegas. I felt like Johnny Depp.

The road got too rocky for the rented stang so we found a good pull over spot and jumped in the back of a small pickup to go the final 15 minutes. It was a wild ride and I enjoyed every bump as Sara embraced my cushioned lap. There were a couple steap leaning moments where we were close to falling out. The gravity drops were a blast.  When we got to the cave there were camp buildings going to ruin and behind them was the entrance to the mine.

A single man mined nearly a mile through the mountain over 38 years to give the illusion he did not find gold while actually striking a vain near by in secret.   Nearly 30 people went in while Will stayed behind. Another moment where a loved one makes you feel appreciated as we held hands walking through a cell phone lit black hole together.  Once we got to the other end the view was amazing of the salt lake. I noticed no one was in the mine so I grabbed Sara for some private hanky panky a ways in the dark.

As we rounded a jag in the shaft, a sliver of light from the entrance .75 miles ahead of us appeared. It was accompanied by the Johnny Cash sound of Will’s music.   We stopped moving and filmed what became one of the most sirene moments of my life. A moment better then any vision Hollywood could create. The light silouetting Will and his guitar as he approached us combined with music was on a parralel level in my memory with the moments spent in Sara’s arms.  Once the group was all back together we got into SP’s car with Will and asked others to ride in the back of the truck. Once we got ready to go the battery wouldn’t turn over and it was on a hill so we had to rock it to get shifted into neutral in order to get to a spot for a jump start.  While I was in the back rocking one of the passengers from earlier came over and opened the door unaware what we were doing. At the same moment the car shifted and rolled back towards me. I was prepared to jump on bump but the other lady got knocked down as the door plowed her over and I tried to stop the role. I sufered a good gash on my knee and several scrapes while planting my knee into the rocks.  We returned to the rental car just in time to get it turned around on the rocky one lane path before dark. I drove us to the nearest town as Will followed and again enjoyed the passionate touches while driving together.

 

Will was struggling to stay awake so I took the Toyota Tundra the rest of the way. We got Will and the Toyota dropped off and then we took the Stang to town to get liquor and dinner.  After filling up we went to the tent and fooled around before taking a nap to energize for a long night of partying. I wanted to stay up all night and make the moment last before having to part from my new friends.  We shared some natural party favors through the night and talked about our experiences and visions around the campfire and in the dance circle. I started with numbness and then transcended into pins and needles like tingling. Instead of seeing the obvious warm colors first, I was seeing more of the night blues and purples such as those deep in the hottest coals of the fire.  Eventually we agreed it was time to take another nap and watch a movie. When we woke up I felt fully rejuvinated and spent an hour doing yoga while Sara and the boys ate and said their good byes.

Soon it was time to part ways. Sara was going to Vegas and wanted some solo time so we just agreed to meet back up when she returned. I told her she was welcome to sleep over Monday night and we were right by the airport before her Tuesday flight. After sharing our hugs I went up the mountain took a nude nap in the 80 degree sun.  Once the boys had their stuff ready we headed back to LA, arriving with no problems. On the way I would get a text from the rec center dance instructor, Julia. We connected on facebook and chatted awhile before bed, arranging a tennis workout for Monday.

Typical Monday with hot tub yoga and lap swimming then off to Shhmokewear, only this day Sean was going with me so I didn’t need to take the bus.We got his contract in agreeance and SI was off to another milemarker.

On Tuesday I biked Elysian mountain around Dodger stadium. I was still looking for a good pickup soccer pilada in the downtown area with no luck. My friend Sandy that I met at Occupy was trying to find a time to show me around. I checked with her as I was biking and she told me we would have to reschedule so I took my time going over some steap dark paths before heading back to Shhmokewear.

On Friday we packed up to hike Death Valley and the Saline Valley Springs. While waiting for Sean to show up a flock of nearly 30 wild parots flew into our tree. It was a United States bird watchers dream opportunity that rarely happens. There are not very wild parrots outsideMiami.

It took us 8 hours with stops to make it to the Big Pine entrance to Death Valley. It was about 250 miles from LA. The road was not marked to our meetup spot which was called Eureka Dunes. There were about 10 other vehicles camping on the dunes but none of them were with the meetup group so we took off solo the next morning after hiking around the area. First we traded some Shhmokewear for 4 gallons of water and directions.

 

The mountain pass road from the dunes to the spring was 30 miles shorter then the highway wrap around but took 2 hours to make it over so risky rock roads.

At the peak there is a hidden spot the locals call Marble Rock. It is worth trying to find but I am not going to describe it because I enjoy the mystery. There was another area called the racetrack. This spot is a shallow lake bed that freezes and then the wind pushes the rocks around on the ice like they are racing.

We stopped the only car that passed us and traded some Shhmokewear for 4 gallons of gas and then set up camp by the springs.

As we drove through the valley floor towards the Oasis, I was amazed to see a combination of volcano blow out, faulte and ice glacier deposit

The hot springs are amazing. The main spring has trees all around it. There is a fish pond with Koi and cold water pools and a fire pit. Over the years people have added many shade awnings and benches and other comfort features. We chilled there all day reading, drawing, writing etc.

Over time people have added gravity pressure plumbing to create warm showers. The average visitor is around 60 and enjoys being nude.

As the sun set on our fall solstice I caught a glimpse on Venus for 3 minutes while meditating in the hot spring before it chased the sun behind the mountain. The full moon and stars and sounds of the desert at night was all one more giant spot of heaven on earth. Wild burros and coyotes scampered around our tent. I crashed early and woke up at Sunrise.

The reds and orange colors painted a masterpiece over the peaks of the cliffs as I did some 6am yoga in serenity.

I took some pictures and alerted the boys before laying back down for a while. The others opened their eyes and Sean spouted “the sun is already up”, before falling back asleep.

Sean got up right after me and went to the spring while I did a workout and then prepared an applesauce and fruit breakfast.

We packed everything and started taking the tent down with Will sleeping inside. While the boys where tieing the gear down I went to aask our neighbor if we could us their air compressor to put our tires up to pavement pressure. After they complied and started pulling out we discovered our battery was not turning the starter over so I quickly waved them back over.

None of us were anxious to go back to the city but we all wanted to see Shhmokewear grow so we sucked it up. I was going to go have dinner with Bella when we got back but when I called she was still upset about me not giiving her enough attention so I left my stuff at the office and went home with Sean to relax. She may never ask to see me again since I am so busy. Only time would tell.

Woke up and it was sunny so I was motivated to get my yoga done in the hot tub and swim some laps. Then I lifted, did some P90 cardio and laid out to tan and dry a bit while eating breakfast. Then it was off to Shhmokewear and my bus tour of downtown.

Our news video coverage in Orlando was passed to the Associated Press and school boards around the country so sales were coming in fast. Some were from school drug awareness programs so we announced a discount code for them.

http://tinyurl.com/5w3eakb

Tuesday morning, we were featured by Perez Hilton and gossip of the pot bracelet spread quickly for even more web traffic and sales. We were sure to reach a few celebrity endorsements now. We quickly started working on a sales contract for Sean.

http://perezhilton.com/2011-11-01-weed-bracelet-works-like-a-pipe-kids-in-schools

Wednesday I went and applied for a PO box and medi-cal coverage then after work I got our newest artist, Lee, to drop me off at AgapeLive.com in Culver City. He just happen to live by there.

The Agape begin with 20 minutes of meditation and then expand into singing. There is a book store and the walls are covered with paintings of all the leading peace activists and prophets of most religions. The singing and gathering is lead and organized by Ricky BB of the the Black Eyed Peas and her husband does the preaching. The crowd really gets into dancing. The singing was just like being at a BEP concert but there are 4 sessions of preaching and Michael Beckwith’s style is too loud and energetic for more then the first 15 minute message. I met BobbyJasso.com sitting beside me.

AgapeLive.com

I would step out during the sermons and browse the book shop and then return for the singing. I met a wonderful young man sitting behind me who was willing to give me a ride about 3 miles northwest to Santa Monica. He was looking to find his spirituality so I told him my story about traveling the world building the Helping Hands Network.

The next morning on the bus to work I met a nice guy who was in the comedian circle and had a connection to Snoop. He told me a good way to reach Snoop was to get product in his Serius Pimp store in Orange County.

We considered going to a Jamaica Dub Step night at Marbella in Hollywood but decided to work late so we could have a sales contract ready for Sean.

I went around looking for a soccer game and a used skate board for my evening workout.

Friday, Sean came over to sign his sales Rep contract and then we drove to Redondo and chilled at the pad for the night. The gorgeous latin girl I met my first night at Occupy finally added me and said hi on facebook. It had been 5 weeks but better late then never. We ended up chatting for an hour and made plans to meet at the Elysian park by Dodger stadium on Monday and maybe Occupy on Sunday. I told her about partying at the Vortex the next Friday and camping with the burners over Thanksgiving and she welcomed the invitation.

Saturday, Sean and I went to the gym and then shopping at thrift stores. I got hemp shorts finally, and quartoroy pants and some rasta swim shorts that were a bit too tight. I also picked up some brown Perry Ellis shoes to match and 2 picture frames for Bellas art gift.

It was almost 6 by the time I got to Bellas for dinner. She took me to a prayer gathering and along the way I was caught in a judgement turn at a light. People were coming at me and another turning in front of me while I was entering a left turn, then someone walked into a cross walk 3 lanes away behing me. A cop was right there and decided to cite me for not yielding to a pedestrain. In California, they send you the fine amount in the mail and assign you a court date. If you don’t get a written note you have to appear in court.

It was such a Mickey Mouse decision by the officer and there was no way for me to avoid losing money that I would be bummed whole weekend. Even if you show up at 8:30am for court, it is 3 hours out of my way for travel; 1+ hours wasted there plus I still have to pay the court costs. It ends up being the same as just paying the fine so the whole system is a damn sham…yet just another reason I Occupy LA.

The prayer service was my first direct Muslim experience. You take your shoes off when you walk in and the girls are sitting along the walls while the men sit in a circle in the middle. The gent beside me welcomed me and would whisper the translations and details. Their prayers would break into hymns at times and some would sound similar to Budhist chants.

The prayer session begun with everyone welcoming and shaking hands in a walking line and then one after another you take the next spot on the circle. Once the circle is completed you sit and the Shieke begins the prayers. First you have the days prayer, then prayers for your loved ones. Then you stand and form a sideways line facing the Shieke. The translator whispered that each gesture represents a unique prayer and they recite God is Pure 33 times, then God is All mighty 33 times and God is Loving 33 times and then God is great to complete 100 prayers while doing the gestures made up of knealing, kissing the ground, bowing and moving your arms. It was challenging for me because my buddhist soul just wants a clear mind while absorbing the elements around me while chanting and humming.

They say Salam Malakam meaning hello and Malakam Salam for good bye. Salam can be used anytime in blessing and then they touch their heart. We all shared in a meal after and I just followed my translator around to mimic his action in order to not offend the custom. The men still remained separated from their women but Bella brought me food and asked me to sit in the middle of the floor with her. She quickly corrected my direction as I first sat facing the women.

After we were done, we talked about meeting her friends at a club to dance but decided to just go relax at home.

I gave her a cartooned variation of our meditation garden picture completing the gift portion of our Muslim dating ceremony. This exchange freed her to openly explore her sexuality without pressure and guilt so there was not much sleep to be had on this night.

 

 

Sunday Nov. 5th, we eventually got out to Will Rogers Park. You could walk around his ranch house and look into the windows to see how he lived. It is similar to walking around Elvis’ Memphis plantation. We hiked around the horse stable and up the mountain to an amazing look out spot. We could see the coast all the way to Catalina Island.

As we returned to the car we sat and watched a group playing soccer. I then took Bella back home and then headed to South Bay for movie night with Sung.

On Wed Sept. 28th, Will and I went to the LA Galaxy Champions league game against Monselia. We picked up 2 $40 tickets for $15 each in case we couldn’t jump a fence. It ended up being a waste because we found a spot on the press box.

I got careless and rushed my technique. The was a railing to catch my foot on the stadium side of the fence but it was just out of reach while holding on to the fence so I grabbed a cement rafter to turn around. My grip slipped and I almost fell which I would have resulted in my leg getting caught as I catapulted the back of my head straight into the cement. Fortunately, my angel caught my finger tip on the edge and guided me safely down.

Once inside we sat with the press on the first row of the 50 and got in some of the tv and media shots. Then we were asked to stay above the front section so we got some lounge chairs for the 2nd half.

It was tied going into injury time as LA scored in the last minute off a corner to avoid elimination from the tournament.

Thursday night I stopped at the Lawndale soccer fields to get a workout in and met some Turkish friends to play with on the winter league.

Friday the 30th, Sung/Sean and I went to a Dead cover band in Long Beach called Cubansis. On the way Sung got pulled over and fined $500 for tossing a burning item out of a moving vehicle.

Saturday was the beginning of the Occupy LA march and protests so I spent the day downtown. I met several wonderful new friends, including a few cute girls who would later dance the night away with me at the LA Decompression Burningman festival until the sun started rising over historic park.

I went back to the rally after the girls went home and Will was up playing cards still. It was almost 5 by the time I laid down in the van and then I got up at 7 to take the train home.

As soon as I got back Sung was ready to go to an Art walk event. An old brewery was closed down and remodeled into an artist commune. The place was amazing with all the self expression covering over 100 unique studios. There was a studio open for rent to consider for Shhmokewear but it was not available for viewing. It took us 4 hours to visit all the studios and then it was time for dinner. We stopped at a restaurant in Chinatown where a lot of movie scenes have been filmed in front. It was nice to have authentic sweet and sour pork and Saskatchewan chicken and $10 a plate was fair for L.A.

The next morning, Monday, I headed back to Shhmokewear to get the business plan done. After work Will and I went to City Hall to protest again with Occupy LA. We made several new friends each time we went over there. It was basically a big festival with media around. There is a tent for everything from general store to food and recycling. There are compost bins and drum circles and everyone barters and shares.

It is basically a temporary unitopia of traditional life like the old west gold towns. Unfortunate that there is not a continuous string of such events in more local areas for others to experience. The Occupy rallies would continue on in most major US cities for several months of 2011.

We went to the rally Monday and Tuesday but then Wednesday I went to the Further Fest at the Greek Theatre. You can take the train 15 blocks from the theater near Vermont and Hollywood and then bike up to the park. The first night I went straight to the Hyde Observatory above the theater to watch the show for free. I went in the wrong entrance and took an extra 20 minutes hiking up the Hyde trail.

Once I got to the top I discovered you could park for free at the top vs. Paying 15 down below. The trail by Hyde has several spots to put a chair or blanket down to watch the show plus you get an amazing view of the LA and Hollywood sky lines.

The temps dropped to 40 and I started shivering so I rode down to the theater to scope out ways to get in. The fence top was flat in front but extra security was on duty to stop jumpers. You could climb the hill in back and get over but you need a spotter on the inside to let u know a good time to come over. Once over you need to remove your hat and mix into the crowd to avoid being chased.

The next night Will, Brian and I rode with Scott and his lady to Furthur. This time I was in the lot 3 hours ahead of the show to experience the touring  flea market. It was quite an experience seeing all the colorful characters and their art creations they sell to survive on the tour.

We spent too long promoting Shhmokewear and waiting for scalpers to sell cheap before deciding to hop the back fence so the cross lot was taped off and being secured by security. I ran diversion while Brian and Will snuck around. After that I waited for 20 minutes before giving up. I went by the front gate so I could see the screen and hand out with the other members of Shhmoke that were there.

After the show we set up our merch in the path leading everyone back to their cars and we put Shhmoke cards on the luxury cars. It is a great way to break the ice with attractive people you want to meet.

Friday Will and I went camping. He showed me the sacred Oaji hot springs and hiking trails. We camped and cooked some grub about midnight after several hours of full moon yoga and hot springs rituals.

Saturday we hiked all day and swam in a freezing fresh spring water hole and then returned to Occupy LA.

The weekend group was 2x the size of the week day groups. All areas of the block and park were completely covered and there were now tippis and plywood walls for graffiti art in true Venice skater form. This night there was a community projector theater and we contributed Russo’s Freedom to Fascism.

After meeting several more new activist friends we headed back to the pad around 2am.

Sunday I toured Mariachi plaza shops for hand-made leather crafts then biked with 100,000+ at CiclaVia.org. The city of LA closed downtown and 40 other blocks to biking only to promote green living and transportation. It was amazing. There were events and bands on several streets and parks and it joined with the Long Beach south bay tri-athalon. I rode most of the route and then spent the afternoon making new friends playing volleyball and Manhattan beach.

I especially enjoyed meeting 8 new lady yogi friends who are in LA for a 9 week training by the airport. They were very friendly and added our LA Fun facebook group to keep in touch for future gatherings.

When I finally made it home for a night, Sung’s friend Neil was temporarily staying with us because the job we helped move him to San Diego for, had fallen apart. He was staying with us while lining up a new Dr. position.

We caught up on the weeks events and then passed out. Monday morning (10/7) I hit the hot tub, swam some laps, pumped some iron, did my yoga and then headed back to the Shhmokewear head quarters.