September 2, 2013
“This seems pretty level, don’t you think?” I asked Tucker as I shifted into neutral and let my foot off the break. The truck rocked back and forth before settling.
“Feels like it,” Tucker said with a level of empathy brought about by a day of eating, drinking and smoking. “I’m going to crash under the stars though. The stars are In-Sane.”
Nodding in approval, I pushed the stick into reverse, and backed up over the knoll. The truck leveled off a bit but still favored the right side. Looking over to the left, I watched Dan do the same thing in his Vanagon.
“That’s nowhere close to level.”
“What? Dan’s van?”
“Yah look at that. Total newb parking job.” Turning off the truck, I searched for my flip flops under my feet with my big toes. Rotating to the left, I hung my feet out of the open door and looked west. The last remnants of sunlight from the day before lined the horizon like the flames from a dying camp stove. It was 10:15.
I jumped down from my seat and landed on the field with a soft thud. Some fifty feet off a gravel road, we were parked on a hill overlooking the Lost Coast Trail and the Mouth of the Matole. National news coverage of an escaped serial killer holed up in the area kept the local campsites empty, despite being the middle of summer.
“Where are you going to lay it down? I have an extra sleeping pad if you want to borrow it,” I asked Tucker as we walked back towards the truck.
“Sure. I’m going to crash over there. I found a flat spot.”
I groped the cup holder for a headlamp and found one tangled in a nest of coins, fin keys and iPhone headphone cords. Shoving it in my back pocket, I walked over towards Dan’s van to say goodnight. Tired from a day of looking for waves, cooking food and shooting the shit, I maybe had thirty minutes in me before I’d pass out. That realistically meant that I had 10 minutes, I reasoned. There’s no way I could make it to midnight.
Dan and Tucker checking waves.
Long days don’t last.
Dan’s Subaru powered Vanagon.
Tucker and Greg cooking dinner.
Jay Nelson’s OG quiver.
Death by powerslide.
Neil Young on repeat.
The road to Patrolia.
The propane stove in an off-grid cabin on the Lost Coast.
A rolling home on the 1.
Turning on my headlamp, I inspected the ground around my truck. All though very low to the ground, the oily leaves and small branches were unmistakable.
“Motherfucker. Do you guys see this?” We are camping in a field of Poisson Oak,” I yelled.
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